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Small time scale plankton structure variations at the entrance of a tropical eutrophic bay (Guanabara Bay, Brazil)

Mariana Guenther Isabel Lima Glenda Mugrabe Denise Rivera Tenenbaum Eliane Gonzalez-Rodriguez Jean Louis Valentin About the authors

The dynamics of the plankton compartments at the entrance of Guanabara Bay (SE Brazil) were assessed during a short-term temporal survey to estimate their trophic correlations. Size-fractioned phytoplankton (picoplankton: < 2µm, nanoplankton: 2-20µm and microplankton: > 20µm) biomass and photosynthetic efficiency, composition and abundance of the auto-and heterotrophic nano-and microplankton, and mesozooplankton were evaluated at a fixed station for 3 consecutive days at 3-h intervals, in the surface and bottom (20m) layers. The variability of almost all plankton compartments in the surface layer was directly dependent on temperature, indicating the great influence of the circulation at the entrance of the bay on plankton structure. In the surface layer, the mesozooplankton seems to be sustained by both autotrophic nano-and picoplankton, this last being channeled through the microzooplankton. Near the bottom, both auto-and heterotrophic microplankton are probably supporting the mesozooplankton biomass. Our findings thus suggest that the entrance of Guanabara bay presents a multivorous food web, i.e., a combination of both grazing and microbial trophic pathways.

Phytoplankton; Microzooplankton; Mesozooplankton; Grazing food web; Microbial food web; Carbon fluxes

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