Bioluminescence of gelatinous zooplankton in the Greenland and Barents Seas: Nightlights in the land of the midnight sun

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Bioluminescence of gelatinous zooplankton in the Greenland and Barents Seas: Nightlights in the land of the midnight sun

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Title: Bioluminescence of gelatinous zooplankton in the Greenland and Barents Seas: Nightlights in the land of the midnight sun
Author: Mann, CG
Abstract: Bioluminescence of gelatinous zooplankton in the Greenland, Barents and Norwegian Seas was investigated by in situ observations by SCUBA divers and by shipboard experimentation on cruise EN182 ofRIV Endeavor. The bioluminescence of individual organisms hand-collected by the divers was measured in the laboratory with a photon counter. The cydippid ctenophore, Mertensia ovum, produced the greatest per capita luminescence. Mertensia was usually the most abundant gelatinous organism observed by the divers. Other common luminescent species were the ctenophore Beroe cucumis and the larvacean Oikopleura labradorensis. Beroe were observed on nearly all of the dives and small individuals were sometimes very abundant near the surface. Oikopleura were not commonly found, but when encountered, occurred in dense aggregations of up to 100 m-3 . Due to its numerical abundance, high per capita luminescence and widespread distribution, Mertensia ovum is considered the major source of bioluminescence among gelatinous zooplankton in the Arctic. The production of luminescence in the summer by Arctic zooplankton is puzzling because of the continuous daylight to which they are exposed in the euphotic zone and the apparent lack of vertical migrations among these species.
Description: American Academy of Underwater Sciences (http://www.aaus.org/)
URI: http://archive.rubicon-foundation.org/10220
Date: 1989

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