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Influence of moderate and severe hypoxia on the diurnal activity pattern of lesser sandeel Ammodytes tobianus

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Abstract:

The influence of prolonged moderate (c. 60% oxygen saturation) and severe hypoxia (c. 35% oxygen saturation) on the diurnal activity pattern of sandeel Ammodytes tobianus was examined. In moderate hypoxia, the emerging and burying rates were significantly higher compared to that in normoxia, whereas fewer fish (c. 10%) were present in the water column. In contrast, severe hypoxia resulted in twice as many or more fish being present in the water column compared to that in normoxia. The increased number of swimming fish was not just a relative change due to an effect from hypoxia treatment, but the behaviour of the fish was also changed. The summed activity (emerging plus burying events) was lower in severe hypoxia compared to normoxia except during hours of dim light. All fish were buried during night-time, regardless of treatment, with the exception of some in severe hypoxia during the first couple of hours of darkness.

Keywords: behaviour; burying; oxygen depletion; swimming

Document Type: Regular Paper

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1095-8649.2010.02697.x

Affiliations: 1: Department of Marine Ecology, National Environmental Research Institute, P. O. Box 358, DK-4000 Roskilde, Denmark 2: Marine Biological Laboratory, University of Copenhagen, Strandpromenaden 5, DK-3000 Helsingør, Denmark

Publication date: August 1, 2010

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