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      Grazing by microzooplankton and copepods on the microbial food web in spring in the southern Yellow Sea, China

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          Assessment of microzooplankton and copepods grazing pressure on picoplankton is a key requirement for resolving the microbial food web efficiency. Although microzooplankton grazing on picoplankton has been extensively studied, the impact of microzooplankton on different groups of picoplankton, i.e., heterotrophic bacteria, Synechococcus and picoeukaryotes have rarely been compared. Furthermore, in the very few existing studies there is no consistent evidence of an enhancing or restraining effect of copepods on picoplankton. More studies are needed to improve our understanding of the influence of microzooplankton and copepod on picoplankton. Dilution incubations and copepod addition incubations were performed during a cruise to the southern Yellow Sea on May 16–29, 2007. The bulk grazing of microzooplankton and the calanoid copepod Calanus sinicus on phytoplankton, flagellates and picoplankton was estimated. Stations were divided into either eutrophic or oligotrophic according to the nutrient and biological parameters. Picoplankton comprised a large part of the diet of microzooplankton in the central oligotrophic area, while phytoplankton was the main food of microzooplankton in the coastal eutrophic area. In the central oligotrophic area, microzooplankton preferred grazing on Synechococcus. After copepod addition, ciliate abundance decreased while Synechococcus abundance increased (382%, 64% and 64% at three experimental stations, respectively), indicating strong grazing pressure of microzooplankton on Synechococcus. Our results suggest that Synechococcus might be an essential carbon source the planktonic food web in the oligotrophic waters of southern Yellow Sea.

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          Author and article information

          Marine Life Science & Technology
          Springer (China )
          01 November 2020
          28 July 2020
          : 2
          : 4
          : 442-455
          1CAS Key Laboratory of Marine Ecology and Environmental Sciences, Institute of Oceanology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Qingdao 266071, China
          2Laboratory for Marine Ecology and Environmental Science, Pilot National Laboratory for Marine Science and Technology (Qingdao), Qingdao 266071, China
          3Key Laboratory of Marine Ecosystem Dynamics, Second Institute of Oceanography, Ministry of Natural Resources, Hangzhou 310012, China
          4Key Laboratory of the Ministry of Education for Coastal and Wetland Ecosystems, College of the Environment and Ecology, Xiamen University, Xiamen 361005, China
          5Fujian Provincial Key Laboratory of Coastal Ecology and Environmental Studies, Xiamen University, Xiamen 361102, China
          6Aix-Marseille University, Toulon University, CNRS, IRD, Mediterranean Institute of Oceanography UM110, 13288 Marseille, France
          7Center for Ocean Mega-Science, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Qingdao 266071, China
          Author notes
          *Corresponding authors: Li Zhao, E-mail: zhaoli@ ; Wuchang Zhang, wuchangzhang@
          © 2020 The Author(s)

          This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 Unported License (CC BY-NC 4.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited. See

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