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The qualitative and quantitative distribution of plankton in the Strait of Georgia in relation to certain oceanographic factors Legare, Joseph Eugene Henri

Abstract

A study of plankton communities in the Strait of Georgia was undertaken in order to determine qualitatively and quantitatively the distribution in time and space of both zooplankton and phytoplankton. In order to gain some picture of the seasonal, variations in the plankton communities two cruises were made in the Strait, one in June, 1955, and the other in November 1955. 165 plankton collections were taken. A complete count of zooplankton organisms was made in 5cc. of each sample and the number of diatoms cells per liter was tabulated. Copepods and diatoms were analysed to species; other groups to class or genera. Surface temperatures were taken. The physical and chemical data, used to account for the biological distributions were obtained largely from oceanographic data already available for the area. The correlation of these data have resulted in a number of conclusions concerning the distribution of plankton in the Strait of Georgia. The chief factor affecting the general distribution of plankton in the Strait of Georgia is the salinity gradient. The inflow of fresh water from the Fraser River forms zones of varying properties, and leads to the development of different plankton communities. The extent to which physical and chemical factors may determine the presence or absence of certain organisms from the zones described is discussed.

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