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Free Content Studies on Caribbean Zooplankton. Description of the Program and Results of the First Cruise

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An investigation of the distribution of zooplankton in the Caribbean Sea is described. Field work was initiated on cruise P-6602 of the R/V John Elliott Pillsbury in January 1966 and terminated in November 1969 after 177 stations had been occupied and 1188 samples collected in the Caribbean and adjacent areas. Net plankton was sampled in horizontal tows at several levels in the water column from the surface to a depth near bottom. Accurate data on fishing depths were obtained through the use of time-depth recorders with mechanical devices which opened and closed nets at approximately the depths desired. Virtually all catches on P-6602 were accompanied by measurements of temperature, salinity, oxygen (ml/l) and PO4-P (μg-at/l) taken at or near the depths of plankton collection. It was seldom possible to carry out hydrographic casts and obtain measurements of oxygen and phosphate on later cruises, but at the least, temperature and salinity from the surface to 1500 m were recorded by a Bissett-Berman STD at each station. The results of the first cruise are discussed and explanations given of subsequent changes in sampling methods.

Most stations on P-6602 were not Caribbean but Atlantic, off northeastern South America as far south as the mouth of the Amazon. Sampling depths ranged from the surface to 3232 m. All species of five groups were recorded and enumerated either wholly or in aliquots: siphonophores (9), copepods (129), euphausiids (9), chaetognaths (14) and Salpidae (3). No heteropod molluscs were collected, but they were counted in samples from later cruises. The more important aspects of the report are the physical and chemical data which accompany the zoological records, the copepod and chaetognath species collected in the Amazon outflow, and reports of the occurrence of abundant copepodites of 18 genera.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 1972-06-01

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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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