Spring in shelf waters of the New York Bight was characterized by a relatively rapid increase in the numbers and biomass of the large herbivorous copepod Calanus finmarchicus, which seemed to be growing at an in situ rate of approximately 8% body weight per day. The functional feeding response of females of all three taxa never showed saturation. The proportion of daily primary production which was ingested by these three taxa increased from 13 to 46% in the March-April interval at one shelf location and was >100% in both March and April at another shelf location. In contrast, the proportion of daily production which was ingested in slope water in April was only 4%. The implication is that most of the spring diatom bloom over the shelf is ingested over the shelf by the population of rapidly growing C. finmarchicus juveniles. The fecal carbon calculated to be generated by the grazing activities of the observed populations of C. finmarchicus, Metridia lucens, and Centropages typicus resulted in a daily vertical carbon flux very similar to that observed over the shelf with sediment traps and pellet collectors.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Aquatic Science