The northwestern Indian Ocean during the monsoons of 1979: distribution, abundance, and feeding of zooplankton

Sharon L. Smith

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65 Scopus citations


Upwelling induced by the separation of the Somali Current from the coast of east Africa is associated with low surface temperatures, high concentrations of nitrate, and blooms of phytoplankton. Coefficients of concordance, based upon 17 taxa of zooplankton collected at 33 stations in the southwest monsoon and 15 stations in the northeast monsoon, were consistently larger for the southwest monsoon and indicative of a general response of the zooplankton in the northwestern Indian Ocean. The largest coefficients of concordance in the southwest monsoon were among adult females of Paracalanus denudatus, Paracalanus parvus, and Paracalanus aculeatus and of Calanoides carinatus and Eucalanus spp. Coefficients of concordance among copepodids of six taxa had a trend similar to adult females in the southwest monsoon. During the southwest monsoon, total biomass of zooplankton was significantly greater within areas of upwelling than outside; adult females and copepodids of C. carinatus and Eucalanus spp. were significantly more abundant within the upwelling regions, along with adult females of Clausocalanus furcatus and Clausocalanus minor. The upwelling regions, which are associated with a reproductively active population of the large-bodied C. carinatus, are the primary features affecting distributions of zooplankton during the southwest monsoon and the main difference between monsoons. The ontogenetic migration of C. carinatus is essentially an annual life-history strategy and therefore on the same temporal scale as the reversals in the monsoonal winds and associated upwelling. The ability of C. carinatus to ingest readily the diatoms that dominate the upwelling regions and to store lipid is crucial to its dominance of the areas of upwelling both in numbers and biomass.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1331-1353
Number of pages23
JournalDeep Sea Research Part A, Oceanographic Research Papers
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 1982

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Science(all)
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)


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