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Comprehensive Model of Annual Plankton Succession Based on the Whole-Plankton Time Series Approach

Abstract : Ecological succession provides a widely accepted description of seasonal changes in phy-toplankton and mesozooplankton assemblages in the natural environment, but concurrent changes in smaller (i.e. microbes) and larger (i.e. macroplankton) organisms are not included in the model because plankton ranging from bacteria to jellies are seldom sampled and analyzed simultaneously. Here we studied, for the first time in the aquatic literature, the succession of marine plankton in the whole-plankton assemblage that spanned 5 orders of magnitude in size from microbes to macroplankton predators (not including fish or fish lar-vae, for which no consistent data were available). Samples were collected in the northwestern Mediterranean Sea (Bay of Villefranche) weekly during 10 months. Simultaneously collected samples were analyzed by flow cytometry, inverse microscopy, FlowCam, and ZooScan. The whole-plankton assemblage underwent sharp reorganizations that corresponded to bottom-up events of vertical mixing in the water-column, and its development was top-down controlled by large gelatinous filter feeders and predators. Based on the results provided by our novel whole-plankton assemblage approach, we propose a new comprehensive conceptual model of the annual plankton succession (i.e. whole plankton model) characterized by both stepwise stacking of four broad trophic communities from early spring through summer, which is a new concept, and progressive replacement of ecological plankton categories within the different trophic communities, as recognised traditionally.
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Jean-Baptiste Romagnan, Louis Legendre, Lionel Guidi, Jean-Louis Jamet, Dominique Jamet, et al.. Comprehensive Model of Annual Plankton Succession Based on the Whole-Plankton Time Series Approach. PLoS ONE, Public Library of Science, 2015, 10 (3), pp.e0119219. ⟨10.1371/journal.pone.0119219⟩. ⟨hal-01225074⟩

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