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Marine Ecology Progress Series

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MEPS 359:151-160 (2008)  -  DOI:

Mortality rates of epipelagic copepods in the post-spring bloom period in Disko Bay, western Greenland

Peter Thor1,*, Torkel Gissel Nielsen2, Peter Tiselius1

1University of Gothenburg, Department of Marine Ecology, Kristineberg, 45034 Fiskebäckskil, Sweden
2National Environmental Research Institute, Department of Marine Ecology, 399 Frederiksborgvej, 4000 Roskilde, Denmark

ABSTRACT: Mortality rates of the copepods Calanus hyperboreus, C. glacialis, C. finmarchicus, Pseudocalanus sp. and Oithona similis were investigated during June 2001 in Disko Bay, western Greenland. These 5 species dominated the zooplankton community in the upper 75 m, contributing 89% of the total copepod biomass. Instantaneous mortality rates of copepodites of all 5 species and nauplii of Pseudocalanus sp. and O. similis were calculated using vertical life tables on abundances and published information on stage duration times. Compared with those covering a range of boreal habitats, the mortality rates were higher, with highest rates occurring in C. finmarchicus and C. glacialis copepodite stages I to III and Pseudocalanus spp. stage III (maximum = 0.18 d–1). Mortality rates remained lower in all stages of O. similis. When superimposing mortality rates for all species and stages on copepod size a significant peak at 1.3 mm prosome length was evident. This peak fitted a prey size dependent functional response of predation and the high mortality rates were, therefore, most probably attributable to size-specific predation.

KEY WORDS: Arctic copepods · Mortality rates · Calanus · Pseudocalanus · Oithona

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Cite this article as: Thor P, Nielsen TG, Tiselius P (2008) Mortality rates of epipelagic copepods in the post-spring bloom period in Disko Bay, western Greenland. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 359:151-160.

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