Metazooplankton community structure, feeding rate estimates, and hydrography in a meltwater-influenced Greenlandic fjord

K.W. Tang, Torkel Gissel Nielsen, Peter Munk, J. Mortensen, E.F. Møller, K.E. Arendt, K. Tönnesson, T. Juul-Pedersen

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In order to assess the potential responses of Greenland’s coastal ecosystems to future climate change, we studied the hydrography and distribution of metazooplankton, along a transect from the slope waters beyond Fyllas Banke to the inner part of Godthåbsfjord, West Greenland, in July and August 2008, and estimated feeding rates for some of the larger species groups. Within the 4 regional domains that were covered in the study (continental slope, continental shelf, outer sill region, and main fjord basin), salty coastal water and glacial runoff mixed to various extents, and 7 water masses with specific characteristics were identified. The common large copepod species were Calanus finmarchicus, C. glacialis, C. hyperboreus, and Metridia longa. Small copepod genera included Microsetella, Pseudocalanus, and Oithona, while rotifers and gastropods (primarily pteropods) were also found in high abundance. Species could be linked to the specific water masses, e.g. Calanus spp. were primarily associated with oceanic or coastal waters, whereas M. longa, Microsetella sp., Pseudocalanus sp., and rotifers were mostly found inside the fjord. The combined biomass of the large zooplankton species (5.5 × 103 mg C m–2) was less than that of the small species (6.8 × 103 mg C m–2) averaged across all sampled stations along the transect. Estimated in situ grazing rates for the large copepod species were
Original languageEnglish
JournalMarine Ecology - Progress Series
Pages (from-to)77-90
Publication statusPublished - 2011

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