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Marine Ecology Progress Series

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MEPS 574:259-263 (2017)  -  DOI:

Changing weather causes behavioral responses in the lower mesopelagic

Stein Kaartvedt1,*, Anders Røstad2, Dag L. Aksnes3

1Department of Biosciences, University of Oslo, PO Box 1066 Blindern, 0316 Oslo, Norway
2Red Sea Research Center, King Abdullah University of Science and Technology, Thuwal 23955-6900, Saudi Arabia
3Department of Biology, University of Bergen, 5020 Bergen, Norway
*Corresponding author:

ABSTRACT: Mesopelagic acoustic scattering layers at a 700 m deep location in the Red Sea ascended 70 to 80 m during a passing rain storm that reduced light levels at the surface by more than 2 orders of magnitude. The changes in vertical distribution were observed down to the deepest part of the water column and were interpreted as a response to sudden dark weather. However, light measurements suggest that the mesopelagic targets (fish) did not fully compensate for the reduction in ambient light, and the calculated light levels in the scattering layers were ~1 order of magnitude lower during the passage of the storm. The results show that fluctuating weather conditions may affect pelagic ecosystems even towards the lower parts of the mesopelagic zone.

KEY WORDS: Light · Behavior · Vertical distribution · Mesopelagic · Scattering layer

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Cite this article as: Kaartvedt S, Røstad A, Aksnes DL (2017) Changing weather causes behavioral responses in the lower mesopelagic. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 574:259-263.

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