Copepods link quahog growth to climate

R. Witbaard, E. Jansma, U.G.W. Sass

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

49 Citations (Scopus)


From samples collected in 1983, 1991 and 2000, a long-term growth record for the bivalve Arctica islandica from the northern North Sea was constructed with methods derived from dendrochronology. Subsequent response-function analyses demonstrated that shell growth was mainly influenced by the abundance of copepods as recorded by the CPR survey. In years with dense copepod populations a major part of the downward flux of food particles is intercepted by the copepods before it reaches the seafloor. This may lead to a shortage of food for A. islandica resulting in a depression of shell growth. Although the abundance of copepods in the northern North Sea is linked to climate there is only a weak statistical relation between shell growth and climate. (C) 2003 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)77-83
JournalJournal of Sea Research
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2003


  • northern north-sea
  • atlantic oscillation
  • calanus-finmarchicus
  • arctica-islandica
  • c-helgolandicus
  • environment
  • variability
  • precipitation
  • phytoplankton
  • circulation

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