Departmental Bulletin Paper Seasonal changes in mesozooplankton swimmer community and fecal pellets collected by sediment trap moored at the Northwind Abyssal Plain in the western Arctic Ocean

Matsuno, Kohei  ,  Yamaguchi, Atsushi  ,  Fujiwara, Amane  ,  Onodera, Jonaotaro  ,  Watanabe, Eiji  ,  Harada, Naomi  ,  Kikuchi, Takashi

66 ( 2 )  , pp.77 - 85 , 2016-08-10 , 北海道大学大学院水産科学研究院
In the western Arctic Ocean, the long sea ice coverage period prevents year-round seasonal zooplankton sampling by ordinary ship-board observation. To overcome these problems, the analysis of zooplankton swimmers in samples collected by a year-round moored sediment trap may be a powerful tool. In this study, we studied seasonal changes in zooplankton swimmer community and fecal pellets collected by a sediment trap moored at fixed depths(180-260m) of the Northwind Abyssal Plain in the western Arctic Ocean from October 2010 to September 2012. The fecal pellets were separated into four types : oval, cylinder, spherical and brown-colored pellets. The occurrence of brown-colored pellets was limited to the open water period(July-August) and reached 80% of the total at that time. Ship-board experiments showed that the brown-colored fecal pellets were egested by amphipods(Themisto libellula). The high occurrence of brown-colored fecal pellets during the open water period might be a reflection of the massive feeding activity of amphipods. Zooplankton swimmer flux ranged from 35-739 ind m-2 day-1, and poecilostomatoid copepods were the most abundant(accounted for 69% of the annual mean). Seasonally, barnacle and bivalve larvae were abundant during August-September and August-November, respectively. These meroplanktionic larvae were considered to be transported by current flow from the southern continental shelf, whereas they were absent from summer to autumn 2012. The annual changes in meroplanktonic larvae occurrence would be a reflection of the annual changes in water mass formation at the upper layer of the sediment trap moored station.

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