Year-round population dynamics of Limacina spp. early stages in a high-Arctic fjord (Adventfjorden, Svalbard)


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Martin.Graeve [ at ] awi.de

Abstract

The thecosome pteropods Limacina helicina and L. retroversa are important contributors to the zooplankton community in high-latitude environments but little is known about their distribution and life cycle under polar conditions. We collected the early life stages (< 1 mm) of the thecosome population in 2012 and 2013 at a bi-weekly to monthly resolution in fjord highly influenced by Arctic waters as well as Atlantic inflows (Adventfjorden, Svalbard, 78°N), together with environmental parameters. L. retroversa only occurred episodically, in association with the inflow of Atlantic water, with low numbers and random size distributions. This suggests that this boreal species does not fulfill its life cycle in Adventfjorden. In contrast, young specimens of L. helicina were present during the entire study. Veligers hatched in late summer/autumn and measured 0.14 mm on average. They grew with rates of 0.0006 mm day− 1 over the 10–11 months of development. Only thereafter, growth accelerated by one order of magnitude and maximal rates were reached in autumn (0.0077 mm day− 1). Our results indicate that L. helicina reaches a size of 1 mm after approximately 1.5 years in Adventfjorden. We therefore suggest that L. helicina overwinters the first year as a small juvenile and that it needs at least 2 years to reach an adult size of 5 mm in Adventfjorden. This reveals an complex and delicate aspect of the life-cycle of L. helicina and further research is needed to determine if it makes the population especially vulnerable towards climate changes.



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Helmholtz Cross Cutting Activity (2021-2027)
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Published
Eprint ID
54361
DOI 10.1007/s00300-021-02904-6

Cite as
Boissonnot, L. , Kohnert, P. , Ehrenfels, B. , Søreide, J. E. , Graeve, M. , Stübner, E. , Schrödl, M. and Niehoff, B. (2021): Year-round population dynamics of Limacina spp. early stages in a high-Arctic fjord (Adventfjorden, Svalbard) , Polar Biology, 44 (8), pp. 1605-1618 . doi: 10.1007/s00300-021-02904-6


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