Event Name/Location

ASLO/TOS Ocean Research Conference, Honolulu, Hawaii, February 15-20, 2004.

Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Publication Date

2-2004

Abstract

Blooms of the toxic dinoflagellate K. brevis are common in the Gulf of Mexico, yet no in situ studies of the interactions between zooplankton and K. brevis in the Gulf of Mexico have been conducted. Zooplankton numerical abundance, biomass and taxonomic composition of nonbloom and K. brevis bloom stations within the ECOHAB study area were compared. At nonbloom stations, the most important determinant species were Parvolcalanus crassirostris, Oithona colcarva and Paracalanus quasimodo at the 5-m isobath and P. quasimodo, O. colcarva and Oikopleura dioka at the 25-m isobath. There was considerable overlap between the 5 and 25-m isobaths, with 9 species contributing to the top 90% of numerical abundance at both isobaths. Within K. brevis blooms Acartia tonsa, Centropages velificatus, Temora turbinata, Evadne tergestina, O. colcarva, O. dioika, and P. crassirostris were consistently dominant. Variations between non-bloom and bloom assemblages were evident, including variations in numerical abundance and biomass and the reduction in numerical abundance of 3 key species. Calculated grazing pressure proved insufficient to terminate K. brevis blooms, despite occasional grazing hot spots.

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