Influence of biotic and abiotic sediment factors on abundance and biomass of harpacticoid copepods in a shallow Antarctic bay
Keywords:meiofauna, Copepoda, size classes, biovolume, Pseudotachidius jubanyensis, Scottopsyllus (S.) praecipuus, King George Island, Antarctic
This study presents data of the first investigation on benthic harpacticoid copepods in Potter Cove, King George Island, Antarctica (62°14’S, 58°40’W) with special emphasis on spatial distribution and relation to environmental factors. In addition to the individual numbers that are normally given, the biovolume of the meiobenthic copepods was measured. It showed great variety due to changes in abundance and habitat preferences of the different species along the two studied transects in the inner cove and at the cove entrance. The distribution of the two species Pseudotachidius jubanyensis and Scottopsyllus (S.) praecipuus was studied in detail; their body volumes are given for developmental stages and adults, and their importance for the total biovolume at the different stations is discussed. Statistical analyses (Spearman rank, canonical correspondence analysis) indicate that the biovolume of harpacticoid copepods was related more to total organic matter than to the carbon:nitrogen ratio and chloroplastic equivalents or even grain size and depth. While P. jubanyensis was strongly connected to depth and to a lesser extent to small grain sizes, S. (S.) praecipuus showed a preference for sites with low chloroplastic equivalent values, but neither of them was related to total organic matter.
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