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Biovolume spectrum theories applied: spatial patterns of trophic levels within a mesozooplankton community at the polar front

1 , * , 1 , 2 , 3

Journal of Plankton Research

Oxford University Press

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      Abstract

      Three-dimensional data on the mesoscale distribution of hydrography and mesozooplankton were collected at the Polar Front, northwestern Barents Sea, in spring 2008 (29 April–15 May) using a combination of multinet and towed instrument platform equipped with Laser Optical Plankton Counter, fluorometer and CTD. Trophic levels (TLs) within the zooplankton community (whole community and size-separated) were analysed for three consecutive periods using biovolume spectrum theory, which proved to be a powerful tool in the physically and biologically variable frontal system. Trophic structure was highly variable in time and across the Polar Front, but was mostly related to the phytoplankton bloom (as determined by fluorescence). High TLs of 5.5 within the zooplankton community were observed outside bloom situations (mostly in Atlantic Water) and were likely due to increased omnivory of Calanus spp., which dominated the large zooplankton size group that had a lower TL (2.2) during the bloom than outside blooms (max. TL 5.6). A strong input of herbivorous barnacle nauplii (Cirripedia) into the upper layer (35 000 ind. m−3 in net samples) substantially decreased mean TL in the marginal ice zone. Differences in TL estimates based on biovolume spectrum theory and other methods (stable isotopes, lipid markers, dietary analyses) are discussed.

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        USING STABLE ISOTOPES TO ESTIMATE TROPHIC POSITION: MODELS, METHODS, AND ASSUMPTIONS

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          Fishing down marine food webs

          The mean trophic level of the species groups reported in Food and Agricultural Organization global fisheries statistics declined from 1950 to 1994. This reflects a gradual transition in landings from long-lived, high trophic level, piscivorous bottom fish toward short-lived, low trophic level invertebrates and planktivorous pelagic fish. This effect, also found to be occurring in inland fisheries, is most pronounced in the Northern Hemisphere. Fishing down food webs (that is, at lower trophic levels) leads at first to increasing catches, then to a phase transition associated with stagnating or declining catches. These results indicate that present exploitation patterns are unsustainable.
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            Author and article information

            Affiliations
            [1 ]simpleUniversity of Tromsø , 9037 Tromsø, Norway
            [2 ]simpleBodø University College , 8049 Bodø, Norway
            [3 ]Department of Environment, Earth and Ocean Sciences, simpleUniversity of Massachusetts , 100 Morrissey Blvd, Boston, MA 02125, USA
            Author notes
            [* ] corresponding author: sunnje.basedow@ 123456uit.no

            Corresponding editor: Roger Harris

            Journal
            J Plankton Res
            plankt
            plankt
            Journal of Plankton Research
            Oxford University Press
            0142-7873
            1464-3774
            August 2010
            13 November 2009
            13 November 2009
            : 32
            : 8 , Observing and modelling the size structure of plankton communities
            : 1105-1119
            2900174
            20625559
            10.1093/plankt/fbp110
            fbp110
            © The Author 2009. Published by Oxford University Press

            This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/2.5/uk/) which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

            Categories
            Themed Section: Observing and Modelling the Size Structure of Plankton Communities

            Plant science & Botany

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