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Free Content Interaction of a copepod population with the mean circulation on Georges Bank

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The population structure of the copepod, Pseudocalanus sp., on Georges Bank in February 1975 had distinct shifts from younger to older developmental stages in a clockwise pattern around the bank. It is hypothesized that this spatial pattern resulted from the interaction of copepod population dynamics and the mean circulation of sea water around Georges Bank. To test this idea, a combined physical/biological model is developed which simulates copepod population dynamics at each of a series of fixed spatial points around a hypothetical gyre. This simple physical scheme incorporates both advection and diffusion of copepods around the gyre. Rates of advection and diffusion are taken from the literature. Environmental influence on life history parameters (development rate, fecundity, and mortality) for Pseudocalanus sp. are found from laboratory experiments and from the literature. Spatial patterns generated by the model agree well with those observed from field samples. The results show that the hypothesis is possible thus providing a reasonable explanation for mechanisms generating these patterns. It is suggested that such mechanisms may contribute to much of the coarse and meso-scale (50 – 1000 km) heterogeneity in the distribution of marine zooplankton.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: August 1, 1984

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  • The Journal of Marine Research publishes peer-reviewed research articles covering a broad array of topics in physical, biological and chemical oceanography. Articles that deal with processes, as well as those that report significant observations, are welcome. In the area of biology, studies involving coupling between ecological and physical processes are preferred over those that report systematics. Authors benefit from thorough reviews of their manuscripts, where an attempt is made to maximize clarity. The time between submission and publication is kept to a minimum; there is no page charge.
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