A comparative study of size-fractionated mesozooplankton biomass and grazing in the North East Atlantic

R. N. Head*, R. P. Harris, D. Bonnet, Xabier Irigoyen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations

Abstract

Measurements of biomass and grazing for three size classes of mesozooplankton were carried out at two drifting stations: at 59°N, 20°W during a tracer release experiment, and at 37°N, 19°W at a conventional drifting station. Mesozooplankton biomass at 59°N did not vary between day and night (6.7 and 6.4 mg C m-3 for night and day samples, respectively). At 37°N, carbon biomass was much lower and in addition a diel cycle was observed (2.2 and 1.4 mg C m-3 for night and day samples, respectively). No one size fraction was the major contributor to biomass at either station. At 59°N, grazing was dominated by the small size fraction for both day and night samples, and at 37°N grazing was dominated by this size fraction during the day only. At 59°N, mean ingestion (57.1 and 91.1 mg C m-2 day-1 for day and night samples, respectively) was much higher than at 37°N (5.3 and 1.7 mg C m-2 day-1 for day and night samples, respectively). Consumption of the standing stock of phytoplankton (based on total chlorophyll a concentrations) was higher at the southern station where 8.9% and 2.6% day-1 of the standing stock was removed by night and day, respectively. Reverse diel consumption was observed at the northern station, where 1.5% (night) and 2.1% day-1 (day) of the standing stock was removed. Comparisons are made between the two time series, and the results are set in the context of a decade of investigations into the role of mesozooplankton in this region of the North Atlantic.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2285-2308
Number of pages24
JournalJournal of Plankton Research
Volume21
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 1 1999

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Aquatic Science
  • Ecology

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