Can sediment trap-collected zooplankton be used for ecological studies?
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The absence of quantitative comparisons of sediment trap-collected zooplankton (TCZ) and plankton net-collected zooplankton (NCZ) prevents the effective use of TCZ for ecological studies. We compared 24 TCZ time-series at 200 m with 19 vertical NCZ casts and recorded various environmental variables in Franklin Bay, Canadian Arctic during 2003–2004. While 30 taxonomic groups were commonly found in both the TCZ and NCZ assemblages, their taxonomic composition and seasonal variation differed. Based on the multiple regression analysis, we divided zooplankton taxa into three groups; Group 1: it was significantly correlated with NCZ abundance, Group 2: it was significantly correlated with environmental variables but not with NCZ abundance, and Group 3: no significant correlations were found. Pteropods (mostly Limacina helicina) and two copepods (Heterorhabdus norvegicus and Metridia longa) were found in Group 1, suggesting that their entrapment activity were relatively constant throughout the year, and therefore their NCZ abundance can be estimated from that of TCZ using the trap settings in this study. Conversely, in Group 2, Calanus hyperboreus had no significant relationship with the NCZ abundance (C. hyperboreus). This is likely the result of a winter peak in TCZ abundance during their reproductive season; the co-occurrence of high suspended particulate organic matter with low C/N ratio around the trap probably indicated the presence of C. hyperboreus eggs and nauplii. Therefore, monitoring interannual changes in C. hyperboreus reproductive succession by TCZ abundance might be possible in the future studies. In conclusion, Group 1 taxa are potential candidates for ecological monitoring using TCZs.
KeywordsArctic Trap-collected zooplankton Net-collected zooplankton Copepods Pteropods
We are extremely grateful for the extensive financial and management support given by Professor Mitsuo Fukuchi of the National Institute of Polar Research. We thank the officers and crew of the CCGS Amundsen for their help during the CASES 2003–2004 expedition. This study was supported by a Grant-in-Aid from the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science to H. Sasaki (No. 16510010), and by a grant from the Natural Science and Engineering Research Council of Canada to L. Fortier. This is a contribution to the programs Québec-Océan, CASES, and the Canada Research Chair on the response of Arctic marine ecosystems to climate warming.
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