The current study determined behavioral and electrophysiological photosensitivities for three species of mesopelagic crustaceans: Pasiphaea multidentata Esmark, 1866 (Decapoda: Pasiphaeidae), Sergestes arcticus Kröyer, 1855 (Decapoda: Sergestidae), and Meganyctiphanes norvegica M. Sars, 1857 (Euphausiacea: Euphausiidae). In addition, in situ quantifications of the species’ vertical distributions in relation to downwelling irradiances were also determined in two locations in the northwest Atlantic Ocean, Wilkinson Basin (WB) and Oceanographer Canyon (OC). Data are from six 2-week cruises between June and September from 1995 to 2001. P. multidentata and M. norvegica were the most abundant large crustaceans in WB, and S. arcticus and M. norvegica were the most abundant large crustaceans in OC. The behavioral light sensitivity thresholds of P. multidentata and M. norvegica from WB were both 107 photons cm−2 s−1 and those of S. arcticus and M. norvegica from OC were both 108 photons cm−2 s−1. Electrophysiologically, P. multidentata was significantly more sensitive than M. norvegica from either location, S. arcticus was significantly more sensitive than M. norvegica from OC, and M. norvegica from WB was significantly more sensitive than M. norvegica from OC. A correlation was found between electrophysiologically measured photosensitivity and downwelling irradiance, with the most sensitive species, P. multidentata and S. arcticus, associated with the lowest irradiance at daytime depths. The photosensitivities of M. norvegicacollected from the clearer waters of OC were significantly lower than those of individuals collected from the more turbid WB waters. These results indicate that downwelling irradiance has a significant impact on interspecies and intraspecies vertical distribution patterns in the mesopelagic realm.
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/tamara-frank/19/