Vertical distributions of autumn spawned herring larvae were sampled at 10 sites in the North Sea between October 1987 and March 1988 during the Autumn Circulation Experiment (ACE). Several different patterns of vertical migrations occurred. Diel variations in the vertical distributions were found in all stages of development, from yolk-sac to pre-metamorphosis (35 mm). During diel migrations larvae were closer to the surface during daylight than at night. The amplitude of diel vertical migrations increased with the length of the larvae. Semi-diel cycles in the vertical distributions were rare, and appeared to be related to the tidal cycle rather than crepuscular periods. Diel cycles in vertical distribution could not be detected at sites in the southeastern North Sea, characterized by water depths less than 45 m, high vertical shear and high light attenuation coefficients. It is suggested that strong turbulence inhibits diel vertical migrations by herring larvae. This feature has important consequences for the advection of larvae in the North Sea.
|Continental Shelf Research
|Published - 1991