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Diel Vertical Migration

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