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Author (up) Last, K. S.; Hobbs, L.; Berge, J.; Brierley, A. S.; Cottier, F. url  doi
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  Title Moonlight Drives Ocean-Scale Mass Vertical Migration of Zooplankton during the Arctic Winter Type Journal Article
  Year 2016 Publication Current Biology Abbreviated Journal Current Biology  
  Volume 26 Issue 2 Pages 244-251  
  Keywords animals  
  Abstract In extreme high-latitude marine environments that are without solar illumination in winter, light-mediated patterns of biological migration have historically been considered non-existent [ 1 ]. However, diel vertical migration (DVM) of zooplankton has been shown to occur even during the darkest part of the polar night, when illumination levels are exceptionally low [ 2, 3 ]. This paradox is, as yet, unexplained. Here, we present evidence of an unexpected uniform behavior across the entire Arctic, in fjord, shelf, slope and open sea, where vertical migrations of zooplankton are driven by lunar illumination. A shift from solar-day (24-hr period) to lunar-day (24.8-hr period) vertical migration takes place in winter when the moon rises above the horizon. Further, mass sinking of zooplankton from the surface waters and accumulation at a depth of ∼50 m occurs every 29.5 days in winter, coincident with the periods of full moon. Moonlight may enable predation of zooplankton by carnivorous zooplankters, fish, and birds now known to feed during the polar night [ 4 ]. Although primary production is almost nil at this time, lunar vertical migration (LVM) may facilitate monthly pulses of carbon remineralization, as they occur continuously in illuminated mesopelagic systems [ 5 ], due to community respiration of carnivorous and detritivorous zooplankton. The extent of LVM during the winter suggests that the behavior is highly conserved and adaptive and therefore needs to be considered as “baseline” zooplankton activity in a changing Arctic ocean [ 6–9 ].  
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  ISSN 0960-9822 ISBN Medium  
  Area Expedition Conference  
  Notes Approved no  
  Call Number LoNNe @ kyba @ Serial 1329  
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