Marine Biology

, Volume 34, Issue 2, pp 117–125

Feeding of Pseudocalanus minutus on living and non-living particles

  • S. A. Poulet

DOI: 10.1007/BF00390753

Cite this article as:
Poulet, S.A. Marine Biology (1976) 34: 117. doi:10.1007/BF00390753


A seasonal study of carbon content of living and of carbon and nitrogen content of non-living particulate material in seawater is presented. Grazing by Pseudocalanus minutus on living and non-living particles has been investigated over 1 year. Seasonal variations in the food uptake were associated with seasonal variations of each chemical component of the particles in the water. The amount of non-living carbon constituted the major part of the food ingested, irrespective of season. The ingested living carbon always accounted for a small fraction of the total copepod body carbon. The proportion of living carbon ingested could be equivalent to or even higher than non-living carbon at times during the late spring, summer and fall. The concentration of both living and non-living material within each particle peak of the spectra in the water seemed to affect the balance between non-living and living particle uptake. Non-living particles cannot be considered only as a supplementary food source for small copepods; they are a basic food for P. minutus at all times.

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1976

Authors and Affiliations

  • S. A. Poulet
    • 1
  1. 1.Institut National de la Recherche ScientifiqueRimouskiCanada