Zooplankton body composition

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Abstract

I compiled literature on zooplankton body composition, from protozoans to gelatinous plankton, and report allometric relations and average body composition. Zooplankton segregate into gelatinous and non-gelatinous
forms, with few intermediate taxa (chaetognaths, polychaetes, and pteropods). In most groups body composition is size independent. Exceptions are protozoans, chaetognaths, and pteropods, where larger individuals become
increasingly watery. I speculate about the dichotomy in body composition and argue that differences in feeding mechanisms and predator avoidance strategies favor either a watery or a condensed body form, and that in the intermediate taxa the moderately elevated water content is related to buoyancy control and ambush feeding
Original languageEnglish
JournalLimnology and Oceanography
Volume58
Issue number5
Pages (from-to)1843-1850
ISSN0024-3590
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2013

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