Planktonie material was collected at 63 samling stations during the BIOMASS-SIBEX cruise of the r/v "Profesor Siedlecki". Samples were collected with a Bango-505 net in the water column from the sea surface downwards to a depth of about 200 m. Throughout the research area most numerous were the following typically Antarctic species: Calanoides acutus, Calanus propinquus, Rhincalanus gigas, and Metridia gerlachei. The abundance of the last one was several times higher that of other species. At the time of the investigations the animals were in the final stage of invidual development and in readiness for reproduction.
During the BIOMASS-SIBEX Antarctic expedition the distribution of Copepoda in three water layers (0—100, 100—300 and 300—500 m) in the Bransfield Strait and southern Drake Passage was studied. Altogether 46 taxa were recorded (Tabs. 1 and 2); the number of taxa increased with depth. Faunistic differences between the Drake Passage and the Bransfield Strait were observed. In some species the age-related splitting of the populations was registered (Figs. 2, 3 and 4). Young generations occupied usually the upper water layers.
Planktonie material was taken in stratified hauls in the water column between King George and Elephant Islands, during the austral spring 1986. The species composition of Copepoda was diversified (abt. 50 taxa). Most frequent and abundant were M. gerlachei, C. acutus, R. gigas, small copepods of the family Pseudocalanidae and Cyclopoida. Interzonal Copepoda did not yet reach the euphotic zone; a comparatively low general copepod abundance and the advanced ontogenetic development in particular populations evidenced for the early spring phase of the planktonie community.
Zooplankton community composition, abundance and biomass from two polar localities – Kongsfjorden (Arctic) and Admiralty Bay (Antarctic) is compared. The community composition of zooplankton in both polar regions included similar taxonomic groups and the diversity at the species level was similar. Even though the overall species composition was different, some species were common for both ecosystems, for example Oithona similis, Microcalanus pygmaeus or Eukrohnia hamata. The abundance and biomass of the main zooplankton components (Copepoda) differed greatly between the two ecosystems, both being of an order of magnitude higher in Kongsfjorden than in Admiralty Bay. Kongsfjorden is situated at the border of two regions what induces high productivity with copepods playing an important role, and there is also a strong advection into the fjord. Admiralty Bay is adjacent to the homogenous Antarctic oceanic ecosystem; some advection into the bay occurs as an effect of tide and wind driven processes. Antarctic krill, which was not included in the present study, occupies most of the primary consumers niche and replaces copepods at the second trophic level.