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Can a key boreal Calanus copepod species now complete its life-cycle in the Arctic? Evidence and implications for Arctic food-webs

Tarling, Geraint A.; Freer, Jennifer J.; Banas, Neil S.; Belcher, Anna; Blackwell, Mayleen; Castellani, Claudia; Cook, Kathryn B.; Cottier, Finlo R.; Daase, Malin; Johnson, Magnus L.; Last, Kim S.; Lindeque, Penelope K.; Mayor, Daniel J.; Mitchell, Elaine; Parry, Helen E.; Speirs, Douglas C.; Stowasser, Gabriele; Wootton, Marianne


Geraint A. Tarling

Jennifer J. Freer

Neil S. Banas

Anna Belcher

Mayleen Blackwell

Claudia Castellani

Kathryn B. Cook

Finlo R. Cottier

Malin Daase

Kim S. Last

Penelope K. Lindeque

Daniel J. Mayor

Elaine Mitchell

Helen E. Parry

Douglas C. Speirs

Gabriele Stowasser

Marianne Wootton


The changing Arctic environment is affecting zooplankton that support its abundant wildlife. We examined how these changes are influencing a key zooplankton species, Calanus finmarchicus, principally found in the North Atlantic but expatriated to the Arctic. Close to the ice-edge in the Fram Strait, we identified areas that, since the 1980s, are increasingly favourable to C. finmarchicus. Field-sampling revealed part of the population there to be capable of amassing enough reserves to overwinter. Early developmental stages were also present in early summer, suggesting successful local recruitment. This extension to suitable C. finmarchicus habitat is most likely facilitated by the long-term retreat of the ice-edge, allowing phytoplankton to bloom earlier and for longer and through higher temperatures increasing copepod developmental rates. The increased capacity for this species to complete its life-cycle and prosper in the Fram Strait can change community structure, with large consequences to regional food-webs.


Tarling, G. A., Freer, J. J., Banas, N. S., Belcher, A., Blackwell, M., Castellani, C., …Wootton, M. (2022). Can a key boreal Calanus copepod species now complete its life-cycle in the Arctic? Evidence and implications for Arctic food-webs. AMBIO: A Journal of the Human Environment, 51(2), 333–344.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Nov 2, 2021
Online Publication Date Nov 29, 2021
Publication Date 2022-02
Deposit Date Apr 1, 2022
Publicly Available Date Apr 1, 2022
Journal Ambio
Print ISSN 0044-7447
Electronic ISSN 1654-7209
Publisher Springer Verlag
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 51
Issue 2
Pages 333–344
Keywords Biogeography; Fram Strait; Life-cycle; Ocean warming; Sea-ice loss; Zooplankton
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© The Author(s) 2021.
Open Access This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article's Creative Commons licence, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article's Creative Commons licence and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this licence, visit

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