Coral Reefs

, Volume 37, Issue 4, pp 1013–1025 | Cite as

Zooplankton drive diurnal changes in oxygen concentration at Tisler cold-water coral reef

  • Damien GuihenEmail author
  • Martin White
  • Tomas Lundälv


Tisler Reef is a Norwegian cold-water coral reef in the Northeastern Skagerrak, which lies at an average depth of 120 m, is constructed principally of the scleractinian coral Lophelia pertusa and hosts a dynamic and diverse ecosystem. The availability of oxygen within Tisler Reef, recorded between 2006 and 2008, showed a decline during the summer months, caused by both the isolation of the reef from the atmosphere under conditions of seasonal stratification, and the enhanced respiration in the water column during the seasonal zooplankton proliferations. Concentrations of dissolved oxygen were replenished from high-current flows advecting water from off the reef. Low current flow conditions (< 0.05 m s−1) coincided with a short-term reduction in oxygen, the extent of which varied seasonally and were observed to be greatest during July and August, coinciding with the summer Calanus proliferation in the Skagerrak. Normalized acoustic backscatter amplitude during the summer months showed a strong signal of zooplankton diurnal vertical migration, coinciding with the lowest oxygen concentrations at the reef observed during, and lagging slightly after, the deep phase of the zooplankton vertical migration. This effect was most obvious during low-flow conditions; highlighting the importance of zooplankton and associated activity as a consumer of oxygen at the reef.


Cold-water coral Oxygen Zooplankton Replenishment Respiration 



The authors wish to thank the staff of the Sven Lovén Centre for Marine Sciences, Tjärnö, Univeristy of Göteborg. This research has received funding from the European Community’s Seventh Framework Programme (FP7/2007-2013) under the HERMIONE project, grant agreement No 226354, and by the HERMES project, EC contract GOCE-CT-2005-511234). This research was supported under Australian Research Council’s Special Research Initiative for Antarctic Gateway Partnership (Project ID SR140300001).

Compliance with ethical standard

Conflict of interest

On behalf of all authors, the corresponding author states that there is no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of TasmaniaLauncestonAustralia
  2. 2.National University of IrelandGalwayRepublic of Ireland
  3. 3.The Swedish Institute for the Marine EnvironmentUniversity of GothenburgGothenburgSweden

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