Spatial, seasonal and long-term fluctuations of plankton in relation to hydroclimatic features in the English Channel, Celtic Sea and Bay of Biscay

Beaugrand, G; Ibanez, F; Reid, PC. 2000 Spatial, seasonal and long-term fluctuations of plankton in relation to hydroclimatic features in the English Channel, Celtic Sea and Bay of Biscay. Marine Ecology Progress Series, 200. 93-102.

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Abstract/Summary

Plankton collected by the Continuous Plankton Recorder (CPR) survey were investigated for the English Channel, Celtic Sea and Bay of Biscay from 1979 to 1995. The main goal was to study the relationship between climate and plankton and to understand the factors influencing it. In order to take into account the spatial and temporal structure of biological data, a three-mode principal component analysis (PCA) was developed. It not only identified 5 zones characterised by their similar biological composition and by the seasonal and inter-annual evolution of the plankton, it also made species associations based on their location and year-to-year change. The studied species have stronger year-to-year fluctuations in abundance over the English Channel and Celtic Sea than the species offshore in the Bay of Biscay. The changes in abundance of plankton in the English Channel are negatively related to inter-annual changes of climatic conditions from December to March (North Atlantic Oscillation [NAO] index and air temperature). Thus, the negative relationship shown by Fromentin and Planque (1996; Mar Ecol Prog Ser 134:111-118) between year-to-year changes of Calanus finmarchicus abundance in the northern North Atlantic and North Sea and NAO was also found for the most abundant copepods in the Channel. However, the hypothesis proposed to explain the plankton/NAO relationship is different for this region and a new hypothesis is proposed. In the Celtic Sea, a relationship between the planktonic assemblage and the air temperature was detected, but it is weaker than for the English Channel. No relationship was found for the Bay of Biscay. Thus, the local physical environment and the biological composition of these zones appear to modify the relationship between winter climatic conditions and the year-to-year fluctuations of the studied planktonic species. This shows, therefore, that the relationship between climate and plankton is difficult to generalise.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Additional Keywords: Species diversity Air temperature Climatic changes North Atlantic Oscillation Plankton Data analysis
Subjects: Zoology
Ecology and Environment
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Divisions: Sir Alister Hardy Foundation for Ocean Science > Other (SAHFOS)
Depositing User: EPServices Admin
Date made live: 30 Oct 2006
Last Modified: 06 Jun 2017 15:59
URI: http://plymsea.ac.uk/id/eprint/1736

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