Standing Crop

Despite the extensive zooplankton investigations carried out in the Southern Ocean, it is difficult to arrive at reasonable estimates of the zooplankton standing crop in Antarctic waters because of problems related to sampling techniques, patchy distribution, and seasonal vertical migration. It is usually assumed, however, that the biomass of zooplankton, in general, is the same as that of krill.

The total biomass of zooplankton in the upper 1,000 m in the Pacific Sector averages 3.50, 2.55, and 2.76 g dry weight/m2 in the areas of the Antarctic, sub-Antarctic, and Polar Front, respectively (Hopkins, 1971). In comparison, Atlantic Sector values of zooplankton/micronekton abundance averaged 5.9 g dry weight/m2 in the upper 1,000 m (Hopkins, 1966).

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