Marine Biology

, Volume 153, Issue 3, pp 397–404 | Cite as

Metabolism and elemental composition of four oncaeid copepods in the western subarctic Pacific

  • Yuichiro NishibeEmail author
  • Tsutomu Ikeda
Research Article


Respiration rates and elemental composition (carbon and nitrogen) were determined for four dominant oncaeid copepods (Triconia borealis, Triconia canadensis, Oncaea grossa and Oncaea parila) from 0–1,000 m depth in the western subarctic Pacific. Across the four species of which dry weight (DW) varied from 2.0 to 32 μg, respiration rates measured at in situ temperature (3°C) increased with DW, ranging from 0.84 to 7.4 nl O2 individual−1 h−1. Carbon (C) and nitrogen (N) composition of the four oncaeid species ranged from 49–57% of DW and 7.0–10.3% of DW, respectively, and the resultant C:N ratios were 4.8–8.3. The high C contents and C:N ratios were reflected by large accumulation of lipids in their body. Specific respiration rates (SR, a fraction of body C respired per day) ranged between 0.5 and 1.3% day−1. Respiration rates adjusted to a body size of 1 mg body N (i.e. adjusted metabolic rates, AMR) of the four oncaeid species [0.6–1.1 μl O2 (mg body N)−0.8 h−1 at 3°C] were significantly lower than those (1.7–5.1) reported in the literature for oithonid and calanoid copepods at the same temperature. The present results indicate that lower metabolic expenditure due to less active swimming (pseudopelagic life mode) together with rich energy reserve in the body (as lipids) are the characters of oncaeid copepods inhabiting in the epi- and mesopelagic zones of this region.


Respiration Rate Calanoid Copepod Swimming Activity Specific Respiration Marine Zooplankton 
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We greatly appreciate to Dr. R. Böttger-Schnack for her constructive comments on an earlier draft of this paper. We are grateful to H. Matsumoto and A. Maeda of the Center for Instrumental Analysis of Hokkaido University for CHN analysis. Thanks are extended to the captains and crews of T.S. ‘Oshoro Maru’ and R.V. ‘Ushio Maru’, Hokkaido University for their help in field samplings. This study was supported partly by JSPS KAKENHI 14209001.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Graduate School of Fisheries SciencesHokkaido UniversityHakodateJapan
  2. 2.Ocean Research Institute, University of TokyoTokyoJapan

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