Alternate Title

The Variety and Abundance of Zooplankton in the Coastal Waters of Puerto Rico


During 1973-1974 a total of 160 zooplankton samples were collected in the uppermost 3 m at seven locations within 1 km of the coast of Puerto Rico. Total zooplankton densities ranged from 41 to 7568 organisms/m3. Copepods formed 65-84% of all zooplankton caught; meroplankton constituted 2-17%.

Larger densities (2-21X) of zooplankton tended to be caught at night. Regional differences in the abundance of meroplankton were related to water circulation patterns, community development of benthic organisms, and recruitment from an embayment.

The total abundance of zooplankton around Puerto Rico was similar to densities of zooplankton near other Caribbean Islands.