Zooplankton of the Atlantic and Gulf Coasts
We have designed this guide to facilitate identification of zooplankton by students and biologists without previous training in zooplankton systematics. Our first aim is a guide that blends scientific accuracy with ease of use. Out second aim is to provide an understanding of and appreciation for the zooplankton of the Atlantic and Gulf coasts. In addition to developing a general introduction to plankton biology and ecology, we have collected and synthesized the biological and ecological data relevant to each taxon. While this book is not intended for specialists, we have provided references to more technical literature for more advanced users. We included the taxa that are commonly found in estuarine and nearshore waters from Cape Cod to Florida on the Atlantic coast and from Florida to Texas along the Gulf of Mexico. This guide includes zooplankton that occur from the low-salinity reaches of rivers to the coastal ocean within 10 km of the shore. We included taxa most frequently encountered and most characteristic of coastal or estuarine zooplankton collections including the common large phytoplankton and the fish larvae that are often retained in zooplankton nets. Most occasionally caught and rare species are not treated here.