Net tow and acoustic surveys of zooplankton distributions were made over and around Sixtymile Bank (110 km southwest of San Diego, California). Gaps devoid of vertically migrating zooplankton were formed every evening above the summit of the bank. Interactions between the migrating animals, their predators, physical advection and the local topography appear to determine the gap formation and dynamics. Gaps were transported downstream during the night and appeared to disintegrate slowly through vertical swimming behavior, current shear and mixing processes. Patch dynamics following gap formation, mediated by both ocean currents and animal behavior, should augment the spatial heterogeneity of zooplankton and affect marine food webs in areas where abrupt topography features are common.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Aquatic Science