Meroplankton abundance in the Northeast Water Polynya: Insights from oceanographic parameters and benthic abundance patterns

L. M. Clough, Jr G. Ambrose, C. J. Ashjian, D. Piepenburg, P. E. Renaud, S. L. Smith

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


We investigated meroplankton (planktonic larvae of benthic organisms) abundance and distribution in the Northeast Water (NEW) Polynya, located on the northeast coast of Greenland, from July 15 to August 15, 1992. Meroplankton was present at all sites visited (0.03-84.83 individuals per m3); at one station meroplankton comprised 8.27% of total zooplankton. Total meroplankton abundance was correlated with total zooplankton abundance and total benthic infaunal abundance but was not correlated with either microscopic carbon concentration or primary productivity. Examination of distribution data for barnacle nauplii and adults indicated that both adults and larvae were concentrated at the same locations. Patterns of distribution were also examined for stelleroid plutei, polychaete larvae and trochophores. There were distinct geographic patterns in total and class-specific meroplankton distributions, with maximal abundances occurring over the Belgica Bank and in the eastern regions of the Westwind Trough and minimal abundances in the Belgica Trough. The apparent control of meroplankton distribution by the hydrography of the region, coupled with the correlation between meroplankton, zooplankton and adult infaunal abundance, reinforces the hypothesis that hydrography plays a major role in controlling the distribution of biota in the NEW polynya (Ambrose and Renaud, 1995; Ashjian et al., 1995. 1997-this volume; Smith et al., 1995: Piepenburg et al., 1997-this volume).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)343-357
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Marine Systems
Issue number1-4
StatePublished - Jan 1997


  • Artic
  • benthic
  • larvae
  • meroplankton

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aquatic Science
  • Oceanography


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