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Distribution and abundance of the zooplankton of the Ems estuary (North Sea)
Baretta, J.W.; Malschaert, J.F.P. (1988). Distribution and abundance of the zooplankton of the Ems estuary (North Sea). Neth. J. Sea Res. 22(1): 69-81
In: Netherlands Journal of Sea Research. Netherlands Institute for Sea Research (NIOZ): Groningen; Den Burg. ISSN 0077-7579, more
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    Brackish water

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  • Baretta, J.W.
  • Malschaert, J.F.P.

    From 1974 to 1977 a study was made of the abundance and the distribution of the zooplankton species of the Ems estuary (The Netherlands and the Federal Republic of Germany), an area of about 500 km² with extensive tidal flats. The most important component of the zooplankton consisted of holoplanktonic calanoid copepods with, during the summer, a significant contribution of meroplankton, mainly consisting of polychaete and cirripede larvae. Zooplankton abundance showed a marked seasonality, with a pronounced spring peak and a smaller late summer/autumn peak. In the low salinity area the spring bloom was dominated by Eurytemora affinis, which persisted in the salinities below S=5 upriver during the whole year. In the polyhaline area Acartia bifilosa was the main component of the spring bloom. The late summer maximum from August to October was dominated by Acartia tonsa in the meso- and polyhaline area and by A. discaudata and Centropages hamatus in the euhaline part of the estuary bordering on the Wadden Sea proper. The number of abundant (>1000 ind·m-3) species increased from the inner, fresher part of the estuary towards the Wadden Sea but, except for April, average zooplankton density in salinities <18 was similar (2768 ind·m-3) to the density in salinities >18 (2817 ind·m-3). The distribution patterns show that there are only a few autochthonous species and that the majority of species is allochthonous and penetrates more or less deeply into the estuary from the Wadden Sea and North Sea, varying with species and season.

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