Macroscale patterns of oceanic zooplankton composition and size structure.

Manoela C Brandão, Fabio Benedetti, Séverine Martini, Yawouvi Dodji Soviadan, Jean-Olivier Irisson, Jean-Baptiste Romagnan, Amanda Elineau, Corinne Desnos, Laëtitia Jalabert, Andrea S Freire, Marc Picheral, Lionel Guidi, Gabriel Gorsky, Chris Bowler, Lee Karp-Boss, Nicolas Henry, Colomban de Vargas, Matthew B Sullivan, Tara Oceans Consortium Coordinators, Lars StemmannFabien Lombard

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Ocean plankton comprise organisms from viruses to fish larvae that are fundamental to ecosystem functioning and the provision of marine services such as fisheries and CO$_{2}$ sequestration. The latter services are partly governed by variations in plankton community composition and the expression of traits such as body size at community-level. While community assembly has been thoroughly studied for the smaller end of the plankton size spectrum, the larger end comprises ectotherms that are often studied at the species, or group-level, rather than as communities. The body size of marine ectotherms decreases with temperature, but controls on community-level traits remain elusive, hindering the predictability of marine services provision. Here, we leverage Tara Oceans datasets to determine how zooplankton community composition and size structure varies with latitude, temperature and productivity-related covariates in the global surface ocean. Zooplankton abundance and median size decreased towards warmer and less productive environments, as a result of changes in copepod composition. However, some clades displayed the opposite relationships, which may be ascribed to alternative feeding strategies. Given that climate models predict increasingly warmed and stratified oceans, our findings suggest that zooplankton communities will shift towards smaller organisms which might weaken their contribution to the biological carbon pump.
Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalScientific reports
Volume11
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 4 2021
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General

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