Quantifying the roles of food intake and stored lipid for growth and development throughout the life cycle of a high-latitude copepod, and consequences for ocean carbon sequestration
By Thomas R. Anderson, Dag O.Hessen, Wendy C. Gentleman, Andrew Yool and Daniel J. Mayor.
Author Tom Anderson explains the key purpose of the paper: “We investigate the role of lipids in the life-cycle of high-latitude copepods by developing and presenting a new model that explicitly separates storage reserves and structural biomass in these animals.
The model is used to simulate an individual copepod at Station Mike (66°N, 2°E) in the Norwegian Sea, with results indicating that the primary function of lipid is to support metabolism during diapause and gonad development. The resulting respiration of lipid led to an estimated sequestration of carbon in deep waters via the “seasonal lipid pump” (SLP) that is remarkably similar in magnitude to the contribution made by of particles via gravitational sinking pump. The SLP has not as yet been explicitly represented in the global biogeochemical models that are used to project ocean-climate interactions.
Our new copepod model paves the way for this to take place, as well as highlighting important knowledge gaps in our mechanistic understanding of the ecology and physiology of lipid use by high-latitude copepods including as a supply of energy, for gonad development, egg production, mortality and in the regulation of buoyancy.”
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