Changes in the plankton community and the microbial food web of Blanes bay (Catalan Sea. NW Mediterranean) under prolonged grazing pressure by doliolids (Tunicata), cladocerans and copepods (Crustacea).

Katechakis, Alexis, Stibor, Herwig, Sommer, Ulrich and Hansen, Thomas (2002) Changes in the plankton community and the microbial food web of Blanes bay (Catalan Sea. NW Mediterranean) under prolonged grazing pressure by doliolids (Tunicata), cladocerans and copepods (Crustacea). Open Access Marine Ecology Progress Series, 234 . pp. 55-69. DOI 10.3354/meps234055.

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Abstract

We report how different zooplankton groups (doliolids, cladocerans and copepods) are able to influence the coastal pelagic food web, including the microbial food web, in waters of the NW Mediterranean. We studied the effect of grazing and of grazing-induced nutrient recycling mediated by different types of zooplankton grazing on a natural phytoplankton community. Experiments were conducted in semicontinuous 2-stage chemostats. The 1st stage vessels contained seawater from Blanes Bay, Spain (NW Mediterranean) including its natural phytoplankton community; the 2nd stage vessels contained the same seawater and copepods, cladocerans or doliolids. At daily intervals we transferred part of the medium from the 2nd to the 1st stage flasks, which contained ungrazed algae and excreted nutrients. In this way, the zooplankton could influence phytoplankton dynamics both by selective grazing and by differential excretion of limiting nutrients. In the 2nd stage flasks grazing changed the algal community composition. Doliolids and cladocerans promoted the growth of large algae and copepods shifted the size spectrum towards small sizes. This effect was transferred to the 1st stage flasks. Doliolids, cladocerans and copepods also affected the microbial food web in different ways. Size-selective grazing led to differences in the nanoplankton concentrations. These in turn affected bacterial concentrations in a trophic cascade. The potential to modify a given algal population increased with increasing selectivity of the grazer.

Document Type: Article
Keywords: Doliolids; Cladocerans; Copepods; Grazing; Marine pelagic food web; Microbial food web; Trophic cascade
Research affiliation: OceanRep > GEOMAR > FB3 Marine Ecology > FB3-EOE-N Experimental Ecology - Food Webs
Refereed: Yes
Open Access Journal?: No
DOI etc.: 10.3354/meps234055
ISSN: 0171-8630
Projects: MAST, COMWEB
Date Deposited: 18 Feb 2008 17:25
Last Modified: 28 May 2018 13:04
URI: http://oceanrep.geomar.de/id/eprint/6628

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