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https://doi.org/10.5194/bg-2020-10
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/bg-2020-10
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

  19 Feb 2020

19 Feb 2020

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This discussion paper is a preprint. It has been under review for the journal Biogeosciences (BG). The manuscript was not accepted for further review after discussion.

A zooplankton diel vertical migration parameterization for coastal marine ecosystem modeling

Ariadna Celina Nocera1,2, Dany Dumont3, and Irene R. Schloss4,5,6 Ariadna Celina Nocera et al.
  • 1Centro para el Estudio de Sistemas Marinos (CESIMAR), CCT CENPAT-CONICET, Puerto Madryn, U9120ACD, Argentina
  • 2Universidad Nacional de la Patagonia San Juan Bosco, Puerto Madryn, U9120ACD, Argentina
  • 3Institut des sciences de la mer de Rimouski (ISMER), Université du Québec à Rimouski (UQAR), Rimouski, Québec, G5L 3A1 Canada
  • 4Instituto Antártico Argentino, Buenos Aires, Argentina
  • 5Centro Austral de Investigaciones Científicas (CADIC), CONICET, Argentina
  • 6Universidad Nacional de Tierra del Fuego, Ushuaia, Argentina

Abstract. A simple parameterization of zooplankton vertical swimming is proposed as a way to reproduce the diel vertical migration (DVM) behavior, which refers to the daily descent of aquatic organisms hundreds of meters below the surface at dawn and their return to the surface at dusk, a phenomenon that is widespread among most zooplankton species. The swimming behavior is mechanistically parameterized as a function of the local irradiance and food availability, and is incorporated in a simple biogeochemical model coupled with a water column turbulence model in an Eulerian framework. The DVM behavior and its impact on plankton dynamics are investigated in an idealised configuration representing a marine coastal ecosystem. The sensitivity of the model to key parameters such as the zooplankton swimming speed, grazing rate, the optimal irradiance and turbulent diffusivity is evaluated with respect to three metrics representing the actual DVM behavior, the zooplankton-to-phytoplankton grazing coupling efficiency, and the vertical carbon export. Results show that the parameterization is able to reproduce the main characteristics of present knowledge about zooplankton DVM, and that the associated ecosystem responses are strongly sensitive to the maximum grazing rate, and moderately sensitive to other parameters.

Ariadna Celina Nocera et al.

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Ariadna Celina Nocera et al.

Ariadna Celina Nocera et al.

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Short summary
Zooplankton, which means drifting animals, represents a large class of animals that graze the phytoplankton that grows near the surface of oceans, lakes and estuaries and feed many other organisms of aquatic food webs. It is known that zooplankton migrate vertically every day in the water column to avoid visual predation, a process that is not often represented in ecosystem models. This paper presents a model that simulate this behavior and study its impacts on a coastal ocean environment.
Zooplankton, which means drifting animals, represents a large class of animals that graze the...
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