Biological Oceanography

Introduction to Oceanographic Processes

The oceanographic processes on Cleveland Bay significantly affect the distribution of the zooplankton community. The oceanographic processes are the processes that occur on oceans such as barotropic currents, overflows, giant vertical eddies, horizontal vortices, deep-sea storms, tsunamis, and internal waves (Wong et al., 2017). All these processes affect the distribution of several types of zooplankton, including the radiolarians, foraminiferans, and dinoflagellates. Also, cnidarians, crustaceans, chordates, and molluscs are included. These zooplanktons are essential parts of the food chain and therefore play a significant role in the survival of marine life. Thus, for this assignment, the class data was collected and used to develop a report based on the effects of zooplankton distribution on a specific region taken as a sample. The report will explore the zooplankton distribution on Cleveland bay at the Townsville region and how the oceanographic processes affect the distribution. The report also checks through not in-depth the effects of the oceanographic processes on the distribution of phytoplankton. The report is based on the data collected for analysis and discussion to ensure that the information provided is based on facts and figures. The data collected is presented based on zooplankton and phytoplankton species distribution over different periods and at different stations.

Micro Zooplankton per M3

The data was collected in triple that is macrozooplankton per M3, microzooplankton per M3, and phytoplankton per litre. The data was collected in groups, that is the time in the day when the data was collected and also includes the station of data collection, which consists of the inner and outer station. The number of replication tow is also included in the data. For instance, at 1 am in the outer station, the microzooplankton per M3 was 1084.327 Calanoid copepods, 590.7831 Cyclopoid copepods, 71.30141 Harpactacoid copepods, and 3315.268 All copepodites. At the same time in the central station, the microzooplankton per M3 with one replication tow were 1320.856 Calanoid copepods, 822.231 Cyclopoid copepods, 15.27887 Harpactacoid copepods and 1488.924 All copepodites. The results also show that data collected for doliloid adults were zero, meaning that they did not capture any data concerning the same. The macrozooplankton for the data collected includes Calanoid copepods, Cyclopoid copepods, Harpactacoid copepods, Decapod larva, Decapod adult (incl Lucifer), Euphausid larvae, Amphipod adults, Cirripedes larvae, Other crustaceans’ larvae, Other crustaceans’ adult, Fish larvae, Fish eggs, Salps, Doliolid adults, Chaetognaths adults, Annelids: larvae, Molluscs: larvae, Molluscs: adults, Echinoderm larvae, Jellyfish adults, Siphonophores. The data also represented the other zooplanktons they are not represented in any category.

The figure above shows a graphical representation of the zooplanktons in the morning, midday, and afternoon. The graph also represents the inner and outer stations. The zooplanktons included in the data are the Calanoid copepod, larvacean adults, and cladoceran adults. From the above graph, the Calanoid coped zooplankton has the highest counts in both stations in the morning, midday, and afternoon. Therefore, this implies that oceanographic processes mostly favours the distribution of Calanoid coped across all the groups and stations. The second in the count is the cladoceran adults which shows a significant drift from the Calanoid coped. Therefore, this also implies that the oceanographic processes in some favoured the distribution of this category. The last class in the distribution is the larvacean adults. The different forms of oceanographic processes cause uneven distribution. Across the various stages, the distribution of this category lags behind the rest because it has the lowest height in the graph.

From the data analysis, it is clear that the oceanographic processes affect significantly the three species of zooplanktons taken as samples. The sea tides push zooplanktons and migrate them to newer areas where the rest of the waves (Fernández-Aldecoa et al, 2019). Therefore, this place will have a greater concentration of zooplanktons that the areas where the tides are originating. The ocean currents also affect the distribution of the planktons. The strength of waves varies in the morning, afternoon, and evening affecting the distribution of the planktons since the waves may carry the planktons to either further or nearer regions.

Macro Zooplankton per M3

The analysis of the data collected for the macro zooplanktons was analyzed and meaningful information derived from it. For the data collection, and analysis to present the effects of oceanographic processes to the distribution of zooplankton, there were three groups used which include morning, afternoon, and evening. There were also two stations which are outer and inner. The different categories that make the macro zooplanktons include Calanoid copepods, Cyclopoid copepods, and Harpactacoid copepods. The totals for All copepodites is also given to ease the work of analysis. Crustaceans also are components of macro zooplanktons. The crustaceans include Decapod larva, Decapod adult (incl Lucifer), Euphausid larvae, Amphipod adults, Cladoceran adults, Cirripedes larvae, Other crustaceans’ larvae, and other crustaceans’ adult. The totals of crustaceans per group are provided. The other category of the macro zooplanktons in the chordates. The chordates include the fish larvae, fish eggs, salps, doliloid adults, and larvacean adults. The other category includes Chaetognaths adults, Annelids: larvae, Annelids: adults, Molluscs: larvae, Molluscs: adults, Echinoderm larvae, jellyfish adults, and Siphonophores.

For instance, at 1 am in the outer station, the replication tow for the macro zooplanktons for the outer station is one, two, and three while for the inner station is also one, two, and three. Taking a sample of the three groups, at 1 am the first outer station has a total of 21.80599 while the last outer has a 25.16149. In the same group, the first inner has 29.1121 while the last outer has 13.57858. When considering the data for midday, the first and the last outer has 6.958539 and respectively. Again when considering the inner station, the first and the last has 16.30396 and respectively. The midday group also consists of two stations; the inner and outer. The outer stations have one, two, and three replications and so is the inner station. The first and last midday outer station has almost similar results. The following graphical representations samples taken from the data to illustrate the findings.

The above graphical representations show the distribution of fish larva and Chaetognaths at different times that is morning, midday, and in the afternoon. The two stations are also represented. The outer station is highly represented meaning that it has the highest number of zooplanktons as compared to the rest. The bars with black filler represent the outer stations while the inner stations are represented by the bars with white filler. Therefore, it is clear that the zooplanktons are highly distributed in the outer than the inner region across all times.

The graph above represents Calanoid mean abundance per cubic meter for both inner and outer stations with the time of the day. Zooplanktons are highly distributed in the outer region as compared to the inner region in the morning. During midday, the mean abundance of zooplanktons is high in the inner station as compared to the outer station and finally, in the afternoon, the mean abundance zooplanktons per cubic meter is high in the inner than in the outer layer.

Phytoplankton per Litre

Phytoplankton is normally single-celled organisms that live in water both fresh and saline (Dragana et al, 2018). According to this research and the data collected concerning the same, different species of phytoplankton are found unevenly distributed. The uneven distribution is thought to be caused by oceanographic processes such as ocean tides and waves. These processes greatly affect the way sea and ocean life is distributed. The data represents grouped time that is morning, midday, and evening. And the data obtained are grouped according to stations that are outer and inner. The different species found while collecting the data include; Chaetoceros species that carries within it subspecies like, Actinoptychus, Asterionellopsis sp., Asterionella, Asteromphalus, Asterolampra, Asterolampra, Bacteriastrum, and Bacillaria. For instance, the first outer station in the morning for the aforementioned species has 0.101859 representation by Actinoptychus species while the rest in that station not represented. In midday, the only species that are represented in the outer region is the Bacteriastrum while in the inner station the represented species are Bacteriastrum, Actinoptychus, and Bacillaria. In the afternoon, several species like Actinoptychus are represented in the distribution that is thought to be caused by the oceanographic processes.

Another species represented in the data collected in the Cyanobacteria spp. The Cyanobacteria spp contains some subspecies that are found within the community and its distribution studied. The subspecies contained here include but not tied to Triceratium sp, Thalassiosira, Thallasionema nitzschoides, Synedra spp, Surirella, Striatella spp, Skeletonema spp, Rhizosolenia spp, and Pseudoguinardia. Some other subspecies found in this species include Pleurosigma, Paralia spp, Odontella, Nitzchia spp, Nitzchia longissimi, Navicula, Licmophora spp, Leptocylindrus, Lauderia among others. Therefore, this is considered the largest species since it has many members as compared to the rest of the species. The other species included in the data collected are dinoflagellate spp, and protozoan species whose members are rarely represented in the data collected. The members of protozoan species though seldomly represented in the data collected include Tintinnopsus sp, Globigerina sp, and Other Protozoans.

The figure above is a graphical representation of three phytoplankton species namely Chetoceros coarctus sp, Nitzchia sp, and Thalassiosira sp. The representation implies that the three species are not evenly distributed across the two stations and in the three-time periods given that is morning, midday and in the afternoon. The uneven distribution is caused by different strengths of different oceanographic processes that occur. In the morning, the phytoplankton distribution in the inner station shows that the Chetoceros coarctus species is highly distributed followed by the Nitzchia species and finally the Thalassiosira species. This is a clear implication that the negative effects of oceanographic processes have different impacts on the three species. In the outer station, these processes have caused more distribution of Chetoceros coarctus species followed by Thalassiosira species and finally the Nitzchia species.

The difference in the distribution within the two times implies that the three species are affected differently by the oceanographic processes at different times. in the midday, the Chetoceros coarctus has recorded the highest distribution ratio implying that the oceanographic processes favour this species in the midday. The Nitzchia species also records the highest distribution across the period following the former. As this happens, the Thalassiosira species lags recording the lowest distribution. The outer station in midday, the Nitzchia species records the highest distribution as compared to the other two species followed closely by Thalassiosira species and finally the Chetoceros coarctus species. However, this is considered the lowest distribution of phytoplankton, it is clear that the distribution here has drastically changed with the first in all categories becoming the last. In the afternoon, the Chetoceros coarctus species is rarely distributed with the Nitzchia species being the highly distributed and Thalassiosira species coming last.

References for Oceanographic Processes

Dragana, P., Ivana, T., Marija, P., & Gordana, S. S. (2018). Home\Phytoplankton Community Structure in Artificial Salty Lake Near Kikinda City.

Fernández-Aldecoa, R. G., Ladah, L. B., Morgan, S. G., Dibble, C. D., Solana-Arellano, E., & Filonov, A. (2019). Delivery of zooplankton to the surf zone during strong internal tidal forcing and onshore winds in Baja California. Marine Ecology Progress Series625, 15-26.

Wong, E., Sastri, A. R., Lin, F. S., & Hsieh, C. H. (2017). Modified FlowCAM procedure for quantifying size distribution of zooplankton with sample recycling capacity. Plos one12(4), e0175235.

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