Materials used in this work were collected during BIOM ASS - SIBEX project in the Drake Passage and the Bransfield Strait (1983/1984) in three water layers: 0 - 100 m, 100 — 300 m and 300—500 m. Four species of Chaetognatha were found: Eukrohnia hamata and Sagitta gazellae in both water regions; Sagitta planctonis occurred mainly in the Drake Passage whereas Sagitta marri was noted in the Bransfield Strait and adjacent parts of the Bellingshausen and Scotia seas. Chaetognatha were most numerous in the Drake Passage and generally in the layer 100 — 300 m. Vertical distribution of Chaetognatha was clearly influenced hydrological conditions.
Although chaetognaths inhabiting polar ecosystems are relatively well known, there are few reports on their functioning in the Antarctic coastal plankton community. The presented results provide the first comprehensive description of population structure of chaetognaths in the neritic zone west of the Antarctic Peninsula. The studies were performed on samples collected in Admiralty Bay, from December 1994 to June 1995. Following six chaetognath species were determined: Eukrohnia hamata, E. bathypelagica, E. fowleri, Pseudosagitta gazellae, P. maxima and Solidosagitta marri. The representatives of Eukrohnia were observed almost throughout the research period, whereas those of Pseudosagitta and Solidosagitta were found only during first four months of our investigation. Eukrohnia hamata showed a strong dominance in respect to abundance (max. 445 ind./1000 m3). The mean abundance of all taxa significantly fluctuated in the study period and across weeks. Generally, all species were represented by the first three maturity stages (I-III), individuals stage IV occurred sporadically, and mature specimens (stage V) were not recorded at all. Morphometric analysis of the most abundant species showed distinct differences in their total length and body proportions. Our findings may suggest that chaetognath populations in Admiralty Bay are migrant, dependent on the inflow of water from the Bransfield Strait, but to prove this statement further, round year study is necessary.
Material for this paper was collected during the BIOMASS-SIBEX research programme, and consisted of 97 samples taken at 47 stations in Drake Passage and Bransfield Strait (Antarctica). The samples were taken by hauling Nansen nets vertically through the 0-100, 100 - 300 and 300 - 500 m layers at the end of December 1983 and the beginning of January 1984. Four Chaetognatha species were recorded in the study region: Eukrohnia hamata, Sagitta gazellae, Sagitta mari and Sagitta planctonis. The population structures of the dominant species E. hamata and also S. gazellae were analyzed in the context of the region's hydrology. Certain regularities are apparent in the distribution of the developmental stages of E. hamata in water column. Mature specimens of this species inhabit deeper waters than juveniles. The highest proportions of juveniles in the entire population of E. hamata were recorded in slightly warmer waters.
Sixty seven zooplankton taxa were recorded in a total of 5 WP-2 net vertical hauls carried out in a year round cycle in Admiralty Bay. Copepoda were the most common and abundant group and Oithona similis was the dominant species throughout the area. Polychaeta, Ostracoda and Chaetognatha were also rather common and abundant. Euphausiacea, Amphi-poda and Salpae occured mainly in the central part and the outlet area of the bay. No differences in zooplankton assemblages diversity in the four investigated areas of Admiralty Bay were encountered. However, distinct differences in species richness between the zooplankton of Ezcurra Inlet and the main basin of the bay were observed. The composition of zooplankton was rather stable throughout the year, but seasonal occurrences of larvae of Polychaeta, Crustacea, Echino-dermata and Ascidiacea were noted. A Ust of the 174 zooplankton taxa ever found in Admiralty Bay is presented by combining the present results with the existing scientific data.
Zooplankton community composition, abundance and biomass from two polar localities – Kongsfjorden (Arctic) and Admiralty Bay (Antarctic) is compared. The community composition of zooplankton in both polar regions included similar taxonomic groups and the diversity at the species level was similar. Even though the overall species composition was different, some species were common for both ecosystems, for example Oithona similis, Microcalanus pygmaeus or Eukrohnia hamata. The abundance and biomass of the main zooplankton components (Copepoda) differed greatly between the two ecosystems, both being of an order of magnitude higher in Kongsfjorden than in Admiralty Bay. Kongsfjorden is situated at the border of two regions what induces high productivity with copepods playing an important role, and there is also a strong advection into the fjord. Admiralty Bay is adjacent to the homogenous Antarctic oceanic ecosystem; some advection into the bay occurs as an effect of tide and wind driven processes. Antarctic krill, which was not included in the present study, occupies most of the primary consumers niche and replaces copepods at the second trophic level.
During a midwinter cruise north of 80oN to Rijpfjorden, Svalbard, the composition and vertical distribution of the zooplankton community were studied using two different samplers 1) a vertically hauled multiple plankton sampler (MPS; mouth area 0.25 m2, mesh size 200 μm) and 2) a horizontally towed Methot Isaacs Kidd trawl (MIK; mouth area 3.14 m2, mesh size 1500 μm). Our results revealed substantially higher species diversity (49 taxa) than if a single sampler (MPS: 38 taxa, MIK: 28) had been used. The youngest stage present (CIII) of Calanus spp. (including C. finmarchicus and C. glacialis) was sampled exclusively by the MPS, and the frequency of CIV copepodites in MPS was double that than in MIK samples. In contrast, catches of the CV-CVI copepodites of Calanus spp. were substantially higher in the MIK samples (3-fold and 5-fold higher for adult males and females, respectively). The MIK sampling clearly showed that the highest abundances of all three Thysanoessa spp. were in the upper layers, although there was a tendency for the larger-sized euphausiids to occur deeper. Consistent patterns for the vertical distributions of the large zooplankters (e.g. ctenophores, euphausiids) collected by the MPS and MIK samplers provided more complete data on their abundances and sizes than obtained by the single net. Possible mechanisms contributing to the observed patterns of distribution, e.g. high abundances of both Calanus spp. and their predators (ctenophores and chaetognaths) in the upper water layers during midwinter are discussed.