Zooplankton variability in the Zuari estuary, Goa

V.R. Nair, C.T. Achuthankutty, S.R.S. Nair

Abstract



Short term variability in the secondary production and composition of zooplankton were studied during February to March 1979 by collecting zooplankton every alternate day from a station located near the mouth of Zuari. Irregularity in the production was found to be a characteristic feature. Rate of zooplankton production fluctuated from 52 to 1388 mg C/100 m(to the power 3)/ day. A total of six peaks in zooplankton biomass were observed and the time lag between two peaks was 7 to 14 days. High values of zooplankton biomass were associated with high tide. Distribution of various groups of zooplankton indicated variability in their quantitative and qualitative representation. Most common groups like copepods, decapods and chaetognaths followed a pattern similar to that of the biomass. Lucifer hanseni formed an appreciable part of the total decapod population. Acetes indicus and penaeid larvae were more common in February. Congregations of cirripede nauplii appeared thrice during the period of investigation. Sagitta bedoti dominated the samples till middle of March and later S. enflata became the most abundant species. Groups like ctenophores, polychaetes, gastropods and cladocerans occasionally appeared in patches. It would appear that spatial heterogeneity in zooplankton population can be better explained by more frequent sampling

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