Marine Biology

, Volume 97, Issue 3, pp 309–328 | Cite as

Spatial, temporal, and behavioral patterns in emergence of zooplankton in the lagoon of Heron Reef, Great Barrier Reef, Australia

  • C. A. Jacoby
  • J. G. Greenwood


A total of 34 zooplanktonic taxa were common in emergence trap, reentry trap, and net-tow samples taken in the lagoon of Heron Reef, Great Barrier Reef, between 27 February and 22 March and between 11 June and 4 July 1985. Twenty-nine of these taxa were classified as demersal (17 taxa), meroplanktonic and larval (10 taxa), or incidental (2 taxa). The remaining five multispecific groups yielded variable results. Differences were observed between two locations separated by 200 m, with emergence 2 to 62 times greater for 22 taxa at a deeper site with larger coral formations. Most zooplankters were more common (2 to 122 times) in samples from 1 m2 areas around 0.25 to 0.5 m2 patches of branching coral. However, two species of copepods, Pseudodiaptomus colefaxi and Metis holothuriae, were taken in greater numbers (3 to 12 times) from open sand. Seasonal increases (2 to 322 times) were observed for 13 adult taxa and 8 classes of larvae or juveniles in the summer and for 10 adult taxa and one larval group in the winter. Fourteen of the 17 demersal taxa and 4 groups of large larvae or juveniles emerged in numbers 2 to 323 times greater during lunar quarters or new moons. In contrast, 6 larval taxa and 4 groups of small or transparent adults displayed significant emergence during full moons. Five diurnal emergence patterns were shown by 27 taxa, with patterns varying primarily among lunar periods. The variety of taxon-specific patterns observed in this study highlight a need for caution when generalizing about demersal zooplankton.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1988

Authors and Affiliations

  • C. A. Jacoby
    • 1
  • J. G. Greenwood
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of ZoologyUniversity of QueenslandBrisbaneAustralia

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