Grazing Rates of Calanus finmarchicus on Thalassiosira weissflogii Cultured under Different Levels of Ultraviolet Radiation
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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UVB alters photosynthetic rate, fatty acid profiles and morphological characteristics of phytoplankton. Copepods, important grazers of primary production, select algal cells based upon their size, morphological traits, nutritional status, and motility. We investigated the grazing rates of the copepod Calanus finmarchicus on the diatom Thalassiosira weissflogii cultured under 3 levels of ultraviolet radiation (UVR): photosynthetically active radiation (PAR) only (4 kJ-m−2/day), and PAR supplemented with UVR radiation at two intensities (24 kJ-m−2/day and 48 kJ-m−2/day). There was no significant difference in grazing rates between the PAR only treatment and the lower UVR treatment. However, grazing rates were significantly (~66%) higher for copepods feeding on cells treated with the higher level of UVR. These results suggest that a short-term increase in UVR exposure results in a significant increase in the grazing rate of copepods and, thereby, potentially alters the flow rate of organic matter through this component of the ecosystem.