Effects of zooplankton density and diel period on surface-swimming duration of basking sharks
Sims, D.W. and Southall, E.J. and Merrett, D.A. and Sanders, J. (2003) Effects of zooplankton density and diel period on surface-swimming duration of basking sharks. Journal of the Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom, 83 (3). pp. 643-646. ISSN 0025-3154
Full text available as:
The surface-swimming duration of basking sharks (Cetorhinus maximus) was determined in the western English Channel from May to July over a five-year period. Surface duration showed marked variation from 0·17 to 1·45 h over the short time period from late May to mid-June. Stepwise multiple regression was used to identify any relationships between surface-swimming duration and time of day, daily sea surface temperature (SST), and zooplankton density. There was no support for any effects of SST or two measures of zooplankton density (median and maximum densities). However, there were significant relationships for surface duration with time of day and minimum zooplankton density (r2=0·50) indicating basking sharks respond to the abundance of prey and its temporal availability. This suggests that the probability of sighting sharks at the surface will vary depending on the diel period and the surface abundance of zooplankton.
NMBL Staff Only: edit this record