ICES/PICES 6th Zooplankton Production Symposium

New technologies and approaches in zooplankton trophic studies

Monika Winder (Stockholm University, Sweden) Antonio Bode (Spanish Institute of Oceanography, Spain)


​Invited speakers:
Edward G. Durbin (University of Rhode Island)


Zooplankton are a key link for carbon and nutritional flux from primary producers to fish in marine foodwebs. For this reason there is a long history of diet reconstructions for many zooplankton species, mainly for copepods and the larger predator species. Traditional approaches rely on examining prey selectivity based on examination of gut contents and in situ zooplankton samples in the laboratory or at sea. Such techniques alone, however, are not able to fully cover the plasticity of zooplankton diets from diverse prey availability, thus limiting our understanding of foodweb functioning. Resolving adequately the trophic role of omnivorous zooplankton, or detecting organic matter subsidies from continental origins and anthropogenic sources are among the main research challenges. In this session we invite contributions to address these and future challenges by using new approaches such as the following:

  • Determination of stable isotopes in specific compounds (as amino acids and lipids) as a complement to the traditional determinations in bulk organic matter
  • Identification of diet sources from fatty acid markers
  • Application of genetic and molecular techniques for identification of zooplankton prey (e.g. DNA barcoding)
  • Novel models for estimation of trophic transfers from zooplankton to top consumers​​
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New technologies and approaches in zooplankton trophic studies

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