, Volume 98, Issue 2, pp 299-306

Estimating carbon flux to pelagic grazers in the ice-edge zone of the eastern Bering Sea

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Abstract

Zooplankton ingestion of phytoplankton carbon in the iceedge zone of the Eastern Bering Sea was measured using a deck incubation approach in 1982. Using further samples collected in 1983, the plant cell carbon to cell volume ratio was estimated at 0.0604 pg μm−3 from an experimentally determined particulate carbon to seston volume relationship. The application of this conversion to the results of experimental incubations of natural plant stocks with net-caught zooplankton produced ingestion rates of 68.8 and 10.26 mg C g−1 grazer d−1 for copepods and euphausiids, respectively. Extrapolating these rates to in situ zooplankton biomass at the edge of the seasonal ice pack yielded carbon flux rates through the zooplankton community ranging between 6.5 and 32.8 mg C m−2 d−1. This consumption amounted to less than 2% of the daily phytoplankton production in the ice-edge zone.

Communicated by P. C. Schroeder, Pullman