Plasticity in coloration as an antipredator strategy among zooplankton

Hege Vestheim*, Stein Kaartvedt

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


We show that marine zooplankton change their level of coloration both with depth and time of the day. The carnivorous copepod Pareuchaeta norvegica caught near the bottom in 200-400-m deep-water columns were darker than specimens caught higher in the water column. A diel rhythm in coloration occurred even at several hundred meters' depth, with individuals caught during night time being more pigmented than the ones caught during the day. We hypothesize that individuals actively adjust their degree of coloration to achieve optimal camouflage at the prevailing light regime.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1931-1934
Number of pages4
JournalLimnology and Oceanography
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 2006
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oceanography
  • Aquatic Science


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