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Planktonic Copepods of Bahia De La Ascensión, Caribbean Coast of Mexico: a Seasonal Survey

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The composition, abundance, and distribution of planktonic copepods collected at Bahia de la Ascensión, on the east coast of the Yucatan Peninsula, were analyzed during all three climatic periods of a year cycle (August, 1990-July, 1991). Highest mean copepod abundance was observed during the "nortes" period (524 org. 100 m-3), lowest values occurred during the dry season (91 org. 100 m-3). A total of 35 copepod species were identified, the most abundant were Acartia lilljeborgii, A. spinata, Labidocera scotti and L. mirabilis. Salinity gradients were weak and were not considered a relevant factor of the local copepod distribution. Spatial distribution of copepod densities throughout the year seemed to be related to different climatic regimes. From cluster analysis (Canberra Index), three facies could be identified: a bay facies, a neritic facies, and a mixed or semi-neritic facies. Copepod distribution during the three seasons was variable and showed the seasonal intensity of the marine influence in the system and the effect of the winds regime in the local copepod community.

Affiliations: 1: Centro de Investigaciones de Quintana Roo, A. P. 424, Chetumal 77000, Quintana Roo, Mexico


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