Jellyfish distribute vertically according to irradiance
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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We tested the hypothesis that the coronate jellyfish Periphylla periphylla distributes vertically according to a preferential range of absolute light intensities. The study was carried out in Lurefjorden, Norway, a fjord characterized by mass occurrences of this jellyfish. We collected data on the vertical distribution of P. periphylla medusa during day, dusk and night periods from video observations by a remotely operated vehicle in relation to estimated ambient light levels. Our results suggest that large P. periphylla (average size in catches ~9 cm diameter) avoided total irradiance levels above 5×10−3 µmol quanta m−2 s−1. Nearly two-thirds of the population stayed above irradiance of 10−7 µmol quanta m−2 s−1 during daytime, while some individuals occupied much darker water. Thus, part of the population appeared to distribute vertically and undertake diel vertical migration (DVM) according to a preferential range of light intensities.