Arctic Zooplankton

Calanoid copepodes: major players in ecosystem processes

Calanoid copepods are distributed world-wide and contribute up to 80% of the zooplankton biomass in polar areas. They are a major link between primary production and higher trophic levels and, thus, have a key role in the trophic structure of pelagic communities. Copepods also contribute to biogeochemical cycles by producing faecal pellets, which sink to deeper waters. Associated with global warming, the inflow of Atlantic water into the Arctic increases, and this may lead to a shift in the dominant species which may have severe consequences for the Arctic food web.

Working group leader:
P.D. Dr. Barbara Niehoff