Calanus finmarchicus - an ecological key species

The copepod by the Norwegian name "Raudåte" (Calanus finmarchicus) is an ecologically important species in the Norwegian and Barets Sea. In the food chain it is located between algea and fish, hence the species is a key species regarding energy transfer between primary producers and commericial fish species. Of the coast of Norway it periodically constitutes 90% of standig stock of zooplankton.

Copepodite V with large lipid storage (Photo: Dag Altin, BioTrix).

Calanus finmarchicus as a test species

The first attempts to culture Calanus finmarchicus is described in Nature (Corkett, 1967), and many following have been unsuccessful. At Sealab in Trondheim, in a collarboration between Biotrix, SINTEF and NTNU, we now have the first multigeneration C. finmarchicus culture in the world.

Studies using the C. finmarchicus culture includes:

  • Standard toxicity testing (LC50)
  • Long term/chronic toxicity testing
  • Effects directed analyses of mixtures and chemicals
  • Basal copepod physiology and molecular biology

Because of the widespread geographic distribution of this species, our culture can be used as a model for assessing effects of pollutants, chemicals and oil on Arctic and Sub-Arctic key species.

Calanus projects

During the last years several projects where the Calanus finmarchicus culture is involved has been funded and launched.

Who and where are we?

Our research group consists of scientists from different research institutes located at Sealab in Trondheim, Norway. SINTEF Materials and Chemistry, BioTrix, NTNU and SINTEF Fisheries and Aquaculture are the main contributors, but we also have close collaboration with other research institutes both nationally and internationally.

Calanus finmarchicus - a new and relevant test species for assessing effects of toxicants and climate changes in the marine environment.