Future marine zooplankton research-a perspective Academic Article uri icon

abstract

  • During the Second Marine Zooplankton Colloquium (MZC2) 3 issues were added to those developed 11 yr ago during the First Marine Zooplankton Colloquium (MZC1). First, we focused on hot spots, i.e., locations where zooplankton occur in higher than regular abundance and/or operate at higher rates, We should be able to determine the processes leading to such aggregations and rates, and quantify their persistence. Second, information on the level of individual species, even of highly abundant ones, is limited, Concerted efforts should be undertaken with highly abundant to dominant species or genera (e.g., Oithona spp,, Calanus spp., Oikopleura spp., Euphausia superba) to determine what governs their abundance and its variability. Third, zooplankton clearly influence biogeochemical cycling in the ocean, but our knowledge of the underlying processes remains fragmentary. Therefore a thorough assessment of variables that still need to be quantified is required to obtain an understanding of zooplankton contributions to biogeochemical cycling. Combining studies on the 7 issues from MZC1 with the 3 from MZC2 should eventually lead to a comprehensive understanding of (1) the mechanisms governing the abundance and existence of dominant zooplankton taxa, and (2) the control of biodiversity and biocomplexity, for example, in the tropical ocean where diversity is high. These recommendations come from an assemblage of chemical, physical and biological oceanographers with experience in major interdisciplinary studies, including modeling. These recommendations are intended to stimulate efforts within the oceanographic community to facilitate the development of predictive capabilities for major biological processes in the ocean.

publication date

  • 2001