Diel metabolic patterns in a migratory oceanic copepod
Tarrant, Ann M.
Maas, Amy E.
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Diel vertical migration of zooplankton profoundly impacts the transport of nutrients and carbon through the water column. Despite the acknowledged importance of this active flux to ocean biogeochemistry, these contributions remain poorly constrained, in part because daily variations in metabolic rates are not considered or are modeled as simple functions of temperature. To address this uncertainty, we sampled the subtropical copepod Pleuromamma xiphias at 4- to 7-h intervals throughout the daily migration and measured rates of oxygen consumption, ammonium excretion, fecal pellet production and metabolic enzyme activity. No significant patterns were detected in rates of oxygen consumption or ammonium excretion for freshly caught animals over the diel cycle. Fecal pellet production was highest during mid-night, consistent with several hours of feeding near the surface. Surface feeding resulted in fecal pellet production at depth in the morning, providing direct evidence that active flux of particulate organic carbon occurs in this region. Electron transport system activity was highest during the afternoon, contrary to our prediction of reduced daytime metabolism. Activity of both glutamate dehydrogenase and citrate synthase increased during early night, reflecting higher capacity for excretion and aerobic respiration, respectively. Overall, these results show that activities of metabolic enzymes vary during diel vertical migration. The surprising observation of elevated afternoon enzyme activity coupled with daytime fecal pellet and ammonium production suggests that additional characterization of the daytime activity of migratory zooplankton is warranted.
© The Author(s), 2021. This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License. The definitive version was published in Tarrant, A. M., McNamara-Bordewick, N., Blanco-Bercial, L., Miccoli, A., & Maas, A. E. Diel metabolic patterns in a migratory oceanic copepod. Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology, 545, (2021): 151643, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jembe.2021.151643.
Suggested CitationTarrant, A. M., McNamara-Bordewick, N., Blanco-Bercial, L., Miccoli, A., & Maas, A. E. (2021). Diel metabolic patterns in a migratory oceanic copepod. Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology, 545, 151643.
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