Seasonal changes in food quantity and quality of the common North Sea copepods Temora longicornis and Pseudocalanus elongatus: a bioassay approach

M Koski, J Dutz, W Klein Breteler, S Rampen, A Noordeloos
2010 Marine Ecology Progress Series  
We evaluated the food quantity and quality over a seasonal cycle for the development and egg production of the common North Sea copepods Temora longicornis and Pseudocalanus elongatus, using a bioassay approach. Seston was sampled from December to October from a wellmixed water column of the Marsdiep (Dutch Wadden Sea) and fed to cultured copepods at a constant temperature of 15°C, thus excluding seasonal effects of temperature, body size, age, and maternal nutrition. Copepod response was
more » ... ted by measuring egg production and juvenile development, while the seston quantity and quality were measured as the concentrations of chl a, specific phytoplankton pigments, particulate organic carbon (POC), particulate organic nitrogen (PON), fatty acids, and sterols. The egg production of both copepods was low when feeding on seston collected in winter, but increased to peak values with the seston from the spring bloom in March-April. The juveniles of both species were able to complete their development only in spring experiments. A multiple regression analyses and comparison to a good-quality standard food of the same concentration suggested that, in an annual scale, the egg production and development of T. longicornis mainly depended on phytoplankton concentration, while the egg production and development of P. elongatus appeared also to benefit from detritus or heterotrophic food sources. The present study did not detect an influence of a specific food quality variable; however, an unexplained high juvenile mortality in summer suggests that all factors are not understood yet. KEY WORDS: Copepod · Food quantity · Food quality · Seasonal dynamics · Bioassay Resale or republication not permitted without written consent of the publisher Editorial responsibility: William Peterson,
doi:10.3354/meps08357 fatcat:lowlytxl7nazvormklna27uuxu