Marine Biology

, Volume 143, Issue 1, pp 121–130

Mesozooplankton community structure across the Antarctic Circumpolar Current to the north of South Georgia: Southern Ocean

  • P. Ward
  • M. Whitehouse
  • M. Brandon
  • R. Shreeve
  • R. Woodd-Walker
Article

Abstract

During four summer seasons mesozooplankton community composition and structure in relation to water mass distribution were investigated along a 735-km transect running across the Antarctic Circumpolar Current (ACC) to the north-west of the island of South Georgia, Southern Ocean. Samples were obtained each year during December–January from the top 200 m of the water column at 22 stations spaced 35 km apart. Cluster analysis revealed four station groupings that were geographically consistent with the different water masses identified on the basis of temperature and salinity properties along the transect. A Sub-Antarctic Zone (SAZ) community characterised by low overall plankton abundance was present at the northernmost end of the transect on three of the four cruises, separated from a Polar Frontal Zone (PFZ) community by the Sub-Antarctic Front (SAF). The PFZ community lay between the SAF and the Polar Front (PF) and was characterised by highest overall abundance and little interannual variability. Two Antarctic Zone (AAZ) communities were found south of the PF that, although taxonomically similar, differed in overall abundance. Although there were significant differences in nutrients (e.g. silicate) and phytoplankton (Chl a) between the different water masses, these factors only weakly correlated with plankton community structure. Copepods were the largest contributors to total abundance within all station groupings (median percentage 83–90% of total) and pteropods were also proportionately abundant in the PFZ (11%). With the exception of pteropods (≤11%) and ostracods (≤3%) all other non-copepod taxa contributed <1% to total abundance. All station groups were characterised by varying proportions of a relatively small subset of species, many of which were present throughout the transect, for example, Oithona similis, Ctenocalanus spp., Euchaeta antarctica, and Rhincalanus gigas. Others were particularly characteristic of different station groups, thus Neocalanus tonsus, Clausocalanus ingens, and Calocalanus spp. were characteristic of the SAZ with few in the PFZ and none in the AAZ. Microcalanus pygmaeus was particularly abundant in the AAZ compared to other regions, as was the polychaete, Pelagobia longicirrata. Other taxa, although widespread, tended to be typical of particular water masses, for example, Calanus simillimus and Limacina helicina in the PFZ, Calanoides acutus, appendicularians and P. longicirrata in the AAZ, and ostracods and chaetognaths in the SAZ. The close physical and biological coupling observed across the ACC confirms the frontal zones and particularly the PF as features across which community properties change in the Atlantic sector of the Southern Ocean.

References

  1. Arhan M, Naveira Garabata AC, Heywood KJ, Stevens DP (2002) The Antarctic Circumpolar Current between the Falkland Islands and South Georgia. J Phys Oceanogr 32:1914–1931CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Atkinson A, Sinclair JD (2000) Zonal distribution and seasonal vertical migration of copepod assemblages in the Scotia Sea. Polar Biol 23:46–58Google Scholar
  3. Atkinson A, Ward P, Peck JM, Murray AWA (1990) Mesoscale distribution of zooplankton around South Georgia. Deep-Sea Res 137:1213–1227Google Scholar
  4. Atkinson A, Ward P, Hill A, Brierley AS, Cripps GC (1999) Krill–copepod interactions at South Georgia, Antarctica, II. Euphausia superba as a major control on copepod abundance. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 176:63–79Google Scholar
  5. Atkinson A, Whitehouse MJ, Priddle J, Cripps GC, Ward P, Brandon MA (2001) South Georgia, Antarctica: a productive, cold water, pelagic ecosystem. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 216:279–308Google Scholar
  6. Beaugrand G, Ibanez F, Lindley JA (2001) Geographical distribution and seasonal and diel changes in the diversity of calanoid copepods in the North Atlantic and North Sea. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 219:189–203Google Scholar
  7. Boltovskoy D, Gibbons MJ, Hutchings L, Binet D (1999) General biological features of the South Atlantic. In: Boltovskoy D (ed) South Atlantic zooplankton. Backhuys, Leiden, pp 1–42Google Scholar
  8. Brandon MA, Murphy EJ, Trathan PN, Bone DG (2000) Physical oceanographic conditions to the northwest of the sub-Antarctic island of South Georgia. J Geophys Res 105(C10):23983–23996Google Scholar
  9. Brierley AS, Watkins JL, Murray AWA (1997) Interannual variability in krill abundance at South Georgia. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 150:87–98Google Scholar
  10. Bryden HL (1983) The Southern Ocean. In: Robinson AR (ed) Eddies in marine science. Springer, Berlin Heidelberg New York, pp 265–277Google Scholar
  11. Chiba S, Ishimaru T, Hosie GW, Fukuchi M (2001) Spatio-temporal variability of zooplankton community structure off east Antarctica (90–160°E). Mar Ecol Prog Ser 216:95–108Google Scholar
  12. Clarke KR, Warwick RM (1994) Changes in marine communities: an approach to statistical analysis and interpretation. Plymouth Marine Laboratory, PlymouthGoogle Scholar
  13. Colebrook JM (1991) Continuous plankton records: from seasons to decades in the plankton of the north-east Atlantic. In: Kawasaki T, Tanaka S, Toba Y, Taniguchi A (eds) Long-term variability of pelagic fish populations and their environments. Pergamon Press, Oxford, pp 70–76Google Scholar
  14. Deacon GER (1982) Physical and biological zonation in the Southern Ocean. Deep-Sea Res 129:1–15Google Scholar
  15. Edinburgh Oceanographic Laboratory (1973) Continuous plankton records: a plankton atlas of the North Atlantic and the North Sea. Bull Mar Ecol 7:1–174Google Scholar
  16. Errhif A, Razouls C, Mayzaud P (1997) Composition and community structure of pelagic copepods in the Indian sector of the Antarctic Ocean during the end of the austral summer. Polar Biol 17:418–430CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Field JG, Clarke KR, Warwick RM (1982) A practical strategy for analysing multispecies distribution. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 8:37–52Google Scholar
  18. Froneman PW, McQuaid CD, Perissinotto R (1995) Biogeographic structure of the microphytoplankton assemblages of the south Atlantic and Southern Ocean during austral summer. J Plankton Res 17:1791–1802Google Scholar
  19. Gordon AL, Georgi DT, Taylor HW (1977) Antarctic Polar Front Zone in the western Scotia Sea—summer 1975. J Phys Oceanogr 7:309–328CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Heywood RB, Everson I, Priddle J (1985) The absence of krill from the South Georgia zone, winter 1983. Deep-Sea Res 132:369–378Google Scholar
  21. Hosie GW (1994) The macroplankton communities in the Prydz Bay region, Antarctica. In: El-Sayed SZ (ed) Southern Ocean ecology: the BIOMASS perspective. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, pp 93–123Google Scholar
  22. Hunt BPV, Pakhomov EA, McQuaid CD (2001) Short-term variation and long-term changes in the oceanographic environment and zooplankton community in the vicinity of a sub-Antarctic archipelago. Mar Biol 138:369–381Google Scholar
  23. Longhurst A (1998) Ecological geography of the sea. Academic Press, LondonGoogle Scholar
  24. Lutjeharms JRE, Baker D Jr (1980) A statistical analysis of the mesoscale dynamics of the Southern Ocean. Deep-Sea Res 127:145–159Google Scholar
  25. Lutjeharms JRE, Walters NM, Allanson BR (1985) Oceanic frontal systems and biological enhancement. In: Siegfried WR, Condy PR, Laws RM (eds) Antarctic nutrient cycles and food webs. Springer, Berlin Heidelberg New York, pp 1–21Google Scholar
  26. Mackintosh NA (1946) The Antarctic Convergence and the distribution of surface temperatures in Antarctic waters. Discovery Rep 23:177–212Google Scholar
  27. Meredith MP, Brandon MA, Trathan PN, Murphy EJ, Bone DG, Grant SD, Chernyshkov PP, Sushin VA (2003a) Variability in oceanographic conditions to the east and northwest of South Georgia 1996–2001. Prog Oceanog (in press)Google Scholar
  28. Meredith MP, Watkins JL, Murphy EJ, Ward P, Bone DG, Thorpe Se, Grant SD (2003b) The Southern ACC Front to the northeast of South Georgia: pathways, characteristics and fluxes. J Geophys Res (in press)Google Scholar
  29. Moore JK, Abbott MR, Richman JG (1997) Variability in the location of the Antarctic Polar Front (90°–20°W) from satellite sea surface temperature data. J Geophys Res 102(C13):27825–27833Google Scholar
  30. Moore JK, Abbott MR, Richman JG (1999) Location and dynamics of the Antarctic Polar Front from satellite sea surface temperature data. J Geophys Res 104(C2):3059–3073CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Orsi AH, Whitworth T III, Nowlin WD Jr (1995) On the meridional extent and fronts of the Antarctic Circumpolar Current. Deep-Sea Res 142:641–673Google Scholar
  32. Pakhomov EA, McQuaid CD (1996) Distribution of surface zooplankton and seabirds across the Southern Ocean. Polar Biol 16:271–286CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Pakhomov EA, Verheye HM, Atkinson A, Laubscher RK, Taunton-Clark J (1997) Structure and grazing impact of the mesozooplankton community during late summer 1994 near South Georgia, Antarctica. Polar Biol 18:180–192CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Pakhomov EA, Perissinotto R, McQuaid CR, Froneman PW (2000) Zooplankton structure and grazing in the Atlantic sector of the Southern Ocean in late austral summer 1993 Part l. Ecological zonation. Deep-Sea Res 147:1663–1686Google Scholar
  35. Parsons TR, Maita Y, Lalli CM (1984) A manual of chemical and biological methods for seawater analysis. Pergamon Press, OxfordGoogle Scholar
  36. Peterson RG, Whitworth T III (1989) The subantarctic and polar fronts in relation to the deep water masses through the southwestern Atlantic. J Geophys Res 94:10817–10838Google Scholar
  37. Priddle J, Croxall JP, Everson I, Heywood RB, Murphy EJ, Prince PA, Sear CB (1988) Large-scale fluctuation in the abundance and distribution of krill—a discussion of possible causes. In: Sahrhage D (ed) Antarctic Ocean and resources variability. Springer, Berlin Heidelberg New York, pp 169–182Google Scholar
  38. Reid K, Croxall JP (2001) Environmental response of upper trophic-level predators reveals a system change in an Antarctic marine ecosystem. Proc R Soc Lond Ser B 268:377–384Google Scholar
  39. Roemmich D, McGowan J (1995) Climatic warming and the decline of zooplankton in the California Current. Science 267:1324–1326Google Scholar
  40. Shreeve RS, Ward P, Whitehouse MJ (2002) Copepod growth and development around South Georgia: relationships with temperature, food and krill. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 233:169–183Google Scholar
  41. Siegel V, Piatkowski U (1990) Variability in the macrozooplankton community off the Antarctic peninsula. Polar Biol 10:373–386Google Scholar
  42. Trathan PN, Brandon MA, Murphy EJ (2000) Transport and structure within the Antarctic Circumpolar Current to the north of South Georgia. Geophys Res Lett 27:1727–1730CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Trathan PN, Brierley AS, Brandon MA, Bone DG, Goss C, Grant S, Murphy EJ, Watkins JL (2003) Oceanographic variability and changes in Antarctic krill abundance at South Georgia. Fish Oceanogr (in press)Google Scholar
  44. Tréguer P, Jacques G (1992) Dynamics of nutrients and phytoplankton, and fluxes of carbon, nitrogen and silicon in the Antarctic Ocean. Polar Biol 12:149–162Google Scholar
  45. Tréguer P, Pondaven P (2002) Climatic changes and the cycles of carbon in the Southern Ocean. Deep-Sea Res II 49:3103–3104Google Scholar
  46. Ward P, Shreeve RS (2001) The deep-sea copepod fauna of the Southern Ocean: patterns and processes. In: Lopes RM, Reid JW, Rocha CEF (eds) Copepoda: developments in ecology, biology and systematics. Hydrobiologia 453/454:37–54Google Scholar
  47. Ward P, Whitehouse M, Meredith MP, Murphy EJ, Shreeve RS, Korb R, Watkins JL, Thorpe SE, Woodd–Walker RS, Brierley A, Cunningham N, Grant SD, Bone DG (2003a) The Southern Antarctic Circumpolar Current: physical and biological coupling at South Georgia. Deep-Sea Res I 49:2183–2202Google Scholar
  48. Ward P, Grant S, Brandon MA, Siegel V, Sushin V, Loeb V, Griffiths H (2003b) Mesozooplankton community structure in the Scotia Sea during the CCAMLR survey: January–February 2000. (Special issue CCAMLR 2000 survey) Deep-Sea Res II (in press)Google Scholar
  49. Whitehouse MJ (1997) Automated seawater nutrient chemistry. British Antarctic Survey, CambridgeGoogle Scholar
  50. Whitehouse MJ, Symon C, Priddle J (1993) Variations in the distribution of chlorophyll a and inorganic nutrients around South Georgia. Antarctic Sci 5:367–376Google Scholar
  51. Whitehouse MJ, Priddle J, Trathan PN, Brandon MA (1996a) Substantial open-ocean phytoplankton blooms to the north of South Georgia, South Atlantic during summer 1994. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 140:187–197Google Scholar
  52. Whitehouse MJ, Priddle J, Symon C (1996b) Seasonal and annual change in seawater temperature, salinity, nutrient and chlorophyll a distributions around South Georgia, South Atlantic. Deep-Sea Res 143:425–443Google Scholar
  53. Whitehouse MJ, Priddle J, Brandon MA (2000) Chlorophyll/nutrient characteristics in the water masses to the north of South Georgia, Southern Ocean. Polar Biol 23:373–382CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Woodd–Walker RS, Ward P, Clarke A (2002) Large-scale patterns in diversity and community structure of surface water copepods from the Atlantic Ocean. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 236:189–203Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • P. Ward
    • 1
  • M. Whitehouse
    • 1
  • M. Brandon
    • 2
  • R. Shreeve
    • 1
  • R. Woodd-Walker
    • 1
  1. 1.British Antarctic Survey, High CrossCambridgeUK
  2. 2.Department of Earth SciencesThe Open UniversityMilton KeynesUK

Personalised recommendations