First observation of krill spawning in the high Arctic Kongsfjorden, west Spitsbergen

Friedrich.Buchholz [ at ]


In the past, two euphausiid species prevailed in the high Arctic Kongsfjorden, the arcto-boreal Thysanoessa inermis (Kroeyer, 1846) and Thysanoessa raschii (Sars. 1964). Both were considered expatriates from the Barents Sea or Norwegian Sea and non-reproductive due to low temperatures. The macro-zooplankton of the fjord has been studied as a component in an ecosystem context since 2006, including baseline investigation of distribution and functional performance of key species. In recent years, three additional krill species were regularly detected in the fjord and are the focus of an intensive long-term study. Of these species, Thysanoessa longicaudata (Kroeyer, 1846) and Meganyctiphanes norvegica (Sars, 1857) are typical for the boreal Atlantic whereas Nematoscelis megalops (Sars, 1883) has a broad distribution in temperate to subtropical provinces. Their occurrence in the Kongsfjorden clearly indicates increasing Atlantic influence. During the 2011 campaign, T. raschii was observed spawning in the field for the first time and showed development up to the naupliar stage in the laboratory. Should more evidence of reproduction be encountered in any of the five krill species in the Kongsfjorden in the future, it will be taken as an indication of a changing environment concerning temperature and food web composition.

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DOI 10.1007/s00300-012-1186-3

Cite as
Buchholz, F. , Werner, T. and Buchholz, C. (2012): First observation of krill spawning in the high Arctic Kongsfjorden, west Spitsbergen , Polar Biology, 35 , pp. 1273-1279 . doi: 10.1007/s00300-012-1186-3

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