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Micro- versus mesozooplankton grazing: the contribution of ciliates, dinoflagellates and copepods in controlling phytoplankton biomass

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Citation:
Löder, M. , Kraberg, A. , Aberle, N. , Klaas, C. and Wiltshire, K. H. (2009): Micro- versus mesozooplankton grazing: the contribution of ciliates, dinoflagellates and copepods in controlling phytoplankton biomass , AWI PhD Day 2009, 3.-6.06.2009, List. .
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Abstract:

The original idea of the pelagic trophic structure was a linear chain from autotrophic phytoplankton as primary producers via microzooplankton through to mesozooplankton as top predators. We now know that this is not a linear interaction but rather constitutes a complex food web. In-situ measurements of microzooplankton and mesozooplankton grazing have demonstrated the importance of these groups as phytoplankton grazers. A trophic overlap between micro- and mesozooplankton can also be expected. Still, not much is known about the species-specific feeding preferences and the dietary competition of dominant ciliates, dinoflagellate and copepod species on the phytoplankton species that dominate natural assemblages.Investigations on micro- and mesozooplankton grazing were conducted using the dilution technique and additional mesozooplankton treatments.The aim of these grazing experiments was to clarify which algae are preyed upon by both micro- and mesozooplankton, to estimate their relative contribution to phytoplankton grazing and to show selectivity patterns.

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