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Marine Ecology Progress Series

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MEPS 455:123-139 (2012)  -  DOI:

Hyperiid amphipod community in the Eastern Tropical Pacific before, during, and after El Niño 1997−1998

Rebeca Gasca1,*, Carmen Franco-Gordo2, Enrique Godínez-Domínguez2, Eduardo Suárez-Morales1

1El Colegio de la Frontera Sur (ECOSUR), Apdo. Postal 424, Chetumal, Q. Roo 77014, Mexico
2Centro Universitario de la Costa Sur (CUCSUR), Universidad de Guadalajara, San Patricio Melaque, Jalisco 48980, Mexico

ABSTRACT: To evaluate the hyperiid community’s response to the influence of oceanographic conditions related to ‘El Niño’ (EN) in the Mexican Tropical Pacific area, zooplankton samples collected over 27 mo between December 1995 and December 1998 were analyzed. The most abundant of the 80 species recorded were Hyperioides sibaginis and Lestrigonus bengalensis. Two different climatic yearly periods were revealed, including one from February to June, related to the strongest flow of the California Current (CC), with cooler (<25°C) and saltier (>34.5 psu) waters. In this period, hyperiids were more species-rich and diverse, with greater evenness, but had lower abundances. From July to December, the North Equatorial Countercurrent (NECC) was predominant, with warmer waters (>25°C) and lower salinity (<34.5 psu). H. sibaginis and L. bengalensis were dominant, particularly in the aftermath of EN (after June 1998). The influence of the Equatorial water during EN favored a greater abundance of warm-water hyperiid families and a greater evenness, particularly during 1998. During EN, higher hyperiid abundance and diversity but also a 30% increase of species richness and a greater abundance of the dominant species were observed. After the end of EN and for the rest of the sampling period, the oceanographic conditions returned to normality in the area, but the hyperiid community still showed relatively low diversity and high abundance values.

KEY WORDS: Zooplankton ecology · Pelagic crustaceans · Diversity

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Cite this article as: Gasca R, Franco-Gordo C, Godínez-Domínguez E, Suárez-Morales E (2012) Hyperiid amphipod community in the Eastern Tropical Pacific before, during, and after El Niño 1997−1998. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 455:123-139.

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