||Copepods in platelet-ice layers underlying fast ice and in the water column below were studied at Drescher Inlet, eastern Weddell Sea in February 1998. Three copepod species were found: Drescheriella glacialis and Paralabidocera antarctica occurred in platelet-ice layers, while Stephos longipes was only present in the water column. The distribution of all species varied considerably between station and depth. D. glacialis dominated the platelet-ice community and occurred at all five platelet-ice sampling sites, except one, with numbers of up to 26 ind. l?¹. In contrast, P. antarctica was only found in low numbers (up to 2 ind. l?¹) at one site. The total copepod abundance in the platelet ice was not associated with algal biomass, although it was strongly correlated with high ammonium concentrations (up to 9 µM) in the interstitial water between the platelets. This is the first indirect evidence to support the hypothesis that zooplankton excretion can partly account for the high ammonium values often found in platelet-ice layers.