Spatial and temporal patterns of the environmental factors based on Euclidean distances were assessed using repeated-measure permutational analysis of variance (PERMANOVA) with the sampling months as fixed factor and the stations as random factor (PRIMER 6 + and PERMANOVA software package; PRIMER-E, Ltd., UK). In order to visualize the similarities between the samples in terms of environmental conditions, a PCoA (Principal coordinates analysis) based on Euclidean distances and the vectors of environmental parameters was performed, and the occurrence of the two oithonids, O. nana and O. davisae, (as Bray–Curtis-Similarity matrix) was superimposed. Moreover, the Spearman correlation of the environmental and community similarity matrices were calculated with the software package PRIMER6+, utilising the package RELATE42 in order to estimate the relationship between the environmental factors and the abundances of the two Oithona species.

The Pearson correlations to estimate the relationship between the abundances of the two Oithona species and the environmental parameters were calculated with the Software package Statgraphics43. To detect differences between and within groups of abundance data (months, stations), ANOVA LSD test was employed after the checking for the homogeneity of the variances.

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