On-line version ISSN 0717-6538
MARQUEZ-ROJAS, Brightdoom; MARIN, Baumar; DIAZ-RAMOS, J.R and TROCCOLI, Luis. Zooplankton biomass, density and composition in Mochima Bay, Venezuela. Gayana (Concepc.) [online]. 2008, vol.72, n.1, pp. 52-67. ISSN 0717-6538. doi: 10.4067/S0717-65382008000100008.
Zooplankton biomass, density and composition were studied in Mochima Bay during 1998. Samples were collected at monthly intervals at stations located at the mouth and the interior of the bay from January to December 1998. At each station, samples were collected in the intervals 0-5 and 10-15 m with a Standard net of 300 µm and 0,25 m Ø at a speed of two knots during ten minutes. Wind data was used to calculate the upwelling index. Salinity, water temperature, concentration of dissolved oxygen and chlorophyll a (chl a), and zooplankton biomass and density were measured at the two stations. Also, the organisms were identified to group level. Temperature profiles showed a greater residence time for warm waters in the internal part of the bay than in the external one. Higher zooplankton density values (4066 ind/m3) were found during the period February - May. Values were relatively low (< 200 ind/m3) in June and July for both stations. They were also low for the external station in the period October - December. The highest zooplankton density was measured in the layer 10-15m in the internal station. Dominance pattern was similar for both stations. Eighteen zooplankton groups were identified. The order of importance of the groups in terms of relative abundance was copepods, apendiculates, balanid nauplii and cladocerans. The latter dominated from July to September (warm-water period) at the internal station. The variation in zooplankton density and composition reflected a strong influence of the upwelling index and of water temperature.
Keywords : Zooplankton; density; biomass; upwelling.