Calbet, Albert, Atienza, Dacha, Henriksen, Casper I., Saiz, Enric and Adey, Timothy R.
Zooplankton grazing in the Atlantic Ocean: A latitudinal study
Deep-Sea Research II, 56, (15), . (doi:10.1016/j.dsr2.2008.10.009).
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Mesozooplankton and 63–200 ?m net-collected microzooplankton grazing on phytoplankton and protozoans was evaluated by 24-h incubations on a latitudinal transect in the Atlantic Ocean, from 35°N to 38°S (AMT-15; September–October 2004). The sampling area comprised contrasting ecosystems, including upwelling zones and oligotrophic subtropical gyres. Grazing impacts of mesozooplankton and 63–200 ?m microzooplankton on total chlorophyll a (Chl a), >5 ?m Chl a, ciliates, and dinoflagellates were low for both zooplankton size fractions, always removing<1.5% of the standing stocks of these groups. Grazing had a slightly greater impact upon primary production (up to 10% of primary production consumed daily), although on most occasions grazing removed<1% of primary production per day. To account for the reduction of micrograzers by predators in the experimental bottles and the consequent reduction of grazing pressure, the data were corrected with knowledge on the decrease of microzooplankton during incubations and global estimates of microzooplankton grazing. The corrected grazing rates for mesozooplankton ranged from 4% to 28% of the primary production consumed daily, and from 1% to 2% of the standing stock of Chl a removed every day. The 63–200 ?m microzooplankton corrected grazing impact was always<5% of the primary production and standing stock consumed per day. The corrected grazing activity of 63–200 ?m microzooplankton and mesozooplankton rendered daily rations ranging from 3% to 38% of the body carbon consumed daily, not sufficient for basal metabolism in most of the areas studied. Finally, the data on mesozooplankton grazing on primary production confirm the recent hypothesis of a decline of the relative importance of mesozooplankton grazing on primary producers with increasing primary production [Calbet, A., 2001. Mesozooplankton grazing effect on primary production: a global comparative analysis in marine ecosystems. Limnology and Oceanography 46, 1824–1830].
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