Published online by Cambridge University Press: 14 March 2011
The patterns of decapod larvae occurrence and abundance were studied from weekly time-series data of 8 years from Stonehaven (north-east Scotland) and 4 years and 8 months from Loch Ewe (north-west Scotland). The annual cycle observed was similar in the two locations and characterized by abundance peaks, the first in spring and another in the summer, extending into autumn. During the coldest months (December to February) decapod larvae were virtually absent in the plankton. Differences in abundance and occurrence of decapod larvae between locations and the influence of temperature, salinity and chlorophyll-a in the patterns observed, were analysed by generalized least-square functions. The results showed significant differences in the abundance of decapod larvae between locations, with higher larval abundances and an earlier appearance in the plankton in Loch Ewe (west coast). In Stonehaven (east coast), from 2003 onwards, a general increasing trend in the abundance of decapod larvae was observed, related to the increasing temperatures recorded at that site. The data demonstrate the high variability of decapod larval abundance on an annual basis and the high importance of temperature and chlorophyll-a to the occurrence and abundance of decapod larvae.