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Interannual Variability in Tropical Estuarine Copepod Assemblages off Northeastern Brazil

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Abstract We studied copepod assemblage variability among years, seasons, and tidal states in the Mucuri River estuary (Bahia State, Brazil). Zooplankton samples were collected seasonally through five years (2002-2006) at three sampling stations, one of which was sampled over a complete tidal cycle (two ebb and two flood tides). Temperature, salinity, river flux, and rainfall data were collected. Winter and summer represented dry and wet seasons, respectively. Copepod abundances ranged from 40 to 63% of the total zooplankton assemblage and comprised 46 taxa, among which, common estuarine species such as Temora turbinata (first record for the studied area), Parvocalanus crassirostris, Acartia lilljeborgi, Oithona hebes were the most abundant (euryhaline species). Interannual and seasonal variations were most marked in stenohaline species, e.g., Notodiaptomus sp. and Thermocyclops minutus; density variations of euryhaline species, which made up the majority of the abundant taxa, were most closely related to tides. Diversity and richness also followed an intertidal pattern of variation.

Affiliations: 1: (RAM, Chico Mendes Institute for Biodiversity Conservation – ICMBio, Ministry of Environment, EQSW 103/104 Complexo Sudoeste, Brasília, Brazil; 2: (JBP, University of São Paulo – USP, Av. Professor Luciano Gualberto - Cidade Universitária – São Paulo, Brazil; 3: (LFL, correspondence, Federal University of Espírito Santo – UFES, Av. Fernando Ferrari, 514 – Goiabeiras – CEP 29075-910 - Vitória, Espírito Santo – Brazil


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