sail-world.com
 
 
News Home Cruising Photo Gallery Video Gallery

 

Sail-World.com : Copepods share diver's weight belt technique with whales

Copepods share diver's weight belt technique with whales

'Copepod'    British Antarctic Survey ©    Click Here to view large photo

A deep-sea mystery has been solved with the discovery that the tiny three mm long marine animals, eaten by herring, cod and mackerel, use the same buoyancy control as whales.

Reporting this week in the journal Limnology and Oceanography, researchers from British Antarctic Survey describe how Southern Ocean copepods - a crustacean rich in omega-3 oil - 'hibernates' in the deep ocean during winter when seas are stormy and food scarce. To reach the ocean depths the copepod's oily body fluids undergo a remarkable transformation. As the animals swim deeper, water pressure triggers a process that converts their oil to a more solid form rather like the consistency of butter. This change in density acts like a 'diver's weight belt', enabling them to be neutrally buoyant and spend winter in deep waters without wasting energy on constant swimming.

Lead author from British Antarctic Survey, Dr David Pond says, 'This work is of particular value from a number of angles. Copepods may be exceptionally small creatures but they represent a vast reserve of ocean 'biomass' that provides a crucial component of the food chain.

'We've known for some time that there is a link between the copepod's large stores of energy-rich oil and 'hibernation' behaviour, but this is the first time that we've been able to understand the exact relationship between these two elements in the animal's life cycle. This discovery is a breakthrough and will help enormously with the development of simulations of their behaviour.

It's fascinating also to think that the largest and the smallest marine animals share this remarkable ability to change their body fats to adjust their buoyancy.'

*Calanoid copepods are key players in the study of biological oceanography. They are the largest constituent of zooplankton biomass in the oceans, are a major conduit in global carbon cycles and food for commercially important species of fish.

A key feature of the life-cycle of these organisms is that they overwinter at great depths in the world's oceans in diapause, a state analogous to hibernation. The surface waters of the oceans in winter are hostile environments with low food availability and a high predation risk. The seasonal descent of calanoid copepods to the deep ocean enables them to overwinter in the comparative safety of the deep sea and thereby reduce mortality. A second notable characteristic of calanoid copepods is that they contain high amounts of lipid and although it has long been recognised that a clear link exists between the diapause behaviour and the large stores of lipid, the exact relationship between these two key elements in the copepod life-history has remained elusive.

The research involved sampling of copepods from shelf seas and open ocean environments in the Southern Ocean over seasonal cycles and examining the physical properties of their lipids under different pressures in the laboratory.

To sustainably manage fish populations in the face environmental change, fisheries scientists based in the UK and overseas need to be able to accurately model the life-cycles of the key species of calanoid copepods to predict how environmental change will impact on copepod population dynamics and distributions. The discovery made by BAS scientists is a major step towards achieving this goal.

The paper, Phase transitions of wax esters adjust buoyancy in diapausing Calanoides acutus by David W Pond and Geraint A Tarling is published in Limnology and Oceanography. 56: 1310-1318.

British Antarctic Survey website




by British Antarctic Survey

  

Click on the FB Like link to post this story to your FB wall

http://www.sail-world.com/index.cfm?nid=84835

1:55 AM Fri 17 Jun 2011 GMT






Click here for printer friendly version
Click here to send us feedback or comments about this story.


News - USA and the World

America's Cup: Challenger calls Competitor Meeting ahead of deadline *Feature by Richard Gladwell Sail-World.com/nz,
































































Formula Windsurfing Youth and Master Worlds overall by International Windsurfing Association,


49er and 49erFX Europeans: Pitfalls aplenty on day 1 + Video
ISAF Youth Worlds - Laser Radial sailors look to join list of legends
Coville soon to chase solo circumnavigation record in giant trimaran
Fierce competition at the Meanline Fins Slalom Challenge
Volvo Ocean Race - Team Brunel opt for experienced winner
Bakewell-White supermaxi designed to take Transpac's Barn Door Trophy *Feature
Crew rescued by navy patrol from J/111 racer after Mayday in storm
Team Alvimedica practice in Newport, RI - Photos
18 foot skiff European Championship (Open Europeans) - Final results
Nacra 17 European Championships - No action on day 1
ISAF Youth Worlds - 29er and SL16 sailors prepare for battle + Video
Volvo Ocean Race: Eight new crew members named by teams
Volvo Ocean Race: New additions to Spanish team announced
2014 Cape Panwa Hotel Phuket Raceweek - Phuket Island is ready to host
PWA Awaza World Cup - Cyril Moussilmani and Delphine Cousin on top
Foiling Week - Moth Class Italian Open Championship Day 2
America's Cup: Luna Rossa foiling in AC45s at their Italian base
Star World Championship - Germans claim dramatic win in Malcesine
PWA Awaza World Cup - Down to the wire in Turkmenistan
Route Halifax Saint-Pierre - Off to France!
Nacra 17 Europeans - La Grande Motte back in Olympic classes arena   
Stena Match Cup Sweden - Hansen hat trick in Marstrand + Video   
Route Halifax Saint-Pierre Race keeps an eye on Arthur   
World Match Racing Tour: See the Finals replay at the Stena Match Cup   
Newport International Boat Show unveils exciting 'At The Helm' Program   
Stena Match Cup Sweden - First blood to Hansen over Canfield + Video   
Star World Championship - Americans claim race win in Malcesine   
PWA Awaza World Cup - Weather halts action on day 4   
Clipper Race - Henri Lloyd wins OneDLL Cup into Den Helder   
Clipper Race - Close match racing in closing stages of the OneDLL Cup   
Volvo Ocean Race: Spanish play catch-up with under 100 days to go   
World Match Racing Tour: Catch the live action at the Stena Match Cup   
Finn Junior Worlds - Battle for the Jorge Bruder Silver Cup   
Mobiles drive traffic - 72% increase in Sail-World.com page view *Feature   
British Open Dragon Championship finale at Royal Lymington preview   
2014 Cape Panwa Hotel Phuket Raceweek - Phuket is ready to host   
PWA Awaza World Cup - Valerie Ghibaudo hits back on day 3   
Star World Championship - Hard fought win on day 4 + Video   
Stena Match Cup Sweden - Action-packed match racing + Video   
Oceans of Hope yacht arrives in Portsmouth   


For this week's complete news stories select    Last 7 Days
   Search All News
For last month's complete news stories select    Last 30 Days
   Archive News







Sail-World.com  


















Switch Default Region to:

Social Media

Asia

Australia

Canada

Europe

New Zealand

United Kingdom


http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/Twitter_logo_small.png http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/FaceBook-icon.png  http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/RSS-Icon.png

United States

Cruising Northern

Cruising Southern

MarineBusiness World

PowerBoat World

FishingBoating World

 

Contact

Commercial

News

Search

Contact Us

Advertisers Information

Submit news/events

Search Stories/Text

Feedback

Advertisers Directory

Newsletter Archive

Photo Gallery

 

Banner Advertising Details

Newsletter Subscribe

Video Gallery

Policies

 

 

 

Privacy Policy

 

 


Cookie Policy

 

 



This site and its contents are © Copyright TetraMedia and/or the original author, photographer etc. All Rights Reserved.  Photographs are copyright by law.  If you wish to use or buy a photograph contact the photographer directly.
XLXL NEW US
LocalAds   DE  ES  FR  IT