Biovolume spectrum theories applied : spatial patterns of trophic levels within a mesozooplankton community at the polar front
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionBasedow, S.L., Tande, K.S. & Zhou, M. (2009). Biovolume spectrum theories applied: spatial patterns of trophic levels within a mesozooplankton community at the polar front. Journal of Plankton Research, 32(8), 1105-1119. doi: 10.1093/plankt/fbp110
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.