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Annual weather variability and its influence on the population dynamics of Calanus finmarchicus

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The reaction of the population of Calanus finmarchicus to relatively extreme annual cycles of weather in the North Sea was investigated by one-dimensional model simulations. A population dynamics model for C. finmarchicus was coupled with a physical and a biological upper-layer model for phosphate, phytoplankton and detritus to simulate the development of the successive stages of C. finmarchicus. Observed annual weather cycles were used to drive the physical water column model, the results of which were then input to the plankton model. The simulations yielded the temporal development of all stages of C. finmarchicus over an annual cycle in terms of numbers and weights. Compared with the results reported for 1984 by Carlotti and Radach (1996; Limnol. Oceanogr. 41: 522–539), it appears that the temporal range for the occurrence of the peak concentration of C. finmarchicus may be 2 weeks in the northern North Sea. The simulated variability is in accordance with observations. Years with more continuous primary production such as the year 1984, which was cloudy and windy during the summer, may then provide the optimum conditions with respect to producing an abundance of zooplankton during the following year.

Keywords: Calanus finmarchicus; North Sea; water column model; zooplankton population dynamics

Document Type: Original Article


Affiliations: 1: Institut für Meereskunde, Troplowitzstrasse 7, D–22529 Hamburg, Germany, 2: Station Zoologique, URA CNRS 716, BP 28, F–06230 Villefranche-sur-Mer, France

Publication date: December 1, 1998

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