Tropical zooplankton in the highly-enclosed lagoon of Taiaro Atoll (Tuamotu Archipelago, French Polynesia)
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Nocturnal zooplankton assemblages around Taiaro Atoll were sampled over six nights during February 1994. Replicate zooplankton samples were collected at windward and leeward locations in the enclosed lagoon and adjacent ocean with a metered net (85 cm diameter, 500 μm mesh) towed for 15 min at 5 m depth. The zooplankton community in the lagoon was very different from that in the ocean. Oceanic samples contained 50 mostly holoplanktonic taxa (diversity index, H′=2.62; evenness index, J′=0.67). Lagoonal samples contained 19 mostly meroplanktonic taxa (H′=1.54, J′=0.52) with three taxa (decapod larvae; an ostracod, Cypridina sp.; a copepod, Acartia fossae) contributing >90% of the individuals. Unlike the ocean, zooplankton distributions in the lagoon were not homogenous; instead spatial patterns were apparently formed by the interaction between hydrodynamic processes and species-specific behaviour.
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