Flexible diel vertical migration behaviour of zooplankton in the Irish Sea

Xabier Irigoien*, David V.P. Conway, Roger P. Harris

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

69 Scopus citations


The diel vertical migration (DVM) of the whole plankton community was investigated in the central and coastal Irish Sea. Generally, more than 60 % of the plankton did not perform significant DVM. A correlation analysis of the weighted mean depths of different organisms and their potential predators suggested relationships between 2 groups: Oithona spp., copepod nauplii and fish larvae, and Calanus spp., Pseudocalanus elongatus and chaetognaths (Sagitta spp.). Organisms showing significant DVM were chaetognaths (Sagitta spp.), Calanus spp. and P. elongatus. Calanus spp. showed clear ontogenic variations in DVM and, along with P. elongatus, demonstrated great flexibility in both the amplitude and direction of migration. P. elongatus did not migrate in the coastal area and Calanus spp. showed a clear reverse migration. The direction of migration appeared to be related to the vertical position of the chaetognaths in the water column during the day.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)85-97
Number of pages13
StatePublished - Feb 19 2004
Externally publishedYes


  • Calanus spp.
  • Chaetognaths
  • Diel vertical migration
  • Fish larvae
  • Oithona spp.
  • Pseudocalanus spp.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Aquatic Science
  • Ecology


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