Three major mesoplanktonic communities resolved by in situ imaging in the upper 500 m of the global ocean

thelma.panaiotis [ at ]


Aim: The distribution of mesoplankton communities has been poorly studied at global scale, especially from in situ instruments. This study aims to (1) describe the global distribution of mesoplankton communities in relation to their environment and (2) as-sess the ability of various environmental- based ocean regionalizations to explain the distribution of these communities. Location: Global ocean, 0–500 m depth. Time Period: 2008–2019. Major Taxa Studied: Twenty-eight groups of large mesoplanktonic and macroplank-tonic organisms, covering Metazoa, Rhizaria and Cyanobacteria. Methods: From a global data set of 2500 vertical profiles making use of the Underwater Vision Profiler 5 (UVP5), an in situ imaging instrument, we studied the global distribu-tion of large (>600 μm) mesoplanktonic organisms. Among the 6.8 million imaged ob-jects, 330,000 were large zooplanktonic organisms and phytoplankton colonies, the rest consisting of marine snow particles. Multivariate ordination (PCA) and clustering were used to describe patterns in community composition, while comparison with existing regionalizations was performed with regression methods (RDA). Results: Within the observed size range, epipelagic plankton communities were Trichodesmium- enriched in the intertropical Atlantic, Copepoda- enriched at high latitudes and in upwelling areas, and Rhizaria-enriched in oligotrophic areas. In the mesopelagic layer, Copepoda-enriched communities were also found at high lati-tudes and in the Atlantic Ocean, while Rhizaria-enriched communities prevailed in the Peruvian upwelling system and a few mixed communities were found elsewhere. The comparison between the distribution of these communities and a set of existing regionalizations of the ocean suggested that the structure of plankton communities described above is mostly driven by basin- level environmental conditions. Main Conclusions: In both layers, three types of plankton communities emerged and seemed to be mostly driven by regional environmental conditions. This work sheds light on the role not only of metazoans, but also of unexpected large protists and cy-anobacteria in structuring large mesoplankton communities.

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Primary Division
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Published online
Eprint ID
DOI 10.1111/geb.13741

Cite as
Panaïotis, T. , Babin, M. , Biard, T. , Carlotti, F. , Coppola, L. , Guidi, L. , Hauss, H. , Karp‐Boss, L. , Kiko, R. , Lombard, F. , McDonnell, A. M. , Picheral, M. , Rogge, A. , Waite, A. M. , Stemmann, L. and Irisson, J. (2023): Three major mesoplanktonic communities resolved by in situ imaging in the upper 500 m of the global ocean , Global Ecology and Biogeography . doi: 10.1111/geb.13741

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