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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

Abstract

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.

Keywords

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.

Notes

Acknowledgments

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.

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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

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