Rhythmic patterns of abundance in small sublittoral crustaceans: Variety in the synchrony with day/night and tidal cycles

K. Oishi, M. Saigusa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

12 Citations (Scopus)


Temporal fluctuations of abundance (or emergence) in small benthic and planktonic crustaceans were studied in shallow subtidal waters (1.5 to 3.5 m in tide height). The abundances were more or less rhythmic, and showed wide diversity ranging from very clear nocturnal patterns to patterns in sychrony with the tidal cycle alone. These abundance patterns were classified into categories relating to the degree of synchrony with day/night and tidal cycles. Nocturnal patterns were especially strong in benthic crustaceans, which would be inactive during the daytime, being attached to algae and stones or disappearing into rock crevices, and actively swim in the water at night. Mysis larvae also showed a clear nocturnal pattern. Their lifestyle might be similar to that of many benthic animals. Other planktonic crustaceans drifting in the water showed weak nocturnal patterns. In some planktonic crustaceans (e.g., Calanoida), the ratio of abundance in the surface and bottom samples was reversed between day and night. Their pattern might be a manifestation of weak diel vertical movement between day and night. Furthermore, most patterns of zooplankton and benthos were modified in synchrony with tides to various degrees. Small crustaceans may respond to changes of hydrologic variables fluctuating with the tides, which may exogenously produce a weak tidal component in their emergence patterns.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)237-247
Number of pages11
JournalMarine Biology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Mar 1 1999


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Aquatic Science
  • Ecology

Cite this