Twilight vertical migrations of zooplankton in a Chilean fjord

Valle–Levinson, A.; Castro L.; Cáceres M.; Pizarro, O.


Time series of acoustic backscatter and vertical velocity profiles were obtained at three sites along a Chilean fjord with the purpose of determining dominant structures of vertical migrations of the sound scattering layer. Ancillary data obtained with stratified net samples indicated that the sound scattering layer may have been dominated by euphausiids and decapods. Therefore, distributions of acoustic backscatter anomalies and vertical velocities were attributed to vertical migrations of predominantly these organisms. Migration patterns were dominated by twilight excursions in which organisms swam toward the water surface at sunset, spent <0.5 h at a depth near the pycnocline (similar to 10 m) and then swam downward to depths between 20 and 60 m. After congregating at those depths during night-time, organisms swam upward again toward the pycnocline at sunrise, spent <1 h near the pycnocline and swam downward to their day-time depths (>100 m). This migration strategy can also be termed 'semidiel migration' as two double excursions were linked to light levels. The reasons for this twilight migration remain uncertain. But it is possible that the up and down motion around sunset was related to predation avoidance, hunger-satiation state, ontogeny, seaward transport evasion, or reaction to the environmental shock from the pycnocline, or a combination of all or some of them. In contrast, the sunrise double excursion was probably linked to feeding requirements by organisms that need to spend the day at great depth with no food available. This study demonstrated the existence of semidiel patterns throughout the fjord and through prolonged periods. In addition, identification of this pattern by acoustic backscatter was complemented by direct vertical velocity measurements. It is proposed that twilight vertical migration is a common strategy in Chilean fjords. (C) 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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Título según WOS: Twilight vertical migrations of zooplankton in a Chilean fjord
Título según SCOPUS: Twilight vertical migrations of zooplankton in a Chilean fjord
Volumen: 129
Fecha de publicación: 2014
Página de inicio: 114
Página final: 124
Idioma: English