Structure, Biomass Distribution and Trophodynamics of the Pelagic Ecosystem in the Oyashio Region, Western Subarctic Pacific
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Biomass distribution and trophodynamics in the oceanic ecosystem in the Oyashio region are presented and analyzed, combining the seasonal data for plankton and micronekton collected at Site H since 1996 with data for nekton and other animals at higher trophic levels from various sources. The total biomass of biological components including bacteria, phytoplankton, microzooplankton, mesozooplankton, micronekton, fishes/squids and marine birds/mammals was 23 g C m−2, among which the most dominant component was mesozooplankton (34% of the total), followed by phytoplankton (28%), bacteria (15%) and microzooplankton (protozoans) (14%). The remainder (9%) was largely composed of micronekton and fish/squid. Marine mammals/birds are only a small fraction (0.14%) of the total biomass. Large/medium grazing copepods (Neocalaus spp., Eucalanus bungii and Metridia spp.) accounted for 77% of the mesozooplankton biomass. Based on information about diet composition, predators were assigned broadly into mean trophic level 3–4, and carbon flow through the grazing food chain was established based on the estimated annual production/food consumption balance of each trophic level. From the food chain scheme, ecological efficiencies as high as 24% were calculated for the primary/secondary production and 21% for the secondary/tertiary production. Biomass and production of bacteria were estimated as 1/10 of the respective values for phytoplankton at Site H, but the role of the microbial food chain remains unresolved in the present analysis. As keystone species in the oceanic Oyashio region, Neocalanus spp. are suggested as a vital link between primary production and production of pelagic fishes, mammals and birds.
- Journal of oceanography
Journal of oceanography 64(3), 339-354, 2008-06-01