1) Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research, PO Box 120161, 27515 Bremerhaven, Germany, 2) Marine Science Institute, University of Texas, 750 Channelview Drive Port, Austin, TX 78373-5015, USA, 3) Centre for Environmental Research Leipzig-Halle, Permoserstraße 15, 04318 Leipzig, Germany, 4) GeoBio-Center at Ludwig-Maximilans-Universität, Richard-Wagner-Strasse 10, 80333 München, Germany, 5) Zoology Department, Faculty of Science and Technology, University of Fort Hare, Private Bag X1314, Alice 5700, South Africa, 6) Department of Earth and Ocean Sciences, University of British Columbia, Stores Road, Stores Road, Vancouver, BC, V6T 1Z4, Canada Polar Biology (2005), V , pp , doi: 10.1007/s00300-005-0071-8 Towards the trophic structure of the Bouvet Island marine ecosystem U. Jacob (1), T. Brey (2), I. Fetzer (3), S. Kaehler, K. Mintenbeck (1), K. Dunton (2), K. Beyer (1), U. Struck (4), E.A. Pakhomov (5,6), W.E. Arntz (1) Although Bouvet Island is of considerable importance for Southern Ocean species conservation, information on the marine community species inventory and trophic functioning is scarce. Our combined study of stable isotopes and feeding relationships shows that (1) the marine system conforms to the trophic pattern described for other Antarctic systems within the Antarctic circumpolar current (ACC); (2) both the benthic and the pelagic subsystem are almost exclusively linked via suspended particulate organic matter (SPOM); and (3) there is no evidence of a subsystem driven by macroalgae. Bouvet Island can therefore be characterized as a benthic ‘‘oasis’’ within a self-sustaining open ocean pelagic system.