The diel vertical distribution and carbon biomass of the zooplankton community in the Caroline Seamount area of the western tropical Pacific Ocean

Sci Rep. 2022 Nov 7;12(1):18908. doi: 10.1038/s41598-022-23522-0.

ABSTRACT

Zooplankton can affect and regulate the biological carbon pump in the biogeochemical cycles of marine ecosystems through diel vertical migration (DVM) behaviour. The diel vertical distribution and migration of a zooplankton community were studied at a continuous survey station in the Caroline Seamount area of the western tropical Pacific Ocean. Using a MultiNet sampling system, 346 zooplankton species/taxa were collected and identified. The vertical distribution patterns of abundance and composition of the zooplankton community differed between daytime and nighttime. The highest biodiversity index occurred in the 100-200-m ocean depth layer, but some zooplankton species remained in the deep-water layer below 300 m. The DVM patterns of the various dominant species differed, even when the species belonged to the same order or family. Dissolved oxygen and seawater temperature were the main environmental factors affecting the diel vertical distribution of the zooplankton community. The oxygen minimum zone was identified as performing the dual role of “ecological barrier” and “refuge” for zooplankton. The active carbon flux mediated by the zooplankton DVM in the Caroline Seamount area was 14.5 mg C/(m2·d). Our findings suggest that zooplankton DVM can affect and mediate the biological carbon pump in the Caroline Seamount area.

PMID:36344650 | DOI:10.1038/s41598-022-23522-0

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