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Delivery of zooplankton to the surf zone during strong internal tidal forcing and onshore winds in Baja California

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Various physical mechanisms are implicated in the transport of zooplankton to the outer edge of the surf zone, which is the final barrier before reaching the adult habitat of many meroplanktonic organisms. To explore these physical mechanisms, we measured the abundance of zooplankton in the surf zone hourly for 3 consecutive days during strong internal tidal forcing while concurrently measuring winds, currents, and seawater temperature. Strong temperature changes in the water column that were associated with internal tidal bores, as well as onshore coastal winds, coincided with peaks in abundance of barnacle cyprids, gastropods, and bryozoan larvae in the surf zone. This study supports the hypothesis that both internal tidal bores and onshore winds can accumulate zooplankton nearshore, and that these transport mechanisms may act in concert.

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