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The functional biology and trophic role of krill (Thysanoessa raschii) in a Greenlandic fjord
Agersted, M.D.; Nielsen, T.G.; Munk, P.; Vismann, B.; Arendt, K.E. (2011). The functional biology and trophic role of krill (Thysanoessa raschii) in a Greenlandic fjord. Mar. Biol. (Berl.) 158(6): 1387-1402.
In: Marine Biology. Springer: Heidelberg; Berlin. ISSN 0025-3162, more
Peer reviewed article  

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  • Agersted, M.D.
  • Nielsen, T.G.
  • Munk, P.
  • Vismann, B.
  • Arendt, K.E.

    Despite being a key zooplankton group, knowledge on krill biology from the Arctic is inadequate. The present study examine the functional biology and evaluate the trophic role of krill in the Godthåbsfjord (64°N, 51°W) SW Greenland, through a combination of fieldwork and laboratory experiments. Krill biomass was highest in the middle fjord and inner fjord, whereas no krill was found offshore. The dominating species Thysanoessa raschii revealed a type III functional response when fed with the diatom Thalassiosira weissflogii. At food saturation, T. raschii exhibited a daily ration of 1% body C d-1. Furthermore, T. raschii was capable of exploiting plankton cells from 5 to 400 µm, covering several trophic levels of the pelagic food web. The calculated grazing impact by T. raschii on the fjord plankton community was negligible. However, the schooling and migratory behaviour of krill will concentrate and elevate the grazing in specific areas of the euphotic zone.

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