Diurnal changes in abundance caused by vertical migrations have been examined in populations of copepods, ostracods, euphausiids, amphipods, decapods, chaetognaths, siphonophores and fish. The animals were taken in a series of hauls made over a 24 h period with an opening-closing midwater trawl system (RMT 1+8), consisting of a net of 1 m2 mouth area combined in the same frame as one of 8 m2 mouth area. The samples were taken at 250 m depth in a position 30°N; 23°W on 7/8 April 1972. The specific composition of the community and the numbers of individuals changed continuously with time. The numbers of fish, decapods and chaetognaths increased at night, but those of copepods, ostracods and euphausiids decreased. More species of fish, decapods and copepods were present by night than by day, whereas the numbers of species per haul for other groups remained fairly constant. The relative abundances of groups caught by the RMT 1 have been analysed, but similar treatment of the RMT 8 samples was impossible as only 3 groups were taken from this net. Non-migrants were a minority in every group except chaetognaths. Migrant species have been put into one of 6 transitory categories according to their patterns of abundance and hence migrations. Within each category, migratory behaviour varied both inter- and intraspecifically. The patterns of abundance of many species were smooth and continuous, suggesting slow migratory cycles of small amplitude. Conversely, extensive migrants had discontinuous patterns and presumably more rapid movements. Few migrants had a steady numerical plateau between their upward and downward migrations, and most apparently moved up or down continuously. The presence of migratory species in the sampled layer depended upon the time of day or night. It is concluded that, in a vertical series of hauls, the depths of occurrence of migrants will vary with the sampling time. Further-more, a vertical series will show a species minimum migration range but not necessarily its maximum. Individuals of some species were out of phase with the migrations of their main populations. There is evidence that the distributions and migrations of some species of decapods, euphausiids, copepods and fish could be related to the distribution of underwater light. Three pairs of congeneric copepod species were both spatially and temporally segregated for at least part of their diurnal cycles. Such an orderly arrangement could provide a means of reducing competition between species. Some species, however, overtook others on their migrations and the pattern of underwater light cannot, therefore, regulate the distribution of all species in the same way.
- 1 - sciences appliquees, technologies et medecines
- 2 - sciences biologiques et medicales
- 3 - sciences biologiques fondamentales et appliquees. psychologie
- 4 - ecologie animale, vegetale et microbienne
- 1 - Physical Sciences ; 2 - Environmental Science ; 3 - Ecology
- 1 - Life Sciences ; 2 - Agricultural and Biological Sciences ; 3 - Aquatic Science
- 1 - Life Sciences ; 2 - Agricultural and Biological Sciences ; 3 - Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics