New publication: Pan-Arctic Depth Distribution of Diapausing Calanus Copepods

Kristina Øie Kvile, Carin Ashjian, and Rubao Ji in The Biological Bulletin

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Diapause at depth is considered an integral part of the life cycle of Calanus copepods, but few studies have focused on the Arctic species Calanus glacialis and Calanus hyperboreus. By analyzing a large set of pan-arctic observational data compiled from multiple sources, we show that Arctic Calanus has a broad depth distribution in winter, indicating that diapause at depth is a facultative strategy. Both species’ vertical distributions tend to deepen in winter and to be deeper and broader with increasing bottom depth, while individuals are aggregated closer to the sea floor in shallow areas. These results indicate that Arctic Calanus species pursue a relatively deep diapause habitat but are topographically blocked on the shelves. Interspecific differences in depth distribution during diapause suggest the importance of predation. The larger C. hyperboreus has a deeper diapause depth than C. glacialis, potentially to alleviate predation pressure or as a result of predation loss near the surface. Moreover, the mean depth of C. hyperboreus in winter is negatively associated with latitude, indicating a shoaling of the diapause population in the central Arctic Ocean where predation pressure is lower. Our results suggest a complex diapause behavior by Arctic Calanus, with implications for our view of the species’ roles in Arctic ecosystems.

The Biological Bulletin
First published September 17, 2019
DOI: 10.1086/704694
Publication webpage.


Kristina Øie Kvile*, Carin Ashjian§, and Rubao Ji§

*Centre for Ecological and Evolutionary Synthesis (CEES), Department of Biosciences, University of Oslo, P.O. Box 1066 Blindern, 0316 Oslo, Norway

§Department of Biology, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, Woods Hole, Massachusetts 02543

Tags: The Biological Bulletin;
Published Sep. 20, 2019 2:29 PM - Last modified Sep. 20, 2019 2:29 PM