Estuaries

, Volume 9, Issue 4, pp 326–339

Zooplankton distribution and abundance in the Sacramento-San Joaquin delta in relation to certain environmental factors

  • James J. Orsi
  • Walter L. Mecum
Article

DOI: 10.2307/1351412

Cite this article as:
Orsi, J.J. & Mecum, W.L. Estuaries (1986) 9: 326. doi:10.2307/1351412

Abstract

The dominant members of the freshwater zooplankton in the Sacramento-San Joaquin delta were those typical of temperate zone rivers—Bosmina andCyclops among the crustaceans andKeratella, Polyarthra, Trichocerca andSynchaeta among the rotifers. The estuarine or brackish component of the plankton was represented by the copepodEurytemora affinis and the rotiferSynchaeta bicornis. Abundace of freshwater zooplankton was highest in the San Joaquin River near Stockton, the region with the highest chlorophylla concentrations and highest temperatures. This was also the region least affected by water project operations, which alter the normal river flow patterns and bring large volumes of zooplankton-deficient Sacramento River water into the San Joaquin River and south delta chanels. Over a seven-year period, abundance of most zooplankton genera was positively correlated with chlorophylla concentrations and temperature but not with net flow velocity. OnlyBosmina had a significant and negative correlation with abundance of a predacious shrimp,Neomysis mercedis. Extreme salinity intrusion in 1977 reduced freshwater zooplankton abundance throughout most of the delta to seven-year lows. All zooplankton groups showed a long-term abundance decline from 1972 to 1978. In the cases of rotifers and copepods, this deciline was significantly correlated with a decline in chlorophylla.

Copyright information

© Estuarine Research Federation 1986

Authors and Affiliations

  • James J. Orsi
    • 1
  • Walter L. Mecum
    • 1
  1. 1.California Department of Fish and GameStockton