Zooplankton

As with the phytoplankton, the extensive Discovery II investigations have contributed a wealth of knowledge about the composition, distribution, and life histories of the most dominant zooplankton species. The Discovery II investigations, together with the more recent investigations carried out on board the Eltanin and other research vessels, have added substantially to our knowledge of the zooplankton in the Pacific Sector of the Southern Ocean. However, there is still a tremendous amount of work that must be done before our level of understanding concerning the zooplankton of the region resembles the more detailed knowledge of the plankton off the coast of California, for example, or even of the Scotia Sea/Bransfield Strait region. The recent investigations carried out off Campbell Island and in the Ross Sea are contributing to a better understanding of the systematics and ecology of the zooplankton in the southwestern Pacific Ocean (Bradford and Wells, 1983).

Although there are many species of Antarctic zooplankton which vary considerably in size, density, distribution and behaviour, discussion in this section will be limited to those components of the Antarctic zooplankton which constitute the bulk of the biomass. A separate section will be devoted to krill since they comprise the most important group, biologically and economically, in the Antarctic marine ecosystem.

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