A model of chlorophyll a destruction by Calanus spp. and implications for the estimation of ingestion rates using the gut fluorescence method

Stevens, C.J. and Head, E.J.H. (1998) A model of chlorophyll a destruction by Calanus spp. and implications for the estimation of ingestion rates using the gut fluorescence method. Marine Ecology Progress Series, 171. pp. 187-198. ISSN 1616-1599

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Chlorophyll a (chl a) destruction by groups of Calanus spp. with different long-term in situ feeding histories was compared. For copepods that had fed during both pre- and early-bloom conditions, degrees of chl a destruction were relatively constant at high ingestion rates and increased as ingestion rates decreased. Assuming that 2 pools of chlorophyll bleaching enzymes (CBEs) were involved in the destruction of chl a (one derived from the copepods and one from the ingested algae), a new model was developed to describe the kinetics of chl a destruction. In this model, the CBE activity of each pool was described using a Michaelis-Menten expression and the total CBE activity was given by the sum of the 2 expressions. Parameter estimates of V(c)(max), the maximum activity of the copepod CBE, were higher for the early-bloom copepods than for the pre-bloom copepods, suggesting that the former had a higher destructive capacity. Estimates of R(p)(max), the phytoplankton 'CBE activity coefficient' which is analogous to V(max), were similar between the 2 groups of experiments. This is reasonable since most of the food fed to the copepods was healthy, actively growing diatoms. The model could also describe the kinetics of chl a destruction for Calanus spp. that had fed during late-bloom conditions. For the late-bloom data, V(c)(max) and R(p)(max) values were higher than for the pre- and early-bloom copepods and phytoplankton. This suggests that the late-bloom copepods and the in situ phytoplankton that they ate had higher destructive capacities, perhaps because the spring-bloom was more advanced. Expressions were derived from the new model to describe the relationship between real ingestion rate (I(r)) and apparent ingestion rate (I(a)), over a range of I(a) values, where the latter are values which would have been determined using gut fluorescence methodology. Correction factors (I(r)/I(a)) varied by a factor of less than 2 (for I(a) values ranging from 0.1 to 100 ng chi a ind.-1 h-1) between different groups of copepods (pre-, early- and late-bloom) and sources of algae (actively growing and senescent). In future it will be important to validate this model under controlled conditions (e.g. using single species of copepods and phytoplankton food) and to assess whether correction factors derived from our model are generally applicable, if results of studies using gut fluorescence methods are to be interpreted properly.

Item Type: Article
URI: http://research.library.mun.ca/id/eprint/551
Item ID: 551
Keywords: Chlorophyll a destruction; Copepod grazing; Feeding history; Michaelis-Menten kinetics
Department(s): Science, Faculty of > Ocean Sciences
Date: 1 October 1998
Date Type: Publication

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