Vertical migration behaviour in the northern krill Meganyctiphanes norvegica is influenced by moult and reproductive processes

Geraint A Tarling, J Cuzin-Roudy, F Buchholz

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Abstract

A population of the northern krill Meganyctiphanes norvegica was sampled between 24 July and 3 August 1998 in the Alkor Deep, Kattegat, in order to investigate the influence of sexual and developmental factors on the vertical distribution of adult krill. Depth-discrete samples of krill were taken with a 1 m(2) MOCNESS net at the cardinal times of day (midnight, midday, sunrise and sunset). Specimens were immediately measured and categorised for moulting and spawning status. Further samples were preserved for detailed analysis in the home laboratory. Results showed that the population concentrated in the deep (80 to 100 m) during day-time but segregated vertically during nighttime. Moulting occurred in the deep during night-time, away from the main part of the non-moulting population, which was located between 80 and 50 m. Spawning females were most evident in the up permost depth interval (30 to 5 m). Moulting at night in the deepest layers may be viewed as a mechanism to avoid cannibalism whilst in a vulnerable condition. Spawning in the warm upper layers accelerates reproductive processes and may also reduce the depth to which the eggs sink before hatching into nauplii.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)253-262
Number of pages10
JournalMAR ECOL-PROG SER
Issue number0
Publication statusPublished - 1999

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Keywords

  • CRUSTACEA
  • Marine & Freshwater Biology
  • MOLT CYCLE
  • Oceanography
  • ANTARCTIC KRILL
  • SWARMS
  • Ecology
  • KATTEGAT
  • EUPHAUSIA-SUPERBA
  • SAMPLING ZOOPLANKTON
  • ATLANTIC
  • GROWTH
  • POPULATION

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