Fine scale zooplankton distribution in the Bay of Biscay in spring 2004

Aitor Albaina*, Xabier Irigoien

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Scopus citations


A fine scale spatial resolution survey (3 x 15 nautical miles) was conducted during May 2004 in the Bay of Biscay (43.32-46.12°N and 1.29-4.31°W), to study the zooplankton community during the onset of spring stratification. Cluster analysis classified the 45 most abundant taxa into seven major groups. In the southern part of the surveyed area, a front separating neritic waters from eddies off the shelf delimited distinct zooplankton communities. On the northern side of the surveyed area, river plumes and the generation of internal waves over the shelf break were the main mesoscale structures determining the composition and abundance of the zooplankton assemblages. Canonical correspondence analysis (CCA) and generalized additive models (GAMs) were used to investigate the relationship between zooplankton species distribution and selected environmental variables (sea surface temperature and salinity along with water column stratification and fluorescence pattern). Surface salinity and stratification index were the variables explaining the higher percentage of the deviance. The results of the survey conducted during May 2004 in the Bay of Biscay suggest that a limited number of environmental variables may be sufficient to attempt statistical modeling of zooplankton distribution.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)851-870
Number of pages20
JournalJournal of Plankton Research
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2007
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Doctoral fellowship of the Education, Universities and Research Department of the Basque Country Government to A.A.; Spanish Ministry of Research (Ramon y Cajal grant) to X.I.; Projects EIPZI (Spanish Ministry of Research) and IMPRESS (Basque Country Government).

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Aquatic Science
  • Ecology


Dive into the research topics of 'Fine scale zooplankton distribution in the Bay of Biscay in spring 2004'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this