RELATIONS BETWEEN OPTICAL PROPERTIES, DINOFLAGELLATES AND ZOOPLANKTONIC CRUSTACEANS IN ANTOFAGASTA BAY (23 degrees S, CHILE)

Resumen:
Antofagasta Bay is characterized by a high primary productivity due to the presence of the cold Humboldt Stream that is associated with a high diversity in flora and fauna in the benthic and pelagial environments of the Chilean west coast. Nevertheless, due to the global climate changes, the existing biodiversity patterns change as well. The aim of the present study was to analyse Antofagasta Bay for determining the existence of patterns between optical properties of the water, and the phytoplankton and zooplankton. The results show that one site had high chlorophyll concentrations, high reflectance, a high abundance of the dinoflagellate genus Dinophysis, and a high abundance of copepodites, whereas five sites had low chlorophyll concentrations, a low reflectance value, low copepodite abundances, and high abundances of dinoflagellates of the genera Ceratium, Gymnodinium and Prorocentrum. These results are similar to earlier observations for the coastal waters along northern Chile.

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