Copepod diapause and the biogeography of the marine lipidscape Academic Article uri icon


  • Abstract Aim One of the primary characteristics that determines the structure and function of marine food webs is the utilization and prominence of energy-rich lipids. The biogeographical pattern of lipids throughout the ocean delineates the marine ?lipidscape,? which supports lipid-rich fish, mammal, and seabird communities. While the importance of lipids is well appreciated, there are no synoptic measurements or biogeographical estimates of the marine lipidscape. Productive lipid-rich food webs in the pelagic ocean depend on the critical diapause stage of large pelagic copepods, which integrate lipid production from phytoplankton, concentrating it in space and time, and making it available to upper trophic levels as particularly energy-rich wax esters. As an important first step towards mapping the marine lipidscape, we compared four different modelling approaches of copepodid diapause, each representing different underlying hypotheses, and evaluated them against global datasets. Location Global Ocean. Taxon Copepoda. Methods Through a series of global model runs and data comparisons, we demonstrated the potential for regional studies to be extended to estimate global biogeographical patterns of diapause. We compared four modelling approaches each designed from a different perspective: life history, physiology, trait-based community ecology, and empirical relationships. We compared the resulting biogeographical patterns and evaluated the model results against global measurements of copepodid diapause. Results Models were able to resolve more than just the latitudinal pattern of diapause (i.e. increased diapause prevalence near the poles), but to also pick up a diversity of regions where diapause occurs, such as coastal upwelling zones and seasonal seas. The life history model provided the best match to global observations. The predicted global biogeographical patterns, combined with carbon flux estimates, suggested a lower bound of 0.031?0.25 Pg C yr?1 of downward flux associated with copepodid diapause. Main conclusions Results indicated a promising path forward for representing a detailed biogeography of the marine lipidscape and its associated carbon flux in global ecosystem and climate models. While complex models may offer advantages in terms of reproducing details of community structure, simpler theoretically based models appeared to best reproduce broad-scale biogeographical patterns and showed the best correlation with observed biogeographical patterns.

altmetric score

  • 8.7

author list (cited authors)

  • Record, N. R., Ji, R., Maps, F., Varpe, Ã. ˜., Runge, J. A., Petrik, C. M., & Johns, D.

citation count

  • 10

publication date

  • January 1, 2018 11:11 AM