Production of tropical copepods in Kingston Harbour, Jamaica: the importance of small species
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The copepod community observed during an 18-month period at the mouth of eutrophic Kingston Harbour, Jamaica, was dominated by small species of Parvocalanus, Temora, Oithona, and Corycaeus. Mean copepod biomass was 22.1 mg AFDW m−3 (331 mg m−2). Annual production was 1679 kJ m−2, partitioned as 174 kJ m−2 naupliar, 936 kJ m−2 copepodite, 475 kJ m−2 egg and 93 kJ m−2 exuvial production. All nauplii, most copepodites and many adults, equivalent to half of the biomass and production, were missed by a standard 200-μm plankton net, emphasizing the importance of nauplii and small species in secondary production estimates. The evidence suggests that growth rates and production are generally not food limited, and we speculate that size-selective predation shapes the structure of the harbour community. Biomass and production are higher than previous estimates for tropical coastal waters, but comparable to other eutrophic tropical embayments and many productive temperate ecosystems. Far from being regions of low productivity, tropical zooplankton communities may have significant production and deserve greater research attention than they currently receive.
KeywordsBiomass Research Attention Zooplankton Community Small Species Significant Production
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