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Based on material, received in the 84th and 93rd cruises of the RV “Professor Vodyanitsky”, vertical distribution of microplankton fraction of metazooplankton (MM) in the Black Sea in spring was analyzed. A total of 27 stations were examined both in the coastal zone and in the deep sea. The 10-L bottles of the CTD probes “Mark-III Neil Brown” and “Sea Bird 911” were used to collect 4–6 L of water from 4–11 horizons of the water column. The samples obtained were concentrated by the reverse filtration through the plankton net with the mesh size of 10 µm. Quantitative and systematic analysis of all samples was carried out totally in the Bogorov chamber using an MBS-9 stereo microscope. The main factors determining nature of the distribution are MM species composition, physical structure of the water column, and hydrodynamic processes affecting its stability/instability. Nauplii of Black Sea Copepoda and veligers of Bivalvia were the most numerous systematic groups in “spring” MM. Mollusc veligers determined abundance maxima in the lower layers of shallow water habitats, while copepods prevailed over large depths and determined total abundance peaks in the upper and middle water layers. Daily time series experiment showed that advective hydrodynamic processes can significantly affect MM vertical distribution, changing physical structure of the water column. For some species, in most cases, a correlation of their distribution with vertical profiles of temperature and salinity was revealed, which rarely manifested at total MM abundance level. A comparison of two spring seasons (2016 and 2017) showed the relationship between vertical distribution of MM abundance and temperature to be more pronounced in cases of low temperature. A change in the sign of correlation with temperature was detected during spring season for Oithona similis: an initially cold-loving species of Black Sea copepods. This revealed in a more superficial distribution of the maxima abundance of this species at lower seasonal temperatures, which could reflect a shift in temperature optimum for the species population and play the role of an adaptive reaction in conditions of seasonal changes in sea thermal characteristics.
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