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Zooplankton community and hydrographical properties of the Neretva Channel (eastern Adriatic Sea)
Vidjak, O.; Bojanic, N.; Kušpilić, G.; Gladan, Z.N.; Ticina, V. (2007). Zooplankton community and hydrographical properties of the Neretva Channel (eastern Adriatic Sea). Helgol. Mar. Res. 61(4): 267-282.
In: Helgoland Marine Research. Springer: Berlin; Heidelberg. ISSN 1438-387X; e-ISSN 1438-3888, more
Peer reviewed article  

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Author keywords
    Adriatic Sea Microzooplankton Mesozooplankton Neretva Channel

Authors  Top 
  • Vidjak, O.
  • Bojanic, N.
  • Kušpilić, G.
  • Gladan, Z.N.
  • Ticina, V.

    Temporal and spatial variability of micro and mesozooplankton was studied in 1998 and 1999 at four stations in the Neretva Channel area influenced by the Neretva river and the open waters of the south Adriatic Sea. The area is orthophosphate limited, but an excessive accumulation of land derived nitrogen is prevented by phytoplankton uptake and the general circulation pattern. Microzooplankton was dominated by ciliates, with average abundances comparable to other Adriatic channel areas (122–543 ind. L−1). Non-loricate ciliates (NLC) generally peaked in the warmer periods, but a winter increase was evident towards the inner part of the channel. Tintinnid abundances generally increased in autumn. A significant relationship with temperature was not recorded for either protozoan group. An inverse relationship between NLC and salinity might be indirectly caused by their preference for the food abundant surface layer. Mesozooplankton was dominated by copepods, with distinct summer maxima throughout the area and pronounced winter maxima of >10,000 ind. m−3 at the inner stations. The community was predominantly neritic but the open sea waters were important in structuring the mesozooplankton assemblage at all stations during the autumn–winter period. Although temperature regulated the seasonal dynamics of most metazoans and the species succession in the copepod community, small omnivorous copepods (Oncaea mediacomplex, Oithona nana and Euterpina acutifrons) dominated regardless of the season. A trophic link between copepods and ciliates was evident in winter during low phytoplankton biomass.

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