Seasonal and spatial dynamics of Centropages typicus and C. hamatus in the western North Atlantic

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Centropages typicus and Centropages hamatus are two of the most abundant copepods on the continental shelf in the mid-Atlantic region of the western North Atlantic. Their range extends from the Scotian Shelf (C. typicus) and the Grand Banks (C. hamatus) in the north to Cape Hatteras in the south. South of Cape Hatteras they have only been observed in inshore waters of North and South Carolina and not offshore on the continental shelf or in coastal waters of eastern Florida. However, C. hamatus has been observed in western Florida. Abundances of both species are greatest in inshore regions in the mid-Atlantic Bight with C. hamatus tending to have a more coastal distribution. In this region seasonal variability is low with high abundances from late fall through mid-summer. In the north year-round presence of both species is confined to inshore areas and offshore banks such as Georges Bank, and Browns Bank, Emerald Bank and Western Bank on the Scotian Shelf. In this northern region there is a pronounced seasonal cycle in abundance with high abundances during late summer and fall. Periods of high reproductive rates are closely linked to blooms of large phytoplankton and food availability rather than temperature appears to be controlling population abundances. © 2007.

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Progress in Oceanography