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Marine Ecology Progress Series

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MEPS 655:59-75 (2020)  -  DOI: https://doi.org/10.3354/meps13533

Comparison of mesozooplankton production estimates from Saanich Inlet (British Columbia, Canada) using the chitobiase and biomass size spectra approaches

Lian E. Kwong1,*, Karyn D. Suchy2, Akash R. Sastri2,3, John F. Dower2,4, Evgeny A. Pakhomov1,5,6

1Department of Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, British Columbia V6T1Z4, Canada
2Department of Biology, University of Victoria, British Columbia V8W 3N5, Canada
3Institute of Ocean Sciences, Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO), Sidney, British Columbia V8L 5T5, Canada
4School of Earth and Ocean Sciences, University of Victoria, British Columbia V8W 2Y2, Canada
5Institute for the Oceans and Fisheries, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, British Columbia V6T 1Z4, Canada
6Hakai Institute, Heriot Bay, British Columbia V0P 1H0, Canada
*Corresponding author:

ABSTRACT: Zooplankton production estimates are necessary to understand the availability and transfer of energy to higher trophic levels in marine food webs. Methods have been developed to quantify zooplankton production; however, they are difficult to compare as they focus on single species, groups, stages, or size classes of zooplankton. We compared 2 methods for estimating crustacean production: the chitobiase method (based on a crustacean moulting enzyme), and 3 empirical growth rate models (Huntley-Lopez, Hirst-Lampitt, and Hirst-Bunker) applied to optically resolved mesozooplankton normalized biomass size spectra (NBSS). Mesozooplankton net samples were collected between March and August of 2010 and 2011 in Saanich Inlet (British Columbia, Canada) and analyzed in the laboratory using microscopy and a bench-top laser optical particle counter (lab-LOPC). Microscope and lab-LOPC estimates of abundance and biomass were in close agreement. Crustacean production estimates were highest using Huntley-Lopez (0.20-185.3 mg C m-3 d-1), followed by Hirst-Bunker (0 .01-18.3 mg C m-3 d-1), chitobiase (0.05-15.6 mg C m-3 d-1), and Hirst-Lampitt (0.03-14.3 mg C m-3 d-1). Hirst-Lampitt-, Hirst-Bunker-, and chitobiase-based estimates of crustacean production and trophic transfer efficiency (TTE) yielded similar patterns/magnitude, while the Huntley-Lopez model was more variable. Estimates showed stronger agreement in 2011 than in 2010, attributed to the shift from El Niño to La Niña conditions. We highlight similarities/differences associated with these techniques and suggest that Hirst-Bunker estimates of production and TTE are most consistent with chitobiase-based values.


KEY WORDS: Zooplankton production · Mesozooplankton · Secondary production · Chitobiase · Biomass size spectra · Saanich Inlet · Trophic transfer efficiency


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Cite this article as: Kwong LE, Suchy KD, Sastri AR, Dower JF, Pakhomov EA (2020) Comparison of mesozooplankton production estimates from Saanich Inlet (British Columbia, Canada) using the chitobiase and biomass size spectra approaches. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 655:59-75. https://doi.org/10.3354/meps13533

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