Aspects of sensory cues and propulsion in marine zooplankton hydrodynamic disturbances
Catton, Kimberly Bernadine
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The hydrodynamic disturbances generated by two types of free-swimming, marine zooplankton were quantified experimentally in the laboratory with a novel, infrared Particle Image Velocimetry (PIV) system. The study consisted of three main parts: (1) the flow fields of free-swimming and tethered Euchaeta antarctica were compared to determine the effects of tethering, (2) three species of copepods (Euchaeta rimana, Euchaeta elongata, and Euchaeta antarctica) that live in seawater in a range of temperatures (23 ºC - 0 ºC) and a corresponding range of fluid viscosity (0.97 - 1.88 mm2 s-1) were analyzed experimentally and with a computational fluid dynamics model (FLUENT) to assess the effect of size and fluid viscosity on the flow fields, (3) the flow fields were collected for individuals of two species of euphausiids (Euphausia pacifica and Euphausia superba) to compare the effect of size and Reynolds number on propulsion and the spatial extent of the flow disturbance. In addition to the measured flow fields around solitary krill, flow fields were collected around small, coordinated groups of E. superba to examine group sensory cues through hydrodynamics. In the first part of this investigation, it was determined that tethering zooplankton during data collection resulted in flow fields with increased asymmetry and larger spatial extent due to the unbalanced force applied to the fluid by the tether. In response to these findings, only flow fields collected for free-swimming organisms were used in the subsequent studies. In the second part of the study, the increase in viscosity between subtropical and temperate fluid environments in conjunction with increased size and species-specific swimming speeds resulted in similar Reynolds numbers among E. elongata and E. rimana (in both cruising and escaping modes). During cruising (Re ~10), the spatial extent of the copepod hydrodynamic disturbances and propulsion costs were similar between species. In the case of fluid distrubances of escape (Re ~ 100), the spatial extent and energetic cost were larger for the larger species ( E. elongata). In the third part of the study, the hydrodynamic disturbance produced by E. superba (larger krill species) was found to be longer in horizontal spatial extent and at scales more appropriate for communication within schools than the hydrodynamic disturbance produced by E. pacifica. However, the sensory cue in coordinated groups of krill was complicated by the interaction of multiple flow disturbance fields, which suggests that hydrodynamic cues between krill in groups are restricted to small distances. The energetic cost of propulsion was ten times greater for the larger species of krill, and energetic expenditure did not appear to decrease for krill swimming in coordinated groups.