Marine Biology

, Volume 154, Issue 6, pp 953–972 | Cite as

Zooplankton community structure across an eddy-generated upwelling band close to a tropical bay-mangrove ecosystem

  • M. Rakhesh
  • A. V. Raman
  • C. Kalavati
  • B. R. Subramanian
  • V. S. Sharma
  • E. Sunitha Babu
  • Nanduri Sateesh
Original Paper


Mesoscale eddies in the world’s oceans are ubiquitous and bring about episodic pulses of nutrients into the photic zone. Transient in nature, the role of eddy pumping in coastal enrichment via plankton production, and subsequent organic flux is not yet fully realised. In the context of a cyclonic cold-core eddy that propagates annually under the influence of the East India Coastal Current and enriches coastal waters in the western Bay of Bengal north of 16°N, a detailed study on zooplankton community structure along with phytoplankton composition and associated water quality was undertaken during April–May 2002 coinciding with the spring intermonsoon. Zooplankton samples were collected at 32 hydrographically different (salinity 24.5–35.6 PSU) GPS fixed locations representing bay-mangrove areas and nearshore waters (30 m) close to the River Godavari, which is one of India’s largest estuarine systems. During the study, the bay-coastal waters were typified by elevated nutrient levels (nitrate 10.73–22.04 μM), high salinity (27.98–35.52 PSU), and relatively low temperatures (30.63–31.40°C). Altogether, 95 zooplankton taxa were encountered with copepods forming the predominant population. Agglomerative Hierarchical Cluster Analysis (AHCA) and Non-metric Multidimensional Scaling (NMDS) based on Bray–Curtis similarity (PRIMER) analysis revealed appreciable alterations in zooplankton structure across bay-mangrove locations and coastal waters (Stress 0.11; ANOSIM test Global R: 0.94, = 0.1%). Similarity Percentage (SIMPER) analysis revealed zooplankton associations through “discriminating species” for each location (Kakinada Bay, Cluster I, 27.9 ± 3.0 PSU; upwelling band, cluster II, 35.5 ± 0.2 PSU; offshore waters, cluster III, 34.2 ± 0.4 PSU; mangrove outlets, cluster IV, 32.7 ± 1.3 PSU and mangrove creeks, cluster V, 33.5 ± 0.6 PSU). The index of multivariate dispersion (IMD) illustrated high variability in zooplankton standing stock for mangrove/sea locations relative to the bay. Concurrent observations on phytoplankton revealed the importance of diatoms (r: 0.640, ≤ 0.05). Within the eddy-generated band of upwelled water, a significant top-down control of diatoms by herbivorous zooplankton resulted in a comparative increase in abundance of dinophyceans. Based on zooplankton abundance data and species association patterns, it was possible to distinguish different zooplankton/copepod communities in accordance with mesoscale variability in physical, chemical and biological processes under tropical conditions. This was confirmed through canonical correspondence analysis (CCA) that represented coastal-offshore waters and the Bay environment in this area.


Phytoplankton Canonical Correspondence Analysis Western Boundary Current Total Zooplankton Upwelled Water 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



This work was carried out with financial support from the Ministry of Earth Sciences (formerly Department of Ocean Development), Government of India under the project “No Impact Zone—Kakinada Bay” (Grant No DOD/ICMAM-PD/102/98). Facilities at the Marine Biological Laboratory, Department of Zoology, Andhra University were of great avail. R. Ramesh Babu and N.A. Raju helped in fieldwork. B.T. Sivakumar provided graphics. We appreciate very much the constructive criticism of the manuscript by T. Ganesh and the five anonymous reviewers. This contribution is dedicated to the late D.V. Ramasarma for his pioneering research in Kakinada Bay.


  1. Acuña JL, Deibel D, Morris CC (1996) Particle capture mechanism of the pelagic tunicate Oikopleura vanhoeffeni. Limnol Oceanogr 41:1800–1814CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Alpine AE, Cloern JE (1992) Trophic interactions and direct physical effects control phytoplankton biomass and production in an estuary. Limnol Oceanogr 37:946–955CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Baduini CL (1997) Spatial and temporal patterns of zooplankton biomass in Monterey Bay, California, during the 1991–1993 El Nino, and an assessment of the sampling design. CalCOFI Report 38:193–198Google Scholar
  4. Beckmann W, Auras A, Hemleben Ch (1987) Cyclonic cold-core eddy in the eastern north Atlantic.III. Zooplankton. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 39:165–173CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Bhavanarayana PV (1974) On the vertical distribution of pelagic tunicates in relation to the water masses in the western part of the Bay of Bengal. Hydrobiologia 44:209–214CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Bouillon S (2002) Organic carbon in a southeast Indian mangrove ecosystem: sources and utilization by different faunal communities. Ph.D. thesis submitted to Vrije Universiteit Brussel, 334 ppGoogle Scholar
  7. Boyd CM, Smith SL (1983) Plankton, upwelling and coastally trapped waves off Peru. Deep-Sea Res 30:723–742CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Bradford JM, Murdoch RC, Chapman BE (1993) Composition of macrozooplankton assemblages associated with the formation and decay of pulses within an upwelling plume in greater Cook Strait, New Zealand. N Z J Mar Freshwater Res 27:1–22CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Chandramohan P, Sreenivas N (1998) Diel variations in zooplankton populations in mangrove ecosystem at Gaderu canal, southeast coast of India. Indian J Mar Sci 27:486–488Google Scholar
  10. Chiang KP, Taniguchi A, Kato S (1994) Distribution of diatom assemblages in and around a warm core ring in the north Pacific polar frontal zone. La mer 32:195–207Google Scholar
  11. Chiang KP, Taniguchi A (1993) Formation of a diatom assemblage distributed widely in the north Pacific polar frontal zone. Bull Jpn Soc Fish Oceanogr 57:307–318Google Scholar
  12. Chiang KP, Shiah FK, Gong GC (1997) Distribution of summer diatom assemblages in and around a local upwelling in the east China sea northeast of Taiwan. Bot Bull Acad Sin 38:121–129Google Scholar
  13. Chong VC, Low CB, Ichikawa T (2001) Contribution of mangrove detritus to juvenile prawn nutrition: a dual stable isotope study in a Malaysian mangrove forest. Mar Biol 138:77–86CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Clarke KR, Green RH (1988) Statistical design and analysis for a ‘biological effects’ study. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 92:205–219CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Clarke KR (1993) Non-parametric multivariate analyses of changes in community structure. Aust J Ecol 18:117–143CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Clarke KR, Gorley RN (2006) PRIMER v6: user manual/tutorial, PRIMER-E Ltd., Plymouth, 91 ppGoogle Scholar
  17. Clarke KR, Warwick RM (1994) Changes in marine communities: an approach to statistical analysis and interpretation, Plymouth Marine Laboratory, UK, 144 ppGoogle Scholar
  18. Coyle KO, Hunt GL Jr (2000) Seasonal differences in the distribution, density and scale of zooplankton patches in the upper mixed layer near the western Aleutian Islands. Plank Biol Ecol 47:31–42Google Scholar
  19. Cullen JJ, Yang X, MacIntyre HL (1992) Nutrient limitation of marine photosynthesis. In: Falkowski PG, Woodhead A (eds) Primary productivity and biogeochemical cycles in the sea. Plenum, New york, pp 69–88CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Davis SE III, Childers DL, Day JW, Rudnick DT, Sklar FH (2001) Wetland–water column exchanges of carbon, nitrogen, and phosphorus in a southern Everglades dwarf mangrove. Estuaries 24:610–622CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Dehairs F, Rao RG, Chandramohan P, Raman AV, Marguillier S, Hellings L (2000) Tracing mangrove carbon in suspended matter and aquatic fauna of the Gautami–Godavari delta, Bay of Bengal (India). Hydrobiologia 431:225–241CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Deibel D, Lee SH (1992) Retention effieciency of submicrometer particles by the pharyngeal filter of the pelagic tunicate Oikopleura vanhoeffeni. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 81:25–30CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Dittmar T, Lara RJ (2001a) Driving forces behind nutrient and organic matter dynamics in a mangrove tidal creek in north Brazil. Estuar Coast Shelf Sci 52:249–259CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Dittmar T, Lara RJ (2001b) Do mangroves rather than rivers provide nutrients to coastal environments south of the Amazon river? Evidence from long-term flux measurements. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 213:67–77CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Fleming M, Lin G, Sternberg LD (1990) Influence of mangrove detritus in an estuarine ecosystem. Bull Mar Sci 47:663–669Google Scholar
  26. Foster BA, Battaerd WR (1985) Distribution of zooplankton in a coastal upwelling in NewZealand. N Z J Mar Fresh Water Res 19:213–226CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Gomes HR, Goes JI, Saino T (2000) Influence of physical processes and freshwater discharge on the seasonality of phytoplankton regime in the Bay of Bengal. Cont Shelf Res 20:313–330CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Gorsky G, Flood PR, Youngbluth M, Picheral M, Grisoni JM (2000) Zooplankton distribution in four western Norwegian fjords. Estuar Coast Shelf Sci 50:129–135CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Hitchcock GL, Lane P, Smith S, Luo J, Ortner PB (2002) Zooplankton spatial distributions in coastal waters of the northern Arabian Sea, August 1995. Deep-Sea Res II 49:2403–2423CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Hopcroft RR, Roff JC (1998) Zooplankton growth rates: the influence of female size and resources on egg production of tropical marine copepods. Mar Biol 132:79–86CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Hopcroft RR, Roff JC, Webber MK, Witt JDS (1998) Zooplankton growth rates: the influence of size and resources in tropical marine copepodites. Mar Biol 132:67–77CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. ICES (2000) Zooplankton methodology manual. Harris RP, Wiebe PH, Lenz J, Skjoldal H R, Huntley M (eds) Academic Press, CA, pp 684Google Scholar
  33. James MR, Wilkinson VH (1988) Biomass, carbon ingestion, and ammonia excretion by zooplankton associated with an upwelling plume in western Cook Strait, New Zealand. N Z J Mar Fresh Water Res 22:249–257CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. John RZ, John O, Sira LB, Laura AR (2005) Physical fluxes, pelagic ecosystem structure, and larval fish survival in Hauraki Gulf, New Zealand. Can J Fish Aquat Sci 62(3):593–610CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Kiørboe T (1993) Turbulence, phytoplankton cell size, and the structure of pelagic food webs. Adv Mar Biol 29:1–67CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Kruskal JB, Wish M (1978) Multidimensional scaling. Sage Publications, Beverley HillsCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. La Fond EC (1954) On upwelling and sinking off the east coast of India. Andhra University Memoirs in Oceanography 1:117–121Google Scholar
  38. La Fond EC (1957) Oceanographic studies in the Bay of Bengal. Proceedings of Indian Academy of Science. Section B 46:1–47CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. La Fond EC (1958) On the circulation of the surface layers on the east coast of India. Andhra University Memoirs in Oceanography 2:1–11Google Scholar
  40. Lee SY (1995) Mangrove outwelling: a review. Hydrobiologia 295:203–212CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Lee SY (2000) Carbon dynamics of Deep Bay, eastern Pearl River estuary, China. II: trophic relationship based on carbon and nitrogen stable isotopes. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 205:1–10CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Lo W, Chung C, Shih C (2004) Seasonal distribution of copepods in Tapong Bay, Southwestern Taiwan. Zool Stud 43:464–474Google Scholar
  43. Loneragan NR, Bunn SE, Kellaway DM (1997) Are mangroves and seagrasses sources of organic carbon for penaeid prawns in a tropical Australian estuary? A multiple stable-isotope study. Mar Biol 130:289–300CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Lopes RM, Brandini FP, Gaeta SA (1999) Distribution patterns of epipelagic copepods off Rio de Janeiro (SE Brazil) in summer 1991/1992 and winter 1992. Hydrobiologia 411:161–174CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Mackas DL, Tsurumi M, Galbraith MD, Yelland DR (2005) Zooplankton distribution and dynamics in a North Pacific Eddy of coastal origin: II. Mechanisms of eddy colonization by and retention of offshore species. Deep-Sea Res II 52:1011–1035CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Madhu NV, Jyothibabu R, Maheswaran PA, Vijay JG, Gopalakrishnan TC, Nair KKC (2006) Lack of seasonality in phytoplankton standing stock (chlorophyll a) and production in the western Bay of Bengal. Continental Shelf Research (in press, available online at
  47. Madhupratap M, Mangesh G, Ramaiaha N, Prasanna Kumar S, Muraleedharan PM, de Sousa SN, Sardessai S, Usha Muraleedharan (2003) Biogeochemistry of the Bay of Bengal: physical, chemical and primary productivity characteristics of the central and western Bay of Bengal during summer monsoon 2001. Deep-Sea Res II 50:881–896CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Madhupratap M, Haridas P, Ramaiah N, Achuthankutty CT (1992) Zooplankton of the southwest coast of India: abundance, composition, temporal and spatial variability in 1987. In: Desai BN (ed) Oceanography of the Indian Ocean. Oxford & IBH, New Delhi, pp 99–112Google Scholar
  49. Madhupratap M, Sreekumaran Nair SR, Haridas P, Padmavati G (1990) Response of zooplankton to physical changes in the environment: coastal upwelling along the central west coast of India. J Coast Res 6:413–426Google Scholar
  50. Malone TC (1975) Environmental control of phytoplankton cell size. Limnol Oceanogr 20:495Google Scholar
  51. Mathew KJ, Naomi TS, Geetha Antony, Vincent D, Anilkumar R, Solomon K (1990) Studies on zooplankton biomass and secondary and tertiary production of the EEZ of India. In: Mathew KJ (ed) Proceedings of first workshop on scientific results of FORV Sagar Sampada, 5–7 June, 1989, Department of Ocean Development, New Delhi, pp 59–70Google Scholar
  52. Mooers CNK, Flagg CN, Boicourt WC (1978) Prograde and retrograde fronts. In: Bowman MJ, Esaias WE (eds) Oceanic fronts in coastal processes. Springer, New York, pp 43–58CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Moran MA, Wicks RJ, Hodson RE (1991) Export of dissolved organic matter from a mangrove swamp ecosystem: evidence from natural fluorescence, dissolved lignin phenols, and bacterial secondary production. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 76:175–184CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Murthy CS, Varadachari VVR (1968) Upwelling along the east coast of India. Bull Nat Inst Sci India 38:80–86Google Scholar
  55. Murty VSN, Suryanarayanana A, Rao DP (1993) Current structure and volume transport across 12°N in the Bay of Bengal. Indian J Mar Sci 22:12–16Google Scholar
  56. Odum WE, Heald EJ (1972) Trophic analysis of an estuarine mangrove community. Bull Mar Sci 22:671–737Google Scholar
  57. Odum WE, Heald EJ (1975) The detritus-based food web of an estuarine mangrove community. In: Cronin LE (ed) Estuarine Research. Academic Press, New York, pp 265–286Google Scholar
  58. Parsons TR, Maita Y, Lalli CM (1984) A manual of chemical and biological methods for seawater analysis. Pergamon Press, OxfordGoogle Scholar
  59. Petersen JH, Jahn AE, Lavenberg RJ, McGowen GE, Grove RS (1986) Physical–chemical characteristics and zooplankton biomass on the continental shelf off southern California. CalCOFI Report 27:36–52Google Scholar
  60. Prasanna Kumar S, Muraleedharan PM, Prasad TG, Gauns M, Ramaiah N, de Souza SN, Sardesai S, Madhupratap M (2002) Why is the Bay of Bengal less productive during summer monsoon compared to the Arabian Sea? Geophys Res Lett 29(24):2235CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  61. Rakhesh M, Raman AV, Sudarsan D (2006) Discriminating zooplankton assemblages in neritic and oceanic waters: a case for the northeast coast of India, Bay of Bengal. Mar Environ Res 61:93–109PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  62. Ramanamurthy KV, Ganapati PN (1975) Ecological aspects of zooplankton production off Visakhapatnam (Bay of Bengal). Proceedings of the Indian Academy of Sciences 81 B (5):207–222Google Scholar
  63. Ramasarma DV, Ganapati PN (1968) Hydrography of the Kakinada Bay. Proc Sym Ind Ocean Bull Nat Inst Sci Ind 38:49–79Google Scholar
  64. Rao CK, Naqvi SWA, Dillep Kumar M, Varaprasad SJD, Jayakumar DA, George MD, Singbal SYS (1994) Hydrochemistry of the Bay of Bengal: possible reasons for a different water-column cycling of carbon and nitrogen from the Arabian Sea. Mar Chem 47:279–290CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  65. Rao VR, Reddy BSR, Raman AV, Murthy MVR (2003) Oceanographic features of the Bay-Mangrove waterways of Coringa, east coast of India. Proc AP Acad Sci 7(2):135–142Google Scholar
  66. Rivera-Monroy VH, Twilley RR (1995) The relative role of denitrification and immobilization in the fate of inorganic nitrogen in mangrove sediments (Terminos lagoon, Mexico). Limnol Oceanogr 41:284–296CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  67. Sanilkumar KV, Kuruvilla TV, Jogendranath D, Rao RR (1997) Observations of the Western boundary current of the Bay of Bengal from a hydrographic survey during March 1993. Deep-Sea Res I 44:135–145CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  68. Sasamal SK, Panigrahy RC, Sangeeta Misra (2005) Asterionella blooms in the northwestern Bay of Bengal during 2004. Int J Remote Sen 26(17):3853–3858CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  69. Satyanarayana B, Raman AV, Dehairs F, Kalavati C, Chandramohan P (2002) Mangrove floristic and zonation patterns of Coringa, Kakinada Bay, East coast of India. Wetl Ecol Manage 10:25–39CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  70. Schott FA, McCreary JP Jr (2001) The monsoon circulation of the Indian Ocean. Prog Oceanogr 51:1–123CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  71. Shetye SR, Gouveia AD, Shenoi SSC, Sundar D, Michael GS, Nampoothiri G (1993) The Western boundary current of the seasonal subtropical gyre in the Bay of Bengal. J Geophys Res 98(C1):945–954CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  72. Shiah FK, Gong GC, Liu KK (1995) A preliminary survey on primary productivity measured by the 14C assimilation method in the KEEP area. Acta Oceanogr Taiwanica 34(1):1–16Google Scholar
  73. Shiah FK, Gong GC, Liu KK (1996) Light effects on phytoplankton photosynthetic performance in the southern east China sea north of Taiwan. Bot Bull Acad Sin 37:133–140Google Scholar
  74. Silas EG, Pillai PP (1975) Dynamics of zooplankton in a tropical estuary (Cochin backwater) with a review on the plankton fauna of the environment. Bulletin of Department of Marine Sciences. University of Cochin 7:329–355Google Scholar
  75. Simpson JH, Gong WK, Ong JE (1997) The determination of the net fluxes from a mangrove estuary system. Estuaries 20:103–109CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  76. Smith O, Heburn GW, Barber RT, O’Brien JJ (1983) Regulation of phytoplankton communities by physical processes in upwelling ecosystems. J Mar Res 41:539–556CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  77. Smith SL (1992) Secondary production in waters influenced by upwelling off the coast of Somalia. In: Desai B (ed) Oceanography of the Indian Ocean. Oxford & IBH, New Delhi, pp 191–199Google Scholar
  78. Stephen R (1978) Copepod composition along southwest coasts of India. Oceanography of the Indian Ocean. In: Desai BN (ed) Oceanography of the Indian Ocean. Oxford & IBH, New DelhiGoogle Scholar
  79. ter Braak CJF, Smilauer P (2002) CANOCO reference manual and CanoDraw for Windows user’s guide: software for canonical community ordination (version 4.53). Microcomputer Power. Ithaca, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  80. Traganza ED, Conrad JL, Breaker LC (1981) Satellite observations of a cyclonic upwelling system and giant plume in the California Current. In: Richards FA (ed) Coastal upwelling. American Geophysical Union, Washington DC, pp 228–241CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  81. UNESCO (1978) Phytoplankton Manual. In: Sournia A (ed) Monographs on oceanographic methodology. UNESCO technical paper No. 28, pp 337Google Scholar
  82. Vargas CA, González HE (2004) Plankton community structure and carbon cycling in a coastal upwelling system. II. Microheterotrophic pathway. Aquat Microb Ecol 34:165–180CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  83. Verheye HM, Hutchings L, Huggett JA, Painting SJ (1992) Mesozooplankton dynamics in the Benguela ecosystem, with emphasis on the herbivorous copepods. South African J Mar Sci 12:561–584CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  84. Wade IP, Heywood KJ (2001) Acoustic backscatter observations of zooplankton abundance and behaviour and the influence of oceanic fronts in the northeast Atlantic. Deep-Sea Res II 48:899–924CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  85. Wattayakorn G, Wolanski E, Kjerfe B (1990) Mixing, trapping, and outwelling in the Klong Ngao mangrove swamp, Thailand. Estuar Coast Shelf Sci 31:667–688CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  86. Wickstead JH (1965) An introduction to the study of Tropical Plankton. Hutchinson and Co., LondonGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • M. Rakhesh
    • 1
  • A. V. Raman
    • 1
  • C. Kalavati
    • 1
  • B. R. Subramanian
    • 1
    • 2
  • V. S. Sharma
    • 1
  • E. Sunitha Babu
    • 1
  • Nanduri Sateesh
    • 1
  1. 1.Marine Biological Laboratory, Department of ZoologyAndhra UniversityWaltairIndia
  2. 2.ICMAM Directorate, Ministry of Earth SciencesChennaiIndia

Personalised recommendations