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Summer mesozooplankton distribution in coastal waters of central Greece (eastern Mediterranean): II. Species assemblages
Ramfos, A.; Somarakis, S.; Koutsikopoulos, C.; Fragopoulu, N. (2005). Summer mesozooplankton distribution in coastal waters of central Greece (eastern Mediterranean): II. Species assemblages. J. Mar. Biol. Ass. U.K. 85(4): 765-774
In: Journal of the Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom. Cambridge University Press/Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom: Cambridge. ISSN 0025-3154, more
Peer reviewed article  

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  • Ramfos, A.
  • Somarakis, S.
  • Koutsikopoulos, C.
  • Fragopoulu, N.

    Mesozooplankton distribution was investigated over an intensive grid of 124 stations in coastal and pelagic waters of central Greece (eastern Mediterranean) during July 1998. The complex topography of the area consisted of various semi-enclosed gulfs as well as open-sea areas and provided excellent fieldwork for determining species assemblages, their relationships to environmental parameters and the distribution and abundance patterns of the copepod species. Three coastal and one pelagic group of stations were revealed by cluster analysis. Inverse analysis of species affinities defined distinct ‘coastal’ and ‘pelagic’ species assemblages. All coastal areas were dominated by a small number of species (e.g. Peniliaavirostris, Podon spp., Ctenocalanusvanus, Paracalanusparvus and Centropagestypicus) all belonging to the ‘coastal’ assemblage. Differences among these coastal areas were mainly due to small changes in relative abundance of a common-species list. On the contrary, pelagic stations were characterized by higher species diversity, low dominance and the presence of characteristic epipelagic and mesopelagic species of the Mediterranean Sea (e.g. Calocalanus spp., Haloptiluslongicornis, Lucicutiaflavicornis, Mecynoceraclausi, Farranularostrata, Mesocalanustenuicornis and Oncaeamediterranea). The observed differences in taxonomic composition and abundance of zooplankton were related to the marked differences in salinity values observed between the eastern and western part of the surveyed area. Bathymetry, temperature and fluorescence were also related with the inshore–offshore gradient of the zooplankton community observed in the pelagic areas as well as with the discrimination of the zooplankton communities of the various semi-enclosed gulfs of the region.

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