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Grazing of phytoplankton by copepods in eastern Antarctic coastal waters


Swadling, KM and Gibson, JAE and Ritz, DA and Nicols, PD and Hughes, DE, Grazing of phytoplankton by copepods in eastern Antarctic coastal waters, Marine Biology, 128, (1) pp. 39-48. ISSN 0025-3162 (1997) [Refereed Article]

DOI: doi:10.1007/s002270050066


Chlorophyll a, primary productivity and grazing by copepods on phytoplankton were measured in the upper water column during the summer of 1994/1995 at a coastal site near Davis Station, East Antarctica. Chlorophyll a was at a maximum in mid-December, then dropped markedly as the coastal fast ice melted and broke-out. Phytoplankton biomass increased again from mid- to late-February. Copepods accounted for at least 65% of zooplankton biomass in the water column before sea ice break-out, whereas larval polychaetes and ctenophores dominated after ice break-out. Oncaea curvata was the numerically dominant species throughout the study. The highest grazing rate (8.7 mg C m-3 d-1) was recorded on 21 December when O. curvata accounted for 64% of the total. Grazing had decreased markedly by 28 December (0.9 mg C m-3 d-1); again O. curvata accounted for over 50% of the total ingested. Copepod grazing increased after ice break-out until the last experiment on 20 February (≃5 mg C m-3 d-1). The main species responsible for grazing during this period were O. curvata, Oithona similis, Calanoides acutus and unidentified copepod nauplii. It was estimated that copepods removed between 1 and 5% of primary productivity.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Research Division:Biological Sciences
Research Group:Ecology
Research Field:Marine and estuarine ecology (incl. marine ichthyology)
Objective Division:Expanding Knowledge
Objective Group:Expanding knowledge
Objective Field:Expanding knowledge in the environmental sciences
UTAS Author:Swadling, KM (Associate Professor Kerrie Swadling)
UTAS Author:Gibson, JAE (Dr John Gibson)
UTAS Author:Ritz, DA (Associate Professor David Ritz)
UTAS Author:Nicols, PD (Professor Nicols)
ID Code:12238
Year Published:1997
Web of Science® Times Cited:38
Deposited By:Zoology
Deposited On:1997-08-01
Last Modified:2011-08-15

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