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Free Content Response of Macro-Zooplankton Populations to Copper: Controlled Ecosystem Pollution Experiment

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Fluctuations in zooplankton abundance and species composition are described for two copper experiments conducted in Controlled Experimental Ecosystems during 1974. Copper concentrations of 5, 10, and 50 μg/l were tested. The major phenomenon in both experiments was a severe reduction (> 80%) in the abundance of zooplankton in all CEBs, control as well as copper polluted. A portion of the population decline was attributed to grazing by carnivorous ctenophores and medusae, making it difficult to quantitatively assess the effects of copper. The abundance of ctenophores and medusae remained higher in control than in copper perturbated CEEs, indicating that these organisms are adversely affected by the copper concentrations used in the experiments. At a nominal concentration of 50 μg/l copper, abundances of Pseudocalanus sp. and Acartia longiremis were reduced to 50% of their original levels 3-3.5 times more quickly than in the controls. Results in 5 and 10 μg/l CEEs were more variable and less significant. It is not known whether these effects were the direct result of copper on the organisms, or an indirect result of alterations at lower trophic levels.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 1977-01-01

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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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