Spatial and temporal variability in tropical off-reef zooplankton across broad spatial and temporal scales

Gahan, James, Bellwood, David R., Nankervis, Leo, and Tebbett, Sterling B. (2023) Spatial and temporal variability in tropical off-reef zooplankton across broad spatial and temporal scales. Marine Environmental Research, 191. 106169.

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Productivity of oligotrophic coral reefs is largely dependent on the constant influx of zooplankton. However, our understanding of how zooplankton communities in tropical reef-associated regions vary over large spatial and temporal scales is limited. Using the Australian continuous plankton recorder dataset, we explored if, and to what extent, the off-reef zooplankton community along the Queensland shelf (including most of the Great Barrier Reef lagoon) varied with latitude, month, and diel time. The zooplankton community was consistently dominated by copepods (∼60%) which, with appendicularians, chaetognaths, non-copepod crustaceans, and thaliaceans, comprised ∼98% of the zooplankton. However, the abundance of these taxonomic groups did not vary predictably across latitude, month, or diel time, with these gradients only explaining 5% of community variation. At the scales sampled herein the composition of zooplankton was highly predictable in terms of broad taxonomic groups but variation in the relative abundance of these groups was not predictable.

Item ID: 80848
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1879-0291
Keywords: Copepod, Coral reef, Gelatinous zooplankton, Great Barrier Reef, Homogenous distribution, Latitudinal gradient
Copyright Information: © 2023 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd. This is an open access article under the CC BY license (
Funders: Australian Research Council (ARC)
Projects and Grants: ARC FL190100062
Date Deposited: 27 Feb 2024 02:32
FoR Codes: 31 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 3103 Ecology > 310305 Marine and estuarine ecology (incl. marine ichthyology) @ 100%
SEO Codes: 28 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 2801 Expanding knowledge > 280102 Expanding knowledge in the biological sciences @ 100%
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