Massive circumpolar biomass of Southern Ocean zooplankton: Implications for food web structure, carbon export, and marine spatial planning

Yang, Guang, Atkinson, Angus, Pakhomov, Evgeny A., Hill, Simeon L. and Racault, Marie-Fanny ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-7584-2515 (2022) Massive circumpolar biomass of Southern Ocean zooplankton: Implications for food web structure, carbon export, and marine spatial planning. Limnology and Oceanography, 67 (11). pp. 2516-2530. ISSN 0024-3590

[thumbnail of Limnology Oceanography - 2022 - Yang - Massive circumpolar biomass of Southern Ocean zooplankton Implications for food]
Preview
PDF (Limnology Oceanography - 2022 - Yang - Massive circumpolar biomass of Southern Ocean zooplankton Implications for food) - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution.

Download (3MB) | Preview

Abstract

With rapid, sector-specific climatic changes impacting the Southern Ocean, we need circumpolar-scale biomass data of its plankton taxa to improve food web models, blue carbon budgets and resource management. Here, we provide a new dataset on mesozooplankton biomass with 2909 records spanning the last 90 yr, and describe, in comparable carbon units, their circumpolar distribution alongside those of phytoplankton, Antarctic krill, and salps. With our datasets, we estimate total summer carbon biomasses for phytoplankton (36 MT), mesozooplankton (67 MT), krill (30 MT), and salps (1.7 MT). The mesozooplankton value is much higher than previously reported and, added to that of krill and salps, points to an enormous overall biomass of zooplankton in the Southern Ocean. This means that the pyramids of biomass are often inverted, with higher biomass of zooplankton than of phytoplankton. Such high biomasses suggest key roles of grazers in nutrient cycling and we estimate an export of ~ 50 Mt C yr−1, solely from mortality of overwintering zooplankton that typically reside at depth. Deep lipid respiration (the lipid pump), for example, would increase this export even further. While inverted biomass pyramids prevailed at mid latitudes (50°–70°S), the balance of taxa differed regionally: for example, with biomass dominance by phytoplankton (highest latitudes and Pacific sector), mesozooplankton (Kerguelen Plateau), krill (north and east Scotia Sea), and salps (Crozet area). In light of contrasting climate change impacts between these sectors, we provide data that will underpin biogeochemical and food web models, blue carbon budgets, and the planning of marine protected areas.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Acknowledgements: This study is based on a large amount of biomass data for zooplankton collected in Southern Ocean over the last 100 years, and we thank all of the crews and scientists for making these data available for re‐use here. G.Y. was supported by the National Science Foundation of China (41876217) and Impact and Response of Antarctic Seas to Climate Change (IRASCC 01‐02‐01D). A.A. was supported by World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), E.A.P. was supported by the University of British Columbia and the NSERC Discovery Grant RGPIN‐2014‐05107, S.H. was supported by WWF and NERC Core Funding to the British Antarctic Survey, M.F.R. was supported by WWF and Frontiers of instability in marine ecosystems and carbon export (Marine Frontiers) [NE/V011103/1]. The authors welcome use of the mesozooplankton dataset in Supporting Information Data S1 , but please consult the Supporting Information Data S2 for a description of the column headings, and please cite this paper as the original source of this particular dataset.
Uncontrolled Keywords: aquatic science,oceanography,sdg 14 - life below water,sdg 13 - climate action ,/dk/atira/pure/subjectarea/asjc/1100/1104
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Science > School of Environmental Sciences
Related URLs:
Depositing User: LivePure Connector
Date Deposited: 16 Dec 2022 10:32
Last Modified: 20 Dec 2022 09:22
URI: https://ueaeprints.uea.ac.uk/id/eprint/90253
DOI: 10.1002/lno.12219

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item