Document Type

Article

Department/Program

Virginia Institute of Marine Science

Publication Date

2012

Journal

SCIENTIFIC REPORTS

Volume

2

Abstract

Rapidly sinking fecal pellets are an important component of the vertical flux of particulate organic matter (POM) from the surface to the ocean's interior; however, few studies have examined the role fish play in this export. We determined abundance, size, prey composition, particulate organic carbon/nitrogen (POC/PON), and sinking rates of fecal pellets produced by a forage fish, likely the northern anchovy, in the Santa Barbara Channel. Pellet abundance ranged from 0.1-5.9 pellets m(-3). POC and PON contents averaged 21.7 mu g C pellet(-1) and 2.7 mu g N pellet(-1). The sinking rate averaged 787 m d(-1); thus pellets produced at the surface would reach the benthos (similar to 500 m) in m(-2) d(-1). This is equal to or exceeds previous measurements of sediment trap POM flux, and thus may transport significant amounts of repackaged surface material to depth.

DOI

10.1038/srep00716

Keywords

ORGANIC-MATTER TRANSPORT; COPEPOD ACARTIA-TONSA; MARINE SNOW; CARBON FLUX; DOMOIC ACID; SOUTHERN-CALIFORNIA; REEF COMMUNITIES; MESOPELAGIC ZONE; NORTH PACIFIC; WATER COLUMN

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

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