|Seasonality in the deep sea|
Tyler, P.A. (1988). Seasonality in the deep sea. Oceanogr. Mar. Biol. Ann. Rev. 26: 227-258
In: Oceanography and Marine Biology: An Annual Review. Aberdeen University Press/Allen & Unwin: London. ISSN 0078-3218, more
Deep water; Seasonality; Marine
The basic tenet of studies of the deep sea is that there is continuity and lack of variation in the physico-chemical environment and deep-sea physiological processes. This review examines recent evidence from both isolated and time-series studies, that suggests that there is a predictable annual periodicity in deep-sea processes. These observations include variation in physical processes such as eddy kinetic energy and in the seasonal variation in the vertical flux of organic material and its associated chemistry and ecology. In ecological processes seasonal variation is found in sediment community oxygen consumption and in the growth rate and reproductive biology of a variety of deep-sea benthic animals. A hypothesis is developed which links the sinking of organic material from surface primary production and the processes occurring at the deep-sea floor. If this hypothesis is accepted why do a limited number of deep-sea species apparently derive particular benefit from this vertical flux when the majority show no apparent relationship to it in their physiological processes?