Research at Millport

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    THE Annual Report of the Executive to the Council of the Scottish Marine Biological Association for 1934-35 includes the director's report on research. Drs. Orr, Marshall and Nicholls are concentrating on the development and food of the herring from hatching onward. In this connexion, it is found that copepods are by far the most important food organisms, the larval and post-larval herring eating chiefly the small species. In view of this fact, it was decided to investigate seasonal distribution and breeding periods of these small copepods, in the same way as has already been done for Calanusfinmarchicus. Results so far show that in the early months Micro-calanus pusillus and Oiihona helgolandica were the most abundant species, with Pseudocalanus elongatus, Gentropages hamatus, Temora longicornis and Acartia clausi occurring in smaller numbers. Most of the important planktonic organisms have been weighed, and in some cases the chemical composition deter mined. During the winter, when zooplanktonic organisms are scarce, a beginning was made on the analysis of non-planktonic animals important as fish food. Investigations on shore ecology, especially in Kames Bay, by Dr. A. C. Stephen and Mr. Elmhirst, have been continued. The work already done has shown a very rich fauna important for fish food. Various fishes from the seine net have been examined and shown to feed on the dominant invertebrates. A very interesting feature in these investigations is the work by Dr. Nicholls on sand-dwelling copepods, especially minute species living in the interstices between the sand grains on the beach. Several new species of these and three new genera have been found. Other researches include algal ecology and preserving colour in green seaweeds, experiments on timber preservation in the sea and the growth of the dog-fish Acanthias.

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