Community Structure and Spatiotemporal Dynamics of the Zooplankton in the South Brazilian Bight: A Review

  • Miodeli NogueiraJr.
  • Frederico P. Brandini


The South Brazilian Bight (23–28.5°S; SBB) is a typical western boundary current system with a wide shelf and which has high ecologic and economic importance, supporting nationally important fishing grounds. Away from the coastal areas, the planktonic production is mostly controlled by regenerative processes prevailing in the oligotrophic Tropical Water (TW) of the Brazil Current, enriched by the advection of the nutrient-rich South Atlantic Central Water (SACW). About 790 zooplanktonic invertebrate species have been recorded, what is an underestimate considering that most meroplanktonic and some holoplanktonic taxa are largely unstudied. An inshore-offshore gradient is clear. Zooplankton abundance and biomass are typically higher in more coastal areas, diminishing offshore as the influence of the oligotrophic TW increases, while the diversity has the inverse tendency. The cold and nutrient-rich SACW intrusions certainly are the most relevant mesoscale physical feature over the shelf of the SBB, increasing considerably the primary production and subsequently zooplankton abundance and production. Indeed, available data suggest that the intrusions of the SACW and their strength are an important factor influencing both seasonal and interannual variability in zooplankton diversity, biomass, abundance, production, and size-spectra. While the distributional patterns of most of the dominant groups in relation to the main water masses are relatively well-known, little is known about the life strategy, trophic interactions, physiological responses, and the impact of the main physical processes on these populations. In this review, we also emphasize the need for process-oriented studies along SBB with spatiotemporal scales relevant to the main physical events in order to better understand the zooplankton dynamics and their role in the regional fishery production.


Zooplankton Composition Dynamics South Brazilian Bight 



The present study was initially written as a partial requirement for qualification in the PhD Program in Zoology, UFPR. We thank Dr. Carolina Freire and Paulo Lana for their encouragement and critical reading of the first version of the text and to Dr. Guilherme Bersano Filho for providing literature and suggestions to improve the text. We thank also Dr. Demetrio Boltovskoy for his valuable comments and Dr. Jefferson Turner for his suggestions and help with English editing.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Miodeli NogueiraJr.
    • 1
  • Frederico P. Brandini
    • 2
  1. 1.Departamento de Sistemática e EcologiaUniversidade Federal da ParaíbaJoão PessoaBrazil
  2. 2.Instituto Oceanográfico, Universidade de São Paulo, Cidade UniversitáriaSão PauloBrazil

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