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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle

Chemical Signaling in the Turbulent Ocean—Hide and Seek at the Kolmogorov Scale

1
Department of Marine Sciences, University of Gothenburg, Carl Skottsbergs g 22B, SE 413 19 Gothenburg, Sweden
2
Department of Research and Development, Swedish Meteorological and Hydrological Institute, Sven Källfelts Gata 15, SE 426 71 Västra Frölunda, Sweden
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Fluids 2020, 5(2), 54; https://doi.org/10.3390/fluids5020054
Received: 4 March 2020 / Revised: 10 April 2020 / Accepted: 13 April 2020 / Published: 21 April 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Fluid Mechanics of Plankton)
Chemical cues and signals mediate resource acquisition, mate finding, and the assessment of predation risk in marine plankton. Here, we use the chemical properties of the first identified chemical cues from zooplankton together with in situ measurements of turbulent dissipation rates to calculate the effect of turbulence on the distribution of cues behind swimmers as well as steady state background concentrations in surrounding water. We further show that common zooplankton (copepods) appears to optimize mate finding by aggregating at the surface in calm conditions when turbulence do not prevent trail following. This near surface environment is characterized by anisotropic turbulence and we show, using direct numerical simulations, that chemical cues distribute more in the horizontal plane than vertically in these conditions. Zooplankton may consequently benefit from adopting specific search strategies near the surface as well as in strong stratification where similar flow fields develop. Steady state concentrations, where exudation is balanced by degradation develops in a time scale of ~5 h. We conclude that the trails behind millimeter-sized copepods can be detected in naturally occurring turbulence below the wind mixed surface layer or in the absence of strong wind. The trails, however, shorten dramatically at high turbulent dissipation rates, above ~10−3 cm2 s−3 (10−7 W kg−1) View Full-Text
Keywords: Kolmogorov; turbulence; copepod; chemosensory; signaling; zooplankton Kolmogorov; turbulence; copepod; chemosensory; signaling; zooplankton
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MDPI and ACS Style

Selander, E.; Fredriksson, S.T.; Arneborg, L. Chemical Signaling in the Turbulent Ocean—Hide and Seek at the Kolmogorov Scale. Fluids 2020, 5, 54.

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