Distribution and abundance of zooplankton in Shatt Al-Basrah and Khour Al-Zubair Channels, Basrah, IRAQ

Abstract

Monthly variation in the quality and quantity of zooplankton was studied in Shatt Al-Basrah and Khour Al-Zubair Channels, Basrah, Iraq, during March, 2009 to May, 2010. Samples of zooplankton were collected by plankton net (0.120 mm. Mesh size). In Shatt Al-Basrah Channel, the population density of zooplankton ranged between 5811 – 95514 Ind./m³ during August and April, 2009 respectively. The results showed that the Crustacea was the dominated group 62.9 %. Copepoda constituted about 44.7 % followed by Rotifera 31.0 %, Cirripede larvae 14.7 % , polychaetes 5.5 % and Cladocera 3.1 %. While in Khour Al-Zubair Channel the population density of zooplankton ranged between 3548 and 20328 Ind./m³ during January 2010 and October 2009, respectively. Crustacea was also the dominant group 83.7 % Copepoda formed about 66.6 % , Cirripede larvae and megalopa of crabs 8.4 % , Gastropoda 6.1 % and polychaetes 2.3 %.