Mesozooplankton community structure during summer months in the bay of Cádiz.
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SourceThalassas, 25(3): 99-114
Mesozooplankton organisms (>250 μm) were sampled at two stations (inner and outer Bay) in the Bay of Cádiz between May and July 2008. Samples were analysed by means of a semi-automated technique in order to give a preliminary view of the mesoozooplankton community structure in the Bay, based on taxonomic diversity and biomass distribution among size classes. The abundance of organisms increased from May to July in accordance with the increase in temperature and Chlorophyll a (Chla) concentrations. Abundances were higher in the outer Bay station, where Chla concentrations are greater and the water column is more stable. The community changed from being meroplankton- to holoplankton-based due to an increase of Calanoida and especially Cladocera individuals (mainly Penilia avirostris), which are known to peak acutely in the summer. The analysis of Normalised Biomass-Size spectra revealed fairly steep slopes (average -1.3) and relatively high departures from steady state (r2 = 0.8 – 0.94), expectable in a coastal system such as the Bay of Cádiz were disturbance factors are introduced from benthic and tidal processes, together with anthropogenic pressure.