Temporal and spatial variability of mesozooplankton in a shallow sub-tropical bay: Influence of top-down control

Christopher R. Kelble, Peter B. Ortner, Gary L. Hitchcock, Michael J. Dagg, Joseph N. Boyer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations

Abstract

Quantifying the relationship between mesozooplankton and water quality parameters identifies the factors that structure the mesozooplankton community and can be used to generate hypotheses regarding the mechanisms that control the mesozooplankton population and potentially the trophic network. To investigate this relationship, mesozooplankton and water quality data were collected in Florida Bay from 1994 to 2004. Three key characteristics were found in the mesozooplankton community structure: (1) there are significant differences between the four subregions of Florida Bay; (2) there is a break in May of 1997 with significant differences before and after this date; and (3) there is a positive correlation between mesozooplankton abundance and salinity. The latter two characteristics are closely correlated with predator abundance, indicating the importance of top-down control. Hypersaline periods appear to provide a refuge from predators, allowing mesozooplankton to increase in abundance despite the increased physiological stress.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)723-737
Number of pages15
JournalEstuaries and Coasts
Volume33
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - May 1 2010

Keywords

  • Coastal
  • Long term
  • Salinity
  • Top-down control
  • Water quality
  • Zooplankton

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aquatic Science
  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Ecology

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