Hydrographic conditions and mesozooplankton species distribution in the Bay of Biscay shelf during spring 2004
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KeywordsBay of Biscay
Iberian Poleward Current
Mesozooplankton community structure on the southern Bay of Biscay shelf and its relationship with environmental conditions was analysed during spring 2004. According to thermohaline characteristics, we observed two frontal zones along the shelf (around 7° and 3°W) that gave rise to three distinct hydrographic regions. The westernmost part of the shelf (WC), defined by the presence of relatively warm and salty water related to the presence of the Iberian Poleward Current (IPC), the easternmost region (EC), characterised by colder and fresher water, and a region in the Central Cantabrian Sea (CC) with thermohaline characteristics in between these two extremes. Besides, a clear coastal-offshore pattern was found in relation to the mixed layer depth (MLD). We observed a good agreement between the aforesaid hydrographic regions and the distribution of zooplankton species. In the WC region, the community structure was dominated by Paracalanus parvus, Oithona helgolandica, Acartia clausii and ...
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