Publications

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2008
Checkley, DM, Davis RE, Herman AW, Jackson GA, Beanlands B, Regier LA.  2008.  Assessing plankton and other particles in situ with the SOLOPC. Limnology and Oceanography. 53:2123-2136.   10.4319/lo.2008.53.5_part_2.2123   AbstractWebsite

We combined a Sounding Oceanographic Lagrangian Observer float with a Laser Optical Plankton Counter (LOPC) and a fluorometer to make an autonomous biological profiler, the SOLOPC. The instrument senses plankton and other particles over a size range of 100 mm to 1 cm in profiles to 300 m in depth and sends data ashore via satellite. Objects sensed by the LOPC include aggregates and zooplankton, the larger of which can be distinguished from one another by their transparency. We hypothesized that the diel production of particles and their loss by sinking and grazing are reflected in the change of the particle distribution. We present data from four deployments of the SOLOPC off California. Particle volume was maximal at the base of the surface mixed layer and correlated with chlorophyll a fluorescence. In a 3-d deployment in 2005, particle volume was greatest in the early evening and smallest in the morning, and average particle size increased with depth. Eigenvector analysis of the particle volume distribution as a function of diameter for each of the deployments yielded size peaks characteristic of planktonic crustaceans. Ship-based measurements showed that the abundance of opaque particles of 1.1-1.7 mm equivalent spherical diameter was positively correlated with copepods of this size and simultaneously collected in nets. This relationship was used with SOLOPC data to estimate the distribution of large copepods, which were most abundant beneath the depth of maximal particle flux, estimated from particle size and published sinking rates. Our data are consistent with a model with diel production of particles and their loss by sinking and grazing.

2004
Johnson, CL, Checkley DM.  2004.  Vertical distribution of diapausing Calanus pacificus (Copepoda) and implications for transport in the California undercurrent. Progress in Oceanography. 62:1-13.   10.1016/j.pocean.2004.08.001   AbstractWebsite

Migration to deep water during diapause may contribute to the retention of several dominant oceanic calanoid copepod populations in eastern boundary current systems, where the mean flow of poleward undercurrents is in opposition to mean equatorward surface flow. The vertical distributions of Calanus pacificus late copepodid stages were measured at a 1200-m deep, open-ocean station in the Southern California Bight on 13 dates between April 2000 and March 2001 using a MOCNESS (multiple opening and closing net and environmental sensing system). Copepod vertical distribution was compared to the vertical position of the California Undercurrent. Diapausing C pacificus were primarily found between 300 and 400 m at the beginning of the diapause season, in June and July, and between 250 and 350 at the end of the diapause season, in November and January. Depth distributions were broader from August to October, ranging from about 350 m to the maximum depth sampled, 1100 m, and the median depth of diapausing C pacificus was deeper, up to 800-900 m, during this period. Maximal depths of diapausing C. pacificus, 1100-1000 m, were greater than have previously been reported. The mean depth of the California Undercurrent was 250 m, and its approximate depth range was 110-430 m. Diapausing C pacificus CV were abundant in the California Undercurrent at the beginning and end of the diapause season, in June to July and late-November to January, suggesting that poleward transport of diapausing copepods in the California Undercurrent contributes to C pacificus Population retention in the California Current System. (C) 2004 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.