Oceanography and the Distribution of Pelagic Larvae around Banks Peninsula

Oceanography

We are working oceanographers at the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (NIWA) in order to examine how plankton behaves in relation to tidal cycle, time of day, chlorophyll a, temperature, and oceanographic events such as upwelling and downwelling. The oragnisms we are studying include the pelagic larvae of barnacles (nauplii and cyprids), crabs (zoae and megalopae), gastropods (veliger stage), and mussels (Atrina, Mytilus, Perna, Aulacomya and Xenostrobus species).

drogue deploy

In this picture we are deploying drogues, oceanographic intruments that have an underwater 'sail' which allows them to float with the currents. Drogues record their position, as well as abiotic factors such as temperature and salinity. This was part of a 24-hour diel study that tracked the movement of larvae in the neuston.

We are also seeking to describe the large scale drivers and their variability along coastal regions of New Zealand, including regional-scale currents, sea surface temperature variation (SST) and waves. This is through a variety of methods including remote sensing, modelling and direct observation process studies.