Ocean deoxygenation and zooplankton: Very small oxygen differences matter
"Oxygen minimum zones (OMZs), large midwater regions of very low oxygen, are expected to expand as a result of climate change. While oxygen is known to be important in structuring midwater ecosystems, a precise and mechanistic understanding of the effects of oxygen on zooplankton is lacking. Zooplankton are important components of midwater food webs and biogeochemical cycles. Here, we show that, in the eastern tropical North Pacific OMZ, previously undescribed submesoscale oxygen variability has a direct effect on the distribution of many major zooplankton groups. Despite extraordinary hypoxia tolerance, many zooplankton live near their physiological limits and respond to slight (≤1%) changes in oxygen. [...]"
Source: Science Advances
Authors: K. F. Wishner et al.
URI researchers: Small changes in oxygen levels have big implications for ocean life
Oceanographers at the University of Rhode Island have found that even slight levels of ocean oxygen loss, or deoxygenation, have big consequences for tiny marine organisms called zooplankton.
Zooplankton are important components of the food web in the expanse of deep, open ocean called the midwater. Within this slice of ocean below the surface and above the seafloor are oxygen minimum zones (OMZs), large regions of very low oxygen. Unlike coastal “dead zones” where oxygen levels can suddenly plummet and kill marine life not acclimated to the conditions, zooplankton in OMZs are specially adapted to live where other organisms – especially predators – cannot.
Source: Whats up newp
Particulate matter flux interception in oceanic mesoscale eddies by the polychaete Poeobius sp.
"Gelatinous zooplankton hold key functions in the ocean and have been shown to significantly influence the transport of organic carbon to the deep sea. We discovered a gelatinous, flux‐feeding polychaete of the genus Poeobius in very high abundances in a mesoscale eddy in the tropical Atlantic Ocean, where it co‐occurred with extremely low particle concentrations. Subsequent analysis of an extensive in situ imaging dataset revealed that Poeobius sp. occurred sporadically between 5°S–20°N and 16°W–46°W in the upper 1000 m. [...]"
Source: Limnology and Oceanography
Authors: Svenja Christiansen et al.
Annual plankton community metabolism in estuarine and coastal waters in Perth (Western Australia)
"The planktonic metabolic balance that is the balance between gross primary production (GPP) and community respiration (CR) was determined in Matilda Bay (estuarine) and Woodman Point (coastal) in Perth, Western Australia. The rates of net community production (NCP = GPP – CR) and the ratio between GPP and CR (P/R) were assessed to evaluate whether the metabolic balance in the two coastal locations tends to be net autotrophic (production exceeding community respiration) or net heterotrophic (respiration exceeding production). [...]"
Authors: Susana Agusti, Lorena Vigoya, Carlos Manuel Duarte
Distribution of planktonic biogenic carbonate organisms in the Southern Ocean south of Australia: a baseline for ocean acidification impact assessment
"The Southern Ocean provides a vital service by absorbing about one-sixth of humankind's annual emissions of CO2. This comes with a cost – an increase in ocean acidity that is expected to have negative impacts on ocean ecosystems. The reduced ability of phytoplankton and zooplankton to precipitate carbonate shells is a clearly identified risk. The impact depends on the significance of these organisms in Southern Ocean ecosystems, but there is very little information on their abundance or distribution."
Authors: Thomas W. Trull et al.
Read the full article here.
Investigating the impacts of treated effluent discharge on coastal water health (Visakhapatnam, SW coast of Bay of Bengal, India)
"The present study investigated the impacts of treated effluent discharge on physicochemical and biological properties of coastal waters from three pharmaceuticals situated along the coast of Visakhapatnam (SW Bay of Bengal). Seawater samples were collected (during the months of December 2013, March 2014 and April 2014) from different sampling locations (Chippada (CHP), Tikkavanipalem (TKP) and Nakkapalli (NKP)) at 0- and 30-m depths within 2-km radius (0.5 km = inner, 1 km = middle and 2 km = outer sampling circles) from the marine outfall points. [...]"
Source: Environmental Monitoring and Assessment
Authors: Aziz Ur Rahman Shaik et al.
Turbulence and hypoxia contribute to dense zooplankton scattering layers in Patagonian Fjord System
"Abstract. The Puyuhuapi Fjord is an atypical fjord, with two mouths, located in northern Patagonia (44.7° S). One mouth lies to the south, close to the Pacific Ocean, whilst the second connects with the Jacaf Channel to the north where a shallow sill inhibits deep water ventilation contributing to the hypoxic conditions below ~ 100 m depth. Acoustic Doppler Current Profiler moorings, scientific echo sounder transects, and in-situ abundance measurements were used to study zooplankton assemblages and migration patterns along Puyuhuapi Fjord and Jacaf Channel. […]"
Source: Ocean Science (in review)
Authors: Iván Pérez-Santos et al.
Read the full article here.
Role of zooplankton in determining the efficiency of the biological carbon pump
"The efficiency of the ocean's biological carbon pump (BCPeff – here the product of particle export and transfer efficiencies) plays a key role in the air–sea partitioning of CO2. Despite its importance in the global carbon cycle, the biological processes that control BCPeff are poorly known. We investigate the potential role that zooplankton play in the biological carbon pump using both in situ observations and model output. Observed and modelled estimates of fast, slow, and total sinking fluxes are presented from three oceanic sites: the Atlantic sector of the Southern Ocean, the temperate North Atlantic, and the equatorial Pacific oxygen minimum zone (OMZ)."
Authors: Emma L. Cavan et al.
Differential effects of nitrate, ammonium, and urea as N sources for microbial communities in the North Pacific Ocean
"Nitrogen (N) is the major limiting nutrient for phytoplankton growth and productivity in large parts of the world's oceans. Differential preferences for specific N substrates may be important in controlling phytoplankton community composition. To date, there is limited information on how specific N substrates influence the composition of naturally occurring microbial communities. We investigated the effect of nitrate ( ), ammonium ( ), and urea on microbial and phytoplankton community composition (cell abundances and 16S rRNA gene profiling) and functioning (photosynthetic activity, carbon fixation rates) in the oligotrophic waters of the North Pacific Ocean. [...]"
Source: Limonology and Oceanography
Authors: I.N. Shilova et al.
Nutrients that limit growth in the ocean
"Phytoplankton form the basis of the marine food web and are responsible for approximately half of global carbon dioxide (CO2) fixation (∼ 50 Pg of carbon per year). Thus, these microscopic, photosynthetic organisms are vital in controlling the atmospheric CO2 concentration and Earth’s climate. Phytoplankton are dependent on sunlight and their CO2-fixation activity is therefore restricted to the upper, sunlit surface ocean (that is, the euphotic zone). CO2 usually does not limit phytoplankton growth due to its high concentration in seawater. [...]"
Source: Current Biology
Authors: Laura A. Bristow