The role of zooplankton in N-, P- and C- cycling and for the oxygen budget of tropical OMZs


Zooplankton is a key component of the biological pump and essential for the cycling of nitrogen, phosphorus and carbon in the ocean. Selective partial retention of the macro nutrients nitrogen and phosphorus during the digestion of food feeds back on dissolved nutrient levels in the photic zone. We study the influence of food quantity and quality in combination with realistic abiotic factor conditions (pO2, pCO2, T) on metabolic activity, excretion and egestion of tropical zooplankton. In combination with field surveys on zooplankton abundance and biomass, this enables us to quantify the role of zooplankton in N-, P- and C-cycling and for the oxygen budget in the Tropical Eastern North Atlantic and the Peruvian Oxygen Minimum Zone.


Prof. Ulrich Sommer                        Prof. Frank Melzner
Tel.: +49 431 600 4400                    Tel.: +49 431 600 4274
usommer(a)                    fmelzner(a)