Hyperbenthic and pelagic predators regulate alternate key planktonic copepods in shallow temperate estuaries

  • R. J. Wasserman
  • T. J. F. Vink
  • R. Kramer
  • P. W. Froneman
Marine & Freshwater Research, 2013

Although predation has been identified as an important community driver, the role of predator diversity in structuring estuarine zooplankton has not been assessed. As such, we investigated the effects of two different zooplanktivorous fish species on the estuarine zooplankton community during a 12 day mesocosm study. Three experimental treatments were established whereby natural zooplankton communities were subject to either 1) no predatory pressure, 2) predation by a pelagic predator (Monodactylus falciformis) or 3) predation by a hyper-benthic predator (Glossogobius callidus). The pelagic feeding M. falciformis fed largely on the numerically dominant mid-water copepod species, Paracartia longipatella. In contrast, the hyper-benthic fish had a greater predatory impact on the less numerically dominant copepod, Pseudodiaptomus hessei, which demonstrates strong diel vertical migration. Variations in prey population regulation are ascribed to the distinct behavioural differences of the predators, and mediated by the differences in behaviour of the copepod species.

@article{wasserman2013hyperbenthic,
  title={Hyperbenthic and pelagic predators regulate alternate key planktonic copepods in shallow temperate estuaries},
  author={Wasserman, RJ and Vink, TJF and Kramer, R and Froneman, PW},
  journal={Marine \& Freshwater Research},
  year={2013},
  publisher={CSIRO}
}