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Plankton of the Fladen Ground during FLEX 76. 3. Vertical distribution, population dynamics and production of Calanus finmarchicus (Crustacea: Copepoda)
Williams, R.; Lindley, J.A. (1980). Plankton of the Fladen Ground during FLEX 76. 3. Vertical distribution, population dynamics and production of Calanus finmarchicus (Crustacea: Copepoda). Mar. Biol. (Berl.) 60(1): 47-56
In: Marine Biology. Springer: Heidelberg; Berlin. ISSN 0025-3162, more
Peer reviewed article  

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Keyword
    Marine

Authors  Top 
  • Williams, R.
  • Lindley, J.A., more

Abstract
    Samples taken in the northern North Sea with the Continuous Plankton Recorder (CPR), the Undulating Oceanographic Recorder (UOR), the Longhurst Hardy Plankton Recorder (LHPR) and by our colleagues from other participating Institutes during the Fladen Ground Experiment (FLEX 76) were used to describe the vertical distribution and population dynamics of Calanus finmarchicus (Gunnerus) and to provide estimates of the production and carbon budget of the population from 19 March to 3 June, 1976. Total production of the 19 March to 3 June, 1976. Total production of the nauplii and copepodite stages (including adults), during the exponential growth phase in May, was estimated to be in the range of 0.49 to 0.91 g C m-2 d-1 or 29.0 to 55 g dry wt m-2 (14.5 to 27.8 g C m-2) for the three successive 10 d periods in May. Two gross growth efficiencies (K 1) (20 and 34%), together with the lower value of C. finmarchicus production, were used to calculate the gross ingestion levels of algae as 2.45 and 1.44 g C m-2 d-1 (73.5 and 43.2 g C m-2 over the May period). These ingestion levels, together with the algae ingested by other zooplankton species, are greater than the estimated total phytoplankton production of 45.9 g C m-2 over the FLEX period. A number of factors are discussed which could explain the discrepancies between the production estimates. One suggestion is that the vertical distribution of the development stages of this herbivorous copepod and their diel and ontogenetic migration patterns enable it to efficiently exploit its food source. Data from the FLEX experiment indicated that the depletion of nutrients limited the size of the spring bloom, but that it was the grazing pressure exerted by C. finmarchicus which was responsible for the control and depletion of the phytoplankton in the spring of 1976 in the northern North Sea.

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