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Morphological and taxonomic diversity of mesozooplankton is an important driver of carbon export fluxes in the ocean
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  • Margaux Perhirin,
  • Hannah Gossner,
  • Jessica Godfrey,
  • Rod Johnson,
  • Leocadio Blanco-Bercial,
  • Sakina-Dorothée Ayata
Margaux Perhirin

Corresponding Author:[email protected]

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Hannah Gossner
Bermuda Institute of Ocean Sciences
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Jessica Godfrey
Bermuda Institute of Ocean Sciences
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Rod Johnson
Bermuda Institute of Ocean Sciences
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Leocadio Blanco-Bercial
Bermuda Institute of Ocean Sciences
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Sakina-Dorothée Ayata
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Mesozooplankton is a very diverse group of small animals ranging in size from 0.2 to 20 mm not able to swim against ocean currents. It is a key component of pelagic ecosystems through its roles in the trophic networks and the biological carbon pump. Traditionally studied through microscopes, recent methods have been however developed to rapidly acquire large amounts of data (morphological, molecular) at the individual scale, making it possible to study mesozooplankton using a trait-based approach. Here, combining quantitative imaging with metabarcoding time-series data obtained in the Sargasso Sea at the Bermuda Atlantic Time-series Study (BATS) site, we showed that organisms’ transparency might be an important trait to also consider regarding mesozooplankton impact on carbon export, contrary to the common assumption that just size is the master trait directing most mesozooplankton-linked processes. Three distinct communities were defined based on taxonomic composition, and succeeded one another throughout the study period, with changing levels of transparency among the community. A co-occurrences’ network was built from metabarcoding data revealing six groups of taxa. These were related to changes in the functioning of the ecosystem and/or in the community’s morphology. The importance of Diel Vertical Migration at BATS was confirmed by the existence of a group made of taxa known to be strong migrators. Finally, we assessed if metabarcoding can provide a quantitative approach to biomass and/or abundance of certain taxa. Knowing more about mesozooplankton diversity and its impact on ecosystem functioning would allow to better represent them in biogeochemical models.
04 Aug 2023Submitted to Molecular Ecology Resources
07 Aug 2023Review(s) Completed, Editorial Evaluation Pending
07 Aug 2023Submission Checks Completed
07 Aug 2023Assigned to Editor
21 Aug 2023Reviewer(s) Assigned
17 Oct 20231st Revision Received
18 Oct 2023Submission Checks Completed
18 Oct 2023Assigned to Editor
18 Oct 2023Review(s) Completed, Editorial Evaluation Pending
21 Nov 2023Editorial Decision: Accept