Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10553/49868
Title: Krill excretion and its effect on primary production
Authors: Lehette, Pascal
Tovar-Sánchez, Antonio
Duarte, Carlos M.
Hernández-León, Santiago 
UNESCO Clasification: 251001 Oceanografía biológica
Keywords: Krill
Ammonium
Primary production
Euphausia superba
Southern Ocean, et al
Issue Date: 2012
Publisher: 0171-8630
Journal: Marine Ecology - Progress Series 
Abstract: During the austral summer, zooplankton excretion along the western Antarctic Peninsula was studied in a contrasting hydrographic regime including coastal and oceanic waters. In coastal waters, ammonium supply by mesozooplankton indicated a low contribution to fuel primary production. In oceanic waters, however, Antarctic krill Euphausia superba contributed a significant percentage to the nitrogen requirements of primary producers. Thus, the ontogenetic migration of adult krill during austral summer should be a key factor regulating the regenerated ammonium for primary production. A significant coupling of ammonium concentration in the water column and in situ krill biomass supported the significant role of krill excretion in the epipelagic realm. Results from short-term experiments with E. superba indicated that ammonium excretion rates were much higher than previously found. Because the use of experimental metabolic rates that are close to field rates would be more appropriate, we suggest to re-assess the ammonium supplied by the epipelagic marine biota. Moreover, the outcomes of experimental krill excretion rates, in situ measurements of ammonium and a review of data on primary production suggest that Antarctic krill sustain a high proportion of the daily phytoplankton production.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10553/49868
ISSN: 0171-8630
DOI: 10.3354/meps09746
Source: Marine Ecology Progress Series [ISSN 0171-8630], v. 459, p. 29-38
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