The Pelagic In situ Observation System (PELAGIOS) to reveal biodiversity, behavior, and ecology of elusive oceanic fauna

Hoving, Henk-Jan; Christiansen, Svenja; Fabrizius, Eduard; Hauss, Helena; Kiko, Rainer; Linke, Peter; Neitzel, Philipp; Piatkowski, Uwe; Körtzinger, Arne

There is a need for cost-efficient tools to explore deep-ocean ecosystems to collect baseline biological observations on pelagic fauna (zooplankton and nekton) and establish the vertical ecological zonation in the deep sea. The Pelagic In situ Observation System (PELAGIOS) is a 3000 m rated slowly (0.5 m s−1) towed camera system with LED illumination, an integrated oceanographic sensor set (CTD-O2) and telemetry allowing for online data acquisition and video inspection (low definition). The high-definition video is stored on the camera and later annotated using software and related to concomitantly recorded environmental data. The PELAGIOS is particularly suitable for open-ocean observations of gelatinous fauna, which is notoriously under-sampled by nets and/or destroyed by fixatives. In addition to counts, diversity, and distribution data as a function of depth and environmental conditions (T, S, O2), in situ observations of behavior, orientation, and species interactions are collected. Here, we present an overview of the technical setup of the PELAGIOS as well as example observations and analyses from the eastern tropical North Atlantic. Comparisons to data from the Multiple Opening/Closing Net and Environmental Sensing System (MOCNESS) net sampling and data from the Underwater Vision Profiler (UVP) are provided and discussed.

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Hoving, Henk-Jan / Christiansen, Svenja / Fabrizius, Eduard / et al: The Pelagic In situ Observation System (PELAGIOS) to reveal biodiversity, behavior, and ecology of elusive oceanic fauna. 2019. Copernicus Publications.

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Rechteinhaber: Henk-Jan Hoving et al.

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