We assessed the vertical distribution and feeding of the calanoid copepod Metridia longa in the Oslofjord, Norway during winter and spring 2006. Adult females of Metridia longa inhabited the whole 200 m deep-water column. Their distribution was shallower at night than during the day. Enumeration of egested faecal pellets suggested that feeding activity was greater at night than during the day and that more pellets were produced by individuals collected at shallow depths vs. by individuals found deeper. There was no pronounced difference between months in feeding activity. Although the hypothesis is that they prey on Calanus eggs and nauplii, scanning of Metridia faecal pellets by PCR using Calanus-specific primers did not confirm the presence of any Calanus prey DNA. Most pellets had a greenish colour, implying herbivorous feeding. Feeding is related to swimming, and the actively swimming Metridia would presumably be vulnerable to tactile invertebrate predators. However, predation experiments where the carnivorous copepod Pareuchaeta norvegica was offered similar-sized Metridia and Calanus proved that Pareuchaeta consumed the less-active Calanus, but not the Metridia. © 2013 Copyright Taylor and Francis Group, LLC.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
- Aquatic Science