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The Colonization of Barbados Coastal Waters By the Copepod Oithona Oculata

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It is proposed that Oithona oculata colonized the waters off Barbados and other Caribbean islands by migrating around the Cape of Good Hope and crossing the Atlantic Ocean via the South Equatorial Current. The results show that it is permanently established and becoming increasingly important numerically in the Barbados inshore plankton. Raw data on all the developmental stages of O. oculata indicate a high biotic potential and adaptability to its new environment. The high concentrations confined to the leeward side of the island suggest that a retaining mechanism, presumably an eddy system, functions to maintain populations of this copepod close to shore.


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Affiliations: 1: Bellairs Research Institute of McGill University, St. James, Barbados, W.I.; 2: University of the West Indies, Cave Hill Campus, St. Michael, Barbados, W.I.


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