RESPONSES OF THE COPEPOD ACARTIA TONSA TO HYPOXIA IN CHESAPEAKE BAY
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Chesapeake Bay experiences seasonal hypoxia each year and while studies have been done investigating how the copepod Acartia tonsa responds to hypoxia, few studies have focused on a comprehensive understanding of how its behavior and fitness are affected by low oxygen. The abundance, distribution, fitness and diel vertical migration patterns of A. tonsa were measured on series of six cruises in 2011 and 2012 in spring, summer and fall. I found that copepod abundance, distribution and vertical migration were significantly affected when hypoxic waters occurred below the pycnocline. I also found that males were less impacted by hypoxia than females, with a greater decrease in female abundance and vertical migration when there were hypoxic bottom waters.