Cooperative Institute for Marine Resources Studies
Hatfield Marine Science Center, Oregon State University
Local-scale versus basin-scale drivers of crustacean zooplankton community dynamics off Oregon
Wednesday — January 30, 2013
Pacific Forum — 3:00 p.m.
Zooplankton are often viewed as tiny pelagic drifters at the mercy of the ocean currents. The two main groups of zooplankton, holoplankton and meroplankton, have two very different ecological functions. The holoplankton, such as copepods and krill, are the building blocks of a healthy marine ecosystem while the meroplankton, such as crab and barnacle larvae, are the dispersal and connectivity phase between populations of benthic adults. Understanding the bio-physical mechanisms that drive zooplankton populations is integral to understanding both upper trophic level and benthic invertebrate population fluctuations. Zooplankton are considered to be strongly linked to the seasonality in primary productivity and the strong offshore advection associated with upwelling regions. We have been exploring the relative effects of local upwelling versus basin-scale forcing on the community structure and biomass of copepods and crustacean larvae at nearshore stations off the coast of Oregon. I will present how these two groups of zooplankton respond differently to this physical forcing.