Observing Interactions Between Marine Snow and Tethered and Free-swimming Copepods
In our experiments, we observed the copepod Calanus pacificus interact with marine snow aggregates formed in the laboratory from cultures of the diatom Thalassiosira weissflogii. Throughout the summer, we conducted experiments with both tethered and free-swimming copepods. Tethering allowed us to keep the copepods in the small field of view of the camera. The experiment with free-swimming copepods allowed us to investigate whether tethering had any effects on the copepod’s interaction with the marine snow aggregates. Different issues arose in both the tethered and free-swimming experiments. The tethered copepods were somewhat limited in their movement which may have affected their ability to normally interact with the marine snow aggregates that were sinking through the tank. In the free-swimming experiment, the copepods mostly hid in the corners of the tank, and we were unable to directly observe interactions with marine snow. Here we will present observations from both experiments and discuss future directions.