Minimal diel vertical migration and consistent zooplankton capturability in low productivity reservoirs, Oregon
aquatic biology, biological sciences, plankton
Diel migrations of zooplanktons occur in marine and freshwater systems and can complicate inferences from studies. If populations perform vertical or horizontal diel migrations, daytime-only sampling can mischaracterize distributions and abundances. Zooplanktons also often display reduced capture avoidance at night and occupy areas easier to sample near the surface and away from littoral structure and the benthos. We examined zooplankton abundance, water column position and taxonomic composition during daytime and nighttime new moon periods using discrete depth sampling in oligo-mesotrophic reservoirs in Oregon, USA. These reservoirs have limited littoral structures, but support populations of zooplanktivorous fishes that we expected to drive diel vertical migrations. Contrary to our expectations, at night, most zooplankton taxa were within 2 m of their daytime distributional peak and did not display differences in abundance from day to night sampling. We consider factors that may help predict whether diel vertical migration occurs in a system. Where daytime sampling is sufficient to characterize zooplankton densities and distributions, costs and risks specific to nighttime sampling may be avoided. Improving our knowledge of zooplankton dynamics, particularly in ecosystems with limited diurnal variability, is an important part of understanding lake and reservoir food webs and can optimize the efforts of future studies.
Journal of Plankton Research
Christina A Murphy and others, Minimal diel vertical migration and consistent zooplankton capturability in low productivity reservoirs, Oregon, Journal of Plankton Research, Volume 45, Issue 1, January/February 2023, Pages 129–143, https://doi.org/10.1093/plankt/fbac060
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