We have analysed the daily egg production (EPR) and hatching success rates of the calanoid copepods Calanoides carinatus and Rhincalanus nasutus as a function of nano- and microplankton concentration and composition in the northern Benguela upwelling system off Namibia. Food concentration explained 55% (R. nasutus) to 62% (C. carinatus) of the EPR variability. We found no relation between the residuals of the food concentration-EPR regression and the percentage of the different taxonomic components of the nano- and microplankton. Nor was there a relation with the proportion of the diatom Skeletonema costatum that dominated the major blooms or with the number of nano- and microplankton species. We conclude that food quality differences could not be attributed to the relative composition of microplanktonic particles of the different groups (i.e. taxonomic composition).
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
- Aquatic Science