CS39B Zooplankton - Community Dynamics
Date: Wednesday, June 12, 2002
Time: 9:45:00 AM
Location: Sidney
 
MartinJC, University of South Alabama, Dauphin Island, USA, jmartin@disl.org
Graham, W, M, University of South Alabama, Dauphin Island, USA, mgraham@disl.org
 
MULTISCALE ANALYSIS OF THE SPATIAL VARIABILITY OF GELATINOUS ZOOPLANKTON IN THE NORTHERN GULF OF MEXICO: ROLES OF PHYSICS AND PREDATION
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The inclusion of gelatinous zooplankton in models of marine food webs continues to suffer from the oversimplification of their trophic role. In reality, there are many ecological relationships within the gelatinous zooplankton component that act in concert with the physical environment to control the spatial variability of these organisms. We used a videographic profiler with integrated physical instrumentation to collect time series of hydrographic parameters and organism density along linear transects in the northern Gulf of Mexico. A multiscale analysis was used to compare jellyfish aggregation intensity and hydrographic parameters through their derived variance spectra. Aggregation size and morphology were also examined with a general model to further suggest likely causes of patch formation. These suggest that physics is responsible for the majority of observed variability, though at smaller scales behavior or predation can be important.