Mazzocchi, M. Stazione Zoologica 'A. Dohrn', grazia@alpha.szn.it
Ribera d'Alcala', M. Stazione Zoologica 'A. Dohrn', maurizio@alpha.szn.it

 
THE ECOLOGICAL SIGNIFICANCE OF THE GENUS CLAUSOCALANUS (COPEPODA, CALANOIDA) IN THE MEDITERRANEAN SEA
 
The small calanoid copepods of the genus Clausocalanus (0.7-1.5 mm, total lenght) represent, with their high abundances, a notably large portion of planktonic communities in subtropical-tropical oceans. Their ecological role in the Mediterranean Sea is here reviewed and discussed. The Mediterranean is considered one of the most oligotrophic seas on the Earth and it is often reported as 'a marine desert'. Both in offshore and coastal regions of this basin, eight Clausocalanus species co-occur, with variable contributions to total numbers of the genus. Most of them have a wide range of vertical distribution, and some inhabit the water column down to 3000 m depth. However, the core of population abundance, for all species, is confined to the epipelagic zone. The numerical dominance of Clausocalanus has been recorded in the upper layer of open Mediterranean waters, in different sectors and seasons. These calanoids account for high percentages of total zooplankton assemblages also in coastal areas. The data collected within a long-term oceanographic series, which has started in 1984 in the inner Gulf of Naples, have allowed studying the seasonal cycles of the eight species, their annual successions and temporal patterns in relation to environmental parameters in the last fifteen years.
 
Day: Tuesday, Feb. 2
Time: 02:45 - 03:00pm
Location: Hilton of Santa Fe
 
Code: SS23TU0245H