Marine Scotland Science has conducted a range of studies including an investigation into the relationships between growth rate of larval haddock and zooplankton species abundance and distribution during a 10-day long drift study east of the Shetland Islands. In this investigation, a drifting buoy was deployed in a patch of haddock larvae and followed as it drifted with the water currents for 10 days. Repeated sampling was carried out at six-hourly intervals next to the buoy.
Samples from this study are being used to research the prey-selectivity of fish larvae for different species and life-stages of zooplankton, and the scope for competition between species.
In 2001, Marine Scotland Science linked its zooplankton research programme to the NERC Marine Productivity Thematic Programme to study the population dynamics of key zooplankton species across the North Atalntic, but with particular emphasis on Calanus finmarchicus and the macrozooplankton species of krill. Marine Scotland Science participated in four expeditions to the Irminger Sea off east Greenland between November 2001 and December 2002. The outcome of this programme will be an analysis of the food web structure of the northern North Atlantic, its possible sensitivity to climate fluctuations, and an ocean basin scale model of Calanus finmarchicus population dynamics.