Original Article

Helgoland Marine Research

, Volume 67, Issue 3, pp 507-520

First online:

Seasonality of the copepod assemblages associated with interplay waters off northeastern Taiwan

  • Li-Chun TsengAffiliated withInstitute of Marine Biology, National Taiwan Ocean University
  • , Jia-Jang HungAffiliated withInstitute of Marine Geology and Chemistry, National Sun Yat-Sen University
  • , Qing-Chao ChenAffiliated withSouth China Sea Institute of Oceanography, Academia Sinica
  • , Jiang-Shiou HwangAffiliated withInstitute of Marine Biology, National Taiwan Ocean University Email author 


This study investigated copepod assemblages in the regime around Turtle Island off northern Taiwan to trace South China Sea water (SCSW) flowing northward with the Kuroshio Current. Seasonal variations of copepod assemblages demonstrated a dynamic succession of changes in copepod populations; the average abundance for total copepods ranged from 102.58 ± 53.38 in December to 1669.89 ± 1866.17 in March (individuals m−3). A total of 87 copepod species representing 36 genera and 21 families were identified. Among all samples, Temora turbinata dominated the copepods by a relative abundance (RA) of 26.89 %, followed by Paracalanus parvus (RA: 22.34 %) and Corycaeus (Ditrichocorycaeus) affinis (RA: 12.77 %). Only the Acrocalanus gracilis species was recorded in all samples. Results of one-way ANOVA revealed that the number of copepod species, indices of richness, evenness, and Shannon–Wiener diversity differed significantly in five different cruises. The density of five copepod species (Gaetanus minor, Calanus sinicus, Eucalanus elongates, Rhincalanus nasutus, and Rhincalanus rostrifrons) exhibited a significant negative correlation with seawater temperature. In contrast, the density of Canthocalanus pauper and Undinula vulgaris was significantly positively correlated with seawater temperature. The cold-water indicator species, C. sinicus, recorded in samples of March and May indicated the effect of China Coast Water (CCW) on copepod communities in the study area. Furthermore, the presence of Calanoides philippinensis in May samples strongly indicated that the SCSW may reach the Turtle Island area. Consequently, C. philippinensis and C. sinicus can be used to trace SCSW and CCW, respectively, in the study area.


Indicator species Copepod assemblages Succession East China Sea Kuroshio Current