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Modelling spatial and temporal patterns in size-structured marine plankton communities: top–down and bottom–up controls

Modelling spatial and temporal patterns in size-structured marine plankton communities: top–down and bottom–up controls
Modelling spatial and temporal patterns in size-structured marine plankton communities: top–down and bottom–up controls
Idealized equilibrium models have attributed the observed size structure of marine communities to the interactions between nutrient and grazing control. Here, we examine this theory in a more realistic context using a size-structured global ocean food-web model, together with a much simplified version of the same model for which equilibrium solutions are readily obtained. Both models include the same basic assumptions: allometric scaling of physiological traits and size-selective zooplankton grazing. According to the equilibrium model, grazing places a limit on the phytoplankton biomass within each size-class, while the supply rate of essential nutrients limits the number of coexisting size classes, and hence the total biomass, in the system. The global model remains highly consistent with this conceptual view in the large-scale, annual average sense, but reveals more complex behaviour at shorter timescales, when phytoplankton and zooplankton growth may become decoupled. In particular, we show temporal and spatial scale dependence between total phytoplankton biomass and two key ecosystem properties: the zooplankton-to-phytoplankton ratio, and the partitioning of biomass among different size classes.
0142-7873
31-47
Ward, Ben A.
9063af30-e344-4626-9470-8db7c1543d05
Dutkiewicz, Stephanie
a704ddd3-bd6c-4f4a-ba0c-f6420c9c3b3b
Follows, Michael J.
12c723bc-f2f8-43f4-a309-bff6885b9c7c
Ward, Ben A.
9063af30-e344-4626-9470-8db7c1543d05
Dutkiewicz, Stephanie
a704ddd3-bd6c-4f4a-ba0c-f6420c9c3b3b
Follows, Michael J.
12c723bc-f2f8-43f4-a309-bff6885b9c7c

Ward, Ben A., Dutkiewicz, Stephanie and Follows, Michael J. (2014) Modelling spatial and temporal patterns in size-structured marine plankton communities: top–down and bottom–up controls. Journal of Plankton Research, 36 (1), 31-47. (doi:10.1093/plankt/fbt097).

Record type: Article

Abstract

Idealized equilibrium models have attributed the observed size structure of marine communities to the interactions between nutrient and grazing control. Here, we examine this theory in a more realistic context using a size-structured global ocean food-web model, together with a much simplified version of the same model for which equilibrium solutions are readily obtained. Both models include the same basic assumptions: allometric scaling of physiological traits and size-selective zooplankton grazing. According to the equilibrium model, grazing places a limit on the phytoplankton biomass within each size-class, while the supply rate of essential nutrients limits the number of coexisting size classes, and hence the total biomass, in the system. The global model remains highly consistent with this conceptual view in the large-scale, annual average sense, but reveals more complex behaviour at shorter timescales, when phytoplankton and zooplankton growth may become decoupled. In particular, we show temporal and spatial scale dependence between total phytoplankton biomass and two key ecosystem properties: the zooplankton-to-phytoplankton ratio, and the partitioning of biomass among different size classes.

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Published date: 1 January 2014

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 417013
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/417013
ISSN: 0142-7873
PURE UUID: fa87987f-21a2-46de-b406-3329402be41f

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Date deposited: 17 Jan 2018 17:30
Last modified: 13 Mar 2019 19:00

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