Under-ice feeding and diel migration by the planktonic copepodsCalanus glacialis andPseudocalanus minutus in relation to the ice algal production cycle in southeastern Hudson Bay, Canada
- Cite this article as:
- Runge, J.A. & Ingram, R.G. Mar. Biol. (1991) 108: 217. doi:10.1007/BF01344336
The marine planktonic copepodsCalanus glacialis Jaschnov andPseudocalanus minutus (Kroyer) typically dominate the copepod biomass in spring under the ice in southeastern Hudson Bay, Canada. Females of both species exhibited significant diel feeding cycles, as measured by gut pigment content, throughout a bloom of ice algae at the ice-water interface in 1986. Periods of grazing correlated well with a nighttime vertical migration by females to within 0.2 m of the ice-water interface, suggesting that feeding took place at or just below the thermohaline boundary between seawater and the interfacial layer containing the ice algae. Seasonal melting of the ice bottom in mid-May resulted in freshening of the surface layer and release of the ice algae into the water column. FemaleC. glacialis andP. minutus responded by ceasing migration to the interface. Gut pigment content, and by reasonable assumption, feeding activity in the water column, increased substantially immediately after this event. In mid-May, the water column phytoplankton consisted of flagellates, sedimenting ice algal cells, and diatoms (Navicula pelagica andChaetoceros sp.) previously found at the interface and then growing in the water column. We conclude that algae growing at the ice-water interface, and sedimenting or actively growing algae derived from this interfacial layer, are a regular and principal source of nutrition for these pelagic copepods during and immediately after the ice algal bloom.