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Short term changes in zooplankton community during the summer-autumn transition in the open NW Mediterranean Sea: species composition, abundance and diversity

Author(s): V. Raybaud | P. Nival | L. Mousseau | A. Gubanova | D. Altukhov | S. Khvorov | F. Ibañez | V. Andersen

Journal: Biogeosciences Discussions
ISSN 1810-6277

Volume: 5;
Issue: 3;
Start page: 2237;
Date: 2008;
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Short term changes in zooplankton community were investigated at a fixed station in offshore waters of the Ligurian Sea (Dynaproc 2 cruise, September–October 2004). Mesozooplankton was sampled with vertical WP2 hauls (200 µm mesh-size) and large mesozooplankton, macrozooplankton and micronekton with a BIONESS multinet sampler (500 µm mesh-size). Temporal variations of total biomass, species composition and abundance of major taxa were studied. Intrusions of low salinity water masses were observed two times during the cruise. The first one, which was the most important, was associated with changes in zooplankton community composition. Among copepods, the abundance of Calocalanus, Euchaeta, Heterorhabdus, Mesocalanus, Nannocalanus, Neocalanus, Pleuromamma and also calanoid copepodites increased markedly. Among non-copepod taxa, only small ostracods abundance increased. After this low salinity event, abundance of all taxa nearly returned to their initial values. The influence of salinity on each zooplankton taxon was confirmed by a statistical analysis (Perry's method). Shannon diversity index, Pielou evenness and species richness were used to describe temporal variations of large copepod (>500 µm) diversity. Shannon index and Pielou evenness decreased at the beginning of the low salinity water intrusions, but not species richness. We suggest that low salinity water masses contained its own zooplankton community and passed through the sampling area, thus causing the replacement of zooplankton population.

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Tangokurs Rapperswil-Jona

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