Marine Biology

, Volume 116, Issue 2, pp 257–268 | Cite as

Vertical migration and feeding of Euphausia lucens at two 72 h stations in the southern Benguela upwelling region

  • M. J. Gibbons


Diel vertical migration of Euphausia lucens was studied over 72 h at an inshore and at a midshelf station in the southern Benguela upwelling region during February 1991, using stratified net tows and by employing gut contents (chlorophyll/copepods) as tracers of historic position. Soon after population arrival in the surface layers of the inshore station (abundant chlorophyll), E. lucens became dispersed and redistributed over depth. This was accompanied by a rapid downward transfer of surface-collected chlorophyll. A continuous exchange of individuals between deep and shallow water was subsequently inferred, prior to population descent at around dawn. These data are in agreement with the hunger-satiation hypothesis and were shared by individuals at the midshelf station (low chlorophyll). Interestingly, the major part of the E. lucens population at the midshelf station was confined to deep water throughout 24 h. While this conflicts with the hunger-satiation hypothesis, such behaviour is required to both ensure population maintenance and avoid surface predation within the Benguela region. Although the examination of some recent literature suggests that asynchronous, hunger-satiation behaviours may be common amongst euphausiids in single-species assemblages, responses to the food environment may be constrained by other factors.


Chlorophyll Shallow Water Deep Water Vertical Migration Food Environment 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Literature cited

  1. Andersen, V., Nival, P. (1991). A model of the diel vertical migration of zooplankton based on euphausiids. J. mar. Res. 49: 153–175Google Scholar
  2. Armstrong, M. J., Prosch, R. M. (1991). Abundance and distribution of the mesopelagic fish Maurolicus muelleri in the southern Benguela system. S. Afr. J. mar. Sci. 10: 13–28Google Scholar
  3. Barange, M. (1990). Vertical migration and habitat partitioning of six euphausiid species in the northern Benguela upwelling system. J. Plankton Res. 12: 1223–1237Google Scholar
  4. Bollens, S. M., Frost, B. W. (1989). Zooplanktivorous fish and variable diel vertical migration in the marine planktonic copepod Calanus pacificus. Limnol. Oceanogr. 34: 1072–1083Google Scholar
  5. Boyd, C. M., Heyraud, M., Boyd, C. N. (1984). Feeding behaviour of krill. J. Crustacean Biol. 4: 123–141Google Scholar
  6. Bowers, J. A. (1988). Diel vertical migration of the opossum shrimp Mysis relicta in Lake Superior: observations and sampling from the Johnson-Sea-Link II submersible. Bull. mar. Sci. 43: 730–738Google Scholar
  7. Conover, R. J. (1968). Zooplankton—life in a nutritionally dilute environment. Am. Zool. 8: 107–118Google Scholar
  8. Dagg, M. J., Walser, W. E. (1987). Ingestion, gut passage and egestion by the copepod Neocalanus plumchrus in the laboratory and in the subarctic Pacific ocean. Limnol. Oceanogr. 32: 178–188Google Scholar
  9. Dumont, H. J, Guisez, Y., Carles, I., Verheye, H. M. (1985). Experimental isolation of positively and negatively phototactic phenotypes from a natural population of Daphnia magna Strauss: a contribution to the genetics of vertical migration. Hydrobiologia 126: 121–127Google Scholar
  10. Everson, I. (1987). Some aspects of the small scale distribution of Euphausia crystallorophias. Polar Biol. 8: 9–15Google Scholar
  11. Forward, R. B. (1988). Diel vertical migration: zooplankton photobiology and behaviour. Oceanogr. mar. Biol. A. Rev. 26: 361–393Google Scholar
  12. Frost, B. W. (1988). Variability and possible adaptive significance of diel vertical migration in Calanus pacificus, a planktonic copepod. Bull. mar. Sci. 43: 675–694Google Scholar
  13. Gabriel, W., Thomas, B. (1988). Ultimate causes of vertical migration in zooplankton: an evaluation by evolutionary game theory. In: Wolff, W., Soeden, C. J., Dreppen, F. R. (eds.) Ecodynamics. Contributions to theoretical ecology. Springer-Verlag, Berlin, p. 127–134Google Scholar
  14. Gibbons, M. J., Barange, M., Pillar, S. C. (1991a). Vertical migration and feeding of Euphausia lucens (Euphausiacea) in the southern Benguela. J. Plankton Res. 13: 473–486Google Scholar
  15. Gibbons, M. J., Pillar, S. C., Stuart, V. (1991b). Selective carnivory by Euphausia lucens. Contin. Shelf Res. 11: 625–640Google Scholar
  16. Gliwicz, M. Z., Pijhanowska, J. (1988). Effect of predation and resource depth distribution on vertical migration of zooplankton. Bull. mar. Sci. 43: 695–709Google Scholar
  17. Hamner, W. M. (1988). Behaviour of plankton and patch formation in pelagic ecosystems. Bull. mar. Sci. 43: 752–757Google Scholar
  18. Hamner, W. M., Strand, S. W., Matsumoto, G. I., Hamner, P. P. (1987). Ethological observations on foraging behaviour of the ctenophore Leucotheca pulchra in the open sea. Limnol. Oceanogr. 32: 645–652Google Scholar
  19. Huntley, M., Brooks, E. R. (1982). Effects of age and food availability on diel vertical migration of Calanus pacificus. Mar. Biol. 71: 23–31Google Scholar
  20. James, A. G. (1987). Feeding ecology, diet and field-based studies on feeding selectivity of the Cape anchovy Engraulis capensis Gilchrist. S. Afr. J. mar. Sci. 5: 673–692Google Scholar
  21. Johnsen, G. H., Jakobsen, P. J. (1987). The effect of food limitation on vertical migration in Daphnia longispina. Limnol. Oceanogr. 32: 873–880Google Scholar
  22. Leibold, M. A. (1990). Resources and predators can affect the vertical distributions of zooplankton. Limnol. Oceanogr. 35: 938–944Google Scholar
  23. Mackas, D., Bohrer, R. (1976). Fluorescence analysis of zooplankton gut contents and an investigation of diel feeding patterns. J. exp. mar. Biol. Ecol. 25: 77–85Google Scholar
  24. McClatchie, S., Jaquiery, P., Kawachi, R., Pilditch, C. (1991). Grazing rates of Nyctiphanes australis (Euphausiacea) in the laboratory and Otago Harbour, New Zealand, measured using three independent methods. Contin. Shelf Res. 11: 1–22Google Scholar
  25. McClatchie, S., Kawachi, R., Dalley, D. E. (1990). Epizoic diatoms on the euphausiid Nyctiphanes australis: consequences for gut-pigment analyses of whole krill. Mar. Biol. 104: 227–232Google Scholar
  26. Ohman, M. D. (1990). The demographic benefits of diel vertical migration by zooplankton. Ecol. Monogr. 60: 257–281Google Scholar
  27. Parsons, T. R., Maita, Y., Lalli, C. M. (1984). A manual of chemical and biological methods for seawater analysis. Pergamon, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  28. Pearre, S. (1973). Vertical migration and feeding in Sagitta elegans Verrill. Ecology 54: 300–314Google Scholar
  29. Pearre, S. (1979). Problems of detection and interpretation of vertical migration. J. Plankton Res. 1: 29–44Google Scholar
  30. Peterson, W. T., Painting, S. J., Hutchings, L. (1990). Diel variations in gut pigment content, diel vertical migration and estimates of grazing impact for copepods in the southern Benguela upwelling region in October 1987. J. Plankton Res. 12: 259–281Google Scholar
  31. Pillar, S. C. (1984). A comparison of the performance of four zooplankton samplers. S. Afr. J. mar. Sci. 2: 1–18Google Scholar
  32. Pillar, S. C., Armstrong, D. A., Hutchings, L. (1989). Vertical migration, dispersal and transport of Euphausia lucens in the southern Benguela current. Mar. Ecol. Prog. Ser. 53: 179–190Google Scholar
  33. Price, H. J. (1989). Swimming behaviour of krill in response to algal patches: a mesocosm study. Limnol. Oceanogr. 34: 649–659Google Scholar
  34. Prosch, R. M. (1986). The biology, ecology and distribution of Lampanyctodes hectoris and Maurolicus muelleri along the South African Coast. MSc thesis. University of Cape Town, Cape Town, South AfricaGoogle Scholar
  35. Roe, H. S. J., Angel, M. V., Badcock, J., Domanski, P., James, P. T., Pugh, P. R., Thurston, M. H. (1984). The diel migrations and distributions within a mesopelagic community in the North East Atlantic. 1. Introduction and sampling procedures. Prog. Oceanogr. 13: 189–199Google Scholar
  36. Ross, R. M. (1979). Carbon and nitrogen budgets over the life of Euphausia pacifica. PhD thesis, University of WashingtonGoogle Scholar
  37. Rudjakov, J. A. (1970). The possible causes of diel vertical migration of planktonic animals. Mar. Biol. 6: 98–105Google Scholar
  38. Sameoto, D. D. (1976). Distribution of sound scattering layers caused by euphausiids and their relationship to chlorophyll a concentrations in the Gulf of St. Lawrence Estuary. J. Fish. Res. Bd Can. 33: 681–687Google Scholar
  39. Sameoto, D. D. (1981). Relationships between stomach contents and vertical migration in Meganyctiphanes norvegica, Thysanoessa raschii and T. inermis. J. Plankton Res. 2: 129–143Google Scholar
  40. Simard, Y., Lacroix, G., Legendre, L. (1985). In situ twilight grazing rhythm during diel vertical migrations of a scattering layer of Calanus finmarchicus. Limnol. Oceanogr. 30: 598–606Google Scholar
  41. Simard, Y., Lacroix, G., Legendre, L. (1986). Diel vertical migrations and nocturnal feeding of a dense coastal krill scattering layer (Thysanoessa raschi and Meganyctiphanes norvegica) in stratified waters. Mar. Biol. 91: 93–105Google Scholar
  42. Strand, S. W., Hamner, W. M. (1990). Schooling behaviour of Antarctic krill (Euphausia superba) in laboratory aquaria: reactions to chemical and visual stimuli. Mar. Biol. 106: 355–359Google Scholar
  43. Stuart, V. (1986). Feeding and metabolism of Euphausia lucens (Euphausiacea) in the southern Benguela current. Mar. Ecol. Prog. Ser. 30: 117–125Google Scholar
  44. Stuart, V. (1989). Observations on the feeding of Euphausia lucens on natural phytoplankton suspensions in the southern Benguela upwelling region. Contin. Shelf Res. 9: 1017–1028Google Scholar
  45. Stuart, V., Pillar, S. C. (1990). Diel grazing patterns of all ontogenetic stages of Euphausia lucens and in situ predation rates on copepods in the southern Benguela upwelling region. Mar. Ecol. Prog. Ser. 64: 227–241Google Scholar
  46. Verheye, H. M., Field, J. G. (1992). Vertical distribution and diel vertical migration of Calanoides carinatus (Krøyer, 1849) development stages in the southern Benguela upwelling region. J. exp. mar. Biol. Ecol. 158: 123–140Google Scholar
  47. Williams, R., Fragopoulu, N. (1985). Vertical distribution and nocturnal migration of Nyctiphanes couchi (Crustacea: Euphausiacea) in relation to the summer thermocline in the Celtic Sea. Mar. Biol. 89: 257–262Google Scholar
  48. Wong, C. K. (1988). Effects of competitors, predators, and prey on the grazing behaviour of herbivorous calanoid copepods. Bull. mar. Sci. 43: 573–582Google Scholar
  49. Zar, J. H. (1984). Biostatistical analysis. Prentice-Hall, Englewood Cliffs, New JerseyGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1993

Authors and Affiliations

  • M. J. Gibbons
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Marine Biology Research Institute, Zoology DepartmentUniversity of Cape TownCape TownSouth Africa
  2. 2.Sea Fisheries Research InstituteRoggebaaiSouth Africa

Personalised recommendations