Marine Biology

, Volume 130, Issue 4, pp 593–604

Production of tropical copepods in Kingston Harbour, Jamaica: the importance of small species

  • R. R. Hopcroft
  • J. C. Roff
  • D. Lombard
Article

DOI: 10.1007/s002270050281

Cite this article as:
Hopcroft, R., Roff, J. & Lombard, D. Marine Biology (1998) 130: 593. doi:10.1007/s002270050281

Abstract

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.

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1998

Authors and Affiliations

  • R. R. Hopcroft
    • 1
  • J. C. Roff
    • 1
  • D. Lombard
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Zoology, University of Guelph, Guelph, Ontario, N1G 2W1, CanadaCA

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