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Free Content Primary production and grazing in the plankton of the Panama Bight

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Measurements of chlorophyll a, pheopigments, primary production and zooplankton were made during the deployment cruise of the Sediment Trap Intercomparison Experiment (STIE) to the Panama Bight (5°20′N, 81°55′W) in August 1979. Integral chlorophyll a levels over the euphotic zone averaged 20.3 mg m−2 and were not significantly different from day to day. Daily rates of primary production varied widely (200–700 mg C m−2 day−1). Phaeopigment levels were high, and on a molar basis, roughly equivalent to the amount of chlorophyll a in the euphotic zone. Zooplankton were most abundant in the top 100 m; dominant groups were cope pods, ostracods and chaetognaths. Estimates of macro- and microzooplankton grazing suggest that primary production and consumption were in balance on a time scale of a few days, and that microzooplankton were responsible for the bulk of the grazing impact.

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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 1987-03-01

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