Advertisement

Marine Biology

, Volume 62, Issue 4, pp 263–273 | Cite as

Differential feeding and fecal pellet composition of salps and pteropods, and the possible origin of the deep-water flora and olive-green “Cells”

  • M. W. Silver
  • K. W. Bruland
Article

Abstract

Salps (mainly Salpa fusiformis and, to a lesser extent, Pegea socia) and a web-building pteropod (Corolla spectabilis) were studied in epipelagic waters of the central California Current. Although both kinds of gelatinous zooplankton trap phytoplankton in a mucus net, a fecal pellet analysis indicated that their diet differs significantly when they feed together, probably because of differences both in the pore sizes of their nets and in their feeding methods. Salps have a finemesh filter, on which they can retain even the smallest phytoplankton; thus, when small coccolithophores are abundant, as they were in our study, salp feces contain such cells and the coccoliths derived from them. In contrast, pteropods feeding in the same area produce fecal pellets consisting chiefly of larger phytoplankton, especially diatoms. Since fecal pellets transport most biogenic material to the deep sea, changes in herbivore species composition at a given geographic location can change the chemistry of materials entering deep water; at our study site, the more salps, the greater the calcite flux, and, the more pteropods, the greater the silica flux. In addition, fecal pellets of both salps and pteropods include partially digested residues of phytoplankton that appear as olive-green spheres, having an ultrastructure identical with that of the socalled olive-green “cells.” Presumably, fecal pellets, after sinking into deep water, ultimately disintegrate. releasing both the viable phytoplankton and the olive-green spheres into aphotic waters. Thus the feces of epipelagic herbivores are likely sources of much of the flora of the deep ocean.

Keywords

Phytoplankton Calcite Fecal Pellet Herbivore Species Feeding Method 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Literature Cited

  1. Berner, L. D.: Studies on the Thaliacea of the temperate northeast Pacific Ocean, 144 pp. Ph. D. thesis, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, University of California, San Diego 1957Google Scholar
  2. Berner, L. D.: Distributional atlas of Thaliacea in the California Current region. Calif. coop. ocean. Fish. Invest. Atlas 8, 1–322 (1967)Google Scholar
  3. Bishop, J. K., J. J. Edmond, D. R. Ketten, M. P. Bacon and W. B. Silker: The chemistry, biology, and vertical flux of particulate matter from the upper 400 m of the equatorial Atlantic Ocean. Deep-Sea Res. 24, 511–548 (1977)Google Scholar
  4. Boyd, C. M.: Selection of particle sizes by filter-feeding copepods: a plea for reason. Limnol. Oceanogr. 21, 175–180 (1976)Google Scholar
  5. Brooks, J., P. R. Grant, M. D. Muir, P. van Gijzel and G. Shaw (Eds.): Sporopollenin, 407 pp. London: Academic Press 1971Google Scholar
  6. Bruland, K. W. and M. W. Silver: Sinking rates of fecal pellets from gelatinous zooplankton (salps, pteropods, doliolids). Mar. Biol. (In press). (1981)Google Scholar
  7. Flood, P. R.: Filter characteristics of appendicularin food catching nets. Experientia 34, 173–175 (1978)Google Scholar
  8. Flood, P. R. and A. Fiala-Médioni: Filter characteristics of ascidian food trapping mucous films. Acta Zool., Stockh. 60, 271–272 (1979)Google Scholar
  9. Fournier, R. O.: Studies on pigmented microorganisms from aphotic marine evironments. Limnol. Oceanogr. 15, 675–682 (1970)Google Scholar
  10. Fournier, R. O.: Studies on pigmented microorganisms from aphotic marine environments. II. North Atlantic distribution. Limnol Oceanogr. 16, 952–961 (1971)Google Scholar
  11. Frost, B. W.: Effects of size and concentration of food particles on the feeding behavior of the marine planktonic copepod Calanus pacificus. Limnol. Oceanogr. 17, 805–815 (1972)Google Scholar
  12. Gilmer, R. W.: Free-floating mucus webs: a novel feeding adaptation for the open ocean. Science, N. Y. 176, 1239–1240 (1972)Google Scholar
  13. Gilmer, R. W.: Some aspects of feeding in thecosomatous pteropod molluscs. J. exp. mar. Biol. Ecol. 15, 127–144 (1974)Google Scholar
  14. Harbison, G. R. and R. B. Campenot: Effects of temperature on the swimming of salps (Tunicata, Thaliacea): implications for vertical migration. Limnol. Oceanogr. 24, 1081–1091 (1979)Google Scholar
  15. Harbison, G. R. and R. W. Gilmer: The feeding rates of the pelagic tunicate Pegea confederata and two other salps. Limnol. Oceanogr. 21, 517–520 (1976)Google Scholar
  16. Harbison, G. R. and V. L. McAlister: The fiter-feeding rates and particle retention efficiencies of three species of Cyclosalpa (Tunicata, Thaliacea). Limnol. Oceanogr. 24, 875–892 (1979)Google Scholar
  17. Harbison, G. R. and V. L. McAlister: Fact and artifact in copepod feeding experiments. Limnol. Oceanogr. 25, 971–982 (1980)Google Scholar
  18. Honjo, S. and H. Okada: Community structure of coccolithophores in the photic layer of the mid-Pacific. Micropaleontology 20, 209–230 (1974)Google Scholar
  19. Johnson, P. W. and J. McN. Sieburth: Chroococcoid cyanobacteria in the sea: a ubiquitous and diverse phototrophic biomass. Limnol. Oceanogr. 24, 928–935 (1979)Google Scholar
  20. Jørgensen, C. B.: Biology of suspension feeding, 357 pp Oxford: Pergamon Press 1966Google Scholar
  21. Loeblich, A. R., III and L. C. Morrill: Dinoflagellate cell wall structure and formation. Proc. electron Microsc. Soc. Am. 37, 113–120 (1979)Google Scholar
  22. Loeblich, A. R., III, J. L. Sherley and R. J. Schmidt: The correct position of flagellar insertion in Prorocentrum and description of Prorocentrum rhathymum sp. nov. (Pyrrhophyta). J. Plankton Res. 1, 113–120 (1979)Google Scholar
  23. Madin, L. P.: Field observations on the feeding behavior of salps (Tunicata: Thaliacea). Mar. Biol. 25, 143–147 (1974)Google Scholar
  24. McCave, I. N.: Vertical flux of particles in the ocean. Deep-Sea Res. 22, 491–502 (1975)Google Scholar
  25. McGowan, J.: The Thecosomata and Gymnosomata of California. Veliger 3 (Suppl.), 103–129 (1968)Google Scholar
  26. Mullin, M. M.: Some factors affecting the feeding of marine copepods of the genus Calanus. Limnol. Oceanogr. 8, 239–250 (1963)Google Scholar
  27. Nival, P. and S. Nival: Particle retention efficiencies of an herbivorous copepod, Acartia clausi (adult and copepodite stages): effects on grazing. Limnol. Oceangor. 21, 24–38 (1976)Google Scholar
  28. Okada, H. and A. McIntyre: Modern coccolithophores of the Pacific and North Atlantic Oceans. Micropaleontology 23, 1–55 (1977)Google Scholar
  29. Paffenhöffer, G. A. and S. C. Knowles: Ecological implications of fecal pellet size, production, and consumption by copepods. J. mar. Res. 37, 35–49 (1979)Google Scholar
  30. Porter, K. G.: Enhancement of algal growth and productivity by grazing zooplankton. Science, N. Y. 192, 1332–1334 (1974)Google Scholar
  31. Porter, K. G.: The plant-animal interface in freshwater ecosystems. Am. Scient. 65, 159–170 (1977)Google Scholar
  32. Poulet, S. A. and P. Marsot: Chemosensory feeding and foodgathering by omnivorous marine copepods. In: Evolution and ecology of zooplankton communities, pp 198–218. Ed. by W. C. Kerfoot. Hanover, New Hampshire: University Press of New England 1980Google Scholar
  33. Ringo, D. L., E. H. Cota-Robles and B. J. Humphrey: Low viscosity embedding resins for transmission electron microscopy. Proc. electron Microsc. Soc. Am. 37, 348–349 (1979)Google Scholar
  34. Schiller, J.: Über autochthone pflanzliche Organismen in der Tiefsee. Biol. Zbl 51, 329–334 (1931)Google Scholar
  35. Schroeder, T. E.: Microvilli on sea urchin eggs: a second burst of elongation. Devl Biol. 64, 324–346 (1978)Google Scholar
  36. Silver, M. W.: The habitat of Salpa fusiformis (Chordata: Tunicata) in the California Current as defined by stomach content studies, and the effect of salp swarms on the food supply of the plankton community, 135 pp. Ph. D. thesis, University of California, San Diego 1971Google Scholar
  37. Silver, M. W.: The habitat of Salpa fusiformis in the California Current as defined by indicator assemblages. Limnol. Oceanogr. 20, 230–237 (1975)Google Scholar
  38. Silver, M. W. and A. L. Alldredge: Bathypelagic marine snow: vertical transport system and deep-sea algal and detrital community. J. mar. Res. (In press). (1981)Google Scholar
  39. Strathmann, R. R.: Estimating the organic carbon content of phytoplankton from cell volume or plasma content. Limnol. Oceanogr. 12, 411–418 (1967)Google Scholar
  40. Watson, S. W., T. J. Novitsky, H. L. Quinby and F. W. Valois: Determination of bacterial number and biomass in marine environments. Appl. envirl Microbiol. 33 940–946 (1977)Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1981

Authors and Affiliations

  • M. W. Silver
    • 1
  • K. W. Bruland
    • 1
  1. 1.Center for Coastal Marine StudiesUniversity of California at Santa CruzSanta CruzUSA

Personalised recommendations