Year-to-year variation in larval fish assemblages of the Southern North Sea

Arne M. Malzahn*, Maarten Boersma

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


In order to test the temporal stability within and the reproducibility of larval fish assemblages between years, the larval fish assemblage at Helgoland Roads, North Sea (NE Atlantic) was quantitatively sampled almost daily from January 2003 to December 2005. The survey resulted in a total of 462 samples containing 50,632 larval fish of at least 42 taxa. In winter the larval fish assemblage was mainly dominated by larvae emerging from demersal eggs. This changed gradually to larvae hatching from pelagic eggs. Larvae from pelagic eggs dominated the ichthyoplankton assemblage in summer. A remarkably stable seasonality in terms of dominance patterns with recurring, season-specific fish assemblages was observed over the 3 years, despite substantial variation in environmental conditions such as a temperature difference of almost 20°C between summer and winter. The lesser sandeel (Ammodytes marinus), was the only species which showed significant fluctuations in abundance between the years. After removal of this species from the analysis, the dominance patterns of the remaining fish species were almost identical between years.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)117-126
Number of pages10
JournalHelgoland Marine Research
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2007
Externally publishedYes


  • Community composition
  • Dominance
  • Fish larvae
  • Ichthyoplankton
  • Larval monitoring
  • North Sea

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oceanography
  • Aquatic Science


Dive into the research topics of 'Year-to-year variation in larval fish assemblages of the Southern North Sea'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this