Post-spring bloom community structure of pelagic copepods in the Disko Bay, Western Greenland

P. Thor, Torkel Gissel Nielsen, P. Tiselius, T. Juul-Pedersen, C. Michel, E.F. Møller, K. Dahl, Erik Selander, S. Gooding

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


Community structure of pelagic copepods was investigated in the upper 200 m in the Disko Bay, Western Greenland, during the post-spring bloom period in June, 2001. This was the first study of the copepod community in West Greenland coastal waters sampled using smaller mesh sizes (50 μm as opposed to 200 μm). The mesozooplankton was dominated by copepods who constituted 82% of the total abundance and 95% of the total mesozooplankton biomass (>50 μm). Nauplii of Calanus, Pseudocalanus and Oithona dominated by number and the copepodites and adults were dominated by Oithona spp., Oncaea sp., Pseudocalanus sp., harpacticoids, Calanus finmarchicus, C. glacialis, and C. hyperboreus. Multivariate tests showed that the species/stage abundance composition of copepods changed significantly with depth. With one exception, all depth intervals showed unique significantly different compositions. Accordingly, the copepod community structure was influenced primarily by depth rather than by chlorophyll a concentration. Factors other than herbivorous grazing, such as omnivory, predator avoidance or association to marine snow aggregates of specific species, may have influenced the depth distribution of the total copepod community in the Disko Bay. Nevertheless, subsequent Pearson product moment correlations showed positive significant correlations between the vertical distribution of the three Calanus spp. and Pseudocalanus spp. and chlorophyll a concentrations, which points towards these species as prime components in the classic diatom–copepod food chain.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Plankton Research
Issue number4
Pages (from-to)341-356
Publication statusPublished - 2005
Externally publishedYes


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