Authors: Wan Maznah, W.O., Khairun Yahya, Azma Hanim Ismail, Chan Jiang Wei, Muhammad Adlan Abdul Halim, and Chuan Chern Chung
Zooplankton community structure was studied in the coastal waters of Penang National Park (PNP), Penang. Zooplankton and water quality samples were collected monthly from November 2009 to October 2010 at eight sampling stations (Stations 1 to 8) surrounding the PNP. A total of 49 zooplankton taxa were recorded with mean abundance 1449.99 ± 158.51 ind m-3 and biomass 15.64 ± 0.26 mg m-3. Copepods population was the dominant group recorded with relative abundance amounted for 72.09%. Station 7 (located at an area with minimal human activities) recorded highest zooplankton abundance while lowest abundance was recorded at Station 1 (highly impacted by human activities, eg. fish landing site, discharged of sewage from nearby human settlements). Water quality parameters play a role in influencing the zooplankton community structure. Zooplankton was significantly negatively correlated with water transparency, temperature, salinity and conductivity. It was suggested that zooplankton community was highly influenced by food availability and anthropogenic activities in the study sites.
Keywords: zooplankton; coastal waters; copepods; anthropogenic