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A Ten-Year Study of Meroplankton in North Carolina Estuaries: Annual Occurrence of Some Brachyuran Developmental Stages
Austin B. Williams
Vol. 12, No. 2 (Jun., 1971), pp. 53-61
Published by: Coastal and Estuarine Research Federation
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1351138
Page Count: 9
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Seasonal occurrence of brachyuran developmental stages is predictable in meroplankton collected inside the barrier islands of North Carolina near inlets and along longitudinal transects of the larger estuaries. Nets of 1 mm mesh employed in the sampling program limited catches to larger zoeae and megalopae, and of these only a fraction can be identified with precision. Callinectes megalopae were taken in every month of the year and through almost the entire length of the estuary. Evidence indicates that this postlarval stage is active in surface waters at night, contributing substantially to dispersal of the species, probably C. sapidus in this case. Hexapanopeus angustifrons megalopae were limited to the warm season in samples from a single station near Beaufort Inlet. Rhithropanopeus harrisii zoeae and megalopae were distributed abundantly in oligo-mesohaline waters of Neuse and Pamlico Rivers. Showing no nocturnal stratification, the stages were present continuously from June to October. Megalopae of all these species, usually considered benthic in habit, are readily captured in surface waters at night.
Chesapeake Science © 1971 Coastal and Estuarine Research Federation