Zooplankton

ZooplanktonThe zooplankton component monitors at 12 mainstem Bay and tidal tributary stations 12 times per year.  Zooplankton serve as food for larger animals, such as fish, grazers of phytoplankton and process the plant material that recycled nutrients in the water column.  Zooplankton are monitored throughout the Bay to track changes in habitat quality, test for the presence of exotic species such as zebra mussels, and are used as indices that reflect the relative "health" of different areas of the Bay.

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The zooplankton monitoring program provides information that assists our understanding of ecological processes in the Bay, examines and develops indicators of Bay health, and provides important information for testing hypotheses on interactions between water quality and living resources.  At least 12 stations have been monitored annually since 1985.  Stations are located down the mainstem of the Bay, in the Patuxent, Potomac and Choptank River systems and a station in Baltimore Harbor.

Review findings of the zooplankton monitoring program (updated 01/04/2002).

If you would like to learn more about zooplankton, please visit the Chesapeake Bay Life Guide!

For more information, please contact Mike Naylor at (410) 260-8651.

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