Zooplankton Distributions and Community Structure in an Area of the South Coast Shelf of Jamaica
Abstract:The abundance, species composition and biomass of the zooplankton communities of a 69 km2 area on the southern shelf of Jamaica, were examined. This area covered the Port Royal Cays, the Hellshire Coastline and the mouth of Kingston Harbor. Sixteen stations were sampled monthly from March to October, 1986 by vertical hauls using a 200 µm mesh plankton net. 119 zooplankton taxa were identified and enumerated. Numbers m-3 ranged from a mean value of 96,047 (Western Harbor Mouth) to 1,040 at East Middle Ground (Port Royal Cays). Biomass estimates which were made at 9 of the 16 stations, followed the same trend. Three distinct regions, representing different water quality types, were identified using species distribution coupled with the recorded abundances. Stations located at the Harbor Mouth formed one cluster, stations along the Hellshire Coastline and South East Cay formed another, with the third group consisting of the remaining Port Royal Cays stations. These clusters could be explained by their proximity to land derived nutrient inputs or the presence of water retention mechanisms. Lucifer faxoni and Penilia avirostris were identified as indicators of Harbor waters and Temora stylifera as an indicator of oceanic waters.
Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: September 1, 1996
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