Abundance, species composition and spatial distribution of metazoan microzooplankton in the coastal area Black and Azov Seas of the region of crimea in autumn 2016

S.A. Seregin, E.V. Popova

The A.O. Kovalevsky Institute of Marine Biological Research of RAS, RF, Sevastopol, Nakhimov Av., 2

E-mail: serg-seryogin@yandex.ru, el-popova@yandex.ru

DOI: 10.33075/2220-5861-2019-1-115-122

UDC 504.064.36:574.2:574.583(262.5) 


   Studies were conducted in the coastal waters of the Black and Azov Seas  (in the Crimea region) from 25 to 30 October 2016. At 18 stations 51 samples were collected in the upper 30-40-meter layer of the Black Sea waters; in the Azov sea 8 samples were taken in the surface and bottom layers at 4 stations. The weighted average content of microzooplankton in the studied layer of the Black Sea waters varied from 40 to 147, averaging 102 thousand ind. m-3. In the Azov Sea the number of MMZP varied from 18 to 267 thousand. ind. m-3 in the habitat layer there were 63 thousand. ind. m-3 on average. Quantitative parameters of MMZP abundance are comparable with the level of the 1980s and indicate the recovery of the zooplankton community of the Black Sea after its crisis in the 1990s. The patterns of spatial distribution as a whole repeated those of the previous observations in different seasons of the year: the abundance peaks were observed in the coastal areas of the Karkinit and Kalamit bays and in general along the western coast. The southern coastal waters of Crimea were characterized by the lowest abundance values; the waters of ​​the south-eastern part of the Crimean coast occupied the intermediate position. In the Azov Sea the number of MMZP ranged from 18 to 267 thousand ind. m-3; in the habitat layer there were on average 63 thousand ind. m-3. The species structure of the MMZP in the Black Sea was routinely determined by the predominance of the cancer fraction, which at the time of the year averaged 97.6% and was completely composed of the Black Sea copepods. An average 85% of these (73 to 93%) accounted for individuals of the invader Oithona davisae. In the Azov Sea​​ the ratio of crayfish and non-crayfish plankton was 57% and 43% of the total abundance, respectively.

Keywords: metazoan microzooplankton, abundance, species composition, spatial distribution, the coastal zone of the Black and Azov Seas.

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