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Marine Ecology Progress Series

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MEPS 119:299-303 (1995)  -  doi:10.3354/meps119299

A change in the zooplankton of the central North Sea (55* to 58* N): a possible consequence of changes in the benthos

Lindley, J. A., Gamble, J. C., Hunt, H. G.

The mesozooplankton taken in continuous plankton recorder samples from the central North Sea has changed from being numerically dominated by holoplanktonic calanoid copepod species from 1958 to the late 1970s to a situation where pluteus larvae of echinoid and ophiuroid echinoderms have been more abundant than any single holoplanktonic species in the 1980s and early 1990s. The abundance of the echinoderm larvae as a proportion of the zooplankton taken in the samples has followed a continuous increasing trend over the Dogger Bank, but off the eastern coast of northern England and southern Scotland the increase did not become obvious until the 1980s. This trend is consistent with reported increases in abundance of the macrobenthos. It is proposed that changes in the benthos have influenced the composition of the plankton.

Holoplankton . Meroplankton . Macrobenthos . Echinoderm . Larvae . North Sea

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