Reproductive cycles of Mytilus edulis L. on the west and east coasts of Iceland

  • Gudrun G. Thorarinsdóttir
  • Karl Gunnarsson


Studies evaluating the reproductive pattern of Mytilus edulis L. were conducted in western and eastern Iceland at two sites at about the same latitude but with different temperature regimes. Mussels were sampled once or sometimes twice a month during two years in Breidifjördur, western Iceland and one year at Mjoifjördur, eastern Iceland. Gonad development was monitored by microscopic observation of thin sections of the gonads. The initiation of gonad development was observed in January in Breidifjördur while in Mjoifjördur some of the animals started developing gonads in October, a month before spawning was over in the population. Spawning started in late June or July, peaked in August and continued until November at both sites. Nutrient reserve stores seemed to be limited and used for initiation of gonad development in winter but were not sufficient for maturation of the gonads. The main growth of the gonads occured in spring in conjunction with phytoplankton blooming and renewal of food resources.


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How to Cite
Thorarinsdóttir, G. G., & Gunnarsson, K. (2003). Reproductive cycles of Mytilus edulis L. on the west and east coasts of Iceland. Polar Research, 22(2), 217-223.
Research/review articles