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Marine Ecology Progress Series

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MEPS 269:153-162 (2004)  -  doi:10.3354/meps269153

Zooplankton use of chemodetection to find and eat particles

George A. Jackson1,*, Thomas Kiørboe2

1Department of Oceanography, Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas 77843-3146, USA
2Danish Institute for Fisheries Research, Kavalergården 6, 2920 Charlottenlund, Denmark

ABSTRACT: The ability of raptorial zooplankton to find large particles such as marine aggregates is crucial to their use of the particles as food and to the fate of the particles. Kiørboe & Thygesen (2001) developed a numerical approach to describe particle detection by chemosensory zooplankton. In this paper, we develop and test a simplified mathematical description of the process and explore the ecological implications of chemosensory particle detection. Our results suggest that chemosensory particle detection can be more efficient than hydrodynamic detection. The exact extent depends greatly on the sensitivity of chemodetection in zooplankton, a process that has not been well studied experimentally.

KEY WORDS: Marine snow · Zooplankton feeding · Plumes · Hydromechanical signals · Chemical signals

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