Skip to content

Research at St Andrews

Comparison of zooplankton vertical migration in an ice-free and a seasonally ice-covered Arctic fjord: An insight into the influence of sea ice cover on zooplankton behavior

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Margaret I. Wallace, Finlo R. Cottier, Jorgen Berge, Geraint A. Tarling, Colin Griffiths, Andrew Stuart Brierley

School/Research organisations


We present observations of zooplankton diel vertical migration (DVM) over a period of 2 yr in an ice-free and a seasonally ice-covered Arctic fjord. The contrasting environments permitted assessment of the influences of physical and biological factors on temporal variability in DVM patterns and a test of the hypothesis that a reduction in summer sea ice extent and thickness following climatic warming will lead to changes in DVM via the loss of a shading effect on the pelagic marine environment. Acoustic backscatter and vertical velocity data from moored 300-kHz acoustic Doppler current profilers were used to derive DVM patterns, while measurements of sea ice and snow thickness enabled assessment of the underwater light environment and consideration of its potential to influence DVM. Pronounced differences in DVM between the sites emerged during summertime when intermittent synchronized DVM was observed at the ice-free site, whereas the ice-covered site was characterized by asynchronous behavior, thereby highlighting the influence of sea ice. Notably, the 0.8-m-thick sea ice cover was deemed important for its influence on water column properties such as food, turbidity, and zooplankton species composition, as indicated by biological samples from moored sediment traps, rather than a simple shading of the ocean and direct modification of zooplankton DVM. Loss of Arctic sea ice is likely to have an indirect but substantial effect on zooplankton DVM via modification of hydrography and composition of the pelagic community.



Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)831-845
Number of pages15
JournalLimnology and Oceanography
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2010

    Research areas


Discover related content
Find related publications, people, projects and more using interactive charts.

View graph of relations

Related by author

  1. Spatial variability in total and organic mercury levels in Antarctic krill Euphausia superba across the Scotia Sea

    Seco, J., Xavier, J. C., Coelho, J. P., Pereira, B., Tarling, G., Pardal, M. A., Bustamante, P., Stowasser, G., Brierley, A. S. & Pereira, M. E., Apr 2019, In : Environmental Pollution. 247, p. 332-339 8 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  2. Internal lee waves and baroclinic bores over a tropical seamount shark ‘hot-spot’

    Hosegood, P. J., Nimmo-Smith, W. A. M., Proud, R., Adams, K. & Brierley, A. S., Mar 2019, In : Progress in Oceanography. 172, p. 34-50 17 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  3. Use of micronekton data and models to improve ecology of top predators

    Proud, R. & Brierley, A. S., 30 Nov 2018, Zenodo. 23 p.

    Research output: Book/ReportCommissioned report

Related by journal

  1. Monitoring Drake Passage with elephant seals: Frontal structures and snapshots of transport

    Boehme, L., Thorpe, S. E., Biuw, M., Fedak, M. A. & Meredith, M. P., Sep 2008, In : Limnology and Oceanography. 53, 5, p. 2350-2360 11 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  2. Patterns in microphytobenthic primary productivity: Species-specific variation in migratory rhythms and photosynthetic efficiency in mixed-species biofilms.

    Underwood, G. J. C., Perkins, R. G., Consalvey, M. C., Hanlon, A. R. M., Oxborough, K., Baker, N. R. & Paterson, D. M., May 2005, In : Limnology and Oceanography. 50, 3, p. 755-767 13 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  3. Interannual variability in abundance of North Sea jellyfish and links to the North Atlantic Oscillation

    Lynam, CP., Hay, S. & Brierley, A. S., May 2004, In : Limnology and Oceanography. 49, 3, p. 637-643 7 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  4. Microbiological mediation of spectral reflectance from intertidal cohesive sediments

    Paterson, D. M., Wiltshire, KH., Miles, A., Blackburn, J. & 4, O., Sep 1998, In : Limnology and Oceanography. 43, 6, p. 1207-1221 15 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

ID: 3424195