Rev. biol. mar. oceanogr. 49(3): 537-546


Spatial distribution of Antarctic copepods in Fíldes Bay during summer of 2012

Paulo F. Lagos1 and Karen Manríquez1

1Centro de Investigación Marina Quintay CIMARQ, Escuela de Ciencias del Mar, Facultad de Ecología y Recursos Naturales, Universidad Andres Bello, Valparaíso, Chile

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The Antarctic Chilean peninsula, is characterized for being stable in its oceanographic conditions. Nevertheless, its coastal zones, such as bays, may have more variable physical conditions, both spatially and temporally. It has been observed that a remarkable interaction between the oceanographic conditions and spatial distribution patterns of zooplankton occurs. However, there is no good understanding of how these interactions affect the horizontal and vertical distribution of zooplankton living in these areas. The present study shows the changes that occur at the level of the zooplankton community structure, specifically in the copepods assembly of Fíldes Bay. The results show that copepods of the Oithonidae family are abundant in coastal areas of the bay meanwhile Calanidae copepods are abundant in zones adjacent to Bransfield Strait and found only in low abundance at the interior of the bay. These findings indicate differences in the ensemble of copepods along the bay with changes in the abundance and distribution of dominant groups of copepods commonly found in the Antarctic Peninsula and Drake Passage waters.

Key words:  Antarctic Peninsula, Fíldes Bay, copepods, distribution