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Biomasss and microzooplankton seasonal assemblages in the Bahía Blanca Estuary, Argentinean Coast

  • M.S. Barría de Cao (a1) (a2), M.C. Piccolo (a1) (a3) and G.M. Perillo (a1) (a4)


We investigated the occurrence and seasonal variation of the biomass of rotifers, tintinnids, the heterotrophic dinoflagellate Gyrodinium fusus and copepod nauplii in the Bahía Blanca Estuary (38°42′S61°50 ′W), Argentina, during an annual cycle. The rotifers fauna comprised three species, while the tintinnids were represented by sixteen species. The biomass of the rotifers fluctuated between 0.62 and 8.90 µgC l−1. The biomass of the tintinnids fluctuated between 0.13 and 9.37 µgC l−1, the biomass of the nauplii stages between 1.78 and 7.65 µgC l−1; while the biomass of G. fusus varied from 0.26 and 7.94 µgC l−1, these results are compared to estimates of microzooplankton in other regions. We analysed the presence of the different groups in relation to the environmental variables, based on point-biserial correlation. Salinity fluctuated between 25.14 and 36.64; temperature between 7.5 and 23.2°C, solar radiation between 0.9 and 30.8 MJ m−2d−1 and Secchi distance between 0.25 and 1.43 m. Rotifers were correlated positively with temperature, chlorophyll-a and Secchi depth and negatively with salinity. The tintinnids were positively correlated with salinity. Gyrodinium fusus was positively correlated with Secchi depth, and chlorophyll-a, and negatively with temperature and solar radiation. Nauplii stages were negatively correlated with chlorophyll-a. Based on the occurrence of the microzooplankters in relation to the physico-chemical variables, it was possible to establish two seasonal assemblages: (a) the co-occurrence of the rotifers and the heterotrophic dinoflagellate G. fusus during the winter–spring; and (b) the tintinnids and nauplii larvae during the summer. We conclude that, in this estuary, physico-chemical variables are the forcing factors that directly, or indirectly, influence the seasonal assemblages of the microzooplankton.


Corresponding author

Correspondence should be addressed to: M.S. Barría de Cao, IADO (CONICET–UNS) Florida 4750, 8000-Bahía Blanca, Argentina email:


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Biomasss and microzooplankton seasonal assemblages in the Bahía Blanca Estuary, Argentinean Coast

  • M.S. Barría de Cao (a1) (a2), M.C. Piccolo (a1) (a3) and G.M. Perillo (a1) (a4)


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