Relationship Between Phytoplankton and Copepods in the Deep Tropical Pacific Ocean off Costa Rica
Abstract:The influence of primary production on the zooplankton of the deep aphotic zone of two different regions of the eastern tropical Pacific Ocean was studied. Data on the numbers of phytoplankton species and the total numbers of cells in the aphotic zone (200–1,000 m) off Costa Rica were compared; one, an upwelling region in the Costa Rica Dome, and the other, at a non-upwelling station 300 miles west of the Dome, referred to as Biostat. The aphotic phytoplankton represented by diatoms and a gymnodinian were more abundant (36 species, 3 x 103 m–3 to 96 x 103 m–3) at the Dome than at the Biostat (18 species, 1 x 103 m–3 to 19 x 103 m–3). At these two stations phytoplankton biomass and production in the euphotic zone were markedly different; this was reflected in greater numbers of copepods down to 1,000 m and a total zooplankton-micronekton biomass which was approximately 4 x greater at the Dome. The algal cells in the aphotic zone probably originated from the overlying euphotic waters and may play a vital role in the food web of the deep-sea.
Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: January 1, 1988
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