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Zooplankton and micronekton biovolume at the Mid-Atlantic Ridge and Charlie-Gibbs Fracture Zone estimated by multi-frequency acoustic survey

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Abstract

To examine the potential influence of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge and Charlie-Gibbs Fracture Zone on zooplankton and micronekton biovolume in the upper 200. m of the water column, multi-frequency acoustic data (18, 38, 70, 120 and 200. kHz) were acquired at four study sites from the RRS James Cook using hull-mounted scientific echosounders. Multi-frequency inversion techniques were employed to classify each 20. m depth×500. m along-track region of the water column to a zooplankton or micronekton acoustic scatterering class, such as copepod or euphausiid, and to estimate biovolume. We found a highly significant north-south (across fracture zone) difference in areal biovolume (p-value=0.01) but no significant east-west (across ridge) difference (p-value=0.07). Areal biovolume at all sites was dominated by the acoustic scatter class 'euphausiid', with higher biovolumes occurring in the southern stations. Our acoustic observations suggest the existence of different pelagic communities to the north and south of the SPF, with the southern community having a greater proportion of fish.

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)269-278
Number of pages10
JournalDeep Sea Research Part II: Topical Studies in Oceanography
Volume98
DOIs
StatePublished - 15 Dec 2013

    Research areas

  • Acoustic, Biovolume, Echosounder, Multi-frequency inversion

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