Scientia Marina, Vol 63, No S1 (1999)

Mesozooplankton communities in the Magellan region

Katjia Defren-Janson
Alfred-Wegener-Institut für Polar- und Meeresforschung, Germany

Sigrid B. Schnack-Schiel
Alfred-Wegener-Institut für Polar- und Meeresforschung, Germany

Claudio Ritcher
Institut für Polarökologie - Zentrum für Marine Tropenökologie, Germany


During the Joint Chilean-German-Italian Magellan Victor Hensen Campaign in November 1994 zooplankton sampling was carried out by means of a multiple opening-closing multinet equipped with 300 µm mesh size. Distribution pattern was studied and community analyses of mesozooplankton were made at seven stations in the Magellan region. Highest numbers of individuals were found in the northern part of the investigation area (Magdalena to Brecknock Channels) at stations with a mixed water column. In the southern part (Beagle and Ballenero Channels), lower zooplankton abundances were associated with a stratified water column due to melt water from several glaciers. At all stations holoplankton dominated the assemblages (83 - 97%). Copepods were by far the most abundant taxon encountered during this study, contributing to more than 2/3 of the total zooplankton numbers. They occurred throughout the water column with maxima in middle water layers. Appendicularians ranked second in abundance with their main distribution in the upper 100 m. Euphausiids were found in higher densities only in the Magdalena Channel (St. 1313); their vertical distribution pattern resembled that of copepods. Cladocerans aggregated at all stations in the upper 30 m. Within the meroplankton, echinoderm larvae were most abundant, notably in the upper 100 m under stratified conditions. Cluster analysis separated between a surface community covering all stations, and a northern and southern deep community, respectively.


Mesozooplankton; communities; distribution; abundance; Magellan region

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Copyright (c) 1999 Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas (CSIC)

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