Marine Biology

, Volume 53, Issue 3, pp 249–255

Diel vertical migration bySalpa aspera and its potential for large-scale particulate organic matter transport to the deep-sea


  • P. H. Wiebe
    • Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution
  • L. P. Madin
    • Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution
  • L. R. Haury
    • Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution
  • G. R. Harbison
    • Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution
  • L. M. Philbin

DOI: 10.1007/BF00952433

Cite this article as:
Wiebe, P.H., Madin, L.P., Haury, L.R. et al. Mar. Biol. (1979) 53: 249. doi:10.1007/BF00952433


In mid-summer 1975 throughout the Western Slope Water of the North Atlantic Ocean, massive numbers ofSalpa aspera performed a diel vertical migration of at least 800 m. This resulted in a movement of 85 to 90% of the total zooplankton biomass out of the upper 500 m during the day. Fecal pellet production and losses from this salp population were estimated to contribute approximately 12 mg C m-2 day-1 to the deep planktonic and benthic populations. If all this organic matter reached the deep-sea floor, it would represent over 100% of the daily deep-sea benthic infauna energy requirements.

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1979