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Bacterivory by tropical copepod nauplii: extent and possible significance
Roff, J.C.; Turner, J.T.; Webber, M.K.; Hopcroft, R.R. (1995). Bacterivory by tropical copepod nauplii: extent and possible significance. Aquat. Microb. Ecol. 9(2): 165-175
In: Aquatic Microbial Ecology. Inter-Research: Oldendorf/Luhe. ISSN 0948-3055, more
Peer reviewed article  

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    Bacteria; Crustacean larvae; Diets; Feeding behaviour; Food webs; Microorganisms; Nauplii; Copepoda [WoRMS]; ASW, Greater Antilles, Jamaica [Marine Regions]; Marine

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  • Roff, J.C., more
  • Turner, J.T.
  • Webber, M.K.
  • Hopcroft, R.R.

    Copepod nauplii may be an important intermediary between the `microbial' and `classical' pelagic marine food webs. In studies of planktonic food webs, along a trophic gradient from eutrophic harbour through coastal to oligotrophic oceanic waters off Jamaica, West Indies, we investigated bacterivory by nauplii of 11 representative copepod taxa (n = 176 total nauplii) using fluorescently labelled bacteria (FLB) of 0.7 mu m3 volume at concentrations of 1.5 to 2.5 x 106 cells ml-1. Seven taxa consistently ingested FLB: Acartia liljeborgii, Paracalanus spp., Temora stylifera, T. turbinata, Oncaea spp., Undinula vulgaris, Oithona spp.; 4 taxa consistently did not: Centropages velificatus, Clausocalanus spp., Euchaeta marina, and Corycaeus spp. These data, and the observations that naupliar moulting and growth rates were uncoupled from chlorophyll a concentrations in any size fraction over the range 0.09 to 4.7 mg m-3, suggest that nauplii are not food limited even in oceanic waters. Calculations indicate that daily food requirements of oceanic nauplii can be met from a diet of bacteria and picoplankton, but not from a diet of nano- and net-phytoplankton. Naupliar production in oceanic waters is at least 50 to 60% of copepodite production; it appears therefore that the ecological importance of copepod nauplii in oceanic waters has been greatly underestimated.

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