Aarhus University Seal

Recruitment dynamics of Hiatella arctica within a high Arctic site (Young Sound Fjord, NE Greenland)

New publication by Veillard D, Tremblay R, Sejr MK, Chauvaud L, Cam E, Olivier F.


Recruitment dynamics including what determines the success or failure of Arctic benthic invertebrates are poorly known despite their important role for population dynamics. The main objective of this study was to assess the potential influence of extreme physical constraints related to freshwater discharge on the recruitment of a dominant bivalve Hiatella arctica within a High Arctic fjord (Young Sound, NE Greenland). We collected young recruits over several sampling periods from 2016 to 2018 at two contrasting sites (inner vs. middle fjord) for 5-weeks to 12-months and measured their abundance, size at metamorphosis and lipid class composition. Young stages of H. arctica settled from June to the end of October, when trophic conditions are optimal. We hypothesize that growth stops during winter due to poor trophic conditions. Data suggest that abundance of recruits, their total lipid concentration and composition of lipid classes are similar at both sites. However, size classes were different with six separate cohorts detected at one station and one at the inner station, which may be attributed to discrete spawning events and possible secondary migration. Based on an assessment of their potential age, we hypothesize that spat batches recruiting earlier in the summer exhibit better growth performance probably related to better food quality and quantity.