Trophic importance of kelp-derived suspended particulate matter in a through-flow sub-Antarctic system

Kaehler, S. and Pakhomov, E.A. and Kalin, R.M. and Davis, S. (2006) Trophic importance of kelp-derived suspended particulate matter in a through-flow sub-Antarctic system. Marine Ecology Progress Series, 316 . pp. 17-22. ISSN 0171-8630

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Spatial dynamics of surface chlorophyll concentrations, diatom abundance and carbon and nitrogen stable isotope signatures of surface suspended particulate matter (SPM) were investigated during a bloom event observed in March 2003 in the vicinity of the sub-Antarctic Prince Edward Islands. The surface water composition was studied to estimate the overall importance and spatial extent of kelp derived SPM in the water column of the islands. It was observed that high chlorophyll concentrations (up to 2 mg m–3) between and downstream of the islands could not be explained by the development of the diatom bloom. Instead, microscopic and stable isotope analyses suggested that the chlorophyll signal was largely derived from the residual chlorophyll in fresh and decaying particles of small fragments of the kelp Macrocystis laevis, an endemic kelp species abundant along the shoreline of the islands. The findings of this study suggest that the dietary subsidy of kelp-derived carbon and nitrogen to benthic communities and possibly the plankton is not limited to the vicinity of kelp beds, but rather is a widespread phenomenon between the islands. Due to the dominating unidirectional Antarctic Circumpolar Current, large quantities of kelp-derived SPM may be transported and utilised tens of kilometres downstream of the islands.

Item Type:Article
Additional Information:Currently restricted, the full-text of this article will become accessible in 2011
Uncontrolled Keywords:Kelp; SPM; Stable isotopes; Sub-Antarctic; Suspended particulate matter; Trophic subsidy; Bacillariophyta; Macrocystis; Macrocystis laevis; DELTA-C-13 measurements; DELTA-N-15 analysis; food-web; marine; consumers; detritus; ecosystems; dependence; Canada; North America; Prince Edward Islands; Southern Ocean
Subjects:S Agriculture > S Agriculture (General)
Q Science > Q Science (General)
Q Science > QL Zoology
G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GC Oceanography
Divisions:Faculty > Faculty of Science > Zoology & Entomology
Research Institutes and Units > Southern Ocean Group
ID Code:1657
Deposited On:04 May 2010 07:30
Last Modified:06 Jan 2012 16:21
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