MEPS 157:287-293 (1997)  -  doi:10.3354/meps157287

The paradox of diatom-copepod interactions*

Syuhei Ban1, Carolyn Burns2, Jacques Castel3, Yannick Chaudron4, Epaminondas Christou5, Ruben Escribano6, Serena Fonda Umani7, Stephane Gasparini3, Francisco Guerrero Ruiz8, Monica Hoffmeyer9, Adrianna Ianora10, Hyung-Ku Kang11, Mohamed Laabir4, Arnaud Lacoste4, Antonio Miralto10, Xiuren Ning12, Serge Poulet4,**, Valeriano Rodriguez13, Jeffrey Runge14, Junxian Shi12, Michel Starr14, Shin-ichi Uye15,***, Yijun Wang12

1Plankton Laboratory, Faculty of Fisheries, Hokkaido University, Hokkaido, Japan
2Department of Zoology, University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand
3Centre d'Océanographie et de Biologie Marine, Arcachon, France
4Station Biologique, CNRS, BP 74, F-29682 Roscoff, France
5National Centre for Marine Research, Institute of Oceanography, Hellinikon, Athens, Greece
6Universidad de Antofagasta, Facultad de Recursos del Mar, Instituto de Investigaciones Oceonologicas, Antofagasta, Chile
7Laboratorio di Biologia Marina, University of Trieste, via E. Weiss 1, I-34127 Trieste, Italy
8Departamento de Biologia Animal Vegetal y Ecologia, Facultad de Ciencias Experimentales, Jaen, Spain
9Instituto Argentino de Oceanografia, Av. Alem 53, 8000 Bahia Blanca, Argentina
10Stazione Zoologica, Villa comunale 1, I-80121 Napoli, Italy
11Korea Iter-University Institute of Ocean Science, National Fisheries University of Pusan, Pusan, South Korea
12Second Institute of Oceanography, State Oceanic Administration, 310012 Hangzhou, Peoples Republic of China
13Departamento de Geologia y Ecologia, Faculdad de Ciencias, Malaga, Spain
14Institut Maurice-Lamontagne, Pêches et Océans Canada, BP 1000, Mont-Joli, Québec, Canada G5H 3Z4
15College of Oceanic & Atmospheric Sciences, Oregon University, Corvallis, Oregon, USA
*Authors given in alphabetic order.
**Addressee for correspondence. E-mail:
***Present address: Faculty of Applied Biological Science, Hiroshima University, Higashi-Hiroshima, Japan

Traditionally, diatoms have been associated with productive pelagic food chains that lead, through suspension-feeding planktonic copepods, to top consumers and important fisheries. Here, 15 laboratories located worldwide in 12 different countries and representing a variety of marine, estuarine and freshwater environments present strong evidence that diatom diets are in fact inferior for copepod reproduction. When fed to females of 16 copepod species, all but 1 of the 17 diatoms examined significantly reduced egg production rates or egg viability compared to non-diatom controls. These effects are hypothesized to influence copepod recruitment patterns and the flow of energy in marine food webs.

Diatom-copepod interactions · Copepod recruitment · Food webs

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