Journal of the Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom

Research Article

Changes in Light Intensity and Diel Vertical Migration: a Comparison of Marine and Freshwater Environments

J. Ringelberga1

a1 Department of Aquatic Ecology, University of Amsterdam, Kruislaan 320, 1098 SM Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Proximate aspects of diel vertical migration in the freshwater and marine environment are compared using data from the literature. Examples of migrations in both environments are presented, from which it is concluded that relative changes in light intensity before sunrise and after sunset are primary causes of migrations. Experiments have shown that photoreactive behaviour is enhanced in the presence of predators but inhibited by shortage of food. These factors are called secondary causal factors. A hierarchy of causal factors is proposed. In lakes fish exudates suffice but in marine biotopes like bays, it is possible that fish have to be actually present for enhancement to take effect. To what extent the presented stimulus-response mechanism holds for mesopelagic animals in oceans is discussed on the basis of vertical distributions of euphausiids.