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Gutierrez-Rodriguez, A, Stukel MR, dos Santos AL, Biard T, Scharek R, Vaulot D, Landry MR, Not F.  2019.  High contribution of Rhizaria (Radiolaria) to vertical export in the California Current Ecosystem revealed by DNA metabarcoding. Isme Journal. 13:964-976.   10.1038/s41396-018-0322-7   AbstractWebsite

Passive sinking of particulate organic matter (POM) is the main mechanism through which the biological pump transports surface primary production to the ocean interior. However, the contribution and variability of different biological sources to vertical export is not fully understood. Here, we use DNA metabarcoding of the 18S rRNA gene and particle interceptor traps (PITs) to characterize the taxonomic composition of particles sinking out of the photic layer in the California Current Ecosystem (CCE), a productive system with high export potential. The PITs included formalin-fixed and 'live' traps to investigate eukaryotic communities involved in the export and remineralization of sinking particles. Sequences affiliated with Radiolaria dominated the eukaryotic assemblage in fixed traps (90%), with Dinophyta and Metazoa making minor contributions. The prominence of Radiolaria decreased drastically in live traps, possibly due to selective consumption by copepods, heterotrophic nanoflagellates, and phaeodarians that were heavily enriched in these traps. These patterns were consistent across the water masses surveyed extending from the coast to offshore, despite major differences in productivity and trophic structure of the epipelagic plankton community. Our findings identify Radiolaria as major actors in export fluxes in the CCE.

Steinberg, DK, Landry MR.  2017.  Zooplankton and the ocean carbon cycle. Annual Review of Marine Sciences, Vol 9. 9:413-444., Palo Alto: Annual Reviews   10.1146/annurev-marine-010814-015924   Abstract

Marine zooplankton comprise a phylogenetically and functionally diverse assemblage of protistan and metazoan consumers that occupy multiple trophic levels in pelagic food webs. Within this complex network, carbon flows via alternative zooplankton pathways drive temporal and spatial variability in production-grazing coupling, nutrient cycling, export, and transfer efficiency to higher trophic levels. We explore current knowledge of the processing of zooplankton food ingestion by absorption, egestion, respiration, excretion, and growth (production) processes. On a global scale, carbon fluxes are reasonably constrained by the grazing impact of microzooplankton and the respiratory requirements of mesozooplankton but are sensitive to uncertainties in trophic structure. The relative importance, combined magnitude, and efficiency of export mechanisms (mucous feeding webs, fecal pellets, molts, carcasses, and vertical migrations) likewise reflect regional variability in community structure. Climate change is expected to broadly alter carbon cycling by zooplankton and to have direct impacts on key species.