Nutritional situation for larval Atlantic herring (Clupea harengus L.) in two nursery areas in the western Baltic Sea

Matthias Paulsen*, Cornelius Hammer, Arne M. Malzahn, Patrick Polte, Christian Von Dorrien, Catriona Clemmesen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Citations (Scopus)


The Greifswalder Bodden (GWB) is considered to be the most important spawning and nursery area for the western Baltic spring-spawning herring. However, the biotic and abiotic reasons for this are still unclear. Consequently, we investigated larval growth conditions in the GWB and in the Kiel Canal (KC), another nursery and spawning area of Baltic herring. We investigated prey quantity and quality [copepod abundance and essential fatty acid (EFA) concentration] as well as biochemically derived growth rates and fatty acid content of larval herring in spring 2011. A significant correlation between larval growth and larval EFA concentration could be observed in the GWB. The highest growth rates and EFA concentrations in the larval herring coincided with high food quality. Compensating effects of food quality on food quantity and vice versa could be observed in both the GWB and the KC. While larval growth rates in the KC were high early in the season, highest growth rates in the GWB were achieved late in the season. In conclusion, neither area was superior to the other, indicating similar growth conditions for larval herring within the region.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)991-1000
Number of pages10
JournalICES Journal of Marine Science
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2014


  • DHA
  • EPA
  • essential fatty acids
  • food quality
  • growth
  • prey density

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oceanography
  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Aquatic Science
  • Ecology


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