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Zooplankton community structure across an eddy-generated upwelling band close to a tropical bay-mangrove ecosystem
Rakhesh, M.; Raman, A.V.; Kalavati, C.; Subramanian, B.R.; Sharma, V.S.; Sunitha Babu, E.; Sateesh, N. (2008). Zooplankton community structure across an eddy-generated upwelling band close to a tropical bay-mangrove ecosystem. Mar. Biol. (Berl.) 154(6): 953-972. hdl.handle.net/10.1007/s00227-008-0991-2
In: Marine Biology. Springer: Heidelberg; Berlin. ISSN 0025-3162, more
Peer reviewed article  

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Keyword
    Marine

Authors  Top 
  • Rakhesh, M.
  • Raman, A.V.
  • Kalavati, C.
  • Subramanian, B.R.
  • Sharma, V.S.
  • Sunitha Babu, E.
  • Sateesh, N.

Abstract
    Mesoscale eddies in the world’s oceans are ubiquitous and bring about episodic pulses of nutrients into the photic zone. Transient in nature, the role of eddy pumping in coastal enrichment via plankton production, and subsequent organic flux is not yet fully realised. In the context of a cyclonic cold-core eddy that propagates annually under the influence of the East India Coastal Current and enriches coastal waters in the western Bay of Bengal north of 16°N, a detailed study on zooplankton community structure along with phytoplankton composition and associated water quality was undertaken during April–May 2002 coinciding with the spring intermonsoon. Zooplankton samples were collected at 32 hydrographically different (salinity 24.5–35.6 PSU) GPS fixed locations representing bay-mangrove areas and nearshore waters (30 m) close to the River Godavari, which is one of India’s largest estuarine systems. During the study, the bay-coastal waters were typified by elevated nutrient levels (nitrate 10.73–22.04 µM), high salinity (27.98–35.52 PSU), and relatively low temperatures (30.63–31.40°C). Altogether, 95 zooplankton taxa were encountered with copepods forming the predominant population. Agglomerative Hierarchical Cluster Analysis (AHCA) and Non-metric Multidimensional Scaling (NMDS) based on Bray–Curtis similarity (PRIMER) analysis revealed appreciable alterations in zooplankton structure across bay-mangrove locations and coastal waters (Stress 0.11; ANOSIM test Global R: 0.94, P = 0.1%). Similarity Percentage (SIMPER) analysis revealed zooplankton associations through “discriminating species” for each location (Kakinada Bay, Cluster I, 27.9 ± 3.0 PSU; upwelling band, cluster II, 35.5 ± 0.2 PSU; offshore waters, cluster III, 34.2 ± 0.4 PSU; mangrove outlets, cluster IV, 32.7 ± 1.3 PSU and mangrove creeks, cluster V, 33.5 ± 0.6 PSU). The index of multivariate dispersion (IMD) illustrated high variability in zooplankton standing stock for mangrove/sea locations relative to the bay. Concurrent observations on phytoplankton revealed the importance of diatoms (r: 0.640, P = 0.05). Within the eddy-generated band of upwelled water, a significant top-down control of diatoms by herbivorous zooplankton resulted in a comparative increase in abundance of dinophyceans. Based on zooplankton abundance data and species association patterns, it was possible to distinguish different zooplankton/copepod communities in accordance with mesoscale variability in physical, chemical and biological processes under tropical conditions. This was confirmed through canonical correspondence analysis (CCA) that represented coastal-offshore waters and the Bay environment in this area.

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