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Spatial distribution of zooplankton size spectra on the French continental shelf of the Bay of Biscay during spring 2000 and 2001

Abstract : During two cruises in springtime (18 March to 13 April 2000 and 27 March to 4 June 2001), the whole French continental shelf of the Bay of Biscay was sampled to obtain an overview on the zooplankton community size structure. A laboratory optical plankton counter (OPC-1L) was used to process plankton net tow samples and estimate abundance, biovolume, and general characteristics of size spectra. In a second step, biomass estimates were extrapolated from size by using a conversion factor. Both biomass and abundance estimates show spatial patterns with a clear coastal-open sea gradient for both years. The coastal area was characterized by the highest biomasses and abundances per volume. A first analysis of the zooplankton community size spectra was made by using the slope of the normalized biomass size spectrum. Different spatial patterns of zooplankton size spectra were highlighted for spring 2000 and 2001. The highest slopes were found for the coastal zone, showing a large ratio of small organisms, although this was less marked in the springtime 2000. Stations characterized by high proportions of large organisms were located in majority in the north of the bay and at the shelf break. A second analysis using the size probability distributions of organisms revealed a nearly permanent nonlinearity of probability distributions. This implied the community structure was not in an equilibrium state during spring and this nonlinearity could be locally related to dominant species dynamics.
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Submitted on : Thursday, March 24, 2022 - 4:43:13 PM
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Marc Sourisseau, François Carlotti. Spatial distribution of zooplankton size spectra on the French continental shelf of the Bay of Biscay during spring 2000 and 2001. Journal of Geophysical Research. Oceans, Wiley-Blackwell, 2006, 111, ⟨10.1029/2005JC003063⟩. ⟨insu-03618912⟩

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