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Free Content Currents as environmental constraints on the behavior, energetics and distribution of squid and cuttlefish

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The energy available in an ecosystem can often be smoothly matched to physiological requirements through behavioral changes. Tracking projects in Spencer Gulf and Great Barrier Reef (GBR) Lagoon, Australia, compared the energetics of tropical/temperate squids (Sepioteuthis lessoniana and Sepioteuthis australis) and cuttlefish (Sepia apama) using radio-acoustic positioning telemetry (RAPT). Distinctive activity patterns indicated that tidal currents were key environmental influences, as important as temperature, diel cycles and foraging. Continuous position and mantle pressure data from nature correlated with visually and video documented behaviors. Cuttlefish were diurnal, relatively inactive and spent their time within benthic boundary layers, hovering near or under structures. Squid, in contrast, were continuously active, seeking out particular current regimes to conserve energy using slope soaring tactics previously seen in Loligo forbesi. These behaviors illustrate an energetic tradeoff between neutral and negative buoyancy for access to prey in currents. In the high current GBR site, squid concentrated in the boundary layers of floating 'squid aggregating devices' (SADs). Rheotactic behavior has been well characterized for fishes in streams and some marine systems, and is briefly reviewed in the context of cephalopod examples to define rheological guilds. Fast-growing, high-energy cephalopods provide a powerful paradigm for assessing energy transfers in ecosystems.

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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2002-07-01

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  • The Bulletin of Marine Science is dedicated to the dissemination of high quality research from the world's oceans. All aspects of marine science are treated by the Bulletin of Marine Science, including papers in marine biology, biological oceanography, fisheries, marine affairs, applied marine physics, marine geology and geophysics, marine and atmospheric chemistry, and meteorology and physical oceanography.
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