Zooplankton diel vertical migration and contribution to deep active carbon flux in the NW Mediterranean
MetadataShow full item record
Diel vertical migration
Respiratory carbon flux
The diel vertical migration (DVM) of zooplankton contributes to the biological pump transporting material from surface to deep waters. We examined the DVM of the zooplankton community in different size fractions (53–200 μm, 200–500 μm, 500–1000 μm, 1000–2000 μm and N2000 μm) during three cruises carried out in the open NW Mediterranean Sea. We assessed their metabolic rates from empirical published relationships and estimated the active fluxes of dissolved carbon to the mesopelagic zone driven by migrant zooplankton. Within the predominantly oligotrophic Mediterranean Sea, the NW region is one of the most productive ones, with a seasonal cycle characterized by a prominent spring bloom. The study area was visited at three different phases of the seasonal cycle: during the spring bloom, the post-bloom, and strongly stratified oligotrophic conditions. We found seasonal differences in DVM, less evident during the bloom. Changes in DVM intensity were related to the composition of the ...