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Free Content Seasonal Changes in the Zooplankton of South Biscayne Bay and Some Problems of Assessing the Effects on the Zooplankton of Natural and Artificial Thermal and Other Fluctuations

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The seasonal variation in zooplankton from five stations in south Biscayne Bay (Miami) over one year is presented, and the data are condensed into two groups, inshore and midbay. The inshore stations were characterized by generally lower and more variable salinity and higher temperature compared to the midbay. The quantitatively important copepods were confined to six genera, which were each dominated by single species. These were Acartia tonsa, Paracalanus parvus, Temora turbinata, Labidocera scotti, Oithona nana, and Metis jousseaumei. The seasonal fluctuations in number at both locations are given for each, as well as abundance in relation to temperature-salinity plots. Since numbers provided a poor basis for comparison of their relative contributions to biomass, dry-weight estimates were obtained which emphasized that the numerically dominant but diminutive Oithona had a biomass in the same order of magnitude as the numerically unimportant but many times larger Labidocera. The inshore population of copepods was dominated largely by Acartia and Oithona with a substantial contribution by Labidocera in winter. Small amounts of Metis and Temora, mostly confined both to the summer and inshore, alleviated a summer low in copepod biomass which was much more marked in the midbay. Here, Paracalanus and Labidocera dominated. A major autumnal maximum in biomass of copepods at both locations mirrored phenomena reported by previous workers. Both the mean naupliar count and copepod dry weights were similar over the year inshore and in the midbay.

The major meroplanktonic components were decapod larvae, molluscan veliger larvae, and larvae of polychaetous annelids. All were more abundant inshore, partly due to the concentrating effect of the shallower water column. Problems of sampling, such as type of gear, frequency, and patchiness are noted, as well as the limitations of this type of sampling study as a monitor of the effects of thermal effluents.

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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 1970-12-01

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  • The Bulletin of Marine Science is dedicated to the dissemination of high quality research from the world's oceans. All aspects of marine science are treated by the Bulletin of Marine Science, including papers in marine biology, biological oceanography, fisheries, marine affairs, applied marine physics, marine geology and geophysics, marine and atmospheric chemistry, and meteorology and physical oceanography.
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