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Planktonic production and carbon transfer efficiency along a north-south gradient in the Baltic sea
Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Ecology and Environmental Sciences. Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Umeå Marine Sciences Centre (UMF). (UMFpub)
Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Ecology and Environmental Sciences. Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Umeå Marine Sciences Centre (UMF).
Department of Systems Ecology, Stockholm University, 10691 Stockholm, Sweden.
Department of Systems Ecology, Stockholm University, 10691 Stockholm, Sweden.
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2010 (English)In: Marine Ecology Progress Series, ISSN 0171-8630, E-ISSN 1616-1599, Vol. 409, 77-94 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

A 1 yr study was conducted along a brackish-water production gradient to enhance the understanding of factors governing pelagic food web function. This was achieved by measuring carbon transfer efficiency (TE) from the basal resource to an intermediate trophic level. TE was defined as mesozooplankton carbon consumption rate divided by production at the basal trophic level, which is composed of phytoplankton and bacteria. A north–south transect in the Baltic Sea was used as a model system, with 2 stations each in the Bothnian Bay, Bothnian Sea and Baltic Proper being sampled 5 to 8× during 2006. In addition, data from monitoring programmes were used, which comprised 10 to 22 samplings stn–1. TE was expected to be governed by the size distribution of phytoplankton and due to the nutrient gradient, we expected to find an optimal cell size, and thus also a high TE, in the intermediate-productive Bothnian Sea. The basal production during summer/autumn increased 5-fold from north to south, while the mesozooplankton carbon consumption rate exhibited a peak inthe Bothnian Sea, being ~3× higher than in both Bothnian Bay and Baltic Proper. TE was found to be intermediate in the Bothnian Bay (average: 0.8), highest in the Bothnian Sea (1.6), and lowest in the Baltic Proper (0.2). We suggest that the variation in carbon transfer efficiency can be explained by the composition of the phytoplankton community, the abundance balance between copepods and cladocerans, as well as the species composition of mesozooplankton in relation to the size structure of phytoplankton.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Inter-Research , 2010. Vol. 409, 77-94 p.
Keyword [en]
Carbon transfer efficiency, pelagic production, mesozooplankton, Baltic sea
National Category
Ecology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-37859DOI: 10.3354/meps08615ISI: 000279054000007OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-37859DiVA: diva2:371724
Available from: 2010-11-22 Created: 2010-11-17 Last updated: 2017-10-24Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Food web structures and carbon transfer efficiencies in a brackish water ecosystem
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Food web structures and carbon transfer efficiencies in a brackish water ecosystem
2010 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Two differently structured food webs can be distinguished in the pelagic habitat of aquatic systems; the classical one (autotrophic) with phytoplankton as a base and the microbial food web (heterotrophic) with bacteria as a base. Energy (produced at the basal trophic level) reaches higher trophic levels, i.e. zooplankton, directly in the classical food web in contrast to the microbial food web where it passes through additional trophic levels before reaching zooplankton. Energy is lost between each trophic level and therefore less energy should reach higher trophic levels in the microbial food web than in the classical food web. However, factors such as edibility of prey, temperature and properties of the predator, might also influence the food web structures and functions.

In this thesis I studied which factors are important for an efficient carbon transfer and how a potential climate change might alter the food web efficiency in pelagic and pelagic-benthic food webs in the Baltic Sea. Furthermore, one of the most dominant zooplankton in the northern Baltic Sea, Limnocalanus macrurus, was studied in order to establish the seasonal pattern of lipid reserves in relation to food consumption.

My studies showed that the carbon transfer efficiency during summer was not directly connected to the basal production, but factors such as the ratio between heterotrophs and autotrophs, the relationship between cladocerans and calanoid copepods and the size and community structure of both phytoplankton and zooplankton were important for the carbon transfer efficiency. In a climate change perspective, the temperature as well as the relative importance of the microbial food web is likely to increase. A temperature increase may have a positive effect on the pelagic food web efficiency, whereas increasing heterotrophy will have a negative effect on the pelagic and pelagic-benthic food web efficiency, reduce the fatty acid content of zooplankton and reduce the individual weight of both zooplankton and the benthic amphipod Monoporeia affinis. During the seasonal study on the calanoid copepod L. macrurus, I found that this species is mainly a carnivore, feeding on mesozooplankton during most of the year but switches to feeding on phytoplankton when these are abundant. Furthermore, when food is scarce, it utilizes lipids that are built up during the course of the year.

From these studies I can draw some major conclusions; there are many factors that influence how efficient carbon is transferred in the food web and different factors are probably of various importance in different areas. In order to determine the carbon transfer efficiency, the various strategies exerted by different organism groups have to be considered, as for example that some zooplankton utilize lipid reserves instead of feeding all year around. Also, in a climate change perspective, the pelagic-benthic food web efficiency will decrease, as will the quality of zooplankton and M. affinis, possibly having implications for higher trophic levels such as fish.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Umeå: Umeå universitet, Institutionen för Ekologi, Miljö och Geovetenskap, 2010. 25 p.
Keyword
Carbon transfer efficiency, Food web efficiency, zooplankton, production, pelagic, benthic, fatty acids, wax esters
National Category
Ecology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-38014 (URN)978-91-7459-087-6 (ISBN)
Public defence
2010-12-17, Stora Hörsalen, KB3B1, Linnaeus väg 6, Umeå Universitet, Umeå, 10:00 (English)
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Available from: 2010-11-26 Created: 2010-11-22 Last updated: 2017-09-11Bibliographically approved

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Dahlgren, KristinAndersson, AgnetaBåmstedt, Ulf
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