Impact of Microzooplankton and Copepods on the Growth of Phytoplankton in the Yellow Sea and East China Sea
Dilution and copepod addition incubations were conducted in the Yellow Sea (June) and the East China Sea (September) in 2003. Microzooplankton grazing rates were in the range of 0.37–0.83 d-1 in most of the experiments (except at Station A3). Correspondingly, 31–50% of the chlorophyll a (Chl a) stock and 81–179% of the Chl a production was grazed by microzooplankton. At the end of 24 h copepod addition incubations, Chl a concentrations were higher in the copepod-added bottles than in the control bottles. The Chl a growth rate in the bottles showed good linear relationship with added copepod abundance. The presence of copepods could enhance the Chl a growth at a rate (Z) of 0.03–0.25 (on average 0.0691) d-1 ind-1 l. This study, therefore parallels many others, which show that microzooplankton are the main grazers of primary production in the sea, whereas copepods appear to have little direct role in controlling phytoplankton.