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The zooplankton of the North sea
Fransz, H.G.; Colebrook, J.M.; Gamble, J.C.; Krause, M. (1991). The zooplankton of the North sea. Neth. J. Sea Res. 28(1-2): 1-52
In: Netherlands Journal of Sea Research. Netherlands Institute for Sea Research (NIOZ): Groningen; Den Burg. ISSN 0077-7579, more
Peer reviewed article  

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  • Fransz, H.G.
  • Colebrook, J.M.
  • Gamble, J.C.
  • Krause, M.

    This review summarizes available knowledge on herbivorous and omnivorous zooplankton of the North Sea. After an introductory chapter on history and general approach of zooplankton studies, the four main contributions review distribution patterns, cycles and trends in temporal variation, trophic interactions and population dyamics and production. The distribution of zooplankton species in relation to hydrography and origin of watermasses is described tor copepods. It highlights the influence of Atlantic Ocean influx from the northwest, which to a large extent dominates the species composition and its seasonal variation in the summer-stratified waters. In contrast, the more neritic communities in the southeast region mainly depend on the local populations of the species abundant in coastal mixed waters. The chapter on cycles and trends in temporal variation discusses the differences in seasonal variation with respect to species, area, and community structure in terms of herbivores, omnivores and carnivores. The year-to-year changes are considered as dependent on the overwintering stocks and strategies. Patterns in long-term variation appearing from long-term data series are related to climatic changes, leading to two hypotheses with respect to the effects of changes in wind regime. The chapter on trophic interactions deals with the utilization of primary particulate production by planktonic herbivores and its variation in time and space. Emphasis is put on differences between north and south, which are partly due to differences in species composition, community structure and seasonal variation already discussed in foregoing chapters. The various aspects of copepod grazing are reviewed, but also the role of microzooplankton as both grazers and food organisms is brought to attention. The last chapter deals with population dynamics and production of key species. Seasonal fluctuations in abundance and biomass are discussed and related to underlying population processes and characteristics such as reproduction and life strategy, growth and development, and mortality. Secondary-production estimates inferred from biomass and growth rate estimates are discussed.

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