Mesozooplankton community structure in the Scotia Sea during the CCAMLR 2000 Survey: January-February 2000

Ward, Peter; Grant, Sharon; Brandon, Mark; Siegel, Volker; Sushin, Vyacheslav; Loeb, Valerie and Griffiths, Huw (2004). Mesozooplankton community structure in the Scotia Sea during the CCAMLR 2000 Survey: January-February 2000. Deep-Sea Research Part II: Topical Studies in Oceanography, 51(12-13) pp. 1351–1367.



An analysis of mesozooplankton community structure in the Scotia Sea was carried out, based on 123 RMT1 double oblique hauls (0–200 m) taken during the CCAMLR 2000 Survey. Standardized sample data (log abundance per 1000 m3) were grouped into taxonomic categories and subjected to cluster analysis and multi-dimensional scaling. Two ordinations were performed, the first based on a reduced taxonomic dataset (31 categories out of a full 120) obtained by pooling ontogenetic stages within species and by including only those taxa that contributed at least 4% to total abundance at any one station. This disclosed two major station groups, which separated north and south, forming ‘warm’ and ‘cold’ water communities respectively, whereas four minor groups were mainly associated with stations around the Antarctic Peninsula and within the Weddell Scotia Confluence. Mean zooplankton abundance (238 000 individuals per 1000 m3) within the northerly group G1 was up to 12 times higher than in other groups. The second ordination using all taxonomic categories disclosed an additional intermediate group (G1a), which was geographically consistent with the southern part of the northern group 1 from the previous ordination. However, because of taxonomic similarities between all the major station groups it was concluded that they represented a single community, which differed only in its phenological development and the mass occurrence of patchily distributed organisms such as krill larvae. Testing the relationships of station groups with the position of water masses and frontal boundaries indicated that the Weddell Front was broadly coincident with the boundary of the northern and southern communities over much of its length. However, the presence of stations belonging to group G2, to the north of the Weddell Front, to the west of the Antarctic Peninsula, and around the South Sandwich Islands, was consistent with the distribution of ice-influenced surface water. Low zooplankton abundance and species developmental composition suggested that this ‘community’ was largely in an over-wintered state. Copepods and euphausiids dominated the mesozooplankton throughout the study area with small copepods (Oithona spp., Ctenocalanus spp. and Metridia spp.) particularly abundant.

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