Gaps and patches in the ocean: A one-dimensional analysis of planktonic distributions

Warren J S Currie, Michel R. Claereboudt, John C. Roff

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

29 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The Optical Plankton Counter (OPC) was used to count individual animals in situ, and to produce a one-dimensional spatial-series from which gap relationships could be quantified at the millimeter scale and above, using a Distance to Next Encounter (DNE) technique. Both DNE and one-dimensional neighbor analyses indicated that zooplankton distributions in all transects were significantly (p <0.0001) aggregated into patches. Within patches, zooplankton were effectively (r2 = 0.94) randomly distributed, resulting in important implications for some of the newer foraging models concerning zooplankton. The DNE frequency distributions all exhibited a distinct pattern that would not be expected from single Poisson distribution, indicating patchiness at the meter scale. This allowed calculation of various statistics used to describe in situ patchiness such as: relative percentage of a transect occupied by patches (79 to 89%) and gaps, estimates of patch size (~2 m diameter), and patch densities (7000 to 14 000 organisms m-3).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)15-21
Number of pages7
JournalMarine Ecology Progress Series
Volume171
Publication statusPublished - Oct 1 1998

Fingerprint

zooplankton
oceans
patchiness
ocean
transect
patch size
plankton
statistics
foraging
animal
organisms
distribution
analysis
animals
in situ
methodology
organism
calculation
Poisson distribution

Keywords

  • Gaps
  • Patchiness
  • Plankton Zooplankton
  • Transect

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aquatic Science
  • Ecology

Cite this

Gaps and patches in the ocean : A one-dimensional analysis of planktonic distributions. / Currie, Warren J S; Claereboudt, Michel R.; Roff, John C.

In: Marine Ecology Progress Series, Vol. 171, 01.10.1998, p. 15-21.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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