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Free Content Daily and seasonal variations in the spatial distribution of zooplankton populations in relation to the physical structure in the Ligurian Sea Front

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Results from five hydrographic and biological surveys at different seasons across the Ligurian Sea front, using horizontal continuous measurements and vertical profiles are presented. The vertical circulation across the front is described, and two divergences and one convergence are identified as permanent features from data. The key to find their location for each survey is given. The spatial patterns of 14 zooplankton taxa along the transect are established using variance analysis, principal component and correspondence analyses. The spatial distribution of each taxon is related to the physical structure, and the convection cells evidenced by the scheme appear as different biotopes. The daily variability of the spatial distributions is negligible compared to the annual variability. Distinctions are made between coastal species always inhabiting the peripheral (coastal zone) and others with distinct coastal, frontal and offshore distributions varying with the season. For the latter species the frontal zone is a preferential biotope during their seasonal growth period. Consequently the accumulation of organisms near the convergence cannot be created by only the dynamic causes. The role of biological processes in the observed distributions is discussed.

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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 01 February 1987

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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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