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Thaliacean distribution and abundance in the northern part of the Levantine Sea (Crete and Cyprus) during the eastern Mediterranean climatic transient, and a comparison with the western Mediterranean basin
Weikert, H.; Godeaux, J.E.A. (2008). Thaliacean distribution and abundance in the northern part of the Levantine Sea (Crete and Cyprus) during the eastern Mediterranean climatic transient, and a comparison with the western Mediterranean basin. Helgol. Mar. Res. 62(4): 377-387. dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10152-008-0126-7
In: Helgoland Marine Research. Springer: Berlin; Heidelberg. ISSN 1438-387X; e-ISSN 1438-3888, meer
Peer reviewed article  

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Author keywords
    Thaliacea; Eastern Mediterranean Sea; Levantine Sea; Composition;

Auteurs  Top 
  • Weikert, H.
  • Godeaux, J.E.A.

Abstract
    First results are presented on the composition, abundance and vertical distribution of the thaliacean fauna in the Levantine basin obtained from stratified tows at three deep-sea sites in 1993: SE off Crete, and SW and NE off Cyprus. Samples with a 10 m2-MOCNESS (mesh size 1.67 mm) were poor in species and specimens as compared to samples with a 1 m2-double-MOCNESS (0.333 mm). Of the 12 species identified, six species belonged to the most abundant Doliolida, predominated by the phorozooids of Doliolum nationalis, five species belonged to the Salpida and one to the Pyrosomatida. Thaliaceans, most abundant by species and numbers SE off Crete, comprised <= 0.2% of the local mesozooplankton standing stocks. Presumably, they did not contribute substantially to the vertical flux generating the locally increased biomass and activity of the microbial benthos at the 4,300 m deep Cretean site. Most doliolids and salps were collected from the epipelagic and upper mesopelagic layers, and appeared to be most abundant close to the deep maximum of chlorophyll-a. Samples below 150 m were rarely rich in specimens, although two species performed diel migrations from the mesopelagic zone into the surface layers where some vertical segregation was evidenced. The aspect of niche separation is discussed.

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