Springer Nature is making SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19 research free. View research | View latest news | Sign up for updates

Vertical distribution of zooplankton glutamate dehydrogenase in relation to chlorophyll in the vicinity of the Nantucket Shoals

  • 39 Accesses

  • 11 Citations


The vertical distributions of chlorophyll, and zooplankton glutamate dehydrogenase (GDH) and respiratory electron transport system (ETS) activities were measured at five stations in the vicinity of the Nantucket Shoals using a submersible pump-profiling system. Distinctly lower zooplankton GDH activities and chlorophyll concentrations were found at a station showing little vertical stratification as compared to the other stations where vertical stratification was more pronounced. Maximum GDH activity was observed at or immediately above the chlorophyll maximum at the stratified stations. Respiration to excretion (O:N) ratios determined from the enzyme data were lowest in or just above the chlorphyll maximum, suggesting proteolytic catabolism at those depths. Both features had previously been observed in the oligotrophic Gulf of Mexico. Ammonium excretion determined from GDH activity was estimated to provide 20 to 40% of the total algal nitrogen requirement.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.

Literature cited

  1. Ahmed, S. I., R. A. Kenner and T. T. Packard: A comparative study of the glutamate dehydrogenase activity in several species of marine phytoplankton. Mar. Biol. 39, 93–101 (1977)

  2. Banse, K.: Cell volumes, maximal growth rates of unicellular algae and ciliates, and the role of ciliates in the marine pelagial. Limnol. Oceanogr. 27, 1059–1071 (1982)

  3. Bergmeyer, H.: Methods of enzymatic analyis, 1064 pp. New York: Academic Press 1965

  4. Bidigare, R. R. and F. D. King: The measurement of glutamate dehydrogenase activity in Praunus flexuosus and its role in the regulation of ammonium excretion. Comp. Biochem. Physiol. 70 B, 409–413 (1981)

  5. Bidigare, R. R., F. D. King and D. C. Biggs: Glutamate dehydrogenase (GDH) and respiratory electron-transport-system (ETS) activities in Gulf of Mexico zooplankton. J. Plank. Res. 4, 895–911 (1982)

  6. Biggs, D. C.: Respiration and ammonium excretion by open ocean gelatinous zooplankton. Limnol. Oceanogr. 22, 108–117 (1977)

  7. Butler, E. I., E. D. S. Corner and S. M. Marshall: On the nutrition and metabolism of zooplankton. VII. Seasonal survey of nitrogen and phosphorus excretion by Calanus in the Clyde Sea Area. J. mar. biol. Ass. U.K. 50, 525–560 (1970)

  8. Caperon, J., D. Schell, J. Hirota and E. Laws: Ammonium excretion rates in Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii, measured by a 15N isotope dilution technique. Mar. Biol. 54, 33–40 (1979)

  9. Conover, R. J.: Transformation of organic matter. In: Marine ecology, Vol. IV, pp 7–46. Ed. by O. Kinne. New York: John Wiley and Sons 1978

  10. Conover, R. J. and E. D. S. Corner: Respiration and nitrogen excretion by some marine zooplankton in relation to their life cycles. J. mar. Ass. U.K. 48, 49–75 (1968)

  11. Corner, E. D. S. and B. S. Newell: On the nutrition and metabolism of zooplankton. IV. The form of nitrogen excreted by Calanus. J. mar. biol. Ass. U.K. 47, 113–120 (1967)

  12. Cucci, T. L., F. D. King and D. W. Townsend: Ammonium excretion in macro- and microzooplankton in the Gulf of Maine (Unpublished data)

  13. Eppley, R. W., E. H. Renger, E. L. Venrick and M. M. Mullin: A study of plankton dynamics and nutrient cycling in the central gyre of the North Pacific Ocean. Limnol. Oceanogr. 18, 534–551 (1973)

  14. Fournier, R. O., J. Marra, R. Bohrer and M. Van Def: Plankton dynamics and nutrient enrichment of the Scotian Shelf. J. Fish. Res. Bd Can. 34, 1004–1018 (1977)

  15. Glibert, P. M.: Regional studies of daily, seasonal and size fraction variability in ammonium remineralization. Mar. Biol. 70, 209–222 (1982)

  16. Harris, E.: The nitrogen cycle in Long Island Sound. Bull. Bingham Oceanogr. Collect. 17, 31–65 (1959)

  17. Harrison, W. G.: Experimental measurements of nitrogen remineralization in coastal waters. Limnol. Oceanogr. 23, 684–694 (1978)

  18. Harrison, W. G.: Nutrient regeneration and primary production in the sea. In: Primary productivity in the sea, pp 433–460. Ed. by P. Falkowski. New York: Plenum 1980

  19. Harrison, W. G., D. Douglas, P. Falkowski, G. Rowe and J. Vidal: Summer nutrient dynamics of the Middle Atlantic Bight: nitrogen uptake and regeneration. J. Plank. Res. 5, 539–556 (1983)

  20. Herman, A. W., D. D. Sameoto and A. R. Longhurst: Vertical and horizontal distribution patterns of copepods near the shelf break south of Nova Scotia. Can. J. Fish. aquat. Sci. 38, 1065–1076 (1981)

  21. Ikeda, T.: Nutritional ecology of marine zooplankton. Mem. Fac. Fish. Hokkaido University 22, 1–97 (1974)

  22. Ikeda, T.: The effect of laboratory conditions on the extrapolation of experimental measurements to the ecology of marine zooplankton IV. Changes in respiration and excretion rates of boreal zooplanktong species maintained under fed and starved conditions. Mar. Biol. 41, 241–252 (1977)

  23. Jawed, M.: Ammonia excretion by zooplankton and its significance to primary production during the summer. Mar. Biol. 23, 115–120 (1973)

  24. King, F. D. and T. T. Packard: Respiration and the activity of the respiratory electron transport system in marine zooplankton. Limnol. Oceanogr. 20, 849–854 (1975)

  25. King, F. D., A. H. Devol and T. T. Packard: Plankton metabolic activity in the eastern tropical North Pacific. Deep-Sea Res. 25, 689–704 (1978)

  26. Lorenzen, C. J.: Primary production in the sea. In: The ecology of the seas, pp 173–185. Ed. by D. H. Cushing and J. J. Walsh. Philadelphia: W. B. Saunders 1976

  27. Lowry, O., N. Rosebrough, A. Farr and R. Randall. Protein measurement with the folin phenol reagent. J. Biol. Chem. 193, 265–275 (1951)

  28. Martin, J. H.: Phytoplankton-zooplankton relationships in Narragansett Bay. III. Seasonal changes in zooplankton excretion rates in relation to phytoplankton abundance. Limnol. Oceanogr. 13, 63–71 (1968)

  29. Mayzaud, P.: Respiration and nitrogen excretion of zooplankton VI. The influence of starvation on the metabolism and the biochemical composition of some species. Mar. Biol. 37, 47–58 (1976)

  30. Mullin, M. M., M. J. Perry, E. H. Renger and P. M. Evans: Nutrient regeneration by oceanic zooplankton: a comparison of methods. Mar. Sci. Comm. 1: 1–13 (1975)

  31. Owens, T. G. and F. D. King: The measurement of respiratory electron-transport-system activity in marine zooplankton. Mar. Biol. 30, 27–36 (1975)

  32. Platt, T., K. L. Denman and A. D. Jassby: Modelling the productivity of phytoplankton. In: The Sea, Vol. 6, pp 807–856. Ed. by J. J. O'Brien and J. H. Steele. New York: John Wiley and Sons 1977

  33. Skjodal, H. R. and U. Bamstedt: Ecobiochemical studies on the deep-water pelagic community of Korsfjorden, Western Norway. Adenine nucleotides in zooplankton. Mar. Biol. 42, 197–211 (1977)

  34. Steele, J. H.: Environmental control of photosynthesis in the sea. Limnol. Oceanogr. 7, 137–150 (1962)

  35. Steemann-Nielsen, E.: The use of radioactive carbon (C14) for measuring organic production in the sea. J. Cons. int. Explor. Mer 18, 117–140 (1952)

  36. Webb, K. L. and R. E. Johannes: Do marine crustaceans release dissolved amino acids? Comp. Biochem. Physiol. 29, 875–879 (1969)

  37. Yentsch, C. S. and D. W. Menzel: A method for the determination of phytoplankton chlorophyll and phaeophytin by fluorescence. Deep-Sea Res. 10, 221–231 (1963)

Download references

Author information

Additional information

Bigelow Laboratory Contribution No. 82016

Communicated by R. O. Fournier, Halifax

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

King, F.D. Vertical distribution of zooplankton glutamate dehydrogenase in relation to chlorophyll in the vicinity of the Nantucket Shoals. Marine Biology 79, 249–256 (1984). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00393256

Download citation


  • Chlorophyll
  • Respiration
  • Vertical Distribution
  • Chlorophyll Concentration
  • Glutamate Dehydrogenase