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Zooplankton was counted and identified from three sites over the 5-year period. The net used (200 m Bongo net) was designed to catch meso-zooplankton with an integrated vertical tow through the water column. One net from each of the paired Bongo samples was analysed and the data expressed as numbers per m3. Copepods dominated the zooplankton, with other groups such as salps, krill, appendicularians, cladocerans, chaetognaths and meroplanktonic larvae being seasonally dominant.
Mesozooplankton community composition and structure were examined throughout the D’Entrecasteaux Channel, Huon Estuary and North West Bay, Tasmania. The data represented by this record was collected as part of a grazing study conducted in North West Bay (1-2 October, 2006). The grazing impacts of microzooplankton and mesoplankton on the phytoplankton communities were examined during several process studies. Experiments with mesozooplankton grazers were restricted to dominant omnivorous copepods (e.g. Acartia tranteri, Paracalanus indicus, Centropages australiensis) cladocerans and appendicularians. Grazing rates of microzooplankton reached as high as 96% of daily primary production, while that of mesozooplankton herbivours was never greater than 20%. Trophic interactions between the species are complicated by the recent arrival of the heterotrophic dinoflagellate Noctiluca scintillans to the region. This species grazes heavily on phytoplankton, smaller zooplankton and faecal pellets. Noctiluca scintillans accounted for up to 20% of mesozooplankton abundance in autumn and it is capable of both suppressing zooplankton abundance and reducing the sedimentation of faecal pellets to the seafloor.