eCite Digital Repository

Large vertical migrations of Pyrosoma atlanticum play an important role in active carbon transport


Henschke, N and Pakhomov, EA and Kwong, LE and Everett, JD and Laiolo, L and Coghlan, AR and Suthers, IM, Large vertical migrations of Pyrosoma atlanticum play an important role in active carbon transport, Journal of Geophysical Research: Biogeosciences, 124, (5) pp. 1056-1070. ISSN 2169-8953 (2019) [Refereed Article]


Copyright Statement

2019. American Geophysical Union. All Rights Reserved.

DOI: doi:10.1029/2018JG004918


Pyrosomes are efficient grazers that can form dense aggregations. Their clearance rates are among the highest of any zooplankton grazer, and they can rapidly repackage what they consume into thousands of fecal pellets per hour. In recent years, pyrosome swarms have been found outside of their natural geographical range; however, environmental drivers that promote these swarms are still unknown. During the austral spring of 2017 a Pyrosoma atlanticum swarm was sampled in the Tasman Sea. Depth‐stratified sampling during the day and night was used to examine the spatial and vertical distribution of P. atlanticum across three eddies. Respiration rate experiments were performed onboard to determine minimum feeding requirements for the pyrosome population. P. atlanticum was 2 orders of magnitude more abundant in the cold core eddy (CCE) compared to both warm core eddies, with maximum biomass of 360mg WWm3, most likely driven by high chlorophyll a concentrations. P. atlanticum exhibited diel vertical migration and migrated to a maximum depth strata of 8001,000m. Active carbon transport in the CCE was 4 orders of magnitude higher than the warm core eddies. Fecal pellet production contributed to the majority (91%) of transport, and total downward carbon flux below the mixed layer was estimated at 11mg Cm−2d−1. When abundant, P. atlanticum swarms have the potential to play a major role in active carbon transport, comparable to fluxes for zooplankton and micronekton communities.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:Pyrosoma atlanticum, zooplankton, carbon transport, pyrosomes
Research Division:Earth Sciences
Research Group:Oceanography
Research Field:Biological oceanography
Objective Division:Environmental Management
Objective Group:Marine systems and management
Objective Field:Oceanic processes (excl. in the Antarctic and Southern Ocean)
UTAS Author:Coghlan, AR (Ms Amy Rose Coghlan)
ID Code:139601
Year Published:2019
Web of Science® Times Cited:18
Deposited By:Directorate
Deposited On:2020-06-23
Last Modified:2022-08-29
Downloads:14 View Download Statistics

Repository Staff Only: item control page