Identification of small-scale structure of plankton communities of the Black and Ionian Seas by their bioluminescence characteristics

Yu N. Tokarev, R. Williams, S. A. Piontkovski

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

5 Citations (Scopus)


Small-scale heterogeneity of bioluminescence intensity was studied in offshore regions of the Black and Ionian Seas in September/October, 1989. Bathyphotometric casts were deployed every 3 min over a period of several hours from a drifting vessel. Casts were accompanied by temperature profiles and zooplankton sampling. Taking into account the vessel drift, the sampling interval was equal to a spatial resolution from 15 to 25 m. Measurements were carried out during the day and night periods. From adaptive spectral analysis it was shown that the horizontal dimensions of the bioluminescent heterogeneities were between 75 and 1500 m in the Black Sea and 89-800 m in the Ionian Sea. The horizontal dimensions of the heterogeneities were 85-818 m and 85-500 m for zooplankton biomass and 80-1800 m and 85-600 m for the temperature field in the Black and Ionian Seas, respectively. Therefore, it is assumed that physical and dynamical factors dominate in the formation of small-scale spatial heterogeneity of the studied fields. Biological factors, such as diel vertical migrations, trophic interactions etc. will also contribute to the formation of patches at night.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)163-167
Number of pages5
Publication statusPublished - 1999



  • Bioluminescence
  • Ionian and Black Seas
  • Plankton patches
  • Temperature

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aquatic Science

Cite this