Seasonal variation of zooplankton community structure and trophic position in the Celtic Sea: A stable isotope and biovolume spectrum approach

Giering, SLC, Wells, SR, Mayers, KMJ, Schuster, H, Cornwell, L, Fileman, ES, Atkinson, A, Cook, KB, Preece, C and Mayor, DJ 2018 Seasonal variation of zooplankton community structure and trophic position in the Celtic Sea: A stable isotope and biovolume spectrum approach. Progress in Oceanography, 177. 101943.

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Zooplankton on continental shelves represent an important intermediary in the transfer of energy and matter from phytoplankton to the wider ecosystem. Their taxonomic composition and trophic interactions with phytoplanktonvaryinspaceandtime, andinterpreting theimplicationsofthis constantlyevolvinglandscaperemainsamajorchallenge.Herewecombineplanktontaxonomicdatawiththeanalysisofbiovolumespectraand stableisotopestoprovideinsightsintothetrophicinteractionsthatoccurinashelfseaecosystem(CelticSea) across the spring-summer-autumn transition. Biovolume spectra captured the seasonal development of the zooplankton community well, both in terms of total biomass and trophic positioning, and matched trophic positionsestimatedbystableisotopeanalysis.InearlyApril,largemicroplankton(63–200µm)occupiedhigher trophic positions than mesozooplankton (>200µm), likely reflecting the predominance of nanoplankton (2–20µm) that were not readily available to mesozooplanktongrazers. Biomass and number of trophic levels increasedduringthespringbloomaselevatedprimaryproductionallowedforahigherabundanceofpredatory species.DuringJuly,theplanktonassemblageoccupiedrelativelyhightrophicpositions,indicatingimportant links to the microbial loop and the recycling of organic matter. The strong correlation between biomass and communitytrophiclevelacrossthestudysuggeststhattheCelticSeaisarelativelyenclosedandpredominantly energy-limited ecosystem. The progression of the zooplankton biomass and community structure within the centralshelfregionwasdifferenttothatattheshelf-break,potentiallyreflectingincreasedpredatorycontrolof copepodsby macrozooplanktonandpelagicfishesattheshelfbreak.Wesuggestthatthecombinationofsize spectra and stable isotope techniques are highly complementary and useful for interpreting the seasonal progressionoftrophicinteractionsintheplankton.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Additional Keywords: Zooplankton biomass Zooplankton community composition Trophic position Biovolume spectra Seasonal cycle Regional index terms: Celtic Sea Northwest European Shelf
Divisions: Plymouth Marine Laboratory > Science Areas > Marine Ecology and Biodiversity
Depositing User: S Hawkins
Date made live: 14 Feb 2020 13:47
Last Modified: 25 Apr 2020 10:02

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