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MEPS 363:109-119 (2008)  -  DOI:

Plankton trophic structure and particulate organic carbon production during a coastal downwelling-upwelling cycle

Mariana Guenther1,4,*, Eliane Gonzalez-Rodriguez2, Wanderson F. Carvalho2, Carlos E. Rezende3, Glenda Mugrabe1, Jean L. Valentin1

1Laboratório de Zooplâncton, Departamento de Biologia Marinha, Instituto de Biologia, Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro, Av. Brigadeiro Trompovsky s/n, Rio de Janeiro, RJ-CEP: 21949-900, Brazil
2Departamento de Oceanografia, Instituto de Estudos do Mar Almirante Paulo Moreira, Comando da Marinha, Rua Kioto 253, Arraial do Cabo, RJ-CEP: 28930-000, Brazil
3Laboratório de Ciências Ambientais, Centro de Biociências e Biotecnologia, Universidade Estadual do Norte Fluminense, Av. Alberto Lamego 2000, Campos dos Goytacazes, RJ-CEP: 28013-602, Brazil
4Present address: Departamento de Biologia, Instituto de Ciências Biológicas, Universidade de Pernambuco, Rua Arnóbio Marques 310, Recife, PE-CEP:500100-130, Brazil

ABSTRACT: We evaluated plankton trophic structure in a short-term temporal survey performed throughout a downwelling–upwelling cycle at the SE Brazilian coast. Size-fractioned phytoplankton biomass (PB), microzooplankton (MiZA) and mesozooplankton (MeZA) abundances along with primary (PP) and bacterial production (BP) were estimated for 5 consecutive days at a fixed station in the Cabo Frio upwelling core area. During the downwelling period, the dominance of pico- and nanoplankton in PB, and higher BP (0.1 µgC l–1 h–1) and MiZA (170 ind. l–1), characterized a microbial food web structure. After the South Atlantic Central Water (SACW) upwelling, the decrease in BP (0.02 µgC l–1 h–1), MiZA (50 ind. l–1) and picoplankton contribution to PB, along with the appearance of microplankton in PB and the increase in opportunistic herbivorous copepods densities (Paracalanus parvus: 2.0 ind. l–1) indicated the establishment of a herbivorous food web structure. Particulate organic carbon (POC) production was mainly due to phytoplankton (98%) and did not differ between periods. However, the observed variability in plankton trophic interactions should affect the magnitude of POC export from this dynamic system.

KEY WORDS: Food webs · Carbon fluxes · Bacterioplankton · Phytoplankton · Zooplankton · Cabo Frio · South Brazil Bight

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Cite this article as: Guenther M, Gonzalez-Rodriguez E, Carvalho WF, Rezende CE, Mugrabe G, Valentin JL (2008) Plankton trophic structure and particulate organic carbon production during a coastal downwelling-upwelling cycle. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 363:109-119.

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