Trophic interactions in the pelagic

Knotz, Susanna

Physiological and nutritional factors that influence the population dynamics of North Sea copepods were identified. Five digestive enzymes were measured in individual copepods. Short-term starvation elicited complex enzyme reactions. Protease isozyme patterns did not change. Seston C:N and POP:TPP correlated with reproductive success. Grazing behaviour and digestive system mediated the effect. Copepods took up N:P in ratios matching their body ratios. C:N and POP ingestion followed the seston pattern. Compensatory feeding was observed. Food quality and stable isotope signatures changed over time (Helgoland, 2004-2005) and between GLOBEC-stations (southern North Sea). Seston d15N and d13C revealed major composition shifts in spring and a strong heterotroph component in summer. A. clausi and T. longicornis utilised different carbon sources despite similar high trophic levels. A low seston d13C (spring) was favourable. Chitobiase activity indicated C assimilation, the other enzymes N assimilation. A low body d13C may denote high turnover rates. Combining methods explains zooplankton- phytoplankton interactions better than only one approach.

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Knotz, Susanna: Trophic interactions in the pelagic.

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