Polar Biology

, Volume 9, Issue 1, pp 17–35 | Cite as

Meso- and macrozooplankton communities in the Weddell Sea, Antarctica

  • Elisabeth Boysen-Ennen
  • Uwe Piatkowski


The present paper describes composition and abundance of meso- and macrozooplankton in the epipelagic zone of the Weddell Sea and gives a systematic review of encountered species regarding results of earlier expeditions. Material was sampled from 6 February to 10 March 1983 from RV Polarstern with a RMT 1+8 m (320 and 4500 μm mesh size). In agreement with topography and water mass distribution three distinct communities were defined, clearly separated by cluster analysis: The Southern Shelf Community has lowest abundances (approx. 9000 ind./1000 m3). Euphausia crystallorophias and Metridia gerlachei are predominating. Compared with the low overall abundance the number of regularly occurring species is high (55) due to many neritic forms. Herbivores and omnivores are dominating (58% and 35%). The North-eastern Shelf Community has highest abundances (about 31 000 ind./1000 m3). It is predominated by copepodites I–III of Calanus propinquus and Calanoides acutus (61%). The faunal composition is characterized by both oceanic and neritic species (64). Fine-filter feeders are prevailing (65%). The Oceanic Community has a mean abundance of approximately 23 000 ind./1000 m3, consisting of 61 species. Dominances are not as pronounced as in the shelf communities. Apart from abundant species like Calanus propinquus, Calanoides acutus, Metridia gerlachei, Oithona spp. and Oncaea spp. many typical inhabitants of the Eastwind Drift are encountered. All feeding types have about the same importance in the Oceanic Community.


Meso Faunal Composition Distinct Community Typical Inhabitant Epipelagic Zone 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1988

Authors and Affiliations

  • Elisabeth Boysen-Ennen
    • 1
  • Uwe Piatkowski
    • 1
  1. 1.Alfred-Wegener-Institut für Polar- und MeeresforschungBremerhavenFederal Republic of Germany

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