Distribution of zooplankton on the continental shelf off Marguerite Bay, Antarctic Peninsula, during Austral Fall and Winter, 2001 Academic Article uri icon


  • The Marguerite Bay region of the Western Antarctic Peninsula is known to support a large population of krill during the summer and is hypothesized to be a site of successful overwintering of krill. The distributions of zooplankton biomass, abundance, and taxonomic composition at six locations on or near the continental shelf at Marguerite Bay were determined for fall and winter, 2001, as a part of the Southern Ocean GLOBEC program. Water column zooplankton were sampled using a 1-m(2) MOCNESS. Samples were analyzed for taxonomic composition, size, and estimated biomass using silhouette analysis. Characteristics of four categories (small and large copepods, small and large krill) were described in detail. Total biomass and abundance were markedly reduced in winter relative to fall. The vertical distributions of total abundance and biomass, and of taxonomic composition, were associated with the hydrographic structure of the water column. Larger larval krill were observed at all locations during winter than during fall. Krill were relatively unimportant to total biomass and abundance at most locations, while copepods frequently dominated both biomass and abundance. In fall, greatest abundance and biomass of larval krill were observed on the continental shelf in association with a persistent clockwise gyre located to the west of Adelaide Island. During winter, much lower abundances of larval krill were present in the water column throughout the study region. High abundance and biomass of juvenile and adult krill were observed only in Laubeuf Fjord (Marguerite Bay) during fall. (C) 2004 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

publication date

  • August 2004