, Volume 45, Issue 2, pp 101-111
Date: 06 Jul 2010

Feeding selectivity of calanoid copepods on phytoplankton in Jangmok Bay, south coast of Korea

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Grazing impacts of calanoid copepods on size-fractionated phytoplankton biomass [chlorophyll (Chl)-a] were measured in Jangmok Bay, Geoje Island, Korea, monthly from November 2004 to October 2005. The ingestion rate of calanoid copepods on total phytoplankton biomass ranged between 1 and 215 ng Chl-a copepod−1 day−1 during bottle incubations. Results indicated that microphytoplankton (> 20 μm) was the primary food source for calanoid copepods in grazing experiments on 3 phytoplankton size categories (< 3 μm, 3–20 μm, and > 20 μm). The ingestion rate on microphytoplankton showed a significant increase (r = 0.93, p < 0.01) with Chl-a concentration. Nanophytoplankton (3–20 μm) showed a negative ingestion rate from June 2005 to October 2005, but the reason is not completely understood. Calanoid copepods were unable to feed efficiently on picophytoplankton (< 3 μm) due to unfavorable size. Calanoid copepods removed between 0.1% and 27.7% (average, 3.6 ± 15.8%) of the phytoplankton biomass daily during grazing experiments. Grazing pressure was high in winter and early spring (January–March: 15.6–27.7%), while low in summer (June–August: −33.1–0.0%) and autumn (September–November: −1.4–5.1%). Results suggest that calanoid copepods play an important role in controlling the biomass and size structure of phytoplankton in winter and early spring.