Open Access

Seasonal occurrence and abundance of caridean shrimp larvae at Helgoland, German Bight

  • Ingo S. Wehrtmann1
Helgoländer Meeresuntersuchungen43:BF02365553


Plankton samples were collected from January 1985 to January 1986 three times per week at Helgoland to study seasonal occurrence and abundance of caridean shrimp larvae. A total of eleven species were obtained. Ninety-one % of all larvae collected during the sample period belonged toCrangon crangon L. andCrangon allmanni Kinahan, 6% toPhilocheras trispinosus Hailstone and 3% to the remaining eight species. Collections were generally dominated byC. crangon larvae. However,C. allmanni larvae were most abundant in June coinciding with hatching activities of the population near Helgoland.C. allmanni was observed to have the highest density of all species with approximately 8 larvae per m3. Larvae ofEualus occultus (Lebour),Eualus pusiolus (Kroyer),Hippolyte varians Leach andAthanas nitescens Leach were most likely released by populations inhabiting the rocky intertidal zone around Helgoland. The presence ofProcessa modica Williamson & Rochanaburanon andProcessa nouveli holthuisi Al-Adhub & Williamson in the German Bight was verified by observations of a series of different developmental stages. Larvae of the rare speciesCaridion steveni Lebour were also recorded. The observed shrimp species were placed into three different groups with respect to their seasonal occurrence. Possible advantages of the timing of larval dispersal relative to predation and food availability are given. The results on seasonal occurrence and relative abundance are discussed in relation to environmental factors (temperature, salinity) as well as to the geographical distribution of the species.