One of the most vexed questions in copepod biology is that of the kind and amount of food needed. The problem can be tackled in three ways. First, we can find out the food actually taken in the sea; this is a qualitative rather than a quantitative approach. Second, w e can supply them with various foods and observe their intake, assuming that their behaviour is the same in the laboratory as it would be in the sea. Third, we can measure their respiration, calculate from their oxygen requirements the food necessary, and compare this with what is available in the sea. Until we know more both of copepod digestion and of the chemical composition of the food, this last method cannot take us very far. One of the difficulties has been that the three methods give divergent results. There often does not seem to be enough food in the sea to support all the copepods there.
KeywordsPhytoplankton Respiration Assimilation Lactose Alginic Acid
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