MEPS 204:299-303 (2000)  -  doi:10.3354/meps204299

Biodiversity of North Atlantic and North Sea calanoid copepods

Grégory Beaugrand1,2,*, Philip C. Reid1, Frédéric Ibañez2, Benjamin Planque3

1Sir Alister Hardy Foundation for Ocean Science, The Laboratory Citadel Hill, Plymouth PL1 2PB, United Kingdom
2Observatoire océanologique, Laboratoire d¹océanologie biologique et écologie du plancton marin, BP 28, 06230 Villefranche-sur-Mer, France
3The Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science, Pakefield Road, Lowestoft NR33 OHT, United Kingdom

ABSTRACT: Spatial patterns in pelagic biodiversity are the result of factors acting from a global to a local scale. The global patterns have been studied intensively using taxa such as foraminifera and euphausiids. However, these studies do not allow direct comparisons of neritic and oceanic regions or examination of relationships between local and regional patterns of pelagic diversity. Here we present a map of the diversity of calanoid copepods, a key planktonic group, summarising 40 yr of continuous monthly investigations in the North Atlantic and North Sea. The high number of samples (168162) allowed mesoscale patterns in diversity to be detected for the first time at an ocean-basin level. Our results demonstrate pronounced local spatial variability in planktonic diversity and refine previous global studies at a lower resolution. They form a baseline at which long-term changes in planktonic diversity can be better assessed and ecosystem management plans implemented.

KEY WORDS: Pelagic diversity · Calanoid copepods · North Atlantic · North Sea · Continuous Plankton Recorder (CPR) survey

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