Kelp Ecology: Macroalgal detritus as a food source (MAD Food)

Only a small part of the large biomass of macroalgae (kelps) in Kongsfjorden is directly consumed by herbivores. Can macroalgal detritus fill a nutritional gap in the food web at times of phytoplankton shortage? How good is the assimilation efficiency in potential invertebrate consumers?

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  • field work


  • marine biology

Project Keywords

  • oceans / marine biology / marine invertebrates

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The nutritional value of kelp particles (macroalgal detritus) for various invertebrate suspension and bottom feeders needs to be investigated. Macroalgal tissue at different stages of degradation will be used in feeding experiments at different temperatures. A modulation of assimilation efficiency by higher water temperatures is expected. Winter exposure of artificially produced kelp derived particulate organic matter (aPOM) at sea will add new information about how this organic matter degrades under near natural conditions (as opposed to laboratory experiments).

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