The influence of phytoplankton productivity, temperature and environmental stability on the control of copepod diversity in the North East Atlantic

Nogueira, E; González-Nuevo, G; Valdes, L. 2012 The influence of phytoplankton productivity, temperature and environmental stability on the control of copepod diversity in the North East Atlantic. Progress in Oceanography, 97-100 (05-06). 92-107.

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Abstract/Summary

The patterns of copepod species richness (S) and their relationship with phytoplankton productivity, temperature and environmental stability were investigated at climatological, seasonal and year-to-year time scales as well as scales along latitudinal and oceanic–neritic gradients using monthly time series of the Continuous Plankton Recorder (CPR) Survey collected in the North East Atlantic between 1958 and 2006. Time series analyses confirmed previously described geographic patterns. Equatorward and towards neritic environments, the climatological average of S increases and the variance explained by the seasonal cycle decreases. The bi-modal character of seasonality increases equatorward and the timing of the seasonal cycle takes place progressive earlier equatorward and towards neritic environments. In the long-term, the climatological average of S decreased significantly (p < 0.001) between 1958 and 2006 in the Bay of Biscay and North Iberian shelf at a rate of ca. 0.04 year−1, and increased at the same rate between 1991 and 2006 in the northernmost oceanic location. The climatological averages of S correlate positively with those of the index of seasonality of phytoplankton productivity (ratio between the minimum and maximum monthly values of surface chlorophyll) and sea surface temperature, and negatively with those of the proxy for environmental stability (monthly frequency of occurrence of daily averaged wind speed exceeding 10 m s−1). The seasonal cycles of S and phytoplankton productivity (surface chlorophyll as proxy) exhibit similar features in terms of shape, timing and explained variance, but the relationship between the climatological averages of both variables is non-significant. From year-to-year, the annual averages of S correlate negatively with those of phytoplankton productivity and positively with those of sea surface temperature along the latitudinal gradient, and negatively with those of environmental stability along the oceanic–neritic gradient. The annual anomalies of S (i.e. factoring out geographic variation) show a unimodal relationship with those of sea surface temperature and environmental stability, with S peaking at intermediate values of the anomalies of these variables. The results evidence the role of seasonality of phytoplankton productivity on the control of copepod species richness at seasonal and climatological scales, giving support to the species richness–productivity hypothesis. Although sea surface temperature (SST) is indeed a good predictor of richness along the latitudinal gradient, it is unable to predict the increase of richness form oceanic to neritic environments, thus lessening the generality of the species richness–energy hypothesis. Meteo-hydrographic disturbances (i.e. SST and wind speed anomalies as proxies), presumably through its role on mixed layer depth dynamics and turbulence and hence productivity, maximise local diversity when occurring at intermediate frequency and or intensity, thus providing support to the intermediate disturbance hypothesis on the control of copepod diversity.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Depositing User: Miss Gemma Brice
Date made live: 26 Mar 2014 14:09
Last Modified: 06 Mar 2017 17:57
URI: http://plymsea.ac.uk/id/eprint/5887

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