Zooplankton ecological traits maximize the trophic transfer efficiency of the Humboldt Current upwelling system.

Schukat, Anna, Hagen, Wilhelm, Dorschner, Sabrina, Correa Acosta, Jonathan, Pinedo Arteaga, Elda Luz, Ayón, Patricia and Auel, Holger (2021) Zooplankton ecological traits maximize the trophic transfer efficiency of the Humboldt Current upwelling system. Progress in Oceanography, 193 . Art.Nr. 102551. DOI 10.1016/j.pocean.2021.102551.

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Supplementary data:


• Environmental conditions cause specific zooplankton life strategies.
• No ontogenetic or diel vertical migration in the life cycle of Calanus chilensis.
• Spatial expansion of Calanus chilensis secondary production far offshore.
• Compacted surface biomass of Calanus chilensis allows easy foraging by anchovy.

Calanid copepods of the genera Calanus and Calanoides are key components of zooplankton communities in upwelling systems. Here, we compare the life-history traits of Calanus chilensis from the Humboldt Current Systems (HCS) off northern Peru and its counterpart Calanoides natalis from the northern Benguela Current System (BCS) off Namibia. A comprehensive data set of the distribution and abundance patterns of these species along extensive horizontal and vertical scales is presented. C. chilensis from the HCS was almost exclusively restricted to the surface layer (50–0 m) above the oxygen minimum zone (OMZ), whereas C. natalis from the BCS inhabited the entire water column down to 800 m performing ontogenetic vertical migration (OVM) through the OMZ. Resting stages of C. natalis at depth accumulated high amounts of lipid (30–60% of dry mass, DM), whereas C. chilensis did not rely on lipid reserves. These findings confirm that the life cycle of C. chilensis does not include OVM with diapause at depth. Surprisingly, the regional distribution of C. chilensis secondary production extended much further offshore (>200 km from the coast) than is typical of other coastal upwelling systems. Deviating environmental conditions forced the two key calanid species to develop specific, but different life strategies for HCS and BCS. Compacted biomass concentrations of C. chilensis in the surface layer from the shelf (≤3 g DM m−2) to offshore waters (≤1.5 g DM m−2) facilitate easy and efficient foraging by predators such as juvenile Peruvian anchovies. In contrast, a large fraction of the C. natalis biomass occurs within the OMZ and is thus out of reach for hypoxia-sensitive predators. Calanoid copepods (e.g. C. chilensis) play a crucial role as important prey for growth and recruitment of small pelagic fish. Thus, the compacted biomass and high productivity of C. chilensis at the surface derived from its adaptive life-history traits (no OVM) may explain the superior trophic transfer efficiency and hence enormous fisheries yield of the HCS compared to the BCS.

Document Type: Article
Refereed: Yes
Open Access Journal?: No
Publisher: Elsevier
Related URLs:
Projects: CUSCO
Date Deposited: 08 Mar 2022 09:24
Last Modified: 08 Feb 2023 09:35
URI: https://oceanrep.geomar.de/id/eprint/55456

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