TITLE

Spatio-Temporal Variability of Copepod Abundance along the 20°S Monitoring Transect in the Northern Benguela Upwelling System from 2005 to 2011

AUTHOR(S)
Bode, Maya; Kreiner, Anja; van der Plas, Anja K.; Louw, Deon C.; Horaeb, Richard; Auel, Holger; Hagen, Wilhelm
PUB. DATE
May 2014
SOURCE
PLoS ONE;May2014, Vol. 9 Issue 5, p1
SOURCE TYPE
Academic Journal
DOC. TYPE
Article
ABSTRACT
Long-term data sets are essential to understand climate-induced variability in marine ecosystems. This study provides the first comprehensive analysis of longer-term temporal and spatial variations in zooplankton abundance and copepod community structure in the northern Benguela upwelling system from 2005 to 2011. Samples were collected from the upper 200 m along a transect at 20°S perpendicular to the coast of Namibia to 70 nm offshore. Based on seasonal and interannual trends in surface temperature and salinity, three distinct time periods were discernible with stronger upwelling in spring and extensive warm-water intrusions in late summer, thus, high temperature amplitudes, in the years 2005/06 and 2010/11, and less intensive upwelling followed by weaker warm-water intrusions from 2008/09 to 2009/10. Zooplankton abundance reflected these changes with higher numbers in 2005/06 and 2010/11. In contrast, zooplankton density was lower in 2008/09 and 2009/10, when temperature gradients from spring to late summer were less pronounced. Spatially, copepod abundance tended to be highest between 30 and 60 nautical miles off the coast, coinciding with the shelf break and continental slope. The dominant larger calanoid copepods were Calanoides carinatus, Metridia lucens and Nannocalanus minor. On all three scales studied, i.e. spatially from the coast to offshore waters as well as temporally, both seasonally and interannually, maximum zooplankton abundance was not coupled to the coldest temperature regime, and hence strongest upwelling intensity. Pronounced temperature amplitudes, and therefore strong gradients within a year, were apparently important and resulted in higher zooplankton abundance.
ACCESSION #
96283688

 

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