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Diel Vertical Migration (DVM) and its Role in Carbon Sequestration

Why is it in the news?

  • Recent attention to Diel Vertical Migration (DVM) is attributed to its significant role in carbon sequestration.

About Diel Vertical Migration (DVM)

  • DVM involves the coordinated daily movement of marine organisms, especially zooplankton, between the ocean’s surface and deeper layers.
  • At sunset, deep-sea organisms ascend from the mesopelagic layer (200-1,000 m deep) to the epipelagic layer (surface to 200 m), driven by the need for food.
  • DVM allows deep-sea marine organisms to feed on phytoplankton during the night, avoiding diurnal predators.
  • It stands as the Earth’s most extensive daily biomass migration, occurring daily across all oceans.
  • Serves as a crucial carbon sink by extracting carbon from surface plankton during feeding in the mesopelagic layer.
  • Mesopelagic creatures carry extracted carbon with them when migrating back to deeper oceans.
  • Predators consuming these creatures receive the carbon, and when producing carbon-rich waste, it sinks to the ocean floor, remaining trapped for millennia.

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