Mesozooplankton Structure and Seasonal Dynamics in Three Coastal Systems of Argentina: Bahía Blanca Estuary, Pirámide Bay, and Ushuaia Bay

  • Anabela A. Berasategui
  • María C. López Abbate
  • Valeria C. D’Agostino
  • María L. Presta
  • Román Uibrig
  • Tami M. García
  • Eugenia Nahuelhual
  • Carlo J. Chazarreta
  • María S. Dutto
  • Maximiliano Garcia
  • Fabiana Capitanio
  • Mónica S. Hoffmeyer


Mesozooplankton communities in coastal ecosystems have successfully adapted to a wide range of environments. However, the current rate of coastal modification is challenging the survival of resident species. In this chapter, we describe the structure and annual dynamics of the mesozooplankton community in recent years for three coastal systems in Argentina that are subject to human disturbance: (1) Bahía Blanca Estuary, (2) Pirámide Bay in Nuevo Gulf and (3) Ushuaia Bay in the Beagle Channel. The seasonal dynamics of mesozooplankton abundance in Bahía Blanca Estuary during 2009–2010 exhibited a unimodal pattern with an increase during the warm seasons, while organism abundance increased linearly with both salinity and turbidity. In Nuevo Gulf, research on the seasonal dynamics of mesozooplankton conducted during 2014–2015 exhibited a bimodal abundance pattern with peaks in late summer and spring. No significant relationships between mesozooplankton and the environmental variables included in Nuevo Gulf were found. The seasonal dynamics of mesozooplankton in Ushuaia Bay in the years 2006–2008 exhibited a bimodal abundance pattern with peaks in summer and early autumn; this pattern was mainly driven by the concentration of chlorophyll a. In Bahía Blanca Estuary, a gradual decrease in species richness was observed throughout the last four decades, while changes in species composition were also observed, suggesting that some species have the ability to acclimate to higher salinity and turbidity as well as to pollution. In Nuevo Gulf, the mesozooplankton community showed no significant modifications over time, which may be related to the low anthropogenic pressure. Although no profound shifts in mesozooplankton were observed in Ushuaia Bay, eutrophication may have an impact in the future through its effect on primary producers.


Copepods Mero-holoplankton Anthropogenic impact Bay Estuary 



This research was funded by a grant (PICT 2014-3091, ANPCYT Argentina) to M.S.H. and a grant (PIP0630, CONICET) to A.A.B. We thank CONICET (National Council of Scientific and Technical Research) and ANPCYT (National Agency for Scientific and Technical Promotion), the Ministry for Science, Technology and Productive Innovation (Argentina) fellowships for some co-authors of the chapter. We would also like to thank to staff of the Austral Centre of Scientific Research (CADIC)-CONICET in Ushuaia, the Centre of Marine Systems (CESIMAR)-CONICET in Puerto Madryn and the Argentine Institute of Oceanography (IADO)-CONICET in Bahía Blanca, for their help during sampling and nutrient determination. Special thanks are due to W. Melo from IADO for his help in drawing figures.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Anabela A. Berasategui
    • 1
  • María C. López Abbate
    • 1
  • Valeria C. D’Agostino
    • 2
  • María L. Presta
    • 3
  • Román Uibrig
    • 1
  • Tami M. García
    • 1
  • Eugenia Nahuelhual
    • 1
  • Carlo J. Chazarreta
    • 1
  • María S. Dutto
    • 1
  • Maximiliano Garcia
    • 1
  • Fabiana Capitanio
    • 3
  • Mónica S. Hoffmeyer
    • 1
    • 4
  1. 1.Instituto Argentino de Oceanografía (IADO)Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones científicas y Técnicas–Universidad Nacional del Sur (CONICET–UNS)Bahía BlancaArgentina
  2. 2.Centro para el Estudio de Sistemas Marinos (CESIMAR)Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones científicas y Técnicas (CONICET)Puerto MadrynArgentina
  3. 3.Departamento de Biodiversidad y Biologia Experimental (DBBE FCEN UBA)Instituto de Biodiversidad y Biología Experimental y Aplicada (IBBEA CONICET UBA)Buenos AiresArgentina
  4. 4.Facultad Regional Bahía BlancaUniversidad Tecnológica NacionalBahía BlancaArgentina

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