New Zealand Journal of Ecology (1985) 8: 125- 127

Biomass and production estimates for an estuarine meiobenthic copepod, with an instantaneous assessment of exploitation by flatfish predators

Short Communication
Geoffrey R. F. Hicks  
  1. National Museum of New Zealand, Private Bag, Wellington, New Zealand

[First paragraph(s)...]
It has long been known that estuarine basins playa critical role as nursery areas and sheltered feeding habitats for the juveniles of a number of commercially important fish species. Yet within New Zealand the precise value of such ecosystems from this point of view remains largely unexplored. In his summation of a seminar on nutrient processing and biomass production in New Zealand estuaries, held at the Cawthron Institute in 1982, Knox (1983) concluded that most current data were fragmentary and took little account of the broader interactions between various components of the estuarine biota. Moreover, one of the most severe handicaps was the lack of even the most fundamental quantitative data on abundance, trophic interactions, and estimates of biomass and secondary production. Before any generalizations can be made about how typical New Zealand estuaries might be compared with their more intensively studied counterparts elsewhere in the world, there is an urgent need to make available, even in preliminary form, estimates of functional characteristics such as biomass, production, and food web relationships.