Temperature-dependent egg production and egg hatching rates of small egg-carrying and broadcast-spawning copepods Oithona similis, Microsetella norvegica and Microcalanus pusillus

Coralie Barth-Jensen*, Marja Koski, Øystein Varpe, Peter Glad, Owen S. Wangensteen, Kim Præbel, Camilla Svensen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

15 Downloads (Pure)


Reproductive rates of copepods are temperature-dependent, but poorly known for small copepods at low temperatures, hindering the predictions of population dynamics and secondary production in high-latitude ecosystems. We investigated egg hatching rates, hatching success and egg production of the small copepods Oithona similis and Microsetella norvegica (sac spawners) and Microcalanus pusillus (broadcast spawner) between March and August. Incubations were performed at ecologically relevant temperatures between 1.3 and 13.2°C, and egg production rates were calculated. All egg hatching rates were positively correlated to temperature, although with large species-specific differences. At the lowest temperatures, M. pusillus eggs hatched within 4 days, whereas the eggs from sac spawners took 3–8 weeks to hatch. The egg hatching success was ≤25% for M. pusillus, >75% for O. similis and variable for M. norvegica. The maximum weight-specific egg production rate (μg C μg−1 C d−1) of M. pusillus was higher (0.22) than O. similis (0.12) and M. norvegica (0.06). M. norvegica reproduction peaked at 6–8°C, the prevailing in situ temperatures during its reproductive period. The difference in reproductive rates indicates species-specific thermal plasticity for the three copepods, which could have implications for present and future population dynamics of the species in arctic fjords.
Original languageEnglish
Article numberfbaa039
JournalJournal of Plankton Research
Issue number5
Pages (from-to)564-580
Number of pages17
Publication statusPublished - 2020


  • Female carbon content
  • Hatching success
  • Low temperature
  • Seasonality
  • Weight-specific egg production rate

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Temperature-dependent egg production and egg hatching rates of small egg-carrying and broadcast-spawning copepods <i>Oithona similis</i>, <i>Microsetella norvegica</i> and <i>Microcalanus pusillus</i>'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this