, Volume 7, Issue 1, pp 38–50 | Cite as

Distribution and community structure of estuarine copepods

  • Rolland S. Fulton


Distribution, abundance, and community structure were studied over a 30 month period in the planktonic copepod community of the estuaries near Beaufort, North Carolina. Many of the copepod species showed a demersal distribution during the day and entered the surface waters at night. Several species were largely confined to vegetated littoral areas during the day. The copepod community showed consistent trends of seasonal abundance and succession of dominant species which differed greatly from those found by previous workers, whose methods were inadequate to sample quantitatively the small, demersal copepods which dominated the community. Copepod abundances were higher than found in previous studies and were correlated with water temperature. Species composition changed from a winter community dominated byCentropages spp., to a spring community dominated byAcartia tonsa, to a summer community jointly dominated byParacalanus crassirostris andOithona spp. Copepods were much more important grazers in these estuaries than previous studies had concluded.


Copepod Community Acartia Tonsa Newport River Estuary EUTERPINA ACUTIFRONS Benthic Harpacticoids 
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Copyright information

© Estuarine Research Federation 1984

Authors and Affiliations

  • Rolland S. Fulton
    • 1
  1. 1.Duke University Marine LaboratoryBeaufort

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