Scientia Marina, Vol 70, No 4 (2006)

First evidences of Acartia bifilosa resting eggs in sediments of the Urdaibai estuary (Bay of Biscay): abundance and hatching success

Ibon Uriarte
Laboratory of Ecology, Department of Plant Biology and Ecology, Faculty of Pharmacy, University of the Basque, Spain

Fernando Villate
Laboratory of Ecology, Department of Plant Biology and Ecology, Faculty of Science and Technology, University of the Basque, Spain


The abundance and hatching success of Acartia bifilosa resting eggs in subtidal sediments of the Urdaibai estuary was analysed in the context of a study on the spatial and temporal dynamics of this species. Two sediment cores of 20 to 30 cm depth were obtained at two sites of the middle zone, where the accumulation of mud and organic particles is favoured. Laboratory incubations were performed to determine the hatching success of eggs and identify newborns. Resting egg abundance was around 107 eggs m-2, and was higher at the site where the A. bifilosa population maintains an optimal position in the water column. The lower egg abundance in upper layers, as corresponds to winter, was associated with the seasonal dynamics of planktonic populations. On average, the hatching success was >50% at both sites. The lack of significant differences in the hatching success according to sediment depth suggests that eggs remain viable after being buried for a long-time in anoxic conditions. This enables us to infer that the benthic egg bank of A. bifilosa in this estuary is a safe source of recruits into the planktonic population, and plays a crucial role in recuperationand maintenance of the population.


Acartia bifilosa; resting eggs; Urdaibai estuary

Full Text:



Arbaciauskas, K. and Z.R. Gasiunaté. – 1996. Growth and fecundity of Daphnia after diapause and their impact on the development of a population. Hydrobiologia, 320: 209-222. doi:10.1007/BF00016822

Ban, S. and T. Minoda. – 1992. Hatching of diapause eggs of Eurytemora affinis (Copepoda: Calanoida) collected from lakebottom sediments. J. Crust. Biol., 12: 51-56. doi:10.2307/1548718

Ban, S. – 1992. Seasonal distribution, abundance and viability of diapause eggs of Eurytemora affinis (Copepoda: Calanoida) in the sediment of lake Ohnuma, Hokkaido. Bull. Plankton Soc. Japan, 39: 41-48.

Baretta, J.W. and J.F.P. Malschaert. – 1988. Distribution and abundance of the zooplankton of the Ems estuary (Nortn Sea). Neth. J. Sea Res., 22: 69-81. doi:10.1016/0077-7579(88)90053-1

Belmonte, G. and M. Puce. – 1994. Morphological aspects of subitaneous and resting egs from Acartia josephinae (Calanoida). Hidrobiología, 292/293: 131-135.

Belmonte, G. – 1997. Resting eggs in the life cycle of Acartia italica and A. adriatica (Copepoda, Calanoida Acartiidae). Crustaceana, 70: 114-117. doi:10.1163/156854097X00401

Belmonte, G., A. Miglietta, F. Rubino and F. Boero. – 1997. Morphological convergence of resting stages of planktonic organisms: a review. Hydrobiologia, 355: 159-165. doi:10.1023/A:1003071205424

Boero, F. – 1994. Fluctuations and variations in coastal marine environments. Mar. Ecol. P.S.Z.N. I, 15: 3-25. doi:10.1111/j.1439-0485.1994.tb00038.x

Boero, F., G. Belmonte, G. Giovanni, S. Piraino and F. Rubino. – 1996. The continuity of living matter and the discontinuities of its constituents: do plankton and benthos really exist? TREE, 11: 177-180. doi:10.1016/0169-5347(96)20007-2

Borja, A. – 1988. Estudio de las comunidades de moluscos de las rías de Euskadi. Informes Técnicos nº 24 45 pp. Eusko Jaurlaritza, Gasteiz.

Castel, J. – 1981. Aspects de l’étude écologique du zooplankton de l’estuaire de la Gironde. Oceanis, 6: 535-577.

Castro-Longoria, E. – 2001. Comparative observations on the external morphology of subitaneous and diapause eggs of Acartia species from Southampton water. Crustaceana, 74: 225-236. doi:10.1163/156854001505479

Castro-Longoria, E. and J. Williams. – 1999. The production of subitaneous and diapause eggs: a reproductive strategy for Acartia bifilosa (Copepods: Calanoida) in Southampton Water, UK. J. Plankton Res., 21: 65-84. doi:10.1093/plankt/21.1.65

Collins, N.R. and R. Williams. – 1981. Zooplankton of the Bristol Channel and Severn Estuary: the distribution of four copepods in relation to salinity. Mar. Biol., 64: 273-283.

Cotano, U. – 2003. Variabilidad espacio-temporal de la concentración y composición bioquímica del seston y del material sedimentado en dos estuarios con diferente grado de alteración antrópica: Bilbao y Mundaka. Ph. D. thesis, UPV/EHU.

Chinnery, F.E. and J.A. Williams. – 2003. Photoperiod and temperature regulation of diapause egg production in Acartia bifilosa from Southamptom Water. Mar. Ecol. Prog. Ser., 263: 149-157. doi:10.3354/meps263149

d’Elbée, J. and J. Castel. – 1991. Zooplankton from the continental shelf of the southern Bay of Biscay exchange with Arcachon Basin, France. Ann. Inst. Oceanogr., 67: 35-48.

De Stasio, B.T. Jr. – 1989. The seed bank of a freshwater crustacean: copepodology for the plant ecologist. Ecology, 70: 1377-1389. doi:10.2307/1938197

Giangrande, A., S. Geraci and G. Belmonte. – 1994. Life-cycle and life-history diversity in marine invertebrates and the implications in community dynamics. Oceanogr. Mar. Biol. Ann. Rev., 32: 305-333.

Gilbert, J.J. and D.K. Schreiber. – 1995. Induction of diapausing amictic eggs in Synchaeta pectinata. Hydrobiologia, 313/314: 345-350. doi:10.1007/BF00025968

Grice, G.D. and N.H. Marcus. – 1981. Dormant eggs of marine copepods. Oceanogr. Mar. Biol. Ann. Rev., 19: 125-140.

Guerrero, F. and V. Rodríguez. – 1998 Existence and significance of Acartia grani resting eggs (Copepoda: Calanoida) in sediments of a coastal station in the Alboran Sea (SE Spain). J. Plankton Res., 20: 305-314. doi:10.1093/plankt/20.2.305

Hairston, N.G. Jr., R. Van Brunt Jr. and C.M. Kearns. – 1995. Age and survivorship of diapausing eggs in a sediment egg bank. Ecology, 76: 1706-1711. doi:10.2307/1940704

Hairston, N.G. Jr., A.-M. Hansen, W.R. Schaffner. – 2000. The effect of diapause emergence on the seasonal dynamics of a zooplankton assemblage. Freshw. Biol., 45: 133-145. doi:10.1046/j.1365-2427.2000.00386.x

Kasahara, S., S.-I. Uye and T. Onbé. – 1975. Calanoid copepod eggs in sea-bottom muds. II. Seasonal cycles of abundance in the populations of several species of copepods and their eggs in the Inland Sea of Japan. Mar. Biol., 31: 25-29. doi:10.1007/BF00390644

Katajisto, T. – 2003. Development of Acartia bifilosa (Copepoda: Calanoida) eggs in the northern Baltic Sea with special reference to dormancy. J. Plankton Res., 25: 357-364. doi:10.1093/plankt/25.4.357

Katajisto, T. – 1996. Copepod eggs survive a decade in the sediments of the Baltic Sea. Hydrobiologia, 320: 153-159. doi:10.1007/BF00016816

Katajisto, T., M. Viitasalo and M. Koski. – 1998. Seasonal occurrence and hatching of calanoid eggs in sediments of the northern Baltic Sea. Mar. Ecol. Prog. Ser., 162: 133-143.

Lam-Hoai, T. – 1985. Évolution saisonnière du zooplancton dans trois sites peu profonds de Thau, une lagune nord-méditerranéenne. Hydrobiologia, 128: 161-174. doi:10.1007/BF00008736

Limburg, P.A. and L.J. Weider. – 2002. “Ancient” DNA in the resting egg bank of a microcrustacean can serve as a palaeolimnological database. Proc. R. Soc. Lond., B, 269: 281-287. doi:10.1098/rspb.2001.1868 PMCid:1690889

Lindley, J.A., C.L. George, S.V. Evans and P. Donkin. – 1998. Viability of calanoid copepod eggs from intertidal sediments: a comparison of three estuaries. Mar. Ecol. Prog. Ser., 162: 183-190. doi:10.3354/meps162183

Madhupratap, M., S. Nehring and J. Lenz. – 1996. Resting eggs of zooplankton (Copepoda and Cladocera) from the Kiel Bay and adjacent waters (southwestern Baltic). Mar. Biol., 125: 77-87. doi:10.1007/BF00350762

Marcus, N.H. and F. Boero. – 1998. Minireview: the importance of benthic-pelagiccoupling and the forgotten role of life cycles in coastal aquatic systems. Limnol. Oceanogr., 43: 763-768.

Marcus, N.H. and J. Schmidt-Gengenbach. – 1986. Recruitment of individuals into the plankton: the importance of bioturbation. Limnol. Oceanogr., 31: 206-210.

Marcus, N.H. and R.V. Lutz. – 1994. Effects of anoxia on the viability of subitaneous eggs of planktonic copepods. Mar. Biol., 121: 83-87. doi:10.1007/BF00349476

Marcus, N.H. and R.V. Lutz. – 1998. Longevity of subitaneous and diapause eggs of Centropages hamatus (Copepoda: Calanoida) from the northern Gulf of Mexico. Mar. Biol., 131: 249-257. doi:10.1007/s002270050317

Marcus, N.H. – 1984a. Recruitment of copepod nauplii into the plankton: importance of diapause eggs and benthic processes. Mar. Ecol. Prog. Ser., 15: 47-54. doi:10.3354/meps015047

Marcus, N.H. – 1989. Abundance in bottom sediments and hatching requirements of eggs of Centropages hamatus (Copepoda: Calanoida) from the Alligator Harbor region, Florida. Biol. Bull., 176: 142-146. doi:10.2307/1541581

Marcus, N.H. – 1990. Calanoid copepods, cladoceran, and rotifer eggs in sea-bottom sediments of northern Californian coastal waters: identification, occurrence and hatching. Mar. Biol., 105: 413-418. doi:10.1007/BF01316312

Marcus, N.H. – 1995. Seasonal study of planktonic copepods and their benthic resting eggs in northern California coastal waters. Mar. Biol., 123: 459-465. doi:10.1007/BF00349225

Marcus, N.H., R.V. Lutz, W. Burnett and P. Cable. – 1994. Age, viability and vertical distribution of zooplankton resting eggs from an anoxic basin: Evidence of an egg bank. Limnol. Oceanogr., 39: 154-158.

Masero, R. and F. Villate. – 2004. Composition, vertical distribution and age of zooplankton benthic eggs in the sediments of two contrasting estuaries of the Bay of Biscay. Hydrobiologia, 518: 203-214. doi:10.1023/B:HYDR.0000025063.22926.67

Næss, T. – 1991. Marine calanoid resting eggs in Norway: abundance and distribution of two copepod species in the sediment of an enclosed marine basin. Mar. Biol., 110: 261-266. doi:10.1007/BF01313712

Norrbin, M.F. – 1996. Timing of diapause in relation to the onset of winter in the high-latitude copepods Pseudocalanus acuspes and Acartia longiremis. Mar. Ecol. Prog. Ser., 142: 99-109. doi:10.3354/meps142099

Onbé, T. – 1978. Sugar flotation method for sorting the resting eggs of marine cladocerans and copepods from sea-bottom sediment. Bull. Japan Soc. Sci. Fish., 44: 1411.

San Vicente, C., A. Miner, J. D’Elbée and M. Ibáñez. – 1988. Estudio de las rías guipuzcoanas. 1. Primeros datos sobre el estudio de la ría de Orio. Lurralde, 11: 179-199.

Taylor, C.J.L. – 1987. The zooplankton of the Forth, Scotland. Proc. R. Soc. Edimb., B, 93: 377-388.

Uriarte, I. and F. Villate. – 2005. Differences in the abundance and distribution of copepods in two estuaries of the Basque coast (Bay of Biscay) in relation to pollution. J. Plankton Res., 27: 863-874. doi:10.1093/plankt/fbi059

Uriarte, I., U. Cotano and F. Villate. – 1998. Egg production of Acartia bifilosa in the small temperate estuary of Mundaka, Spain, in relation to environmental variables and population development. Mar. Ecol. Prog. Ser., 166: 197-205. doi:10.3354/meps166197

Uye, S.-I. – 1980. Development of neritic copepods Acartia clause and A. steueri. I. Some environmental factors affecting egg development and the nature of resting eggs. Bull. Plankton Soc. Japan, 27: 1-9.

Uye, S.-I. – 1983. Seasonal cycles in abundance of resting eggs of Acartia steueri Smirnov (Copepoda: Calanoida) in sea-bottom mud of Onagawa Bay, Japan. Crustaceana, 44: 103-105. doi:10.1163/156854083X00091

Uye, S.-I. – 1985. Resting egg production as a life history strategy of marine planktonic copepods. Bull. Mar. Sci., 37: 440-449.

Valdés, L. and M. Moral. – 1998. Time-series analysis of copepod diversity and species richness in the southern Bay of Biscay off Santander, Spain, in relation to environmntal condictions. ICES J. Mar. Sci., 55: 783-792. doi:10.1006/jmsc.1998.0386

Viitasalo, M. and T. Katajisto. – 1994. Mesozooplankton resting eggs in the Baltic Sea: identification and vertical distribution in laminated and mixed sediments. Mar. Biol., 120: 455-465. doi:10.1007/BF00680221

Viitasalo, M. – 1992a. Mesozooplankton of the Gulf of Finland and Northern Baltic Proper- a review of monitoring data. Ophelia, 35: 147-168.

Viitasalo, M. – 1992b. Calanoid resting eggs in the Baltic Sea: implications for the population dynamics of Acartia bifilosa (Copepoda). Mar. Biol., 114: 397-405. doi:10.1007/BF00350030

Villate, F. and E. Orive. – 1981. Copépodos planctónicos del estuario de Plencia: composición distribución y abundancia. Munibe, 33: 87-100.

Villate, F. – 1991b. Zooplankton assemblages in the shallow tidal estuary of Mundaka (Bay of Biscay). Cah. Biol. Mar., 32: 105-119.

Villate, F. – 1997. Tidal influences on zonation and occurence of resident and temporary zooplankton in a shallow system (Estuary of Mundaka, Bay of Biscay). Sci. Mar., 61: 173-188.

Villate, F., A. Ruiz and J. Franco. – 1993. Summer zonation and development of zooplankton populations within a shallow mesotidal system: the estuary of Mundaka. Cah. Biol. Mar., 34, 131-143.

Villate, F., M. Moral and V. Valencia. – 1997. Mesozooplakton community indicates climate changes in a shelf area of the inner Bay of Biscay throughout 1988 to 1990. J. Plankton Res., 19: 1617-1636. doi:10.1093/plankt/19.11.1617

Wik, M. and I. Renberg. – 1991. Recent atmospheric deposition in Sweden of carbonaceous particles from fossil-fuel combustion surveyed using lake sediments. Ambio, 20: 289-292.

Copyright (c) 2006 Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas (CSIC)

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

Contact us

Technical support