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Trophic Role of Heterotrophic Nano- and Microplankton in the Pelagic Microbial Food Web of Drake Passage in the Southern Ocean during Austral Summer
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  • Journal title : Ocean and Polar Research
  • Volume 33, Issue 4,  2011, pp.457-472
  • Publisher : Korea Institute of Ocean Science & Technology
  • DOI : 10.4217/OPR.2011.33.4.457
 Title & Authors
Trophic Role of Heterotrophic Nano- and Microplankton in the Pelagic Microbial Food Web of Drake Passage in the Southern Ocean during Austral Summer
Yang, Eun-Jin; Choi, Joong-Ki; Hyun, Jung-Ho;
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To elucidate the trophic role of heterotrophic nano- and microplankton (HNMP), we investigated their biomass, community structure, and herbivory in three different water masses, namely, south of Polar Front (SPF), Polar Front Zone (PFZ), the Sub-Antarcitc Front (SAF) in the Drake Passage in the Southern Ocean, during the austral summer in 2002. We observed a spatial difference in the relative importance of the dominant HNMP community in these water masses. Ciliates accounted for 34.7% of the total biomass on an average in the SPF where the concentration of chlorophyll-a was low with the dominance of pico- and nanophytoplankton. Moreover, the importance of ciliates declined from the SPF to the SAF. In contrast, heterotrophic dinoflagellates (HDFs) were the most dominant grazers in the PFZ where the concentration of chlorophyll-a was high with the dominance of net phytoplankton. HNMP biomass ranged from 321.9 to 751.4 and was highest in the PFZ and lowest in the SPF. This result implies that the spatial dynamic of HNMP biomass and community was significantly influenced by the composition and concentration of phytoplankton as a food source. On an average, 75.6%, 94.5%, and 78.9% of the phytoplankton production were consumed by HNMP in the SPF, PFZ, and SAF, respectively. The proportion of phytoplankton grazed by HNMP was largely determined by the composition and biomass of HNMP, as well as the composition of phytoplankton. However, the herbivory of HNMP was one of the most important loss processes affecting the biomass and composition of phytoplankton particularly in the PFZ. Our results suggest that the bulk of the photosynthetically fixed carbon was likely reprocessed by HNMP rather than contributing to the vertical flux in Drake Passage during the austral summer in 2002.
Drake Passage;polar front;nano- and microzooplankton;heterotrophic dinoflagellates;grazing impact;
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