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MELO, PEDRO A.M.C. et al. Copepod distribution and production in a Mid-Atlantic Ridge archipelago. An. Acad. Bras. Ciênc. [online]. 2014, vol.86, n.4, pp.1719-1733.  Epub Nov 11, 2014. ISSN 0001-3765.

The Saint Peter and Saint Paul Archipelago (SPSPA) are located close to the Equator in the Atlantic Ocean. The aim of this study was to assess the spatial variations in the copepod community abundance, and the biomass and production patterns of the three most abundant calanoid species in the SPSPA. Plankton samples were collected with a 300 µm mesh size net along four transects (north, east, south and west of the SPSPA), with four stations plotted in each transect. All transects exhibited a tendency toward a decrease in copepod density with increasing distance from the SPSPA, statistically proved in the North. Density varied from 3.33 to 182.18 ind.m−3, and differences were also found between the first perimeter (first circular distance band) and the others. The total biomass varied from 15.25 to 524.50 10−3 mg C m−3 and production from 1.19 to 22.04 10−3 mg C m−3d−1. The biomass and production of Undinula vulgaris (Dana, 1849), Acrocalanus longicornis Giesbrecht, 1888 andCalocalanus pavo (Dana, 1849) showed differences between some transects. A trend of declining biodiversity and production with increasing distance from archipelago was observed, suggesting that even small features like the SPSPA can affect the copepod community in tropical oligotrophic oceanic areas.

Keywords : oligotrophic; plankton; St. Peter and St. Paul archipelago; tropical; upwelling.

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