Effects of zooplankton on sedimentation in pelagic ecosystems

Theory and test in two lakes of the Canadian shield

James Elser, Dean K. Foster, Robert E. Hecky

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

30 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

A simple heuristic theory based on conservation of matter and describing the fate of autotrophic production in pelagic ecosystems was developed to assist in conceptualizing how zooplankton affect sedimentation processes in lakes and oceans. The theory predicted that effects of zooplankton on the fraction of autotrophic incorporation that sediments (the "export ratio") will be a function of factors related both to zooplankton digestion and egestion and to tendencies of particulate matter to sediment directly prior to mineralization. As a result, effects of zooplankton grazing on the export ratio were predicted to be site-dependent, a function of physical conditions and zooplankton communities characterizing an ecosystem. The theory was tested by monitoring autotrophic production of C, N, and P, sedimentation of C, N, and P, and zooplankton biomass in two lakes of the Canadian shield characterized by contrasting morphometry and food-web structure. In Lake 110, a small elongate lake protected from wind exposure, export ratios of C, N, and P declined strongly with zooplankton biomass. In contrast, in L240, a larger lake with considerably greater wind exposure, export ratios increased with zooplankton biomass. These results were consistent with predictions of our theory that effects of zooplankton on sedimentation processes will depend on the tendency of particulate matter to directly sediment relative to the tendency of egested materials to sediment. However, no significant differences in relationships between export ratios for C, N, and P and zooplankton biomass were found.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)143-170
Number of pages28
JournalBiogeochemistry
Volume30
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 1995

Fingerprint

pelagic ecosystem
Sedimentation
Ecosystems
Lakes
shield
zooplankton
sedimentation
Sediments
Biomass
lake
Particulate Matter
biomass
sediment
particulate matter
Conservation
effect
test
Monitoring
morphometry
heuristics

Keywords

  • export ratio
  • grazing
  • nutrients
  • sedimentation
  • zooplankton

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Science(all)
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)

Cite this

Effects of zooplankton on sedimentation in pelagic ecosystems : Theory and test in two lakes of the Canadian shield. / Elser, James; Foster, Dean K.; Hecky, Robert E.

In: Biogeochemistry, Vol. 30, No. 3, 09.1995, p. 143-170.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

@article{feafcaea3396484daf897982f13c511c,
title = "Effects of zooplankton on sedimentation in pelagic ecosystems: Theory and test in two lakes of the Canadian shield",
abstract = "A simple heuristic theory based on conservation of matter and describing the fate of autotrophic production in pelagic ecosystems was developed to assist in conceptualizing how zooplankton affect sedimentation processes in lakes and oceans. The theory predicted that effects of zooplankton on the fraction of autotrophic incorporation that sediments (the {"}export ratio{"}) will be a function of factors related both to zooplankton digestion and egestion and to tendencies of particulate matter to sediment directly prior to mineralization. As a result, effects of zooplankton grazing on the export ratio were predicted to be site-dependent, a function of physical conditions and zooplankton communities characterizing an ecosystem. The theory was tested by monitoring autotrophic production of C, N, and P, sedimentation of C, N, and P, and zooplankton biomass in two lakes of the Canadian shield characterized by contrasting morphometry and food-web structure. In Lake 110, a small elongate lake protected from wind exposure, export ratios of C, N, and P declined strongly with zooplankton biomass. In contrast, in L240, a larger lake with considerably greater wind exposure, export ratios increased with zooplankton biomass. These results were consistent with predictions of our theory that effects of zooplankton on sedimentation processes will depend on the tendency of particulate matter to directly sediment relative to the tendency of egested materials to sediment. However, no significant differences in relationships between export ratios for C, N, and P and zooplankton biomass were found.",
keywords = "export ratio, grazing, nutrients, sedimentation, zooplankton",
author = "James Elser and Foster, {Dean K.} and Hecky, {Robert E.}",
year = "1995",
month = "9",
doi = "10.1007/BF02186411",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "30",
pages = "143--170",
journal = "Biogeochemistry",
issn = "0168-2563",
publisher = "Springer Netherlands",
number = "3",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Effects of zooplankton on sedimentation in pelagic ecosystems

T2 - Theory and test in two lakes of the Canadian shield

AU - Elser, James

AU - Foster, Dean K.

AU - Hecky, Robert E.

PY - 1995/9

Y1 - 1995/9

N2 - A simple heuristic theory based on conservation of matter and describing the fate of autotrophic production in pelagic ecosystems was developed to assist in conceptualizing how zooplankton affect sedimentation processes in lakes and oceans. The theory predicted that effects of zooplankton on the fraction of autotrophic incorporation that sediments (the "export ratio") will be a function of factors related both to zooplankton digestion and egestion and to tendencies of particulate matter to sediment directly prior to mineralization. As a result, effects of zooplankton grazing on the export ratio were predicted to be site-dependent, a function of physical conditions and zooplankton communities characterizing an ecosystem. The theory was tested by monitoring autotrophic production of C, N, and P, sedimentation of C, N, and P, and zooplankton biomass in two lakes of the Canadian shield characterized by contrasting morphometry and food-web structure. In Lake 110, a small elongate lake protected from wind exposure, export ratios of C, N, and P declined strongly with zooplankton biomass. In contrast, in L240, a larger lake with considerably greater wind exposure, export ratios increased with zooplankton biomass. These results were consistent with predictions of our theory that effects of zooplankton on sedimentation processes will depend on the tendency of particulate matter to directly sediment relative to the tendency of egested materials to sediment. However, no significant differences in relationships between export ratios for C, N, and P and zooplankton biomass were found.

AB - A simple heuristic theory based on conservation of matter and describing the fate of autotrophic production in pelagic ecosystems was developed to assist in conceptualizing how zooplankton affect sedimentation processes in lakes and oceans. The theory predicted that effects of zooplankton on the fraction of autotrophic incorporation that sediments (the "export ratio") will be a function of factors related both to zooplankton digestion and egestion and to tendencies of particulate matter to sediment directly prior to mineralization. As a result, effects of zooplankton grazing on the export ratio were predicted to be site-dependent, a function of physical conditions and zooplankton communities characterizing an ecosystem. The theory was tested by monitoring autotrophic production of C, N, and P, sedimentation of C, N, and P, and zooplankton biomass in two lakes of the Canadian shield characterized by contrasting morphometry and food-web structure. In Lake 110, a small elongate lake protected from wind exposure, export ratios of C, N, and P declined strongly with zooplankton biomass. In contrast, in L240, a larger lake with considerably greater wind exposure, export ratios increased with zooplankton biomass. These results were consistent with predictions of our theory that effects of zooplankton on sedimentation processes will depend on the tendency of particulate matter to directly sediment relative to the tendency of egested materials to sediment. However, no significant differences in relationships between export ratios for C, N, and P and zooplankton biomass were found.

KW - export ratio

KW - grazing

KW - nutrients

KW - sedimentation

KW - zooplankton

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=0028995678&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=0028995678&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1007/BF02186411

DO - 10.1007/BF02186411

M3 - Article

VL - 30

SP - 143

EP - 170

JO - Biogeochemistry

JF - Biogeochemistry

SN - 0168-2563

IS - 3

ER -