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Marine Ecology Progress Series

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MEPS 630:13-23 (2019)  -  DOI: https://doi.org/10.3354/meps13130

Relative importance of predatory versus non-predatory mortality for dominant copepod species in the northern Chilean (23°S) Humboldt Current System

Sonia Yáñez1,2, Pamela Hidalgo1,2,*, Kam W. Tang3

1Department of Oceanography, Faculty of Natural Science and Oceanography, University of Concepcion, PO Box 160 C, 4030000 Concepción, Chile
2Millennium Institute of Oceanography, Faculty of Natural Science and Oceanography, University of Concepcion, PO Box 160 C, 4030000 Concepción, Chile
3Department of Biosciences, Swansea University, Swansea SA2 8PP, UK
*Corresponding author:

ABSTRACT: Copepods dominate the zooplankton communities and support large fisheries within the Humboldt Current System (HCS). Using detailed data of live/dead compositions, along with stage durations and molting rates, we derived, for the first time, both predatory and non-predatory mortality rates of the 3 dominant copepod species—Paracalanus cf. indicus, Acartia tonsa and Calanus chilensis—within the HCS and examined their relationships with environmental factors. Predatory mortality rates of all 3 species increased linearly with developmental stage, and hence body size, indicating top-down control by predators that prefer larger prey. Intrusion of oxygen-poor water via upwelling and low chlorophyll a concentration were linked to increased non-predatory mortality rates of P. cf. indicus and A. tonsa, whereas non-predatory mortality rates of C. chilensis were positively correlated with temperature. On average, non-predatory mortality accounted for 34.8-46.3% of the total mortality among the 3 species. Changes in upwelling intensity caused by climate change may alter the extent and patterns of predatory and non-predatory mortalities in the HCS copepod communities.


KEY WORDS: Copepod mortality · Neutral red stain · Copepod carcasses · Vertical life table


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Cite this article as: Yáñez S, Hidalgo P, Tang KW (2019) Relative importance of predatory versus non-predatory mortality for dominant copepod species in the northern Chilean (23°S) Humboldt Current System. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 630:13-23. https://doi.org/10.3354/meps13130

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