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Marine Ecology Progress Series

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MEPS 232:179-195 (2002)  -  doi:10.3354/meps232179

Diversity of calanoid copepods in the North Atlantic and adjacent seas: species associations and biogeography

Grégory Beaugrand1,2,*, Frédéric Ibañez2, J. Alistair Lindley1, Philip C. Reid1

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, ESA 7076, BP 28, 06230 Villefranche sur mer, France

ABSTRACT: Present-day patterns in pelagic biodiversity are the result of the interaction of many factors acting at different scales. Developing an understanding of the processes that regulate the diversity of oceanic ecosystems is thus challenging. In this study, diversity of calanoid copepods was decomposed into species associations by means of the recent Œindicator value method¹ and multivariate analyses. For the first time, at an oceanic basin scale and with a spatial resolution approaching the mesoscale, species associations of calanoid copepods have been identified. Nine species associations were determined and have enabled us, (1) to improve the ecological partitioning of this region, and (2) to identify the main factors that regulate pelagic biodiversity in this area. It is shown that temperature, hydrodynamics, stratification and seasonal variability of the environment are likely to be the main factors contributing to the ecological regulation of diversity of calanoid copepods. The similar geographical pattern evident between currents/water masses and the species associations suggest that the species groups may be used as an environmental indicator to evaluate long-term changes in the marine environment related to climate change and other increasing human-induced influences.

KEY WORDS: Pelagic diversity · Species associations · Calanoid copepods · Continuous Plankton Recorder (CPR) survey · Multivariate analyses

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