Polar Biology

, Volume 29, Issue 2, pp 106–113 | Cite as

Towards the trophic structure of the Bouvet Island marine ecosystem

  • U. Jacob
  • T. Brey
  • I. Fetzer
  • S. Kaehler
  • K. Mintenbeck
  • K. Dunton
  • K. Beyer
  • U. Struck
  • E.A. Pakhomov
  • W.E. Arntz
Original Paper


Although Bouvet Island is of considerable importance for Southern Ocean species conservation, information on the marine community species inventory and trophic functioning is scarce. Our combined study of stable isotopes and feeding relationships shows that (1) the marine system conforms to the trophic pattern described for other Antarctic systems within the Antarctic circumpolar current (ACC); (2) both the benthic and the pelagic subsystem are almost exclusively linked via suspended particulate organic matter (SPOM); and (3) there is no evidence of a subsystem driven by macroalgae. Bouvet Island can therefore be characterized as a benthic “oasis” within a self-sustaining open ocean pelagic system.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • U. Jacob
    • 1
  • T. Brey
    • 1
  • I. Fetzer
    • 5
  • S. Kaehler
    • 2
  • K. Mintenbeck
    • 1
  • K. Dunton
    • 3
  • K. Beyer
    • 1
  • U. Struck
    • 4
  • E.A. Pakhomov
    • 6
    • 7
  • W.E. Arntz
    • 1
  1. 1.Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine ResearchBremerhavenGermany
  2. 2.Southern Ocean GroupRhodes UniversityGrahamstownSouth Africa
  3. 3.Marine Science InstituteUniversity of TexasAustinUSA
  4. 4.GeoBio-Center at Ludwig-Maximilans-UniversitätMünchenGermany
  5. 5.Centre for Environmental Research Leipzig-Halle LeipzigGermany
  6. 6.Zoology Department, Faculty of Science and TechnologyUniversity of Fort HareAliceSouth Africa
  7. 7.Department of Earth and Ocean SciencesUniversity of British ColumbiaVancouverCanada

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