Abundance, age structure and in situ egg production rates of the copepod Temora longicornis in Long Island Sound, New York
The population dynamics of Temora longicornis in Long Island Sound, New York is being studied to determine the relative degree to which this species is food-limited vs. predator-limited. The plankton in the Sound has been sampled at weekly intervals from March–July 1982 and 1983. Of the three boreal copepods present at this time (Temora longicornis, Acartia hudsonica and Pseudocalanus spp.), Temora is the dominant species. Temora eggs were most abundant within the upper 5 m and each successive life cycle stage was found deeper in the water column. Adults live at and near the sediment–water interface (Z = 35 m). Population age structure is characterized by distinct cohorts produced during discrete egg laying events. Fecundity was highest during the mid-winter bloom in February and March (30–40 eggs per female per day), intermediate during modest blooms in May and June (5–15 eggs per day) but nil during most of the February–July growth season, when phytoplankton standing crops were relatively low, 2 μg chlorophyll per liter. Females were short-lived, surviving only 3 days on average. Female death rates may be high because the most abundant planktivorous fish in Long Island Sound (sand lance, Ammodytes americanus) feeds almost exclusively on adult Temora longicornis. Predation by sand lance may have little effect on Temora population dynamics because Temora are most fecund in February–March, a time when predation by sand lance is relatively low. The population seems to be controlled by food-limitation of egg production.
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Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: 1985-09-01
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