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Trophodynamic function of copepods, appendicularians and protozooplankton in the late summer zooplankton community in the Skagerrak
Maar, M.; Nielsen, T.G.; Gooding, S.; Tonnesson, K.; Tiselius, P.; Zervoudaki, S.; Christou, E.; Sell, A.; Richardson, K. (2004). Trophodynamic function of copepods, appendicularians and protozooplankton in the late summer zooplankton community in the Skagerrak. Mar. Biol. (Berl.) 144(5): 917-933. hdl.handle.net/10.1007/s00227-003-1263-9
In: Marine Biology. Springer: Heidelberg; Berlin. ISSN 0025-3162, more
Peer reviewed article  

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Keyword
    Marine

Authors  Top 
  • Maar, M.
  • Nielsen, T.G.
  • Gooding, S.
  • Tonnesson, K.
  • Tiselius, P.
  • Zervoudaki, S.
  • Christou, E.
  • Sell, A.
  • Richardson, K.

Abstract
    The study was carried out in the Skagerrak during late summer when population development in the pelagic cycle culminated in the yearly maximum in zooplankton biomass. The cyclonic circulation of surface water masses created the characteristic “dome-shaped” pycnocline across the Skagerrak. The large dinoflagellate Ceratium furca dominated the phytoplankton biomass. Ciliates and heterotrophic dinoflagellates were the major grazers and, potentially, consumed 43–166% of daily primary production. The grazing impact of copepods was estimated from specific egg production rates and grazing experiments. The degree of herbivory differed between species (14–85%), but coprophagy (e.g. feeding on fecal pellets) and ingestion of microzooplankton were also important. The appendicularian Oikopleura dioica was present in lower numbers than copepods, but cleared a large volume of water. The grazing impact of copepods and O. dioica was estimated to 57±24% and 12±12% of daily primary production, respectively. Sedimentation of organic material (30 m) varied between 169 and 708 mg C m-2 day-1, and the contribution from the mesozooplankton (copepod fecal pellets and mucus houses with attached phytodetritus of O. dioica) was 5–33% of this sedimentation. Recycling of fecal pellets and mucus houses in the euphotic zone was 59% and 36%, respectively. However, there was a high respiration of organic material by microorganisms in the mid-water column, and 34% of the sedimenting material actually reached the benthic community in the deep, central part of the Skagerrak.

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