Marine Biology

, Volume 151, Issue 4, pp 1471–1478 | Cite as

Benthic bioluminescence in the bathyal North East Atlantic: luminescent responses of Vargula norvegica (Ostracoda: Myodocopida) to predation by the deep-water eel (Synaphobranchus kaupii)

  • A. Heger
  • N. J. King
  • B. D. Wigham
  • A. J. Jamieson
  • P. M. Bagley
  • L. Allan
  • O. Pfannkuche
  • I. G. Priede
Research Article

Abstract

Using two autonomous lander systems, one equipped with a high sensitivity intensified silicon intensifier target (ISIT) video camera and a second with a 4.1-megapixel digital stills camera, observations were made of bioluminescent emissions and fauna attracted to artificial food falls at ca. 1,000 m depth in the carbonate mound provinces of the Porcupine Seabight and Rockall Bank, North East Atlantic. On the Galway coral mound (Belgica Mound Province), seven bioluminescent events per hour were observed, whereas on an area of sediment at the base of the Kiel Mount on the Rockall Bank 133 events per hour were observed. This increase in bioluminescent activity was associated with the presence of the deep water eels Synaphobranchus kaupii, and the ostracods, Vargula norvegica. Captured ostracods luminesced readily in response to mechanical stimulation and were also observed emitting a luminous secretion. We hypothesise that V. norvegica, attracted to bait, luminesce as a defence response against the predatory activity of S. kaupii that compete for bait but also feed on the ostracods. Benthic bioluminescence in the carbonate mound provinces was not directly linked to the presence of corals.

References

  1. Bailey DM, Genard B, Collins MA, Rees J-F, Unsworth SK, Battle EJV, Bagley PM, Jamieson AJ, Priede IG (2005) High swimming and metabolic activity in the deep-sea eel Synaphobranchus kaupii revealed by integrated in situ and in vitro measurements. Physiol Biochem Zool 78(3):335–346PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Clarke GL, Hubbard CJ (1959) Quantitative records of luminescent flashing of oceanic animals at great depths. Limnol Oceanogr 4:163–180CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Cussatlegras A-S, Geistdoerfer P, Prieur L (2001) Planktonic bioluminescence measurements in the frontal zone of Almeria-Oran (Mediterranean Sea). Oceanol Acta 24(3):239–250CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. De Mol B, Van Rensbergen P, Pillen S, Van Herreweghe K, Van Rooij D, McDonnell A, Huvenne V, Ivanov M, Swennen R, Henriet J-P (2002) Large deep-water coral banks in the Porcupine Basin, southwest of Ireland. Mar Geol 188:193–231CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Gillibrand EJV, Bagley PM, Jamieson A, Herring PJ, Partridge JC, Collins MA, Milne R, Priede IG (2006) Deep Sea benthic bioluminescence at artificial food falls, 1,000 to 4,800 m depth, in the Porcupine Seabight and Abyssal Plain, North East Atlantic Ocean. Mar Biol 149: doi:10.1007/s00227-006-0407
  6. Gordon JDM, Mauchline J (1996) The distribution and diet of the dominant, slope-dwelling eel, Synaphobranchus kaupi, of the Rockall Trough. J Mar Biol Assoc UK 76:493–503CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Herring PJ (1990) Bioluminescent communication in the sea. In: Herring PJ, Campbell AK, Whitfield M, Maddock L (eds) Light and life in the sea. Cambridge University Press, UK, pp 245–264Google Scholar
  8. Herring PJ, Priede IG, Bagley PM, Way S, Partridge JC (2001) Observations of bioluminescence on the abyssal seafloor. In: Case JF, Herring PJ, Robison BH, Haddock SHD, Kricka LJ, Stanley PE (eds) Bioluminescence and Chemiluminescence. World Scientific, Singapore, pp 67–70Google Scholar
  9. Jamieson AJ, Bagley PM (2005) The ROBIO and DOBO landers: Deep-sea biodiversity surveys in areas of anthropogenic activity. Sea Technol 46(1):54–57Google Scholar
  10. Marques A (1998) A note on the diet Synaphobranchus kaupi (Pisces: Synaphobranchidae) from the Porcupine Seabight, north-east Atlantic. J Mar Biol Assoc UK 78:1385–1388Google Scholar
  11. Morin JG (1986) “Firefleas” of the sea: luminescent signaling in marine ostracode crustaceans. Fla Entomol 69:105–121CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Pfannkuche O, Linke P (2003) GEOMAR landers as long-term deep-sea observatories. Sea Technol 44(9):50–55Google Scholar
  13. Poulsen EM (1962) Ostracoda—Myodocopa. 1 Cyprinidiformes—Cypridinidae. Dana Rep 57:1–414Google Scholar
  14. Priede IG, Bagley PM, Way S, Herring PJ, Partridge JC (2006) Bioluminescence in the deep sea: Free-fall lander observations in the Atlantic Ocean off Cape Verde. Deep-Sea Res (I) 53:1272–1283CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Uiblein F, Lorance P, Latrouite D (2002) Variation in locomotion behaviour in northern cutthroat eel (Synaphobranchus kaupi) on the Bay of Biscay continental slope. Deep-Sea Res (I) 49:1689–1703CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Vannier J, Abe K, Ikuta K (1998) Feeding in myodocopid ostracods: functional morphology and laboratory observations from videos. Mar Biol 132:391–408CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Widder EA, Johnson S, Bernstein SA, Case JF, Neilson DJ (1999) Thin layers of bioluminescent copepods found at density discontinuities in the water column. Mar Biol 134:429–437CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • A. Heger
    • 1
  • N. J. King
    • 1
  • B. D. Wigham
    • 1
  • A. J. Jamieson
    • 1
  • P. M. Bagley
    • 1
  • L. Allan
    • 1
  • O. Pfannkuche
    • 2
  • I. G. Priede
    • 1
  1. 1.OceanlabUniversity of AberdeenAberdeenScotland, UK
  2. 2.Leibniz-Institut für Meereswissenschaften (IFM-GEOMAR)KielGermany

Personalised recommendations