Journal Article

Vertical distribution of Baltic sprat larvae: changes in patterns of diel migration?

Rüdiger Voss, Jörn O. Schmidt and Dietrich Schnack

in ICES Journal of Marine Science

Published on behalf of ICES/CIEM

Volume 64, issue 5, pages 956-962
Published in print July 2007 | ISSN: 1054-3139
Published online June 2007 | e-ISSN: 1095-9289 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/icesjms/fsm068
Vertical distribution of Baltic sprat larvae: changes in patterns of diel migration?

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Voss, R., Schmidt, J. O., and Schnack, D. 2007. Vertical distribution of Baltic sprat larvae: changes in patterns of diel migration? – ICES Journal of Marine Science, 64: 956–962.

Ontogenetic and diurnal vertical migration patterns of Baltic sprat larvae were investigated for the periods 1989–1990 and 1998–2002. Comparison of the results led to the hypothesis that the diel vertical migration behaviour of sprat larvae >10 mm has changed. In 1989 and 1990, sprat larvae migrated to the surface at night, whereas they stayed 30–50 m deep by day. From 1998 to 2002, sprat larvae showed no signs of diel vertical migration, remaining in warmer, near-surface water by day and night. This behavioural change coincided with a more general change in the Baltic ecosystem, i.e. an increase in near-surface temperature and a general increase in abundance of the major prey organism (Acartia spp.) of Baltic sprat larvae, with more pronounced aggregation in surface waters.

Keywords: Baltic Sea; behavioural change; diel migration; prey availability; sprat larvae; vertical distribution

Journal Article.  3629 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Environmental Science ; Marine and Estuarine Biology

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