Letter | Published:

Vertical Movements of Zooplankton during a Solar Eclipse

Abstract

THE solar eclipse of March 7, 1970, provided an opportunity to examine the reactions of zooplankton. to rapid changes in light intensities. Diurnal changes in the vertical distribution of zooplankton are recognized behavioural phenomena1,2. Light is considered to be the principal stimulus to vertical movement in planktonic crustaceans3,4. The basic pattern of diurnal distribution is a rise to the surface in late afternoon in response to decreasing light intensity, followed by a sinking in the absence of a light gradient at night; as light increases at dawn the zooplankton moves upward to the source of light change, and then downward away from the increasing intensity of daylight2. The general pattern of movement can vary, however, under the influence of various exogenous and endogenous conditions5. Observations of the responses of zooplankton to solar eclipses are limited to the studies of Petipa6, Skud7 and Backus, Clark and Wing8; changes in the vertical distributions of copepods, meroplankton and scattering layer and bioluminescent organisms were attributed to the exogenous light effects of the eclipse.

Access optionsAccess options

Rent or Buy article

Get time limited or full article access on ReadCube.

from$8.99

All prices are NET prices.

References

  1. 1

    Russell, F. S., Biol. Rev., 2, No. 3, 213 (1927).

  2. 2

    Bainbridge, R., in The Physiology of Crustacea (edit. by Waterman, T. H.), 11, 431 (Academic Press, London, 1961).

  3. 3

    Cushing, D. H., Biol. Rev., 26, No. 2, 158 (1951).

  4. 4

    Raymont, J. E. G., Plankton and Productivity in the Oceans (Pergamon, Oxford, 1963).

  5. 5

    Banse, K., in Progress in Oceanography (edit. by Sears, M.), 2, 53 (Pergamon, Oxford, 1964).

  6. 6

    Petipa, T. S., Dokl. Akad. Nauk SSR, 104, 323 (1955).

  7. 7

    Skud, B. E., Fish. Bull., US Fish. Wild. Serv., 66, 259 (1968).

  8. 8

    Backus, R. H., Clark, R. C., and Wing, A. S., Nature, 205, 989 (1965).

  9. 9

    Harris, J. E., J. Mar. Biol. Assoc. UK, 43, No. 1, 153 (1963).

  10. 10

    Marshall, S. M., and Orr, A. P., The Biology of a Marine Copepod (Oliver and Boyd, Edinburgh, 1955).

  11. 11

    Kamishilov, M. M., Trud. Murmanskoy Biolog. Stantsii, 4, 56 (1958). Translation Joint Publ. Res. Serv., No. JPRS 5471 (1960).

  12. 12

    Clarke, G. L., Biol. Bull., 65, No. 3, 402 (1934).

Download references

Author information

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Further reading

Comments

By submitting a comment you agree to abide by our Terms and Community Guidelines. If you find something abusive or that does not comply with our terms or guidelines please flag it as inappropriate.