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Browsing by Subject "zooplankton"

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  • Karvo, Sara (2023)
    Zooplankton are an important link in marine pelagic food webs as they transfer energy from primary producers to higher trophic levels such as planktivorous fish. They migrate vertically in the water column, ascending to feed near the surface at night and descending to hide from visual predators for the day (diel vertical migration, DVM). Zooplankton are detected with Acoustic Doppler Current Profilers (ADCPs). These devices were developed for measuring water currents using acoustic pulses, a technique which requires particles such as zooplankton in the water column to scatter the sound. As a by-product of the velocity measurements, it provides information of these scatterers as echo intensity. This method has been used in researching zooplankton DVM, however, not in the northern Baltic Sea prior to this study. In this thesis, the data processing steps required to analyze echo intensity were examined for the specific environment of the Finnish Archipelago Sea. A one-year-long time-series was processed and averaged seasonally to investigate different patterns in zooplankton DVM. Vertical velocity data were used in estimating migration speed, and available reference measurements were combined to the data to examine the environmental factors affecting zooplankton DVM. Synchronized DVM was observed especially in autumn, however, indications of other migration patterns such as unsynchronized and reverse migration were detected during summer and winter, respectively. The primary cue behind zooplankton DVM was light, but additional contributing factors such as phytoplankton and currents were identified and discussed. The maximum migration speeds detected were approximately 10 cm/s downwards and 4 cm/s upwards. ADCP data are a good indicator of zooplankton migration in the northern Baltic Sea and in the future, it could prove beneficial in zooplankton monitoring and biomass estimates.