sm83n1-4836

Summer mesozooplankton assemblages in relation to environmental parameters in Kavala Gulf, northern Aegean Sea

Aikaterini Karagianni, Anna Artemiou, Athanassios C. Tsikliras, Evangelia Michaloudi

Department of Zoology, School of Biology, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Thessaloniki, Greece.
(AK) E-mail: aikatekm@bio.auth.gr. ORCID iD: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-3004-8868
(AA) E-mail: anna.artemiou@gmail.com. ORCID iD: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-7161-6879
(ACT) E-mail: atsik@bio.auth.gr. ORCID iD: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-9074-3259
(EM) (Corresponding author) E-mail: tholi@bio.auth.gr. ORCID iD: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-8194-2865

Summary: Shallow coastal areas are ecosystems with high productivity. Although the eastern part of the Mediterranean Sea is oligotrophic, the shallow coastal waters of the northern Aegean, such as Kavala Gulf, are productive due to the influence of the Black Sea water and the presence of freshwater input from three rivers. The aim of this work was to determine the structure of zooplankton communities in Kavala Gulf in the summer of 2002 and 2003 and to investigate their relation to environmental variables. Zooplankton communities were characterized by the presence of common coastal Cladocera, such as Penilia avirostris, small pelagic Copepoda, such as the calanoida Acartia clausi and the cyclopoida Oithona plumifera, and Tunicata, such as Oikopleura, Fritillaria and Doliolidae. The abundances corresponded to the peak of the warm period and were significantly greater in 2002 because of a P. avirostris bloom, which seemed to have better exploited the environmental sources favouring its dominance in the area. Overall, the structure of summer mesozooplankton communities in Kavala Gulf follows the pattern exhibited by mesozooplankton communities in other Greek coastal areas of the northern Aegean Sea.

Keywords: abiotic factors; quantitative distribution; ecological associations; diversity patterns; coastal zone; zooplankton community composition.

Comunidades zooplanctónicas estivales en relación con parámetros ambientales en el golfo de Kavala, norte del mar Egeo

Resumen: Las aguas costeras poco profundas son ecosistemas con alta productividad. Aunque el mar Mediterráneo oriental es oligotrófico, las aguas costeras poco profundas al norte del mar Egeo, como el golfo de Kavala, son productivas debido a la influencia de aguas provenientes del mar Negro y a los aportes de agua dulce procedentes de tres ríos. El objetivo de este trabajo fue determinar la estructura de las comunidades de zooplancton en el golfo de Kavala durante los veranos de 2002 y 2003, e investigar su relación con variables ambientales. Las comunidades de zooplancton se caracterizaron por la presencia de cladóceros costeros comunes, como Penilia avirostris, pequeños copépodos pelágicos, tales como el calanoide Acartia clausi y el ciclopoide Oithona plumifera, y tunicados como Oikopleura, Fritillaria y Doliolidae. Las abundancias correspondieron al pico del periodo cálido y fueron significativamente mayores en 2002 debido a una proliferación de P. avirostris, que parece que supo explotar mejor las condiciones ambientales favoreciendo su dominio en la zona. En general, la estructura de las comunidades de mesozooplancton de verano en el golfo de Kavala siguen el patrón exhibido por las comunidades de mesozooplancton en otras areas costeras griegas al norte del mar Egeo.

Palabras clave: factores abióticos; distribución cuantitativa; asociaciones ecológicas; patrones de diversidad; zona costera; composición de la comunidad zooplanctónica.

Citation/Como citar este artículo: Karagianni A., Artemiou A., Tsikliras A.C., Michaloudi E. 2019. Summer mesozooplankton assemblages in relation to environmental parameters in Kavala Gulf, northern Aegean Sea. Sci. Mar. 83(1): 41-52. https://doi.org/10.3989/scimar.04836.16A

Editor: E. Saiz.

Received: July 26, 2018. Accepted: December 14, 2018. Published: March 1, 2019.

Copyright: © 2019 CSIC. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) License.

Contents

Summary
Resumen
Introduction
Materials and methods
Results
Discussion
Acknowledgements
References
Appendices

INTRODUCTIONTop

Zooplankton play an important role in marine pelagic food webs, connecting primary producers, small pelagic fish populations and benthic communities, and thus transferring organic matter through the pelagic food webs (Fenchel 1988Fenchel T. 1988. Marine plankton food chains. Annu. Rev. Ecol. Syst. 19: 19-38.). Plankton and fish larvae communities are often structured in assemblages that are closely related to environmental characteristics (Cowen et al. 1993Cowen R.K., Hare J.A., Fahay M.P. 1993. Beyond hydrography: can physical processes explain larval fish assemblages within the Middle Atlantic Bight? Bull. Mar. Sci. 53: 567-587.). Their response to alterations of the environmental conditions can be detected by observing changes in diversity, community structure and species distribution (e.g. Dortch et al. 1989Dortch Q., Packard T.T. 1989. Differences in biomass structure between oligotrophic and eutrophic marine ecosystems. Deep Sea Res. Part 1. Oceanogr. Res. Pap. 36: 223-240., Richardson 2008Richardson A.J. 2008. In hot water: zooplankton and climate change. ICES J. Mar. Sci. 65: 279-295.). Moreover, zooplankton population dynamics can be indicative of environmental changes and may affect higher trophic levels (Beaugrand et al. 2003Beaugrand G., Brander K.M., Lindley J.A., et al. 2003. Plankton effect on cod recruitment in the North Sea. Nature 426: 661-664., Frederiksen et al. 2006Frederiksen M., Edwards M., Richardson A.J., et al. 2006. From plankton to top predators: bottom-up control of a marine food web across four trophic levels. J. Anim. Ecol. 75: 1259-1268.). As an important part of the pelagic food web and fisheries ecology, zooplankton has thus been used in the evaluation and modelling of marine ecosystems (e.g. Triantafyllou et al. 2007Triantafyllou G., Korres G., Hoteit I., et al. 2007. Assimilation of ocean colour data into a Biogeochemical Flux Model of the Eastern Mediterranean Sea. Ocean Sci. 3: 397-410., Petihakis et al. 2009Petihakis G., Triantafyllou G., Tsiaras K., et al. 2009. Eastern Mediterranean biogeochemical flux model–Simulations of the pelagic ecosystem. Ocean Sci. 5: 29-46.).

The northern Aegean Sea, in the northeastern Mediterranean, is a complex and dynamic marine ecosystem (Tsagarakis et al. 2010Tsagarakis K., Coll M., Giannoulaki M., et al. 2010. Food-web traits of the North Aegean Sea ecosystem (Eastern Mediterranean) and comparison with other Mediterranean ecosystems. Est. Coast Shelf Sci. 88: 233-248.). Its hydrodynamic complexity is closely linked to the influence of the Black Sea water masses, which outflow in the upper part of the water column through the Dardanelles Straits and are characterized by low salinity and temperature (Zodiatis and Balopoulos 1993Zodiatis G., Balopoulos E. 1993. Structure and characteristics of fronts in the north Aegean Sea. Boll. Oceanol. Teor. Appl. 11: 113-124., Zervakis and Georgopoulos 2002Zervakis V., Georgopoulos D. 2002. Hydrology and circulation in the north Aegean (eastern Mediterranean) throughout 1997-1998. Medit. Mar. Sci. 3: 7-21.). Almost permanently, one branch of the Black Sea current follows a northward direction towards the Thracian Sea, where it is captured by an anticyclonic gyre formed around the island of Samothraki and is mainly restricted to the upper 0 to 20 m layer (Zodiatis and Balopoulos 1993Zodiatis G., Balopoulos E. 1993. Structure and characteristics of fronts in the north Aegean Sea. Boll. Oceanol. Teor. Appl. 11: 113-124., Zervakis and Georgopoulos 2002Zervakis V., Georgopoulos D. 2002. Hydrology and circulation in the north Aegean (eastern Mediterranean) throughout 1997-1998. Medit. Mar. Sci. 3: 7-21.). The water circulation pattern in the northern Aegean has a considerable influence on the horizontal oceanographic variability of zooplankton assemblages (Isari et al. 2006Isari S., Ramfos A., Somarakis S., et al. 2006. Mesozooplankton distribution in relation to hydrology of the Northeastern Aegean Sea, Eastern Mediterranean. J. Plankton Res. 28: 241-255., 2007Isari S., Psarra S., Pitta P., et al. 2007. Differential patterns of mesozooplankters’ distribution in relation to physical and biological variables of the northeastern Aegean Sea (eastern Mediterranean). Mar. Biol. 151: 1035-1050., Zervoudaki et al. 2006Zervoudaki S., Nielsen T.G., Christou E.D., et al. 2006. Zooplankton distribution and diversity in a frontal area of the Aegean Sea. Mar. Biol. Res. 2: 149-168.). These hydrological conditions lead to high productivity, in contrast with the rest of the eastern Mediterranean Sea (Lykousis et al. 2002Lykousis V., Chronis G., Tselepides A., et al. 2002. Major outputs of the recent multidisciplinary biogeochemical researches undertaken in the Aegean Sea. J. Mar. Syst. 34: 313-334.), making the northern Aegean one of the most productive areas in the region (Bosc et al. 2004Bosc E., Bricaud A., Antoine D. 2004. Seasonal and interannual variability in algal biomass and primary production in the Mediterranean Sea, as derived from 4 years of SeaWiFS observations. Global Biogeochem. Cycles 18.).

Kavala Gulf and the surrounding area constitutes one of the most well-known fishing and nursery grounds of the northern Aegean Sea (Stergiou et al. 1997Stergiou K.I., Christou E.D., Georgopoulos D., et al. 1997. The Hellenic Seas: physics, chemistry, biology and fisheries. Oceanogr. Mar. Biol. Annu. Rev. 35: 415-538.), which is particularly important for small pelagic fish populations such as European anchovy (Engraulis encrasicolus), the European pilchard (Sardina pilchardus) and the round sardinella (Sardinella aurita) (Stergiou et al. 2007Stergiou K.I., Moutopoulos D.K., Tsikliras A.C. 2007. Spatial and temporal variability in Hellenic marine fisheries landings. In: Papaconstantinou C., Zenetos A., et al. (eds). State of the Hellenic marine fisheries. Hellenic Centre for Marine Research, Athens, pp. 132-140., Sylaios et al. 2010Sylaios G.K., Koutroumanidis T., Tsikliras A.C. 2010. Ranking and classification of fishing areas using fuzzy models and techniques. Fish. Manag. Ecol. 17: 240-253.), which may compete for resources (Tsikliras 2014Tsikliras A.C. 2014. Sympatric clupeoid fish larvae in the eastern Mediterranean: coexistence or avoidance? Adv. Ecol. ID274180.). As zooplankton is the basic component in the diet of the early stages of fish and of the adults of small pelagic fish, zooplankton communities in Kavala Gulf are key organisms of the pelagic web (Tsikliras et al. 2005Tsikliras A.C., Torre M., Stergiou K.I. 2005. Feeding habits and trophic level of round sardinella (Sardinella aurita) in the northeastern Mediterranean (Aegean Sea, Greece). J. Biol. Res. 3: 67-75., Catalán et al. 2010Catalán I.A., Folkvord A., Palomera I., et al. 2010. Growth and feeding patterns of European anchovy (Engraulis encrasicolus) early life stages in the Aegean Sea (NE Mediterranean). Est. Coast Shelf Sci. 86: 299-312., Karachle and Stergiou 2013Karachle P.K., Stergiou K.I. 2013. Feeding and ecomorphology of three clupeoids in the N Aegean Sea. Medit. Mar. Sci. 15: 9-26.). Although zooplankton communities have been widely studied in the northern Aegean Sea (Table 1), Kavala Gulf was not included among the study areas. Filling this gap could provide a valuable asset, adding to the theoretical knowledge of ecosystem functioning and fisheries modelling that could be used to refine or expand the ecosystem models that have already been developed for the area (Tsagarakis et al. 2010Tsagarakis K., Coll M., Giannoulaki M., et al. 2010. Food-web traits of the North Aegean Sea ecosystem (Eastern Mediterranean) and comparison with other Mediterranean ecosystems. Est. Coast Shelf Sci. 88: 233-248.). The aim of the present study was to fill this knowledge gap regarding mesozooplankton in Kavala Gulf through the analysis of a fine grid of 17 stations during two summer cruises in 2002 and 2003. In particular, our analysis aimed to (i) demonstrate the spatial variability of major zooplankton species/taxonomic groups and (ii) investigate the relation between sea surface abiotic factors and the structure of zooplankton communities.

Table 1. – List of selected publications on marine mesozooplankton in the Aegean Sea.

Area Year Sampling frequency Net mesh size Citation
Thermaikos Gulf 1984-1985 Seasonal 200 μm Siokou-Frangou and Papathanassiou 1991Siokou-Frangou I., Papathanassiou E. 1991. Differentiation of zooplankton populations in a polluted area. Mar. Ecol. Prog. Ser. 76: 41-51.
1988-1990 Monthly 200 μm Alvanou 1999 Alvanou L. 1999. Annual cycle of Cladocerans in the Thermaikos Gulf and the Gulf of Thessaloniki. Fresenius Environ. Bull. 8: 724-731.
Saronikos Gulf 1984-1985 Monthly 200 μm Siokou-Frangou 1996Siokou-Frangou I. 1996. Zooplankton annual cycle in a Mediterranean coastal area. J. Plankton Res. 18: 203-223., Siokou-Frangou et al. 1998Siokou-Frangou L., Papathanassiou E., Lepretre A., et al. 1998. Zooplankton assemblages and influence of environmental parameters on them in a Mediterranean coastal area. J. Plankton Res. 20: 847-870.
1987 Monthly 200 μm Siokou-Frangou et al. 2009Siokou-Frangou I., Zervoudaki S., Christou E.D., et al. 2009. Variability of mesozooplankton spatial distribution in the North Aegean Sea, as influenced by the Black Sea waters outflow. J. Mar. Syst. 78: 557-575.
1989-1993 Monthly 200 μm Christou 1998Christou E.D. 1998. Interannual variability of copepods in a Mediterranean coastal area (Saronikos Gulf, Aegean Sea). J. Mar. Syst. 15: 523-532., Christou and Stergiou 1998Christou E.D., Stergiou K.I. 1998. Modelling and forecasting the fortnightly cladoceran abundance in the Saronikos Gulf (Aegean Sea). J. Plankton Res. 20: 1313-1320., Siokou-Frangou et al. 2009Siokou-Frangou I., Zervoudaki S., Christou E.D., et al. 2009. Variability of mesozooplankton spatial distribution in the North Aegean Sea, as influenced by the Black Sea waters outflow. J. Mar. Syst. 78: 557-575.
1998 Monthly 200 μm Siokou-Frangou et al. 2009Siokou-Frangou I., Zervoudaki S., Christou E.D., et al. 2009. Variability of mesozooplankton spatial distribution in the North Aegean Sea, as influenced by the Black Sea waters outflow. J. Mar. Syst. 78: 557-575.
N Aegean 1997 Seasonal 200 μm Siokou-Frangou et al. 2002Siokou-Frangou I., Bianchi M., Christaki U., et al. 2002. Carbon flow in the planktonic food web along a gradient of oligotrophy in the Aegean Sea (Mediterranean Sea). J. Mar. Syst. 33: 335-353., Lykousis et al. 2002Lykousis V., Chronis G., Tselepides A., et al. 2002. Major outputs of the recent multidisciplinary biogeochemical researches undertaken in the Aegean Sea. J. Mar. Syst. 34: 313-334.
1998 Seasonal 200 μm Lykousis et al. 2002Lykousis V., Chronis G., Tselepides A., et al. 2002. Major outputs of the recent multidisciplinary biogeochemical researches undertaken in the Aegean Sea. J. Mar. Syst. 34: 313-334.
1999 Snapshot 200 μm Zervoudaki et al. 2006Zervoudaki S., Nielsen T.G., Christou E.D., et al. 2006. Zooplankton distribution and diversity in a frontal area of the Aegean Sea. Mar. Biol. Res. 2: 149-168.
2000 Snapshot 200 μm Zervoudaki et al. 2006Zervoudaki S., Nielsen T.G., Christou E.D., et al. 2006. Zooplankton distribution and diversity in a frontal area of the Aegean Sea. Mar. Biol. Res. 2: 149-168.
2003 Snapshot 250 μm Isari et al. 2008Isari S., Fragopoulu N., Somarakis S. 2008. Interranual variability in horizontal patterns of larval fish assemblages in the northeastern Aegean Sea (eastern Mediterranean) during early summer. Estuar. Coast. Shelf Sci. 79: 607-619.
2004 Snapshot 250 μm Isari et al. 2008Isari S., Fragopoulu N., Somarakis S. 2008. Interranual variability in horizontal patterns of larval fish assemblages in the northeastern Aegean Sea (eastern Mediterranean) during early summer. Estuar. Coast. Shelf Sci. 79: 607-619.
2005 Snapshot 250 μm Isari et al. 2008Isari S., Fragopoulu N., Somarakis S. 2008. Interranual variability in horizontal patterns of larval fish assemblages in the northeastern Aegean Sea (eastern Mediterranean) during early summer. Estuar. Coast. Shelf Sci. 79: 607-619.
2006 Snapshot 250 μm Isari et al. 2008Isari S., Fragopoulu N., Somarakis S. 2008. Interranual variability in horizontal patterns of larval fish assemblages in the northeastern Aegean Sea (eastern Mediterranean) during early summer. Estuar. Coast. Shelf Sci. 79: 607-619.
2008 Snapshot 200 μm Frangoulis et al. 2010Frangoulis C., Psarra S., Zervakis V., et al. 2010. Connecting export fluxes to plankton food-web efficiency in the Black Sea waters inflowing into the Mediterranean Sea. J. Plankton Res. 32: 1203-1216.
2009 Snapshot 200 μm Siokou et al. 2014Siokou I., Frangoulis C., Grigoratou M., et al. 2014. Zooplankton community dynamics in the N. Aegean front (E. Mediterranean) in the winter spring period. Medit. Mar. Sci. 15: 706-720.
2011 Monthly 200 μm Siokou et al. 2014Siokou I., Frangoulis C., Grigoratou M., et al. 2014. Zooplankton community dynamics in the N. Aegean front (E. Mediterranean) in the winter spring period. Medit. Mar. Sci. 15: 706-720.
C Aegean 1998 Snapshot 250 μm Ramfos et al. 2005Ramfos A., Somarakis S., Koutsikopoulos C., et al. 2005. Summer mesozooplankton distribution in coastal waters of central Greece (eastern Mediterranean). I. Hydrology and group composition. J. Mar. Biol. Ass. U.K. 85: 755-764.

MATERIALS AND METHODSTop

Study site

Kavala Gulf (40.88056°N, 24.41667°E) is a semi-enclosed area located on the continental shelf of the northern Aegean Sea in the eastern Mediterranean Sea (Fig. 1). It is connected to the Aegean Sea through its main mouth in the south, which is wide (20 km) and deep, and in the east, through the smaller (7.3 km wide), shallower mouth, the strait of the island of Thassos (Fig. 1). As Kavala Gulf is shallow (mean depth: 34 m, maximum depth: 50 m), with a flat seabed, the topographical variations inside it are minimal (Fig. 1). The hydrology of the gulf is influenced by the fresher and cooler Black Sea water, which oscillates seasonally in occurrence, intensity and direction (Sylaios et al. 2005Sylaios G., Stamatis N., Kallianiotis A., et al. 2005. Monitoring water quality and assessment of land-based nutrient loadings and cycling in Kavala Gulf. Water Resour. Manag. 19: 713-735.), and forms a surface current flowing to the northern coastline of Greece (Poulos et al. 1997Poulos S.E., Drakopoulos P.G., Collins M.B. 1997. Seasonal variability of the sea surface oceanographic conditions in the Aegean Sea (eastern Mediterranean): an overview. J. Mar. Syst. 13: 225-244.). Kavala Gulf also receives fresh water inflows from the Nestos River, though these have been significantly reduced since the construction of two hydroelectric dams in 1997 (Sylaios et al. 2005Sylaios G., Stamatis N., Kallianiotis A., et al. 2005. Monitoring water quality and assessment of land-based nutrient loadings and cycling in Kavala Gulf. Water Resour. Manag. 19: 713-735.).

figure

Full size image

Fig. 1. – A, map of the northern Aegean Sea. Black square indicates Kavala Gulf. B, map of the sampling stations in Kavala Gulf, northern Aegean Sea in July 2002 and 2003.

Sampling process and laboratory analysis

Mesozooplankton samples and environmental data (depth, temperature, salinity and dissolved oxygen) were collected during two sampling periods in Kavala Gulf in the summers of 2002 and 2003. The surveys were carried out across a fine scale grid of 17 stations (Fig. 1) during the period of thermal stratification, which coincides with the spawning period of European anchovy (Engraulis encrasicolus) and round sardinella (Sardinella aurita). These two small pelagic clupeoids, together with the winter spawning European pilchard (Sardina pilchardus), are the main zooplanktivorous fish in the area (Somarakis 2005Somarakis S. 2005. Marked interannual differences in reproductive parameters and daily egg production of anchovy in the northern Aegean Sea. Belg. J. Zool. 134 (Suppl. I): 123-132., Tsikliras et al. 2005Tsikliras A.C., Torre M., Stergiou K.I. 2005. Feeding habits and trophic level of round sardinella (Sardinella aurita) in the northeastern Mediterranean (Aegean Sea, Greece). J. Biol. Res. 3: 67-75.). Based on their depth and distance from the shore, the 17 stations had been previously grouped (Tsikliras and Koutrakis 2011Tsikliras A.C., Koutrakis E.T. 2011. Summer fish larval assemblages and station groups in the northern Aegean Sea. Acta Adriat. 52: 57-66.) into shallow (maximum depth less than 30 m: stations 6, 7,8, 9, 10) and deep (maximum depth above 30 m: stations 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17).

Sea surface temperature, salinity and dissolved oxygen were measured at each station using CTD sensors (Ocean 301, Idronaut). The hydrographic sampling profiles of all these parameters are available in Tsikliras et al. (2009)Tsikliras A.C., Koutrakis E.T., Sylaios G.K., et al. 2009. Summer distribution of fish larvae in northern Aegean Sea. J. Mar. Biol. Ass. U.K. 89: 1137-1146.. For the mesozooplankton collection, a paired bongo net sampler was used, with two 0.6 m diameter frames fitted with 250 μm mesh conical nets. The cod-end consisted of a plastic container incorporating a window of 250 μm mesh net that allowed water to escape. A flowmeter was centrally mounted on the opening of each frame to the net to estimate the volume of water (m3) flowing through the net. The sampler was deployed in a double oblique tow from the surface down to 1 to 2 m from the bottom, thus forming a V-shaped dive profile. Retrieval speed was kept at the same rate (20 m min–1) for all samplings, which were all carried out in daylight (between 09:00 h and 18:00 h). Upon recovery of the sampler, the plankton was washed into a jar and fixed with 4% buffered formalin solution.

After the removal of fish larvae for further investigation of ichthyoplankton assemblages (Tsikliras et al. 2009Tsikliras A.C., Koutrakis E.T., Sylaios G.K., et al. 2009. Summer distribution of fish larvae in northern Aegean Sea. J. Mar. Biol. Ass. U.K. 89: 1137-1146., Tsikliras and Koutrakis 2011Tsikliras A.C., Koutrakis E.T. 2011. Summer fish larval assemblages and station groups in the northern Aegean Sea. Acta Adriat. 52: 57-66., Tsikliras 2014Tsikliras A.C. 2014. Sympatric clupeoid fish larvae in the eastern Mediterranean: coexistence or avoidance? Adv. Ecol. ID274180.), the major mesozooplankton taxa (e.g. Copepoda, Cladocera, Doliolidae, Appendicularia, etc) were identified using the appropriate taxonomic keys. Copepoda (only adults) and Cladocera were further identified down to species level when possible, whereas copepodites were grouped together and were not further identified. For the abundance estimation, each sample was enumerated in aliquots under the stereoscope. Subsamples were taken with a pipette, their size ranging from 1/2 to 1/30 of the total sample depending on the sample’s density. The total number of counted organisms was on average 1844.47±646.58 ind.

Data analysis

Mesozooplankton abundance data were expressed as number of individuals per volume unit (m3) by dividing the individuals per sample by the volume of the filtered water. The standardized numbers were used to calculate the percentage contribution of each taxon to the total abundance. In order to identify the similarity of mesozooplankton communities among stations and years, hierarchical cluster analysis based on the Bray-Curtis similarity index (Bray and Curtis 1957Bray J.R., Curtis J.T. 1957. An ordination of the upland forest communities of southern Wisconsin. Ecol. Monogr. 27: 325-349.) was performed on the mesozooplankton taxa’s abundance matrix. Abundance data were log (x+1) transformed in order to approach normality and homogeneity of variances and to reduce bias due to highly abundant groups. CLUSTER was run using group-average linking. The similarity profile (SIMPROF) permutation test option (default settings of 999 permutations and significance level 0.05) was applied to indicate significant groups in the resulting dendrogram. The similarity analysis routines, analysis of similarity (ANOSIM) and similarity percentage analysis (SIMPER) were used to test the significance levels and sources of variance between the various zooplankton assemblages associated with the groupings identified in the hierarchical cluster analysis. The above analyses were conducted with the Plymouth Routine In Multivariate Ecological Research (PRIMER) v.5 software package (Clarke and Gorley 2001Clarke K.R., Gorley R.N. 2001. PRIMER v5: User Manual/ Tutorial. Primer-E Ltd., Plymouth, 91 pp.). Permutational multivariate analysis of variance (PERMANOVA), based on Euclidean distance resemblance matrix, was used to test for statistical differences in the mesozooplankton abundances between the sampled periods (July 2002 and 2003) and between water depth categories (stations at less than 30 m and more than 30 m depth). Analyses were performed using the Paleontological Statistics software package (Past v.3.15) (Hammer et al. 2001Hammer Ø., Harper D.A.T., Ryan P.D. 2001. PAST: Paleontological statistics software package for education and data analysis. Palaeontol. Electron. 4.).

Direct ordination analyses were used to assess significant relationships between biological and environmental data. All environmental variables (temperature, salinity, depth and dissolved oxygen) were log (x+1) transformed. Previously, a detrended correspondence analysis (DCA) was performed and, as biological data showed a linear response with respect to environmental gradients, a redundancy analysis (RDA) was applied. All environmental parameters with an inflation factor smaller than 20 were included in the analysis as explanatory variables (Ter Braak and Verdonschot 1995Ter Braak C.J., Verdonschot P.F. 1995. Canonical correspondence analysis and related multivariate methods in aquatic ecology. Aquat. Sci. 57: 255-289.); the abundance of each zooplankton taxon was included as a response variable. The statistical significance of the variation in the parameters and the overall significance of the ordination were tested with the Monte Carlo permutation test (as default settings of 499 unrestricted permutations; P<0.05). Ordination analyses were performed using the CANOCO program, version 4.5 (Ter Braak and Šmilauer 2002Ter Braak C.J., Šmilauer P. 2002. CANOCO reference Manual and CanoDraw for Windows user’s guide: Software for Canonical Community Ordination (version 4.5). Microcomputer Power, Ithaca, New York.).

RESULTSTop

Environmental parameters

The values of sea surface environmental parameters (temperature, salinity, oxygen) and maximum depth of the sampling stations in Kavala Gulf are given in Table 2. Salinity and oxygen differed significantly between the years (ANOVA; P<0.005), whereas temperature did not (ANOVA; P>0.005).

Table 2. – Sea surface physical-chemical parameters and maximum depth of the 17 stations in Kavala Gulf. Stations’ abbreviations are consistent with the formula ST (number of station) (sampling year; 02 for 2002 and 03 for 2003).

Year Station Temperature (°C) Salinity Oxygen Depth (m)
2002 ST0102 24.3 34.0 8.2 37.0
ST0202 24.2 33.8 8.5 35.2
ST0302 23.7 33.7 7.6 34.0
ST0402 23.9 33.5 8.4 43.0
ST0502 24.4 33.9 8.4 37.0
ST0602 25.1 33.8 8.7 29.0
ST0702 25.5 33.8 8.6 25.0
ST0802 24.3 32.9 8.5 28.0
ST0902 24.5 34.0 8.4 28.0
ST1002 24.3 34.3 8.5 16.0
ST1102 24.6 33.2 8.6 30.0
ST1202 24.5 33.3 7.8 30.0
ST1302 25.1 34.3 8.0 30.0
ST1402 25.0 34.2 8.3 35.0
ST1502 24.6 34.4 8.3 45.0
ST1602 25.0 34.3 8.0 43.0
ST1702 25.2 34.2 8.1 44.5
2003 ST0103 24.7 31.6 8.3 36.5
ST0203 24.8 32.5 8.1 36.0
ST0303 25.3 31.5 7.9 43.0
ST0403 25.3 32.4 7.8 40.5
ST0503 24.4 31.3 8.5 38.5
ST0603 24.2 32.5 8.3 27.8
ST0703 24.2 31.4 8.3 25.0
ST0803 24.9 30.5 7.9 27.0
ST0903 25.4 32.6 7.8 28.0
ST1003 25.3 32.7 7.7 13.6
ST1103 24.6 32.9 8.1 36.5
ST1203 24.7 32.7 8.0 30.0
ST1303 25.0 32.7 8.0 36.0
ST1403 24.7 30.6 8.3 39.0
ST1503 24.3 30.5 8.4 45.0
ST1603 24.4 32.4 8.3 45.0
ST1703 25.4 32.6 7.9 41.0

Community composition and structure

Overall, a total of 9 main holoplanktonic and 6 main meroplanktonic groups were recorded (Table 3). Nineteen taxa were further identified, 12 of them down to species level and 7 to genus level (Table 3).

Table 3. – List of recorded taxa. Mean abundance values (Abu) and mean relative abundance % (Abu %) in the summer of 2002 and 2003 in Kavala Gulf. Abb, abbreviation of each taxon as used for further analyses; Ca, Calanoida; Cy, Cyclopoida; Ha, Harpacticoida.

Taxa Abb Abu Abu %
2002 2003 2002 2003
Holoplankton
Amphipoda Amp 242.99 0.00 0.58 0.00
Appendicularia App 3155.50 1759.59 4.46 5.12
Fritillaria spp. Fol, 1872 Fri 1979.21 1043.77 2.92 3.01
Oikopleura spp. Mertens, 1830 Oik 1249.80 715.82 1.87 2.20
Chaetognatha Sag 194.61 155.24 0.38 0.49
Cladocera Cla 60358.22 26220.55 76.01 68.14
Evadne nordmanni Lovén, 1836 Evn 2517.24 1032.31 3.11 3.26
Evadne spinifera P.E.Müller, 1867 Evs 1073.36 300.84 1.41 1.00
Penilia avirostris (Dana, 1852) Pea 55344.58 24135.30 47.61 48.58
Pseudevadne tergestina (Claus, 1862) Pst 1423.04 752.09 1.89 2.29
Copepoda Cop 8087.28 5130.61 11.10 16.07
Acartia (Acartiura) clausi Giesbrecht, 1889 (Ca) Acc 1986.01 1659.70 2.62 5.55
Calocalanus pavo (Dana, 1849) (Ca) Cap 48.31 0.00 0.52 0.00
Centropages typicus Kroeyer, 1849 (Ca) Cet 1175.98 455.20 1.93 1.60
Conaea rapax Giesbrecht, 1891 (Cy) Cor 31.98 32.55 0.17 0.44
Corycaeus spp. Dana, 1845 (Cy) Crc 265.92 200.21 0.33 0.65
Ctenocalanus vanus (Dana, 1849) (Ca) Ctv 737.62 455.60 1.08 1.58
Macrosetella spp. Scott A., 1909. (Ha) Mac 0.00 8.38 0.00 0.51
Mecynocera spp. Thompson I.C., 1888 (Ca) Mec 206.53 81.17 0.47 0.54
Oithona plumifera Bair, 1843 (Cy) Oip 1192.12 1010.17 1.74 2.93
Paracalanus parvus (Claus, 1863) (Ca) Pap 750.34 222.76 1.14 0.63
Temora stylifera (Dana, 1848) (Ca) Tes 550.51 235.25 0.83 0.67
unidentified Copepoda Cop 1472.83 924.01 2.10 2.89
Doliolidae Dol 3063.61 917.41 4.17 2.35
Ostracoda Ost 355.36 23.78 0.52 0.80
Medusae Hyd 611.48 380.50 0.90 1.14
Siphonophores Sip 731.62 2156.19 1.12 6.00
Meroplankton
Decapoda larvae Dec 269.15 126.34 0.60 0.42
Echinoderma Ech 455.16 94.48 0.74 0.43
Gastropoda Gas 64.68 0.00 0.44 0
Mysidae larvae Mys 2625.70 0.00 3.77 0.00
Polychaeta Pol 51.21 62.67 0.61 0.40
Cirripedia Cir 169.28 133.76 0.25 0.43
Total 77610.34 37060.20

Total abundance ranged from 41069 to 164939 ind m–3 in 2002 and from 5508 to 86747 ind m–3 in 2003 (Fig. 2A). Total abundance values were significantly higher in 2002 than in 2003 at all sampling stations (pseudo-F=7.27, P<0.05) (Fig. 2B) except station 10, where abundance was higher in 2003 (Fig. 2A). No significant difference was observed between shallow and deeper stations (pseudo-F=0.14, P>0.05) according to the PERMANOVA procedure. Cladocera were the dominant group at all sampling stations, followed by Copepoda and Appendicularia in rank order, whose cumulative contribution exceeded 79% of mesozooplankton abundance (Table 3). Among the four identified Cladocera species, Penilia avirostris showed a marked predominance (Fig. 3A, B), followed by Evadne nordmanni Lovén, 1836, Evadne spinifera P.E. Müller, 1867 and Pseudevadne tergestina (Claus, 1877) (Table 3). Despite small differences in the species-specific distribution patterns, the bulk of Cladocera were found more or less in the eastern part of the gulf in 2002 and in the shallow stations of the southeastern part near Thassos Island in 2003 (Fig. 3A, B). Copepods, being the second dominating taxonomic group, were mainly represented by juveniles and small-sized zooplankters [e.g. the calanoida Acartia (Acartiura) clausi Giesbrecht, 1889 and Paracalanus parvus (Claus, 1863), the cyclopoida Oithona plumifera Bair 1843 and Corycaeus spp. Dana 1845, and the harpacticoida Macrosetella spp. Scott A., 1909] (Table 3), whose distribution did not follow a discrete pattern (Fig. 3C, D). Copepods’ mean contribution to mesozooplankton abundance was higher in 2003 than in 2002 (16.07% and 11.10%, respectively) (Table 3). Appendicularia were represented by the genus Fritillaria Fol, 1872, and the genus Oikopleura Mertens, 1830, which contributed 2.92% and 1.87% in 2002 and 3.01% and 2.20% in 2003, respectively (Table 3). The hierarchical cluster analysis (Fig. 4) revealed that the mesozooplankton community structure differed significantly between stations with varying maximum depth and sampling period. Four groups were generated (ANOSIM, R=0.746, P=0.001; Appendix 1), with no apparent pattern between shallow and deep stations (Fig. 4). Station 10 fell into different groups (Groups A and D in 2002 and 2003, respectively) (Fig. 4). This was mainly due to Mysidae, Ostracoda and Amphipoda abundance for Group A (SIMPER, average dissimilarity ≤27.18%; Appendix 1) and to Cirripedia, Echinoderma, Decapoda and Polychaeta abundance for Group D (SIMPER, average dissimilarity 14.48%; Appendix 1). However, according to ANOSIM, these groupings had no statistical significance (ANOSIM, Group A, R≥0.986, P>0.05 and Group D, R=0.645, P>0.05; Appendix 1). The rest of the sampling stations of 2002 and station 9 of 2003 were grouped together in the upper group of the cluster (Group B), while the stations of 2003 were placed in Group C (Fig. 4). Groups B and C differed significantly, as shown by pairwise comparison (ANOSIM, R=0.703, P =0.01; Appendix 1). Their dissimilarity was mainly due to the contribution of Ostracoda, Echinoderma, Polychaeta and Doliolidae (SIMPER, average dissimilarity 15.06%; Appendix 1), whereas the similarity among stations in the same groups was in both cases mainly due to Cladocera, Copepoda, Appendicularia and Doliolidae or Siphonophora in rank order (SIMPER, average similarity Group B 91.50% and Group C 89.72%; Appendix 1).

figure2

Full size image

Fig. 2. – A, distribution of mesozooplankton abundance in the water column in Kavala Gulf, northern Aegean in July 2002 and 2003. Values for smaller and larger disc (range of abundance values) are indicated. B, box plots of mesozooplankton abundance in Kavala Gulf, northern Aegean in July 2002 and 2003 grouped by sampling year. Outliers are plotted as dots.

figure3

Full size image

Fig. 3. – Abundance of Cladocera (A and B) and Copepoda (C and D) community in Kavala Gulf during 2002 (A and C) and 2003 (B and D). Discs are proportional to abundance. Values for smaller and larger disc (range of abundance values) are indicated. In the right corner of each graph the average between the sampling stations’ contribution of dominant taxa in the community of Cladocera (A and C) and Copepoda (B and D) is plotted in a pie graph.

figure4

Full size image

Fig. 4. – A, percentage contribution of dominant mesozooplankton groups to total abundance in a grid of 17 stations in Kavala Gulf in summer 2002 and 2003. B, dendrogram of Bray-Curtis similarity index of mesozooplankton community among samplings in sampling grid in Kavala Gulf from hierarchical agglomerative cluster analysis in log x+1 transformed data of zooplankton group abundance. Solid black lines indicate significant branches based on SIMPROF permutation tests, while dashed light grey lines indicate non-significant divisions (P<0.05). Symbols coded for sampling year and maximum depth categories; light grey cycles for shallow stations in 2002 and dark grey cycles for deeper stations in 2002; light grey squares for shallow stations in 2003 and dark grey squares for deeper stations in 2003. Sampling abbreviations are consistent with the formula ST (number of station) (sampling year; 02 for 2002 and 03 for 2003).

Relationships between physical-chemical parameters and zooplankton community structure

To assess significant relationships between surface environmental data and mesozooplankton community structure, ordination analysis of taxa assemblages, expressed in terms of biomass, was conducted (Fig. 5). In the diagnostic DCA, the highest value of the length of gradient of axis was 0.819, indicating that the relationship between mesozooplankton and environmental variables was linear (Ter Braak and Šmilauer 2002Ter Braak C.J., Šmilauer P. 2002. CANOCO reference Manual and CanoDraw for Windows user’s guide: Software for Canonical Community Ordination (version 4.5). Microcomputer Power, Ithaca, New York.), and an RDA was performed. The significant environmental variables (P<0.05) included in the RDA were salinity and maximum depth. Although dissolved oxygen was not a significant variable (P=0.06), it was included in the analysis as an explanatory variable of zooplankton distribution. The Monte Carlo test confirmed that the selected RDA model was significant (F ratio=9.531, P=0.002). The eigenvalues of the first two axes were 0.241 and 0.072, and both of them together explained 90.4% of the variation in species-environment relation. The first axis, which accounted for a total variance of 69.6%, was negatively and strongly correlated with sea surface salinity (r=0.9768). Moreover, mesozooplankton communities in 2002, being in contrast with those of 2003, were negatively correlated with Axis 1 (Appendix 2) and consequently positively correlated with sea surface salinity. Axis 2 showed 20.8% variation and was strongly and negatively correlated with maximum depth (r=–0.9768). Dissolved oxygen was strongly and negatively correlated with the third axis (r=–0.9355), which accounted for a total of 9.6% variation. Cumulative fit indicated that the predominant mesozooplankton groups affiliated with Ostracoda and Cladocera displayed stronger correlations with Axis 1 than the rest of the groups (Appendix 3). Ostracoda, Doliolidae, Cladocera, Appendicularia and Mysidae were notable taxonomic groups with higher correlations with Axis 2 (Appendix 3).

figure5

Full size image

Fig. 5. – Triplot diagram of mesozooplankton major taxonomic groups; explanatory variables and samples in a redundancy analysis (RDA) of the first and second axis illustrating the relationships among communities in the grid of stations in Kavala Gulf in the summer of 2002 and 2003. Square and circle points indicate the position of mesozooplankton communities in relation to environmental parameters (solid arrows) and species composition (cross points) based on taxon abundance. Mesozooplankton communities from each sampling were coded based on year of sampling and maximum depth same as in Figure 4B. Taxa abbreviations are shown in Table 3.

DISCUSSIONTop

The present study focuses on the community structure of mesozooplankton in Kavala Gulf in the summer of 2002 and 2003. Although our dataset is relatively old, this is to the best of our knowledge the first published study on mesozooplankton in Kavala Gulf. Mesozooplankton sampling was part of a fisheries survey in the area, whose data on hydrology and fisheries have already been published (Tsikliras et al. 2005Tsikliras A.C., Torre M., Stergiou K.I. 2005. Feeding habits and trophic level of round sardinella (Sardinella aurita) in the northeastern Mediterranean (Aegean Sea, Greece). J. Biol. Res. 3: 67-75., 2009Tsikliras A.C., Koutrakis E.T., Sylaios G.K., et al. 2009. Summer distribution of fish larvae in northern Aegean Sea. J. Mar. Biol. Ass. U.K. 89: 1137-1146., Tsikliras 2014Tsikliras A.C. 2014. Sympatric clupeoid fish larvae in the eastern Mediterranean: coexistence or avoidance? Adv. Ecol. ID274180.). Since Kavala Gulf is an important fisheries and nursery ground (Stergiou et al. 1997Stergiou K.I., Christou E.D., Georgopoulos D., et al. 1997. The Hellenic Seas: physics, chemistry, biology and fisheries. Oceanogr. Mar. Biol. Annu. Rev. 35: 415-538.), data on mesozooplankton could contribute to the theoretical knowledge of ecosystem functioning in the area. Moreover, though our dataset lacks seasonality, it could be useful for comparisons with present and future data, and for further meta-analyses in fisheries and ecosystem modelling through the refining or expanding of models that have already been developed for the area (Tsagarakis et al. 2010Tsagarakis K., Coll M., Giannoulaki M., et al. 2010. Food-web traits of the North Aegean Sea ecosystem (Eastern Mediterranean) and comparison with other Mediterranean ecosystems. Est. Coast Shelf Sci. 88: 233-248.).

The hydrological data collected during the present study were limited to the surface layer. Nevertheless, they are in accordance with other studies in the northern Aegean (e.g. Isari et al. 2008Isari S., Fragopoulu N., Somarakis S. 2008. Interranual variability in horizontal patterns of larval fish assemblages in the northeastern Aegean Sea (eastern Mediterranean) during early summer. Estuar. Coast. Shelf Sci. 79: 607-619.). The differences recorded between the two sampling years for salinity are attributed to the rainier days just before the 2003 survey (Tsikliras et al. 2009Tsikliras A.C., Koutrakis E.T., Sylaios G.K., et al. 2009. Summer distribution of fish larvae in northern Aegean Sea. J. Mar. Biol. Ass. U.K. 89: 1137-1146.). The composition of the zooplankton community found in the present study is typical of coastal areas in the Aegean and Ionian Seas, such as Saronikos Gulf (Siokou-Frangou 1996Siokou-Frangou I. 1996. Zooplankton annual cycle in a Mediterranean coastal area. J. Plankton Res. 18: 203-223.), Patraikos Gulf, the northern Euboikos Gulf, Pagasitikos Gulf (Ramfos et al. 2005Ramfos A., Somarakis S., Koutsikopoulos C., et al. 2005. Summer mesozooplankton distribution in coastal waters of central Greece (eastern Mediterranean). I. Hydrology and group composition. J. Mar. Biol. Ass. U.K. 85: 755-764.) and the Thracian Sea (Isari et al. 2007Isari S., Psarra S., Pitta P., et al. 2007. Differential patterns of mesozooplankters’ distribution in relation to physical and biological variables of the northeastern Aegean Sea (eastern Mediterranean). Mar. Biol. 151: 1035-1050.). Moreover, a similar zooplankton community composition has been recorded during the summer in other coastal ecosystems of the Mediterranean and Black Seas (Razouls et al. 2018Razouls C., de Bovée F., Kouwenberg J., et al. 2005-2018. Diversity and Geographic Distribution of Marine Planktonic Copepods. Accessed 27 June 2018. Available at ). As sampling was originally planned for ichthyoplankton collection, zooplankton samples were not obtained with the typical WP-2 net but with a net of a wider mesh size (250 μm). Thus, differences in community composition are expected to be mainly in small-sized species, due to selectivity of large-sized species by the gear. Furthermore, 250 mesh size nets have also been used for studies in the northern Aegean Sea (Table 1), making our results still comparable. Seasonal fluctuations in zooplankton abundance of the coastal Mediterranean regions are characterized by two maxima, one in spring and one in autumn (Stergiou et al. 1997Stergiou K.I., Christou E.D., Georgopoulos D., et al. 1997. The Hellenic Seas: physics, chemistry, biology and fisheries. Oceanogr. Mar. Biol. Annu. Rev. 35: 415-538.). In the Mediterranean coastal areas, the spring peak is common in the seasonal fluctuations of zooplankton abundance (Siokou-Frangou 1996Siokou-Frangou I. 1996. Zooplankton annual cycle in a Mediterranean coastal area. J. Plankton Res. 18: 203-223.), while the autumn peak is observed mainly in areas strongly affected by anthropogenic activities, often during the period June-September (Siokou-Frangou 1996Siokou-Frangou I. 1996. Zooplankton annual cycle in a Mediterranean coastal area. J. Plankton Res. 18: 203-223., Alvanou 1999Alvanou L. 1999. Annual cycle of Cladocerans in the Thermaikos Gulf and the Gulf of Thessaloniki. Fresenius Environ. Bull. 8: 724-731.). We acknowledge that our dataset is limited to the summer period and is not able to reflect the annual fluctuations of mesozooplankton communities. Nevertheless, the mesozooplankton abundance values recorded, after comparison with summer data in other coastal areas of the Mediterranean Sea, seemed to correspond to the autumn peak (Kovalev et al. 2003Kovalev A.V., Mazzocchi M.G., Kideyş A.E., et al. 2003. Seasonal Changes in the Composition and Abundance of Zooplankton in the Seas of the Mediterranean Basin. Turk. J. Zool. 27: 205-219.). In order to broaden our knowledge on Kavala Gulf a more intensive annual sampling scheme should be designed in the future.

Total mesozooplankton abundance values in both sampling years were relatively higher than those of samplings in the surrounding area of the Thracian Sea (Isari et al. 2006Isari S., Ramfos A., Somarakis S., et al. 2006. Mesozooplankton distribution in relation to hydrology of the Northeastern Aegean Sea, Eastern Mediterranean. J. Plankton Res. 28: 241-255.) and in other coastal systems in the Mediterranean [e.g. Gulf of Naples (Mazzocchi and Ribera d’Alcalà 1995Mazzocchi M.G., Ribera d’Alcalà M.R. 1995. Recurrent patterns in zooplankton structure and succession in a variable coastal environment. ICES J. Mar. Sci. 52: 679-691.); Gulf of Trieste, (Lipej et al. 1997Lipej L., Mozetič P., Turk V., et al. 1997. The trophic role of the marine cladoceran Penilia avirostris in the Gulf of Trieste. Hydrobiologia 360: 197-203.); Ionian and central Aegean Sea (Ramfos et al. 2005Ramfos A., Somarakis S., Koutsikopoulos C., et al. 2005. Summer mesozooplankton distribution in coastal waters of central Greece (eastern Mediterranean). I. Hydrology and group composition. J. Mar. Biol. Ass. U.K. 85: 755-764.)] and the Black Sea (e.g. Sazhina 1964Sazhina L.I. 1964. Seasonal changes of zooplankton in the north-western part of the Black Sea in 1957. Proceed. Sevastopol Biol. Stat. 17: 262-275 (in Russian).). This may be linked to the special conditions occurring in this semi-enclosed gulf, namely the effects of the Black Sea water, the nutrient rich intake from the nearby river outflows and the urban and industrial activity in the area (Friligos 1985Friligos N. 1985. Nutrient conditions in two Aegean gulfs. Mar. Pollut. Bull. 16: 208-209., Kardaras 2005Kardaras T. 2005. The water circulation in Kavala Bay (North Aegean). Medit. Mar. Sci. 6: 5-16., Sylaios et al. 2005Sylaios G., Stamatis N., Kallianiotis A., et al. 2005. Monitoring water quality and assessment of land-based nutrient loadings and cycling in Kavala Gulf. Water Resour. Manag. 19: 713-735., Isari et al. 2006Isari S., Ramfos A., Somarakis S., et al. 2006. Mesozooplankton distribution in relation to hydrology of the Northeastern Aegean Sea, Eastern Mediterranean. J. Plankton Res. 28: 241-255.). A water circulation study that was synchronous with our sampling in Kavala Gulf states that northern Aegean water enters westwards in the Gulf from the Strait of Thassos (near station 10, Fig. 1), forming a cyclonic sea surface pattern (Tsikliras et al. 2009Tsikliras A.C., Koutrakis E.T., Sylaios G.K., et al. 2009. Summer distribution of fish larvae in northern Aegean Sea. J. Mar. Biol. Ass. U.K. 89: 1137-1146.). Moreover, in Kavala Gulf cold water masses with low salinity are provided by the outflow of the Nestos River during winter and spring (Kardaras 1998Kardaras T. 1998. The dynamical response of the water masses due to the influence of the prevailing mesoscale meteorological factors. The case of Kavala Bay (North Aegean). PhD thesis. University of Thessaloniki.), whereas in the summer period water circulation is influenced by the low-salinity water masses entering from the Dardanelles (Kardaras 1998Kardaras T. 1998. The dynamical response of the water masses due to the influence of the prevailing mesoscale meteorological factors. The case of Kavala Bay (North Aegean). PhD thesis. University of Thessaloniki., Tsikliras et al. 2009Tsikliras A.C., Koutrakis E.T., Sylaios G.K., et al. 2009. Summer distribution of fish larvae in northern Aegean Sea. J. Mar. Biol. Ass. U.K. 89: 1137-1146.). The influence of the Black Sea water on zooplankton communities has been previously studied in the northern Aegean Sea, showing that it favours the dominance of Cladocera and small-sized Copepoda due to its lower salinity (Isari et al. 2006Isari S., Ramfos A., Somarakis S., et al. 2006. Mesozooplankton distribution in relation to hydrology of the Northeastern Aegean Sea, Eastern Mediterranean. J. Plankton Res. 28: 241-255., 2007Isari S., Psarra S., Pitta P., et al. 2007. Differential patterns of mesozooplankters’ distribution in relation to physical and biological variables of the northeastern Aegean Sea (eastern Mediterranean). Mar. Biol. 151: 1035-1050., 2011Isari S., Somarakis S., Christou E.D., et al. 2011. Summer mesozooplankton assemblages in the north-eastern Aegean Sea: the influence of Black Sea water and an associated anticyclonic eddy. J. Mar. Biol. Ass. U.K. 91: 51-63.), as is the case with the mesozooplankton communities of Kavala Gulf. Moreover, the abundance recorded in 2002 was higher than in 2003, while the reverse pattern is observed in the ichthyoplankton data (Tsikliras et al. 2009Tsikliras A.C., Koutrakis E.T., Sylaios G.K., et al. 2009. Summer distribution of fish larvae in northern Aegean Sea. J. Mar. Biol. Ass. U.K. 89: 1137-1146.). This reverse relationship may be indicative of fish larvae predation on the mesozooplankton communities (Cushing 1990Cushing D.H. 1990. Plankton production and year-class strength in fish populations: an update of the match/mismatch hypothesis. Adv. Mar. Biol. 26: 249-293.). However, inter-annual variability of the mesozooplankton- ichthyoplankton trophic link and longer time-series would be needed to support this hypothesis with more evidence.

The dominant zooplankton group in both sampling years were Cladocera, followed by Copepoda and Tunicata (Fig. 4). Cladocera dominate coastal areas in the summer period according to similar studies, contributing to the summer peak (e.g. Christou and Stergiou 1998Christou E.D., Stergiou K.I. 1998. Modelling and forecasting the fortnightly cladoceran abundance in the Saronikos Gulf (Aegean Sea). J. Plankton Res. 20: 1313-1320.; Strymonikos and Ierissos Gulfs (Michaloudi 1999Michaloudi E. 1999. Mesozooplankton in the Strymonikos and Ierissos Gulfs. In: Koutrakis E., Lazaridou E. (eds). Description of the coastal zone of Strymonikos and Ierissos Gulfs. NAG -Fisheries Research Institute - Greek Biotope/Wetland Centre, Nea Peramos, Kavala. [In Greek, English abstract.], pp. 441-453.); Thracian Sea, (Isari et al. 2007Isari S., Psarra S., Pitta P., et al. 2007. Differential patterns of mesozooplankters’ distribution in relation to physical and biological variables of the northeastern Aegean Sea (eastern Mediterranean). Mar. Biol. 151: 1035-1050.)]. They are favoured by high temperatures, low salinity (Moraitou-Apostolopoulou and Kiortsis 1973Moraitou-Apostolopoulou M., Kiortsis V. 1973. The cladocerans of the Aegean Sea: occurrence and seasonal variation. Mar. Biol. 20: 137-143., Christou and Stergiou 1998Christou E.D., Stergiou K.I. 1998. Modelling and forecasting the fortnightly cladoceran abundance in the Saronikos Gulf (Aegean Sea). J. Plankton Res. 20: 1313-1320.) and low depth (Siokou-Frangou 1996Siokou-Frangou I. 1996. Zooplankton annual cycle in a Mediterranean coastal area. J. Plankton Res. 18: 203-223.), which are conditions encountered in Kavala Gulf during the summer. This trend was reflected in the RDA (Fig. 5), with stations being grouped by depth and surface salinity. In 2002, mesozooplankton communities were positively correlated with the sea surface salinity values, which were significantly higher, whereas in 2003 they were negatively correlated. Although salinity was significantly differentiated between the years studied, it was not an actual forming factor of the communities’ distinctness because of the narrow range of the measured values (1.89±0.95). According to Siokou-Frangou et al. (1998)Siokou-Frangou L., Papathanassiou E., Lepretre A., et al. 1998. Zooplankton assemblages and influence of environmental parameters on them in a Mediterranean coastal area. J. Plankton Res. 20: 847-870., temperature is the main driving factor of mesozooplankton community formation.

In our study, the Cladocera community consisted almost entirely of P. avirostris, which is a highly efficient filter feeder feeding mainly on phytoplankton, such as diatoms, nanoflagellates (HNF) and bacterioplankton (Turner et al. 1988Turner J.T., Tester P.A., Ferguson R.L. 1988. The marine cladoceran Penilia avirostris and the “microbial loop” of pelagic food webs. Limnol Oceanogr. 33: 245-255., Kim et al. 1989Kim S.W., Onbé T., Yoon Y.H. 1989. Feeding habits of marine cladocerans in the Inland Sea of Japan. Mar. Biol. 100: 313-318., Atienza et al. 2006Atienza D., Calbet A., Saiz E., et al. 2006. Trophic impact, metabolism, and biogeochemical role of the marine cladoceran Penilia avirostris and the co-dominant copepod Oithona nana in NW Mediterranean coastal waters. Mar. Biol. 150: 221-235.). P. avirostis peaks may be favoured by the presence of Cymodocea and Posidonia meadows in Kavala Gulf (Orfanidis et al. 2010Orfanidis S., Papathanasiou V., Gounaris S., et al. 2010. Size distribution approaches for monitoring and conservation of coastal Cymodocea habitats. Aquat. Conserv.: Mar. Freshw. Ecosyst. 20: 177-188.), taking advantage of the dissolved organic carbon enrichment in the pelagic food web and the microbial loop that is favoured in such habitats (Barrón et al. 2004Barrón C., Marbé N., Terrados J., et al. 2004. Community metabolism and carbon budget along a gradient of seagrass (Cymodocea nodosa) colonization. Limnol. Oceanogr. 49: 1642-1651., Barrón and Duarte 2009Barrón C., Duarte C.M. 2009. Dissolved organic matter release in a Posidonia oceanica meadow. Mar. Ecol. Prog. Ser. 374: 75-84.). Moreover, massive populations of P. avirostris may be a result of the combination of its ability to exploit the available food resources and of its life cycle characteristics (a short life cycle and parthenogenetic reproduction) (Colton 1985Colton Jr. J.B. 1985. Eastward extension of the distribution of the marine cladoceran (Penilia avirostris) in the northwest Atlantic: a case of ecesis. J. Northwest Atl. Fish. Soc. 6: 141-148., Valentin and Marazzo 2003Valentin J.L., Marazzo A. 2003. Modelling the population dynamics of Penilia avirostris (Branchiopoda, Ctenopoda) in a tropical bay. Acta Oecol. 24: S369-S376.). In conclusion, the zooplankton community of a semi-enclosed gulf in the northern Aegean Sea during the summer was mainly dominated by Cladocera, small pelagic Copepoda and Tunicata. The high abundance values might have been favoured by the Black Sea water and river input in the upper layer of the water column. Our results on the mesozooplankton communities of Kavala Gulf may provide valuable information concerning the function of the pelagic food web in the gulf and contribute to the construction and/or improvement of models used in fisheries management of economically important fish stocks of the area.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTSTop

We thank N. Kamidis, A. Argyrokastritis and P. Karanikolas for field work at sea, and D. Dimarchopoulou for proofreading the manuscript. The present work is part of a research project (PENNED 2001) funded by the General Directorate of Research and Technology, Ministry of Development (Greece).

REFERENCESTop

Alvanou L. 1999. Annual cycle of Cladocerans in the Thermaikos Gulf and the Gulf of Thessaloniki. Fresenius Environ. Bull. 8: 724-731.

Atienza D., Calbet A., Saiz E., et al. 2006. Trophic impact, metabolism, and biogeochemical role of the marine cladoceran Penilia avirostris and the co-dominant copepod Oithona nana in NW Mediterranean coastal waters. Mar. Biol. 150: 221-235.
https://doi.org/10.1007/s00227-006-0351-z

Barrón C., Duarte C.M. 2009. Dissolved organic matter release in a Posidonia oceanica meadow. Mar. Ecol. Prog. Ser. 374: 75-84.
https://doi.org/10.3354/meps07715

Barrón C., Marbé N., Terrados J., et al. 2004. Community metabolism and carbon budget along a gradient of seagrass (Cymodocea nodosa) colonization. Limnol. Oceanogr. 49: 1642-1651.
https://doi.org/10.4319/lo.2004.49.5.1642

Beaugrand G., Brander K.M., Lindley J.A., et al. 2003. Plankton effect on cod recruitment in the North Sea. Nature 426: 661-664.
https://doi.org/10.1038/nature02164

Bosc E., Bricaud A., Antoine D. 2004. Seasonal and interannual variability in algal biomass and primary production in the Mediterranean Sea, as derived from 4 years of SeaWiFS observations. Global Biogeochem. Cycles 18.
https://doi.org/10.1029/2003GB002034

Bray J.R., Curtis J.T. 1957. An ordination of the upland forest communities of southern Wisconsin. Ecol. Monogr. 27: 325-349.
https://doi.org/10.2307/1942268

Catalán I.A., Folkvord A., Palomera I., et al. 2010. Growth and feeding patterns of European anchovy (Engraulis encrasicolus) early life stages in the Aegean Sea (NE Mediterranean). Est. Coast. Shelf Sci. 86: 299-312.
https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ecss.2009.11.033

Christou E.D. 1998. Interannual variability of copepods in a Mediterranean coastal area (Saronikos Gulf, Aegean Sea). J. Mar. Syst. 15: 523-532.
https://doi.org/10.1016/S0924-7963(97)00080-8

Christou E.D., Stergiou K.I. 1998. Modelling and forecasting the fortnightly cladoceran abundance in the Saronikos Gulf (Aegean Sea). J. Plankton Res. 20: 1313-1320.
https://doi.org/10.1093/plankt/20.7.1313

Clarke K.R., Gorley R.N. 2001. PRIMER v5: User Manual/ Tutorial. Primer-E Ltd., Plymouth, 91 pp.

Colton Jr. J.B. 1985. Eastward extension of the distribution of the marine cladoceran (Penilia avirostris) in the northwest Atlantic: a case of ecesis. J. Northwest Atl. Fish. Soc. 6: 141-148.
https://doi.org/10.2960/J.v6.a14

Cowen R.K., Hare J.A., Fahay M.P. 1993. Beyond hydrography: can physical processes explain larval fish assemblages within the Middle Atlantic Bight? Bull. Mar. Sci. 53: 567-587.

Cushing D.H. 1990. Plankton production and year-class strength in fish populations: an update of the match/mismatch hypothesis. Adv. Mar. Biol. 26: 249-293.
https://doi.org/10.1016/S0065-2881(08)60202-3

Dortch Q., Packard T.T. 1989. Differences in biomass structure between oligotrophic and eutrophic marine ecosystems. Deep Sea Res. Part 1. Oceanogr. Res. Pap. 36: 223-240.

Fenchel T. 1988. Marine plankton food chains. Annu. Rev. Ecol. Syst. 19: 19-38.
https://doi.org/10.1146/annurev.es.19.110188.000315

Frangoulis C., Psarra S., Zervakis V., et al. 2010. Connecting export fluxes to plankton food-web efficiency in the Black Sea waters inflowing into the Mediterranean Sea. J. Plankton Res. 32: 1203-1216.
https://doi.org/10.1093/plankt/fbq010

Frederiksen M., Edwards M., Richardson A.J., et al. 2006. From plankton to top predators: bottom-up control of a marine food web across four trophic levels. J. Anim. Ecol. 75: 1259-1268.
https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2656.2006.01148.x

Friligos N. 1985. Nutrient conditions in two Aegean gulfs. Mar. Pollut. Bull. 16: 208-209.
https://doi.org/10.1016/0025-326X(85)90482-5

Hammer Ø., Harper D.A.T., Ryan P.D. 2001. PAST: Paleontological statistics software package for education and data analysis. Palaeontol. Electron. 4.

Isari S., Ramfos A., Somarakis S., et al. 2006. Mesozooplankton distribution in relation to hydrology of the Northeastern Aegean Sea, Eastern Mediterranean. J. Plankton Res. 28: 241-255.
https://doi.org/10.1093/plankt/fbi058

Isari S., Psarra S., Pitta P., et al. 2007. Differential patterns of mesozooplankters’ distribution in relation to physical and biological variables of the northeastern Aegean Sea (eastern Mediterranean). Mar. Biol. 151: 1035-1050.
https://doi.org/10.1007/s00227-006-0542-7

Isari S., Fragopoulu N., Somarakis S. 2008. Interranual variability in horizontal patterns of larval fish assemblages in the northeastern Aegean Sea (eastern Mediterranean) during early summer. Estuar. Coast. Shelf Sci. 79: 607-619.
https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ecss.2008.06.001

Isari S., Somarakis S., Christou E.D., et al. 2011. Summer mesozooplankton assemblages in the north-eastern Aegean Sea: the influence of Black Sea water and an associated anticyclonic eddy. J. Mar. Biol. Ass. U.K. 91: 51-63.
https://doi.org/10.1017/S0025315410000123

Karachle P.K., Stergiou K.I. 2013. Feeding and ecomorphology of three clupeoids in the N Aegean Sea. Medit. Mar. Sci. 15: 9-26.
https://doi.org/10.12681/mms.350

Kardaras T. 1998. The dynamical response of the water masses due to the influence of the prevailing mesoscale meteorological factors. The case of Kavala Bay (North Aegean). PhD thesis. University of Thessaloniki.

Kardaras T. 2005. The water circulation in Kavala Bay (North Aegean). Medit. Mar. Sci. 6: 5-16.
https://doi.org/10.12681/mms.182

Kim S.W., Onbé T., Yoon Y.H. 1989. Feeding habits of marine cladocerans in the Inland Sea of Japan. Mar. Biol. 100: 313-318.
https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00391145

Kovalev A.V., Mazzocchi M.G., Kideyş A.E., et al. 2003. Seasonal Changes in the Composition and Abundance of Zooplankton in the Seas of the Mediterranean Basin. Turk. J. Zool. 27: 205-219.

Lipej L., Mozetič P., Turk V., et al. 1997. The trophic role of the marine cladoceran Penilia avirostris in the Gulf of Trieste. Hydrobiologia 360: 197-203.
https://doi.org/10.1023/A:1003180030116

Lykousis V., Chronis G., Tselepides A., et al. 2002. Major outputs of the recent multidisciplinary biogeochemical researches undertaken in the Aegean Sea. J. Mar. Syst. 34: 313-334.
https://doi.org/10.1016/S0924-7963(02)00064-7

Mazzocchi M.G., Ribera d’Alcalà M.R. 1995. Recurrent patterns in zooplankton structure and succession in a variable coastal environment. ICES J. Mar. Sci. 52: 679-691.
https://doi.org/10.1016/1054-3139(95)80081-6

Michaloudi E. 1999. Mesozooplankton in the Strymonikos and Ierissos Gulfs. In: Koutrakis E., Lazaridou E. (eds). Description of the coastal zone of Strymonikos and Ierissos Gulfs. NAG -Fisheries Research Institute - Greek Biotope/Wetland Centre, Nea Peramos, Kavala. [In Greek, English abstract.], pp. 441-453.

Moraitou-Apostolopoulou M., Kiortsis V. 1973. The cladocerans of the Aegean Sea: occurrence and seasonal variation. Mar. Biol. 20: 137-143.
https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00351451

Orfanidis S., Papathanasiou V., Gounaris S., et al. 2010. Size distribution approaches for monitoring and conservation of coastal Cymodocea habitats. Aquat. Conserv.: Mar. Freshw. Ecosyst. 20: 177-188.
https://doi.org/10.1002/aqc.1069

Petihakis G., Triantafyllou G., Tsiaras K., et al. 2009. Eastern Mediterranean biogeochemical flux model–Simulations of the pelagic ecosystem. Ocean Sci. 5: 29-46.
https://doi.org/10.5194/os-5-29-2009

Poulos S.E., Drakopoulos P.G., Collins M.B. 1997. Seasonal variability of the sea surface oceanographic conditions in the Aegean Sea (eastern Mediterranean): an overview. J. Mar. Syst. 13: 225-244.
https://doi.org/10.1016/S0924-7963(96)00113-3

Ramfos A., Somarakis S., Koutsikopoulos C., et al. 2005. Summer mesozooplankton distribution in coastal waters of central Greece (eastern Mediterranean). I. Hydrology and group composition. J. Mar. Biol. Ass. U.K. 85: 755-764.
https://doi.org/10.1017/S0025315405011665

Razouls C., de Bovée F., Kouwenberg J., et al. 2005-2018. Diversity and Geographic Distribution of Marine Planktonic Copepods. Accessed 27 June 2018. Available at
http://copepodes.obs-banyuls.fr/en

Richardson A.J. 2008. In hot water: zooplankton and climate change. ICES J. Mar. Sci. 65: 279-295.
https://doi.org/10.1093/icesjms/fsn028

Sazhina L.I. 1964. Seasonal changes of zooplankton in the north-western part of the Black Sea in 1957. Proceed. Sevastopol Biol. Stat. 17: 262-275 (in Russian).

Siokou-Frangou I. 1996. Zooplankton annual cycle in a Mediterranean coastal area. J. Plankton Res. 18: 203-223.
https://doi.org/10.1093/plankt/18.2.203

Siokou-Frangou I., Papathanassiou E. 1991. Differentiation of zooplankton populations in a polluted area. Mar. Ecol. Prog. Ser. 76: 41-51.
https://doi.org/10.3354/meps076041

Siokou-Frangou L., Papathanassiou E., Lepretre A., et al. 1998. Zooplankton assemblages and influence of environmental parameters on them in a Mediterranean coastal area. J. Plankton Res. 20: 847-870.
https://doi.org/10.1093/plankt/20.5.847

Siokou-Frangou I., Bianchi M., Christaki U., et al. 2002. Carbon flow in the planktonic food web along a gradient of oligotrophy in the Aegean Sea (Mediterranean Sea). J. Mar. Syst. 33: 335-353.
https://doi.org/10.1016/S0924-7963(02)00065-9

Siokou-Frangou I., Zervoudaki S., Christou E.D., et al. 2009. Variability of mesozooplankton spatial distribution in the North Aegean Sea, as influenced by the Black Sea waters outflow. J. Mar. Syst. 78: 557-575.
https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jmarsys.2008.12.025

Siokou I., Frangoulis C., Grigoratou M., et al. 2014. Zooplankton community dynamics in the N. Aegean front (E. Mediterranean) in the winter spring period. Medit. Mar. Sci. 15: 706-720.
https://doi.org/10.12681/mms.915

Somarakis S. 2005. Marked interannual differences in reproductive parameters and daily egg production of anchovy in the northern Aegean Sea. Belg. J. Zool. 134 (Suppl. I): 123-132.

Stergiou K.I., Christou E.D., Georgopoulos D., et al. 1997. The Hellenic Seas: physics, chemistry, biology and fisheries. Oceanogr. Mar. Biol. Annu. Rev. 35: 415-538.

Stergiou K.I., Moutopoulos D.K., Tsikliras A.C. 2007. Spatial and temporal variability in Hellenic marine fisheries landings. In: Papaconstantinou C., Zenetos A., et al. (eds). State of the Hellenic marine fisheries. Hellenic Centre for Marine Research, Athens, pp. 132-140.

Sylaios G., Stamatis N., Kallianiotis A., et al. 2005. Monitoring water quality and assessment of land-based nutrient loadings and cycling in Kavala Gulf. Water Resour. Manag. 19: 713-735.
https://doi.org/10.1007/s11269-005-3020-y

Sylaios G.K., Koutroumanidis T., Tsikliras A.C. 2010. Ranking and classification of fishing areas using fuzzy models and techniques. Fish. Manag. Ecol. 17: 240-253.
https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2400.2009.00714.x

Ter Braak C.J., Šmilauer P. 2002. CANOCO reference Manual and CanoDraw for Windows user’s guide: Software for Canonical Community Ordination (version 4.5). Microcomputer Power, Ithaca, New York.

Ter Braak C.J., Verdonschot P.F. 1995. Canonical correspondence analysis and related multivariate methods in aquatic ecology. Aquat. Sci. 57: 255-289.
https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00877430

Triantafyllou G., Korres G., Hoteit I., et al. 2007. Assimilation of ocean colour data into a Biogeochemical Flux Model of the Eastern Mediterranean Sea. Ocean Sci. 3: 397-410.
https://doi.org/10.5194/os-3-397-2007

Tsagarakis K., Coll M., Giannoulaki M., et al. 2010. Food-web traits of the North Aegean Sea ecosystem (Eastern Mediterranean) and comparison with other Mediterranean ecosystems. Est. Coast. Shelf Sci. 88: 233-248.
https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ecss.2010.04.007

Tsikliras A.C. 2014. Sympatric clupeoid fish larvae in the eastern Mediterranean: coexistence or avoidance? Adv. Ecol. ID274180.
https://doi.org/10.1155/2014/274180

Tsikliras A.C., Koutrakis E.T. 2011. Summer fish larval assemblages and station groups in the northern Aegean Sea. Acta Adriat. 52: 57-66.

Tsikliras A.C., Torre M., Stergiou K.I. 2005. Feeding habits and trophic level of round sardinella (Sardinella aurita) in the northeastern Mediterranean (Aegean Sea, Greece). J. Biol. Res. 3: 67-75.

Tsikliras A.C., Koutrakis E.T., Sylaios G.K., et al. 2009. Summer distribution of fish larvae in northern Aegean Sea. J. Mar. Biol. Ass. U.K. 89: 1137-1146.
https://doi.org/10.1017/S0025315409000356

Turner J.T., Tester P.A., Ferguson R.L. 1988. The marine cladoceran Penilia avirostris and the “microbial loop” of pelagic food webs. Limnol Oceanogr. 33: 245-255.
https://doi.org/10.4319/lo.1988.33.2.0245

Valentin J.L., Marazzo A. 2003. Modelling the population dynamics of Penilia avirostris (Branchiopoda, Ctenopoda) in a tropical bay. Acta Oecol. 24: S369-S376.
https://doi.org/10.1016/S1146-609X(03)00021-3

Zervakis V., Georgopoulos D. 2002. Hydrology and circulation in the north Aegean (eastern Mediterranean) throughout 1997-1998. Medit. Mar. Sci. 3: 7-21.
https://doi.org/10.12681/mms.254

Zervoudaki S., Nielsen T.G., Christou E.D., et al. 2006. Zooplankton distribution and diversity in a frontal area of the Aegean Sea. Mar. Biol. Res. 2: 149-168.
https://doi.org/10.1080/17451000600702037

Zodiatis G., Balopoulos E. 1993. Structure and characteristics of fronts in the north Aegean Sea. Boll. Oceanol. Teor. Appl. 11: 113-124.

APPENDICESTop

Appendix 1. – Results of the similarity percentage analysis and the pairwise analysis of similarity of variance among the four groups indicated by the hierarchical cluster analysis (Fig. 4B). Taxa with a cumulative contribution of more than 50% are indicated in bold. Taxa abbreviations are shown in Table 3.

Group A Group B Group C Group D
Group A Fewer than 2 samples in group Contrib (%) Cum (%) Contrib (%) Cum (%) Contrib (%) Cum (%)
Average dissimilarity: 20.29 % Average dissimilarity: 27.18 % Average dissimilarity: 22.82 %
(Global R=0.986. P=0.056) (Global R=1. P=0.063)
Mys 22.92 22.92 Mys 18.43 18.43 Mys 21.97 21.97
Ech 16.72 39.64 Ost 16.06 34.49 Ost 19.73 41.7
Amp 16.13 55.77 Amp 14.29 48.77 Amp 17.04 58.74
Gas 13.62 69.4 Gas 12.08 60.85 Cir 15.73 74.47
Dec 8.53 77.92 Dec 7.61 68.46 Gas 14.4 88.87
Ost 5.07 82.99 Ech 6.24 74.7 Sip 3.22 92.09
Cir 3.87 86.87 Dol 4.47 79.17
Cha 2.73 89.59 Pol 4.42 83.59
Pol 2.58 92.18 Cha 3.21 86.8
Sip 2.66 89.47
App 2.64 92.11
Group B Contrib (%) Cum (%) Contrib (%) Cum (%) Contrib (%) Cum (%)
Average Similarity: 91.50 % Average dissimilarity: 15.06 % Average dissimilarity: 17.24 %
(Global R=0.703. P=0.01) (Global R=0.974. P=0.056)
Cla 15.41 15.41 Ost 24.63 24.63 Ech 24.16 24.16
Cop 12.60 28.01 Ech 15.38 40.01 Ost 22.4 46.56
App 11.28 39.29 Pol 9.56 49.57 Cir 18.29 64.85
Dol 10.90 50.19 Dol 8.07 57.64 Dec 8.22 73.06
Sip 8.93 59.12 Cir 5.83 63.46 Cha 4.61 77.68
Med 8.52 67.64 Dec 5.6 69.06 Sip 4.32 81.99
Ech 7.59 75.23 Sip 5.49 74.55 Pol 3.73 85.72
Ost 7.01 82.24 Cla 5.06 79.61 Med 3.17 88.90
Cha 6.64 88.88 Cha 4.79 84.4 Amp 2.35 91.24
Dec 5.61 94.49 Med 3.8 88.2
App 3.7 91.89
Group C Contrib (%) Cum (%) Contrib (%) Cum (%)
Average Similarity: 89.72 % Average Dissimilarity: 14.48 %
(Global R=0.646. P=0.063)
Cla 16.73 16.73 Cir 23.95 23.95
Cop 14.37 31.1 Ech 13.63 37.58
App 12.29 43.39 Dec 11.7 49.28
Sip 11.97 55.36 Pol 9.68 58.96
Dol 10.13 65.49 Cha 7.81 66.77
Med 9.42 74.9 Dol 7.68 74.45
Cir 7.48 82.39 Cla 6.72 81.17
Cha 7.07 89.45 Med 6.27 87.44
Dec 6.79 96.24 App 4.22 91.66
Group D Less than 2 samples in group

Appendix 2. – Sample scores which are linear combinations of environmental variables.

Sampling Station Axis 1 Axis 2 Axis 3 Axis 4
1 ST0102 –0.8411 –0.5768 0.3497 0.0000
2 ST0202 –0.9135 –0.4763 –0.7983 0.0000
3 ST0302 –0.1902 0.0178 25.070 0.0000
4 ST0402 –0.4984 –11.283 –0.2767 0.0000
5 ST0502 –0.9059 –0.6397 –0.4054 0.0000
6 ST0602 –10.944 0.1859 –14.292 0.0000
7 ST0702 –11.123 0.7544 –12.995 0.0000
8 ST0802 –0.2537 0.5127 –10.020 0.0000
9 ST0902 –11.055 0.3737 –0.5790 0.0000
10 ST1002 –15.789 23.624 –0.8948 0.0000
11 ST1102 –0.5673 0.1631 –13.868 0.0000
12 ST1202 –0.0967 0.4432 14.408 0.0000
13 ST1302 –10.722 0.2064 0.7571 0.0000
14 ST1402 –10.931 –0.4368 –0.0021 0.0000
15 ST1502 –11.154 –13.828 0.3497 0.0000
16 ST1602 –0.9109 –11.220 10.375 0.0000
17 ST1702 –0.8897 –12.741 0.6717 0.0000
18 ST0103 10.388 –0.2370 –0.8713 0.0000
19 ST0203 0.4060 –0.2388 0.1755 0.0000
20 ST0303 14.875 –0.6614 0.8881 0.0000
21 ST0403 0.7248 –0.5517 13.264 0.0000
22 ST0503 12.157 –0.4431 –14.167 0.0000
23 ST0603 0.1046 0.6280 –0.7349 0.0000
24 ST0703 10.942 12.159 –0.8678 0.0000
25 ST0803 21.468 11.963 0.1212 0.0000
26 ST0903 0.4371 0.8049 13.587 0.0000
27 ST1003 0.1616 34.563 14.138 0.0000
28 ST1103 0.0236 –0.3742 0.0612 0.0000
29 ST1203 0.2437 0.4425 0.4255 0.0000
30 ST1303 0.3189 –0.2361 0.4735 0.0000
31 ST1403 18.935 –0.3218 –0.8472 0.0000
32 ST1503 19.689 –0.8876 –13.035 0.0000
33 ST1603 0.4317 –11.246 –0.3315 0.0000
34 ST1703 0.5417 –0.6505 10.894 0.0000

Appendix 3. – Cumulative fit per taxon as fraction of variance of species in the redundancy analysis. Taxa with higher correlation (0.25<) with Axis 1 and 2 are marked in bold.

Taxa Ax1 Ax2 Ax3 Ax4 Var (y) % Expl
Cladocera 0.2669 0.2830 0.3658 0.5322 0.29 36.58
Copepoda 0.1782 0.1833 0.1981 0.3547 0.12 19.81
Appendicularia 0.2311 0.2461 0.3727 0.5473 0.15 37.27
Chaetognatha 0.0505 0.0537 0.1364 0.1415 0.38 13.64
Siphonophora 0.1264 0.1277 0.1623 0.1925 0.36 16.23
Medusae 0.1423 0.1527 0.1888 0.2908 0.21 18.88
Decapoda 0.0055 0.2294 0.2446 0.3334 0.78 24.46
Cirripedia 0.0000 0.0345 0.1562 0.1562 1.11 15.62
Annelida 0.1219 0.1251 0.1967 0.1985 1.74 19.67
Echinoderma 0.1877 0.3616 0.3664 0.8367 2.87 36.64
Ostracoda 0.5890 0.5922 0.5951 0.8444 3.72 59.51
Dolliolidae 0.3691 0.3716 0.4695 0.6237 0.55 46.95
Mysidacae 0.0755 0.2447 0.2689 0.3017 0.87 26.89
Amphipoda 0.0628 0.1758 0.1870 0.2031 1.14 18.70
Gasteropoda 0.1397 0.2272 0.2508 0.2509 0.73 25.08


Copyright (c) 2019 Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas (CSIC)

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.


Contact us scimar@icm.csic.es

Technical support soporte.tecnico.revistas@csic.es