The role of photoreception in the swarming behavior of the copepod Dioithona oculata

Buskey, E. J. and Peterson, J. O. and Ambler, J. W. (1995) The role of photoreception in the swarming behavior of the copepod Dioithona oculata. Marine and Freshwater Behaviour and Physiology, 26 (2). pp. 273-285. ISSN 1023-6244

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    The copepod Dioithona oculata forms dense swarms near mangrove prop roots that are centered around shafts of light penetrating the mangrove canopy. Swarms can be created in the laboratory within light shafts created with a fiber optic light pipe. Laboratory observations of swarming behavior were recorded using video cameras, and the swimming behavior of the copepods and density of the swarms were quantified using video-computer motion and image analysis techniques. Swarm formation results from a combination of phototactic and klino-kinetic behavior. Dark adapted copepods initially exhibit a photophobic response to a light shaft, but become positively phototactic within 3-5 min after exposure to the light. Copepod aggregation rates under the light fit a saturation model, suggesting that copepods are attracted independently to the swarm marker. Copepods reverse their swimming direction when they encounter light intensity gradients near the edge of a light shaft, which aids in maintaining the swarm. Swarm formation can occur in the laboratory at light intensities as slow as 0.1 μM photons m-2 s-1, which is similar to light intensities at dawn when they are first observed to form in nature. Swarm formation appears to have an endogenous rhythm, as copepods will not form swarms at night under a light shaft.

    Item Type: Peer-reviewed Journal Article
    Related URLs:
    Unique ID or DOI: 10.1080/10236249509378946
    Publisher: Overseas Publishers Association
    Keywords: Copepod, photoreception, swarming behavior, phototaxis. klino-kinesis
    Subjects: (A) Biodiversity > (AF) Invertebrates > (AFB) Marine
    Publication Sources: (3) Other Source > (3C) Other Universities
    Date Deposited: 28 Jan 2011 15:57
    Last Modified: 28 Jan 2011 15:57

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