Trophic conditions govern summer zooplankton production variability along the SE Spanish coast (SW Mediterranean).
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AuthorsYebra, L. (Lidia); Putzeys, S; Cortés-Delgado, M.D. (María Dolores); Mercado-Carmona, J.M. (Jesús Mariano); Gómez-Jakobsen, F.J. (Francisco José); León, P; Salles, S; Herrera , I. (Inma)
The influence of hydrochemistry and trophic conditions on the coastal zooplankton community metabolic rates was investigated along the southeastern Spanish coast, from Algeciras to Cartagena. Zooplankton metabolism was assessed from measurements of gut fluorescence (GF), electron transport system (ETS) and aminoacyl-tRNA synthetases (AARS) activities. Zooplankton had higher biomass specific respiration and growth rates in the Mediterranean stations to the East, driven by warmer seawater temperatures. However, zooplankton biomass and abundance were significantly higher in the Alboran Sea and, consequently, the zooplankton community in these coastal waters presented the highest production rates of the study area and among the highest of the Mediterranean Sea.We observed that summer zooplankton production variability was driven by the trophic conditions rather than by the hydrological variability.