Diel Vertical Migration:
Diel Vertical Migration (DVM), a synchronized movement observed in deep-sea marine animals, particularly zooplankton, where they swim up to the ocean’s surface at night and return to deeper waters during the day.
- This migration serves as a survival strategy, allowing them to feed on phytoplankton in the safer darkness while avoiding daytime predators.
- DVM is a crucial player in the Earth’s carbon cycle.
- Animals in the mesopelagic i.e middle water between 200m to 1000m layer actively remove carbon from the upper ocean as they consume surface-dwelling plankton.
- When these organisms return to deeper waters, they transport the carbon with them.
- DVM is the largest daily migration on the planet by biomass, occurring in all oceans.
- DVM contributes to carbon sequestration, as migratory animals become part of the food chain in the twilight zone, passing on carbon to their predators.
- The carbon-rich waste produced by these predators eventually sinks to the ocean floor