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Volume 42 - Number 3 - 2007

Seasonal and vertical variation of macrozooplankton biomass in the Mochima Bay, Sucre State, Venezuela, during 1997 - 1998

Brightdoom Márquez1, Marín Baumar1, José Rafael Díaz-Ramos1, Luis Troccoli2 y Sonia Subero-Pino3


1 Departamento de Biología Marina, Laboratorio de Zooplancton. Instituto Oceanográfico de Venezuela, Universidad de Oriente. Apdo. Postal 245. Cumaná. Sucre 6101. Venezuela
2 Escuela de Ciencias Aplicadas del Mar (ECAM), Universidad de Oriente, Núcleo de Nueva Esparta
3 Escuela de Ciencias, Dpto. Biología, Universidad de Oriente, Núcleo de Sucre, Apdo. Postal 19. Cumaná, Sucre 6101. Venezuela




The role of macrozooplankton in Mochima Bay was studied examining its biomass and its relationships with some environmental parameters during 1997 and 1998. Water transparency was measured with a Secchi disk; water samples were collected with a Niskin bottle (5 L) to determine: temperature, dissolved oxygen and phytoplankton biomass in two stations. Macrozooplankton horizontal samples were collected with a net (mesh size 555 µm and 0.25 m in diameter) at 0-5 and 10-15 m in two stations, one external (Est. A) and other internal (Est. B). Macrozooplankton biomass was estimated in terms of displaced volume and dry weight. The periods of maximum macrozooplankton biomass occurred between March-May and October-December for both years; the minima occurred in July-September. The highest biomass values were measured at the inner station and in the deeper layer (10-15 m). Maximum values for phytoplankton and macrozooplankton biomass coincided with periods of higher upwelling and wind intensity; these values were higher in 1997 than in 1998. The results follow pre-established patterns but also show high annual variability in phytoplankton and zooplankton biomass.

Key words: Zooplankton, biomass, production, Mochima Bay




1Laboratorio de Zooplancton, Instituto de Ciencias del Mar y Limnología,Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México. A. P. 70-305, 04510 México, D. F. México
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