MEPS 262:185-191 (2003)  -  doi:10.3354/meps262185

Production of DOC by Calanus finmarchicus, C. glacialis and C. hyperboreus through sloppy feeding and leakage from fecal pellets

Eva Friis Møller1,2,*, Peter Thor3, Torkel Gissel Nielsen1

1National Environmental Research Institute, Department of Marine Ecology, Frederiksborgvej 399, PO Box 358, 4000 Roskilde, Denmark
2University of Aarhus, Department of Marine Ecology, Finlandsgade 14, 8200 Århus, Denmark
3Göteborg University, Department of Marine Ecology, Kristineberg Marine Research Station, 450 35 Fiskebäckskil, Sweden
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ABSTRACT: Using 14C-labeled phytoplankton as tracer, we investigated 2 mechanisms of immediate dissolved organic carbon (DOC) release during grazing activity of Calanus spp. ‹ sloppy feeding and leakage from newly expelled fecal pellets. Half of the carbon cleared by Calanus spp. was released as DOC through sloppy feeding. Freshly expelled fecal pellets lost more than 20% of their carbon content within the first hour, corresponding to 6% of the carbon cleared. Thus, copepods should not only be considered as an essential link to higher trophic levels, but also as a feedback link to the microbial food web.


KEY WORDS: Dissolved organic carbon · DOC · Sloppy feeding · Fecal pellets · Calanus spp.


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