MEPS 213:229-240 (2001)  -  doi:10.3354/meps213229

Changes in copepod distributions associated with increased turbulence from wind stress

L. S. Incze1,*, D. Hebert2, N. Wolff1, N. Oakey3, D. Dye1

1Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences, West Boothbay Harbor, Maine 04575, USA
2Graduate School of Oceanography, University of Rhode Island, Kingston, Rhode Island 02882, USA
3Bedford Institute of Oceanography, Dartmouth, Nova Scotia B2Y 4A2, Canada

ABSTRACT: Vertical profiles of turbulent kinetic energy dissipation rate (ε), current velocity, temperature, salinity, chlorophyll fluorescence, and copepods were sampled for 4 d at an anchor station on the southern flank of Georges Bank when the water column was stratified in early June 1995. Copepodite stages of Temora spp., Oithona spp., Pseudocalanus spp., and Calanus finmarchicus, and all of their naupliar stages except for Temora spp., were found deeper in the water column when turbulent dissipation rates in the surface mixed layer increased in response to increasing wind stress. Taxa that initially occurred at the bottom of the surface mixed layer at 10 to 15 m depth ( ε ¾ 10-8 W kg-1) before the wind event were located in the pycnocline at 20 to 25 m depth when dissipation rates at 10 m increased up to 10-6 W kg-1. Dissipation rates in the pycnocline were similar to those experienced at shallower depths before the wind event. After passage of the wind event and with relaxation of dissipation rates in the surface layer, all stages returned to prior depths above the pycnocline. Temora spp. nauplii did not change depth during this period. Our results indicate that turbulence from a moderate wind event can influence the vertical distribution of copepods in the surface mixed layer. Changes in the vertical distribution of copepods can impact trophic interactions, and movements related to turbulence would affect the application of turbulence theory to encounter and feeding rates.

KEY WORDS: Turbulence · Zooplankton · Vertical distribution · Vertical migration · Chlorophyll maximum · Stratification · Mixing

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