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Volume 40 - Number 1 - 2005
Artículo


Seasonal and spatial trends in the mesozooplankton community at pluriannual temporal series in the NW of the Alborán Sea, Spain

Christiane Sampaio de Souza1, Paulo Mafalda Jr.1, Soluna Sallés2, Teodoro Ramirez2, Dolores Cortés2, Antônio Garcia2, Jesus Mercado2 y Manuel Vargas-Yañez2

 

(1) Instituto de Biologia, Universidade Federal da Bahia, 40210-020, Salvador, Bahia, Brasil
(2) Centro Oceanográfico de Málaga, Fuengirola, Instituto Español de Oceanografía, Muelle Pesquero s/n, 29640, Fuengirola (Málaga), España

 

E-mail: chsampaio@ig.com.br

 

The annual cycle of mesozooplankton was studied over nine years from 1992 to 2000 at a nine stations in the NW of the Alborán Sea, with the aim of assessing seasonal patterns and interannual trends in biomass, composition and density. Maximum zooplankton abundances were observed in summer and autumn, while minimum zooplankton abundances were observed in winter. Copepods were the most abundant group in spring, autumn and winter, while in summer cladocerans were the dominant group followed by copepods. The dominance of cladocerans in summer is basically due to the high abundance of Penillia avirostis. The study of trends showed that the relative abundance of copepods increased through out the period of study, although this increase only was significant in the eastward stations, where the influence of Atlantic water is higher. At the interannual scale an increasing trend was recorded over the sampling period for biomass and density. The mesozooplankton diversity showed a decreasing trend. The density of copepods decreased while cladocerans showed a positive correlation with temperature. In spite of those interannual variations, the different phases of the annual cycle and the occurrence of several plankton species were remarkably regular.


Key words: Zooplankton, biomass, spatial distribution, trends, Mediterranean Sea


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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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