Distribution of and Feeding by the Copepod Pseudocalanus Under Fast Ice During the Arctic Spring

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Science  06 Jun 1986:
Vol. 232, Issue 4755, pp. 1245-1247
DOI: 10.1126/science.232.4755.1245


The arctic copepod Pseudocalanus can be highly aggregated in the first few centimeters under landfast ice during spring in concentrations up to 10/6 per cubic meter. Chlorophyll-derived pigments in the water, the abundance of animals, and their gut pigment index show fluctuations that may be tidally related. Short-term grazing experiments performed at -1.7°C, in which ice algae was used as food, yielded feeding rates comparable to the highest known for the genus. Arctic Pseudocalanus seem to feed opportunistically near the ice-water interface, either directly on the attached epontic (under ice) algae or as it erodes from the ice.