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Skomer and St Brides Bay

This is a view of Dale with Milford Haven in the foreground. In the background is St Bride's Bay and Skomer Island, showing the closeness of the locations. The Skomer Marine Reserve team regularly sample plankton and at different depths. 

The organisms can be remarkably different and make an interesting comparison to the Haven. The team occasionally during the year provide me with samples to view and photograph. This page contains some examples.

Summer 2023: samples were very high in a variety of crustacean larvae, particularly porcelain crabs, distinct with their very long head spine. The water flea, Podon, was prolific (middle bottom of photo).  This photo shows a mass of "spiny" radiolarians including Acanthometra and the large diatom Coscinodiscus. Magnification was approximately x5

Summer 2023
A cluster of the single-celled radiolarian Acanthometra pelucida. This was very abundant throughout the summer. The froth produced by the cell around it provides a degree of buoyancy. 

Summer 2023
One of many of the crustacean larvae

Often an increase in the density of a population in St Brides Bay will be followed by a gradual influx into the Dale samples a month or so later. For example, the water flea, Podon, had a huge increase off Skomer during June and July and in mid-August a few appeared in Dale. By mid-September the density was very high within the western Haven. The tiny Siphonophore, Muggiaea atlantica, was common off Skomer in July and became abundant in Dale six weeks later.  

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