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Swarming of Planktonic Organisms

Naturevolume 193pages597598 (1962) | Download Citation



AGGREGATION in planktonic organisms is often observed, both in the sea and in fresh water, and several explanations have been put forward to account for it. Uneven light intensity can often lead to aggregation; but other reasons must be put forward to account for swarms under uniform illumination. Some authors consider the animal's own behaviour to be responsible for swarming; thus social behaviour has been invoked in Cladocera1, chemosensitivity in Hemimysis2 and visual orientation to explain Mysid shoaling3. Other authors regard physical processes as being largely or entirely responsible, such as wind-generated turbulence4, retention in convection cells5 or in a weak convergence, aided by photopositive swimming6.

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  1. 1

    Colebrook, J. M., J. Anim. Ecol., 29, 241 (1960).

  2. 2

    Bainbridge, R., J. Mar. Biol. Assoc., U.K., 32, 385 (1953).

  3. 3

    Steven, D. M., Nature, 192, 280 (1961).

  4. 4

    Bary, B. M., N.Z. J. Sci. Tech. Bull., 34, 393 (1953).

  5. 5

    Stommel, H., J. Mar. Res., 12, 148 (1949).

  6. 6

    Bainbridge, R., Biol. Rev., 32, 91 (1957).

  7. 7

    Crisp, D. J., and Southward, A. J., Nature, 178, 1076 (1956).

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  1. Marine Biology Station, Menai Bridge, Anglesey

    • D. J. CRISP


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