Zooplankton of a bathyal benthic boundary layer: In situ rates of oxygen consumption and ammonium excretion

Smith, K.L.

Limnology and Oceanography 27(3): 461-471


ISSN/ISBN: 0024-3590
DOI: 10.4319/lo.1982.27.3.0461
Accession: 068500884

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Oxygen consumption and ammonium excretion rates of bathyal macro- and megazooplankton from a benthic boundary layer were measured in situ. Collections of plankton were made using a four-chambered slurp gun respirometer manipulated by the submersible Alvin in the Santa Catalina Basin off southern California at levels 1, 5, 10, and 50 in above bottom in a 1,300-m water column. Abundance, biomass, oxygen consumption, and ammonium excretion of the mixed macrozooplankton decreased with increased elevation above the bottom. Two specimens of the scyphomedusa Poralia rufescens, a dominant megazooplankton species, were individually collected at 1- and 5-m elevations. Oxygen consumption rates of P. rufescens are similar to those of shallow-water gelatinous zooplankton. However, excretion rates for P. rufescens are significantly lower. Integrated mixed macrozooplankton oxygen consumption for the 50-m benthic boundary layer is 1,575.5 µl·m−2 d−1, with the contribution from P. rufescens being only 91.6 This combined zooplankton respiration is only 3% of that measured for the sediment community in the Santa Catalina Basin.