5 years ago

Trophic pathways of phytoplankton size classes through the zooplankton food web over the spring transition period in the north-west Mediterranean Sea

Pascal Conan, Fabrizio D'Ortenzio, Vincent Taillandier, Marc Pagano, Katty Donoso, François Carlotti, Brian P. V. Hunt
Knowledge of the relative contributions of phytoplankton size classes to zooplankton biomass is necessary to understand food-web functioning and response to climate change. During the Deep Water formation Experiment (DEWEX), conducted in the north-west Mediterranean Sea in winter (February) and spring (April) of 2013, we investigated phytoplankton-zooplankton trophic links in contrasting oligotrophic and eutrophic conditions. Size fractionated particulate matter (pico-POM, nano-POM, and micro-POM) and zooplankton (64 to >4000 μm) composition and carbon and nitrogen stable isotope ratios were measured inside and outside the nutrient-rich deep convection zone in the central Liguro-Provencal basin. In winter, phytoplankton biomass was low (0.28 mg m−3) and evenly spread among picophytoplankton, nanophytoplankton, and microphytoplankton. Using an isotope mixing model, we estimated average contributions to zooplankton biomass by pico-POM, nano-POM, and micro-POM of 28, 59, and 15%, respectively. In spring, the nutrient poor region outside the convection zone had low phytoplankton biomass (0.58 mg m−3) and was dominated by pico/nanophytoplankton. Estimated average contributions to zooplankton biomass by pico-POM, nano-POM, and micro-POM were 64, 28 and 10%, respectively, although the model did not differentiate well between pico-POM and nano-POM in this region. In the deep convection zone, spring phytoplankton biomass was high (1.34 mg m−3) and dominated by micro/nano phytoplankton. Estimated average contributions to zooplankton biomass by pico-POM, nano-POM, and micro-POM were 42, 42, and 20%, respectively, indicating that a large part of the microphytoplankton biomass may have remained ungrazed.

Publisher URL: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/resolve/doi

DOI: 10.1002/2016JC012658

You might also like
Discover & Discuss Important Research

Keeping up-to-date with research can feel impossible, with papers being published faster than you'll ever be able to read them. That's where Researcher comes in: we're simplifying discovery and making important discussions happen. With over 19,000 sources, including peer-reviewed journals, preprints, blogs, universities, podcasts and Live events across 10 research areas, you'll never miss what's important to you. It's like social media, but better. Oh, and we should mention - it's free.

  • Download from Google Play
  • Download from App Store
  • Download from AppInChina

Researcher displays publicly available abstracts and doesn’t host any full article content. If the content is open access, we will direct clicks from the abstracts to the publisher website and display the PDF copy on our platform. Clicks to view the full text will be directed to the publisher website, where only users with subscriptions or access through their institution are able to view the full article.