Zooplankton living in low-oxygen water
Jennifer Saltzman, Ph.D.
U.S. Naval Academy
Wednesday, March 11, 1998
3:30 p.m.Pacific Forum
We all know that we need oxygen in order to live. We breathe in oxygen from the air
while marine invertebrates get their oxygen from the water. At mid depths in all oceans,
the amount of oxygen in the water is at a minimum. In the eastern tropical Pacific, a
prominent oxygen-minimum zone (OMZ), with less than 0.1 ml O2/L, is found at
about 100-1,000 meters. The purpose of this research was to determine which zooplankton
live in the low-oxygenated waters of the OMZ and their abundance and distribution within
the water column. I will discuss the trends in the vertical distribution of zooplankton
and the surprising secondary peak in zooplankton abundance at the depth where oxygen
begins to increase.
The eastern tropical Pacific has often been described as a biogeographical province. I
will present several new species of zooplankton identified from this research. One is an abundant Pleuromamma copepod which shows dimorphic asymmetry.
Another new species is a near-bottom opossum shrimp, or mysid. This research was conducted
near the seamount Volcano 7, an island which never reached the sea surface. The life
history and abundance of the mysid living in the OMZ on the seamount will be discussed.
Morphologically this species is different from previously described species, yet the life
history traits examined are similar to other bathypelagic and benthopelagic
of the world- One mans struggle
Last updated: December 19, 2000