Zooplankton distribution and feeding in the Arctic Ocean during a Phaeocystis pouchetii bloom

Enric Saiz*, Albert Calbet, Stamatina Isari, Meritxell Antó, Eva M. Velasco, Rodrigo Almeda, Juancho Movilla, Miquel Alcaraz

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations


In early summer 2007 we determined the vertical distribution of mesozooplankton (>200μm) and assessed the copepod feeding rates in 19 stations distributed along the East Greenland Current and the Fram Strait. The study coincided with a bloom of the haptophyte Phaeocystis pouchetii in the colonial form. Copepods dominated the zooplankton community numerically, and were mainly distributed within the upper 150m (except for Metridia longa and Oithona spp., that inhabited deeper waters), without showing a clear avoidance of the P. pouchetii layer. Copepod diet was diverse, ciliates having a relevant share (40% of the diet). Copepods also displayed active grazing upon the colonies of P. pouchetii. In general, feeding rates were low (on average, daily ration was 1.6% of body carbon), likely due to the scarcity of nano and microplankton during the study (<100μgCL-1). Consequently, the trophic impacts on both the nano- and microplankton standing stocks and on primary production were negligible. These results suggest that during the period of study the transfer of carbon and energy from lower trophic levels towards copepods was low.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)17-33
Number of pages17
JournalDeep-Sea Research Part I: Oceanographic Research Papers
StatePublished - Feb 2013


  • Arctic
  • Copepod
  • Diet
  • Feeding
  • Fram Strait
  • Greenland
  • Phaeocystis
  • Spitsbergen
  • Vertical distribution
  • ZooImage
  • Zooplankton

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oceanography
  • Aquatic Science


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