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Fluxes of biogenic carbon in the Southern Ocean: roles of large microphagous zooplankton
Le Fèvre, J.; Legendre, L.; Rivkin, R.B. (1998). Fluxes of biogenic carbon in the Southern Ocean: roles of large microphagous zooplankton, in: Le Fèvre, J. et al. (Ed.) Carbon Fluxes and Dynamic Processes in the Southern Ocean: Present and Past. Selected papers from the International JGOFS Symposium, Brest, France, 28-31 August 1995. Journal of Marine Systems, 17(1-4): pp. 325-345. hdl.handle.net/10.1016/S0924-7963(98)00047-5
In: Le Fèvre, J.; Tréguer, P. (Ed.) (1998). Carbon Fluxes and Dynamic Processes in the Southern Ocean: Present and Past. Selected papers from the International JGOFS Symposium, Brest, France, 28-31 August 1995. Journal of Marine Systems, 17(1-4). Elsevier: Amsterdam. 1-619 pp., more
In: Journal of Marine Systems. Elsevier: Tokyo; Oxford; New York; Amsterdam. ISSN 0924-7963, more
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Keywords
    Biogenic deposits; Biogeochemical cycle; Carbon cycle; Faecal pellets; Food webs; Marine crustaceans; Omnivores; Organic carbon; Particulate flux; Trophic relationships; Zooplankton; Copepoda [WoRMS]; Euphausiacea [WoRMS]; PS, Antarctic Ocean [Marine Regions]; PS, Southern Ocean [Marine Regions]; Marine

Authors  Top 
  • Le Fèvre, J.
  • Legendre, L.
  • Rivkin, R.B.

Abstract
    The Southern Ocean is an extreme environment, where waters are permanently cold, a seasonal ice cover extends over large areas, and the solar energy available for photosynthesis is severely restricted, either by vertical mixing to considerable depths or, especially south of the Antarctic Circle, by prolonged seasonal periods of low or no irradiance. Such conditions would normally lead to low productivity and a water column dominated by recycling processes involving microbial components of pelagic communities but this does not seem to be the case in the Southern Ocean, where there is efficient export to large apex predators and deep waters. This paper investigates the role of large microphagous zooplankton (salps, krill, and some large copepods) in the partitioning of biogenic carbon among the pools of short- and long-lived organic carbon and sequestered biogenic carbon. Large microphagous zooplankton are able to ingest microbial-sized particles and thus repackage small, non-sinking particles into both metazoan biomass and large, rapidly sinking faeces. Given the wide spatio-temporal extent of microbial trophic pathways in the Southern Ocean, large zooplankton that are omnivorous or able to ingest small food particles have a competitive advantage over herbivorous zooplankton. Krill efficiently transfer carbon to a wide array of apex predators and their faecal pellets are exported to depth during occasional brief sedimentation episodes in spring time. Salps may be a significant link towards some fish (directly) and other apex predators (indirectly) and, at some locations (especially in offshore waters) and time, they may account for most of the downward flux of biogenic carbon. Large copepods are a trophic link towards fish and at least one whale species, and their grazing activity generally impedes the export of organic particles to depth. As a result, biogenic carbon is channelled mainly towards apex predators and episodically into the deep ocean. Without these original interactions, Antarctic waters might well be dominated by microbial components and recycling processes instead of active export from the generally small primary producers towards large apex predators.

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