Rahlff, Janina and Ribas-Ribas, Mariana and Brown, Scott M. and Mustaffa, Nur Ili Hamizah and Renz, Jasmin and Peck, Myron A. and Bird, Kimberley and Cunliffe, Michael and Melkonian, Katharina and Zappa, Christopher J. (2018) Blue pigmentation of neustonic copepods benefits exploitation of a prey-rich niche at the air-sea boundary. Scientific reports, 8 (1). p. 11510. ISSN 2045-2322

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41598-018-29869-7


The sea-surface microlayer (SML) at the air-sea interface is a distinct, under-studied habitat compared to the subsurface and copepods, important components of ocean food webs, have developed key adaptations to exploit this niche. By using automated SML sampling, high-throughput sequencing and unmanned aerial vehicles, we report on the distribution and abundance of pontellid copepods in relation to the unique biophysicochemical signature of the SML. We found copepods in the SML even during high exposure to sun-derived ultraviolet radiation and their abundance was significantly correlated to increased algal biomass. We additionally investigated the significance of the pontellids’ blue pigmentation and found that the reflectance peak of the blue pigment matched the water-leaving spectral radiance of the ocean surface. This feature could reduce high visibility at the air-sea boundary and potentially provide camouflage of copepods from their predators.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Publiziert mit Hilfe des DFG-geförderten Open Access-Publikationsfonds der Carl von Ossietzky Universität Oldenburg.
Subjects: Science and mathematics > Life sciences, biology
Divisions: Faculty of Mathematics and Science > Institute for Chemistry and Biology of the Marine Environment (ICBM)
Date Deposited: 12 Sep 2019 11:48
Last Modified: 13 Sep 2019 07:47
URI: https://oops.uni-oldenburg.de/id/eprint/4169
URN: urn:nbn:de:gbv:715-oops-42505
DOI: doi:10.1038/s41598-018-29869-7

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