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Dynamics of copepod faecal pellets in relation to a Phaeocystis dominated phytoplankton bloom: characteristics, production and flux
Frangoulis, C.; Belkhiria, S.; Goffart, A.; Hecq, J.H. (2001). Dynamics of copepod faecal pellets in relation to a Phaeocystis dominated phytoplankton bloom: characteristics, production and flux. J. Plankton Res. 23(1): 75-88. dx.doi.org/10.1093/plankt/23.1.75
In: Journal of Plankton Research. Oxford University Press: New York,. ISSN 0142-7873; e-ISSN 1464-3774, meer
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  • Frangoulis, C.
  • Belkhiria, S.
  • Goffart, A.
  • Hecq, J.H.

Abstract
    Copepod faecal pellet characteristics and production were measured in spring 1995, 1996 and 1997 in the North Sea Southern Bight in order to define changes due to the development of the phytoplankton bloom. Changes were related to the succession from diatoms to a Phaeocystis sp. bloom. Mean monthly pellet production decreased during the Phaeocystis bloom development to 0.27 pellets ind.-1 h-1, approximately 80% lower than before and after the bloom. Although phytoplanktonic pigments showed significant differences between inshore and offshore stations, there mar no such significant difference for faecal pellet production. Faecal pellet sinking-rate decreased from 100 to 70 m day-1 during the transition from a diatom- to a Phaeocystis-dominated bloom. This was due to a decrease in pellet density and/or a decrease of the pellet volume. These results supported the idea of lower feeding of copepods under Phaeocystis bloom conditions. As mean seasonal density of copepod faecal pellets war higher (1.37 g cm-3) than in other seas, accidental ingestion of sedimentary material as the cause of this high density is discussed.

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