Copepods: Diversity, Habitat and Behavior


Laurent Seuront (Editor)
Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, Wimereux, France

Series: Marine Biology
BISAC: SCI039000

Copepods are among the most abundant multi-celled organisms on Earth and can literally be found everywhere there is (even not so much) water. This very diverse group of small (typically in the 1-10 mm range) crustaceans — known for more than two millennia — exhibit a range of free living forms, either in the open water or in various types of sediments. They are also often found as both internal and external parasites of most phyla of animals in water. Copepods also play a fundamental ecological role in the open waters of lakes, rivers, estuaries and oceans.

They are the classical herbivorous link between the primary production of phytoplankton and the larvae and juveniles of fishes — hence ultimately whales and fisheries — in most pelagic ecosystems. In oligotrophic waters, copepods also play an essential role in transferring (i) the organic carbon released by phytoplankton (i.e. up to 50% of the carbon fixed through photosynthesis) and subsequently assimilated by heterotrophic bacteria, and (ii) the inorganic carbon fixed by prokaryotic and eukaryotic picoplankton (i.e. up to 70 % of the carbon fixation in oligotrophic systems) towards higher trophic levels through copepod grazing on microzooplankton (i.e. heterotrophic flagellates and ciliated protozoans).

Despite the plethora of information available on them, copepods are still, and probably more than ever, at the center of the scientific debate related to e.g. their taxonomy, biology and ecology, behavior, distribution, diversity and biogeography, with a particular focus on the role of climate variability and global change, and their role in biogeochemical cycles. In this context, this book was conceived for a wide audience — typically from undergraduate students to experienced researchers without a necessary strong background in either plankton ecology or zooplankton ecology — with the intent to bring some insights into relevant aspects of the “Diversity, Habitat and Behavior” of copepods. As such this book is built around a series of comprehensive reviews written by some of the leading experts in the areas of copepod diversity, habitat and behavior.

Some chapters are devoted to research topics that may have been less widely researched, but are believed to be of critical relevance for the future of the field, such as the community composition of copepods living under stressful conditions, the role of solar radiation in the ecology of marine copepods, improving our understanding of copepod behavior using new technologies such as high-speed imaging, the widely understated relevance of non-Newtonian fluid properties on a range of processes occurring on copepod surface, and the ecological role and relevance of copepod carcasses. Even if most of the chapters compiled in this volume are derived from research conducted in the marine environment, the concepts and ideas they contain can be easily extrapolated and applied to freshwater copepods, in particular the chapters dealing with various aspects of copepod behavioral ecology. Note that, conversely, the chapter dealing with solar radiation builds up on previous research conducted in freshwater systems to discuss the relevance of this research topic that is still in its infancy in the marine environment. (Imprint: Nova)


Table of Contents

Table of Contents


Chapter 1 – Pelagic Diversity and Climate Change (pp. 1-24)
Grégory Beaugrand

Chapter 2 – Community Ecology of Pelagic Copepods in Tropical Coastal Waters (pp. 25-50)
A. D. McKinnon and S. Duggan

Chapter 3 – Harpacticoida (Copepoda) under Hypoxia Conditions in the Black Sea (pp. 51-76)
Elena A. Kolesnikova, Victor E. Zaika, Nelli G. Sergeeva and Anna Lichtschlag

Chapter 4 – Antarctic Lacustrine Copepods: Scattered Remnants of an Ancient Fauna and Recent Marine Invaders (pp. 77-100)
Kerrie M. Swadling and John A. E. Gibson

Chapter 5 – Marine Copepods and Solar Radiation (pp. 101-120)
Rodrigo J. Gonçalves and Samuel Hylander

Chapter 6 – Swimming, Feeding and Mating Behavior in Copepods: A Brief Review (pp. 121-144)
Luciana Sabia,Marco Uttieri, Giacomo Zagami and Enrico Zambianchi

Chapter 7 – High-Speed Imaging in Copepod Behavior (pp. 145-156)
Yuji Tanaka

Chapter 8 – The Sensory Horizon of Marine Copepods (pp. 157-180)
David M. Fields

Chapter 9 – Nano- and Microfluidics, Rheology, Exopolymeric Substances and Fluid Dynamics in Calanoid Copepods (pp. 181-214)
Ian R. Jenkinson

Chapter 10 – Copepod Behavior: Oceanographic Cues, Distributions and Trophic Interactions (pp. 215-254)
C. B. Woodson, D. R. Webster and A. C. True

Chapter 11 – Copepod Carcasses: Occurrence, Fate and Ecological Importance (pp. 255-278)
Kam W. Tang and David T. Elliott



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