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Sandlance larval ecology in West Greenland

General

Project start
12.01.2018
Project end
30.06.2018
Type of project
Research
Project theme
Marine ecosystems
Project topic
Ecology
Fish and shellfish

Fieldwork / Study

Fieldwork country
Greenland (DK)
Fieldwork region
Greenland, Mid-West
Fieldwork location

Geolocation is 64.351325166258, -51.1962890625

Fieldwork start
12.01.2018
Fieldwork end
30.06.2018

Project details

24.09.2018
Science / project plan

Central position: Valérie de Carufel, MSc candidate, Université du Québec à Rimouski

Funding: Greenland Institute of Natural Sciences, Fonds de recherche du Québec - Nature et technologies

Description: Sand lances (fish in the Family Ammodytidae) play a central role in northern marine ecosystems as an important food source for numerous species of fishes, marine mammals and seabirds. To date, very little is known about the ecology of the northern sand lance (Ammodytes dubius) in West Greenland, beyond the fact that the species is very abundant and highly important in the region’s food webs. In marine teleosts, life events during early life play a crucial role in driving population dynamics as variability in larval survival is recognized as the main driver of variability in recruitment (i.e. the number of fish entering the adult population in a given year class). Larval vital rates, including feeding success, growth and survival, are often regulated by environmental variables such as temperature, salinity and the production of zooplankton prey. In West Greenland, the hatching season of A. dubius seems to extend for many months in winter and spring, a long period over which environmental conditions such as sea surface temperature, salinity and zooplankton composition show extreme variations. The main objective of this project is to document how sand lance hatch date and early diet influence individual growth rate and feeding success. An overarching goal is to provide key information to formulate realistic predictions of the response of sand lance to climate change.

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