Increasing prevalence of the marine cladoceran Penilia avirostris (Dana, 1852) in the North Sea
Johns, DG and Edwards, M and John, AWG and Greve, W (2005) Increasing prevalence of the marine cladoceran Penilia avirostris (Dana, 1852) in the North Sea. Helgoland Marine Research, 59. pp. 214-218.
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Rising sea surface temperatures in the North Sea have had consequential effects on not only indigenous plankton species, but also on the possibility of successful colonisation of the area by invasive plankton species. Previous studies have noted the introduction and integration into the plankton community of various phytoplankton species, but establishment of zooplankton organisms in the North Sea is less well-documented. Examining continuous plankton recorder (CPR) survey data and zooplankton results from the Helgoland Roads study, the autumn of 1999 witnessed the occurrence of the marine cladoceran Penilia avirostris in large numbers in the North Sea. The rapid appearance of the species corresponded with exceptionally warm sea surface temperatures (SSTs). Since 1999, the species has become a regular feature of the autumnal zooplankton community of the North Sea. In 2002 and 2003, the species occurred in greater abundance than recorded before. It is suggested that increased autumn SSTs have proved favourable to P. avirostris, with warmer conditions contributing to the success of the species’ resting eggs and aiding colonisation.
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