Distribution of surface zooplankton and seabirds across the Southern Ocean
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Surface zooplankton and seabird densities and community composition in the Atlantic (between Cape Town and Sanae) and Pacific (between New Zealand and the Ross Sea) sectors of the Southern Ocean are described and related to oceanographic features. Samples were collected during two return voyages aboard the MV Benjamin Bowring as part of the Transglobe Expedition (1979–1981). High abundances of surface zooplankton and seabirds were consistently observed within the main frontal systems of the Southern Ocean. Generally, on a mesoscale significant correlations between surface temperature and the distribution of zooplankton or seabirds were observed. On a macroscale, the geographical positions of the zooplankton and seabird communities coincided with specific water masses. The results of this study suggest that appropriate food availability rather than water temperature is important for the determination of seabird distribution. The ecological importance of the recently described frontal zone associated with the northern boundary of the maximum winter expansion of sea ice is confirmed by biological data obtained in this study.
KeywordsCommunity Composition Water Masse Southern Ocean Biological Data Geographical Position
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