Red de Revistas Científicas de América Latina y el Caribe, España y Portugal
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Densidad, biomasa y composición del zooplancton, en el estrato superficial de la cuenca de Cariaco, Venezuela

In order to understand the processes that determine changes in zooplankton abundance and composition in the CARIACO (Carbon Retention in a Colored Ocean) Time Series Station, zooplankton biomass, composition and density were studied aboard the O/V Hermano Ginés from November 2002 to January 2003. Salinity, temperature and dissolved oxygen were measured in situ. Zooplankton samples were collected by vertical tows using a Bongo net (mesh size 333 and 555 mm) at a speed of 2 knots at the intervals 0-30, 30-70, and 70-100 m. Chlorophyll (chl a), zooplankton biomass (dry mass) and density were estimated. The maximum values of biomass (0.039 mg m-3 dry mass) and zooplankton density (582 ind. m-3) for the three strata were measured during the upwelling period. On the other hand, the lower values for these variables (0.030 mL m-3, 0.007 mg m-3 and 7 ind. m-3, respectively) were recorded in May 2003. In general, the greatest values were detected within the 30 to 70 m range. Even though, the variability of the different strata was similar. The zooplankton community was dominated by copepods, cladocerans and appendicularians. The results showed a great temporal variability en zooplankton biomass and composition in spite of the fact that the station is located in a tropical area due to the effect of seasonal coastal upwelling.
Keywords: Plankton, coastal upwelling, Caribbean Sea.