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.
Subscribe to Journal
Get full journal access for 1 year
only $3.90 per issue
All prices are NET prices.
VAT will be added later in the checkout.
Rent or Buy article
Get time limited or full article access on ReadCube.
All prices are NET prices.
Russell, F. S., Biol. Rev., 2, No. 3, 213 (1927).
Bainbridge, R., in The Physiology of Crustacea (edit. by Waterman, T. H.), 11, 431 (Academic Press, London, 1961).
Cushing, D. H., Biol. Rev., 26, No. 2, 158 (1951).
Raymont, J. E. G., Plankton and Productivity in the Oceans (Pergamon, Oxford, 1963).
Banse, K., in Progress in Oceanography (edit. by Sears, M.), 2, 53 (Pergamon, Oxford, 1964).
Petipa, T. S., Dokl. Akad. Nauk SSR, 104, 323 (1955).
Skud, B. E., Fish. Bull., US Fish. Wild. Serv., 66, 259 (1968).
Backus, R. H., Clark, R. C., and Wing, A. S., Nature, 205, 989 (1965).
Harris, J. E., J. Mar. Biol. Assoc. UK, 43, No. 1, 153 (1963).
Marshall, S. M., and Orr, A. P., The Biology of a Marine Copepod (Oliver and Boyd, Edinburgh, 1955).
Kamishilov, M. M., Trud. Murmanskoy Biolog. Stantsii, 4, 56 (1958). Translation Joint Publ. Res. Serv., No. JPRS 5471 (1960).
Clarke, G. L., Biol. Bull., 65, No. 3, 402 (1934).
About this article
Cite this article
SHERMAN, K., HONEY, K. Vertical Movements of Zooplankton during a Solar Eclipse. Nature 227, 1156–1158 (1970). https://doi.org/10.1038/2271156a0
Pollination on the Dark Side: Acoustic Monitoring Reveals Impacts of a Total Solar Eclipse on Flight Behavior and Activity Schedule of Foraging Bees
Annals of the Entomological Society of America (2019)
Effect of a total solar eclipse on the surface crowding of zooplankton in a freshwater lake ecosystem
ICES Journal of Marine Science (2015)
Deep Sea Research and Oceanographic Abstracts (1975)
Journal of Oceanography (1975)