FACTORS DETERMINING THE DISTRIBUTION OF HYPERIID AMPHIPODA IN THE GULF OF CALIFORNIA.
Marine plankton -- Mexico -- California, Gulf of
Amphipoda -- Mexico -- California, Gulf of
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
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AbstractThe plankton community of the Gulf of California exist in a transition region from oceanic to neritic habitats, tropical to warm-temperature waters that is strongly influenced by a complex hydrography and bathymetry. Hyperiid Amphipods were chosen as a focus of this study to elucidate the various forces that shape the distributions of the entire community. To test how strongly hyperiids select water of a particular type (the "Water Mass" hypothesis), multiple regression analysis was applied to species' distributions and station hydrography. The quantitative results indicate that there is a strong relation between the distribution of a given hyperiid and the location of discrete water bodies in the Gulf of California. Three linked gyral currents, powered by a tidally-driven interval wave have been hypothesized to influence phytoplankton distributions in the Gulf. Through both qualitative and quantitative statistical analysis, these gyres are shown to be quite important in structuring species' distributions and have a strong effect on the character of the Gulf hydrography. Significant change in community diversity are found to occur only at the boundaries of these gyres. Many authors consider hyperiid amphipods as obligate parasites upon gelatinous zooplankton, and not worthy of distributional analyses. Both qualitative and quantitative test of this hypothesized relationship between hyperiid and "host" offer little support for the concept of hyperiid amphipods as parasites. Instead, there is considerable evidence that hyperiids are "substrate-bound," as are most amphipods, and use gelatinous zooplankton as facultative, transient hosts. Being able to switch hosts as desired, hyperiids can select for optimum conditions, and can serve to model the zooplankton community as a whole.
Degree ProgramEcology & Evolutionary Biology