Nitrogen inputs influence on biomass and trophic structure of ocean plankton: a study using biomass and stable isotope size-spectra.
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AuthorsMompeán-de-la-Rosa, M.C. (María del Carmen); Bode, A. (Antonio); Latasa, M. (Mikel); Fernández-Castro, B. (Bieito); Mouriño-Carballido, B. (Beatriz); Irigoien, X.
Large scale patterns in planktonic food web structure were studied by applying continuous size-scaled models of biomass and δ15N to plankton samples, collected at 145 stations during the Malaspina-2010 Expedition across three ocean basins and including major biomes. Carbon biomass and δ15N were determined in size-fractionated samples (40 to 5000 μm) collected by vertical hauls (0-200 m). Biomass-normalized size-spectra were constructed to summarize food web structure and spatial patterns in spectral parameters were analyzed using geographically-weighted regression analysis. Except in the northwestern Atlantic, size-spectra showed low variability, reflecting a large homogeneity in nitrogen sources and food web structure for the central oceans. Estimated predator-to-prey mass ratios <104 and mean trophic transfer efficiency values between 16% (coastal biome) and >20% (Trades and Westerlies biomes) suggested that oceanic plankton food webs could support a larger number of trophic levels ...
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