Zooplankton abundance in subtropical waters: is there a lunar cycle?

Authors

  • Santiago Hernández-León Biological Oceanography Laboratory, Facultad de Ciencias del Mar, Campus Universitario de Tafira
  • C. Almeida Biological Oceanography Laboratory, Facultad de Ciencias del Mar, Campus Universitario de Tafira
  • L. Yebra Biological Oceanography Laboratory, Facultad de Ciencias del Mar, Campus Universitario de Tafira
  • J. Arístegui Biological Oceanography Laboratory, Facultad de Ciencias del Mar, Campus Universitario de Tafira
  • M. L. Fernández de Puelles Instituto Español de Oceanografía, Centro Costero de Baleares
  • J. García-Braun Facultad de Ciencias Biológicas, Universidad de La Laguna

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.3989/scimar.2001.65s159

Keywords:

lunar cycle, abundance, copepods, Canary Islands

Abstract


Based on historical data of abundance, we report evidence of changes in zooplankton abundance in the 0-200 m layer related to the moon cycle confirming that this phenomenon is produced in the marine environment, similarly to the one described for freshwater ecosystems. A clear decrease in the abundance of copepodites plus copepods was observed from the second to the fourth quarter of the moon when the seasonal variability was suppressed. During the full moon phase the large zooplankton and micronekton of the deep scattering layers (DSL) would not reach the upper mixed layer in order to avoid predation because of the relatively high level of illumination. Thus epipelagic zooplankton abundance increases as the effect of a lower predatory pressure. Conversely, during the new moon phase the diel migrants reach the surface waters and epiplankton abundance considerably decreases. Recent oceanic sediment trap data in subtropical waters indicate that the particle flux increases at about 30 days period. Thus, the effect of diel vertical migrants could promote not only the variability in their resources and the intensity of the active flux, but could also drive the variability in the gravitational flux.

Downloads

Download data is not yet available.

Downloads

Published

2001-07-30

How to Cite

1.
Hernández-León S, Almeida C, Yebra L, Arístegui J, Fernández de Puelles ML, García-Braun J. Zooplankton abundance in subtropical waters: is there a lunar cycle?. scimar [Internet]. 2001Jul.30 [cited 2022Nov.29];65(S1):59-64. Available from: https://scientiamarina.revistas.csic.es/index.php/scientiamarina/article/view/694

Issue

Section

Articles

Most read articles by the same author(s)