Seasonal variability in copepod biomass in a cyclonic eddy system in the Bay of La Paz, southern Gulf of California, Mexico [article]

Franco Antonio Rocha Diaz, María Adela Monreal Gómez, Erik Coria Monter, David Alberto Salas de Leon, Elizabeth Duran Campos
2020 bioRxiv   pre-print
As one of the main groups composing marine zooplankton, copepods play an important role due to the position they occupy in the trophic web. Study of their biomass and relationship with the physical conditions of the water column are essential in order to evaluate the trophic structure and functions of any aquatic ecosystem. As a contribution to this topic, we assessed the copepod biomass inside a cyclonic eddy system during two different seasons in the Bay of La Paz in the southern Gulf of
more » ... ornia, a region characterized by high biological productivity. Two oceanographic expeditions took place in the winter of 2006 and summer of 2009 on which a conductivity-temperature-depth (CTD) probe was used to determine the physical structure of the water column and oblique zooplankton hauls collected zooplankton samples. Satellite data were used to visualize chlorophyll-a distribution patterns. The results showed the presence of a well-defined mesoscale cyclonic eddy in both seasons, with high chlorophyll-a (CHLA) values at the edges of the eddy. Maximum values for copepod biomass were observed in winter and their distribution corresponded well with the circulation pattern and the CHLA values, forming a belt shape following the periphery of the eddy. The results presented herein highlight the impact of the mesoscale eddy on the planktonic ecosystem through its influence on hydrographic conditions in the water column. Other factors, such as ecological interactions, population dynamics, and feeding habits may play a role as well. Feeding behavior in particular is affected by high CHLA concentrations observed around the eddy which represent a source of food for these organisms.
doi:10.1101/2020.03.13.990382 fatcat:qix622ekirfcrncrcbbfbsbesy