Numerical modelling of dispersal of Ampelisca (Amphipoda Gammaridae) during their diel migration

The aim of this study is to analyse and model the dispersal of Ampelisca, a benthic genus of amphipod crustaceans, in the fine sand community of the Bay of Morlaix (western English Channel), during their nocturnal migration in the water column. Based on sampling of the suprabenthos (in the water column adjacent to the bottom) and surface plankton on 17 June 1994, Dauvin and Zouhiri (1996) studied the vertical distribution of Ampelisca during a spring swarming reproductive period. Statistical modelling techniques and specific numerical models were combined to simulate the effects of tidal currents, wind direction and speed on Ampelisca dispersal. As an illustration to constant pluriannual seasonal pattern, the dispersion of Ampelisca individuals considered as passive particles was studied at two reproductive periods, on a short night (17th-18th June 1994) during a neap tide, and on long night (7th-8th September 1994) during a spring tide. These models are used to investigate whether Ampelisca can be dispersed beyond the fine sand community in the immediate area of their small-scale benthic habitat (only 6 km²) during their diel vertical migration. According to the results, the speed and direction of currents will determine the trajectory of Ampelisca and the degree of dispersal outside their benthic habitat during a nighttime pelagic sortie. These simulations, particularly during spring tides, are incompatible with population stability, as they appear to be excessively dispersive. Short-term dispersal simulations for twenty minutes in the plankton allow the optimal return of individuals to the fine sand benthic habitats. We hypothesize there is an adaptative advantage for Ampelisca over time to short diel migrations. However, we currently do not know whether each individual makes a single migration, or several migrations in the water column during a night.


Diel migrations, Organism dispersal, Numerical modelling, Ampelisca, Bay of Morlaix, English Channel

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Dauvin Jean-Claude, Zarrouki Assia, Boutet Martial, Bennis Anne-Claire (2024). Numerical modelling of dispersal of Ampelisca (Amphipoda Gammaridae) during their diel migration. Ecological Modelling. 493. 110755 (12p.).,

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