Journal Article

Springtime microprotozoan abundance and biomass in the southeastern Bering Sea and Shelik of Strait, Alaska

Alexis N. Howell-Kübler, Evelyn J. Lessard and Jeffrey M. Napp

in Journal of Plankton Research

Volume 18, issue 5, pages 731-745
Published in print May 1996 | ISSN: 0142-7873
e-ISSN: 1464-3774 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/plankt/18.5.731
Springtime microprotozoan abundance and biomass in the southeastern Bering Sea and Shelik of Strait, Alaska

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We surveyed springtime biomass and abundance of the >20 μm microprotozoa in surface waters of the SE Bering Sea and Shelik of Strait, Alaska. This study was part of the Fisheries Oceanography Coordinated Investigations (FOCI) program examining processes which affect the recruitment variability of walleye pollock (Theragra chalcogramma). Microprotozoa are a potential prey resource for larval pollock which has not been previously examined. In both areas, the >20 μm microprotozoa were predominantly dinoflagellates and ciliates. At the time of sampling (May 1990 in Shelikof Strait and April 1992 in the SE Bering Sea), the spring diatom bloom was under way in Shelik of Strait, but not in the SE Bering Sea. Heterotrophic dinoflagellates dominated the microprotozoan assemblage in Shelik of Strait, but not in the SE Bering Sea. In the SE Bering Sea. total microprotozoan abundances ranged from 300 to 6233 organisms 1−1 and biomass from 0.58 to 9.73 μg C 1−1. In Shelik of Strait, abundance and biomass were higher, ranging from 850 to 14 960 organisms 1−1 and from 1.29 to 70.73 μg C 1−1, respectively. These biomass levels are comparable to those reported from other coastal and oceanic regions. Microprotozoan biomass levels were sufficient to support the estimated metabolic needs of first-feeding larval walleye pollock. It remains to be shown whether larval pollock use this resource.

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Subjects: Marine and Estuarine Biology ; Zoology and Animal Sciences

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