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Plasticity in dormancy behaviour of Calanoides acutus in Antarctic coastal waters
Biggs, T.; Brussaard, C.P.D.; Evans, C.; Venables, H.J.; Pond, D.W. (2020). Plasticity in dormancy behaviour of Calanoides acutus in Antarctic coastal waters. ICES J. Mar. Sci./J. Cons. int. Explor. Mer 77(5): 1738-1751.
In: ICES Journal of Marine Science. Academic Press: London. ISSN 1054-3139; e-ISSN 1095-9289, meer
Peer reviewed article  

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Author keywords
    copepod; dormancy; life cycle; lipids; phytoplankton; wax ester unsaturation

Auteurs  Top 
  • Biggs, T.
  • Brussaard, C.P.D., meer
  • Evans, C.
  • Venables, H.J.
  • Pond, D.W.


    Copepods that enter dormancy, such as Calanoides acutus, are key primary consumers in Southern Ocean food webs where they convert a portion of the seasonal phytoplankton biomass into a longer-term energetic and physiological resource as wax ester (WE) reserves. We studied the seasonal abundance and lipid profiles of pre-adult and adult C. acutus in relation to phytoplankton dynamics on the Western Antarctic Peninsula. Initiation of dormancy occurred when WE unsaturation was relatively high, and chlorophyll a (Chl a) concentrations, predominantly attributable to diatoms, were reducing. Declines in WE unsaturation duringthe winter may act as a dormancy timing mechanism with increased Chl a concentrations likely to promote sedimentation that results in a teleconnection between the surface and deep water inducing ascent. A late summer diatom bloom was linked to early dormancy termination of females and a second spawning event. The frequency and duration of high biomass phytoplankton blooms may have consequences for the lifespan of the iteroparous C. acutus females (either 1 or 2 years) if limited by a total of two main spawning events. Late summer recruits, generated by a second spawning event, likely benefitted from lower predation and high phytoplankton food availability. The flexibility of copepods to modulate their life-cycle strategy in response to bottom-up and top-down conditions enables individuals to optimize their probability of reproductive success in the very variable environment prevalent in the Southern Ocean.

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