ISSN 10630740, Russian Journal of Marine Biology, 2012, Vol. 38, No. 1, pp. 1–9. © Pleiades Publishing, Ltd., 2012.
Original Russian Text © Zh.P. Selifonova, 2012, published in Biologiya Morya.
The larvae of bottom invertebrates (meroplankton)
are one of the most widespread groups of neritic zoop
lankton in the Black Sea. In the summer months their
density can reach several thousand per m
. The larvae
provide the reproduction of bottom animals and
determine their distribution and dispersal.
Meroplankton is of paramount importance in the pro
duction system of marine water bodies as a forage base
for pelagophilic fish species and their young. More
over, the condition of meroplankton is a characteristic
of the ecological situation and the trophic status of
heavily polluted coastal waters .
The taxonomic composition and phenology of
meroplankton in the Black Sea have been studied
since the late 19th century. However, until now dedi
cated studies of meroplankton were carried out only in
the northwestern Black Sea and the coasts of Crimea
[5, 6, 10, and others]. For the northeastern part of the
sea the data have been published so far only on the sea
sonal dynamics and abundance of meroplankton of
Novorossiysk Bay, which is prone to chronic anthro
pogenic pollution [12, 20].
The target of this project was to study taxonomic
composition, seasonal dynamics, and longterm fluc
tuations of meroplankton density in bays and harbors
of the northeastern shelf zone of the Black Sea.
The article was translated by the authors.
MATERIALS AND METHODS
Novorossiysk Bay is one of the largest bays in the
northeastern coastal zone of the Black Sea; it is an
elongated bay, whose southeastern part directly faces
the open sea. The water area of Novorossiysk Harbor
is the innermost part of the bay, with a complex coast
line and complicated water exchange with the open
part of the bay. This is a cause of water eutrophication
and the significant pollution of bottom sediments .
The small water area of Tuapse Harbor is bordered by
river mouths from two sides and with a pier and break
waters from the side of the open sea. Eutrophication of
waters, along with sulfide and oil pollution of bottom
sediments, are major causes of degradation of bottom
biocenoses in the harbor area . Gelendzhik and
Anapa are well known Russian health resorts and their
coastal waters are prone to increasing recreational
pressure. The open Anapa Bay is the shallowest, with
depths of 2.5–7 m; in other examined water areas of
the northeastern shelf zone the depths ranged from 8
to 15 m.
Plankton samples were collected in Tuapse Harbor
in different seasons of 2004–2010 (on a noncontinu
ous basis); in the Gelendzhik and Anapa bays in 2004
and 2006; and in Novorossiysk Bay in 2004–2010
(every month from 2004 to 2006) (Fig. 1). Altogether,
175 samples were examined. For each water area we
calculated the mean values of zooplankton density.
Taxonomic Composition and Seasonal Dynamics
of the Meroplankton of the Coastal Zone
of the Northeastern Black Sea
Zh. P. Selifonova
Admiral Ushakov Maritime State University, Novorossiysk, 353918 Russia
Received March 24, 2011
—The composition and dynamics of the numerical density of meroplankton in the Bays and Sea
ports of the Northeastern Black Sea, viz., Novorossiysk, Tuapse, Gelendzhik, and Anapa were studied in the
longterm aspect. The larvae of the benthic invertebrates of 73 taxa were identified. Meroplankton had their
peak abundance period from May to September. Larvae of mollusca
gen sp. (Bivalvia) were dominant in the spring; larvae of mollusca
were dominant in the summer, and
(Bivalvia) were dominant in the autumn. Polychaete and cirriped larvae occurred in the plankton during
the spring–autumn season. Complex species that are tolerant to pollution, such as
, and the genus
were abundant in Novorossiysk and the Tuapse.
meroplankton, taxonomic and numerical composition, seasonal dynamics, bays and ports of the
northeastern Black Sea.