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Volume 14, issue 3 | Copyright
Ocean Sci., 14, 355-369, 2018
© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Research article 01 Jun 2018

Research article | 01 Jun 2018

Spatial variations in zooplankton community structure along the Japanese coastline in the Japan Sea: influence of the coastal current

Taketoshi Kodama1, Taku Wagawa1, Naoki Iguchi1, Yoshitake Takada1, Takashi Takahashi2, Ken-Ichi Fukudome1,a, Haruyuki Morimoto1, and Tsuneo Goto1 Taketoshi Kodama et al.
  • 1Japan Sea National Fisheries Research Institute, Japan Fisheries Research and Education Agency, Niigata, 951-8121, Japan
  • 2Joetsu Environmental Science Center, Joetsu, 942-0063, Japan
  • apresent address: National Institute of Technology, Toyama college, Imizu, 933-0293, Japan

Abstract. This study evaluates spatial variations in zooplankton community structure and potential controlling factors along the Japanese coast under the influence of the coastal branch of the Tsushima Warm Current (CBTWC). Variations in the density of morphologically identified zooplankton in the surface layer in May were investigated for a 15-year period. The density of zooplankton (individuals per cubic meter) varied between sampling stations, but there was no consistent west–east trend. Instead, there were different zooplankton community structures in the west and east, with that in Toyama Bay particularly distinct: Corycaeus affinis and Calanus sinicus were dominant in the west and Oithona atlantica was dominant in Toyama Bay. Distance-based redundancy analysis (db-RDA) was used to characterize the variation in zooplankton community structure, and four axes (RD1–4) provided significant explanation. RD2–4 only explained  < 4.8% of variation in the zooplankton community and did not show significant spatial difference; however, RD1, which explained 89.9% of variation, did vary spatially. Positive and negative species scores on RD1 represent warm- and cold-water species, respectively, and their variation was mainly explained by water column mean temperature, and it is considered to vary spatially with the CBTWC. The CBTWC intrusion to the cold Toyama Bay is weak and occasional due to the submarine canyon structure of the bay. Therefore, the varying bathymetric characteristics along the Japanese coast of the Japan Sea generate the spatial variation in zooplankton community structure, and dominance of warm-water species can be considered an indicator of the CBTWC.

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Short summary
We examined zooplankton community structure along the Japanese coast of the Japan Sea. Zooplankton were collected during 15 cruises in May from 1999 to 2013 by a plankton net. Species were identified under a microscope and were counted. The zooplankton community changed with water temperature and the coastal current, and the submarine canyon structure in this sea makes a difference in the zooplankton community.
We examined zooplankton community structure along the Japanese coast of the Japan Sea....