pelagic zone

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Related to pelagic zone: Benthic zone

pelagic zone:

see oceanocean,
interconnected mass of saltwater covering 70.78% of the surface of the earth, often called the world ocean. It is subdivided into four (or five) major units that are separated from each other in most cases by the continental masses. See also oceanography.
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Pelagic Zone


that part of a lake, sea, or ocean that is the habitat of pelagic organisms—plankton, necton, and pleuston. The pelagic zone is opposed to the benthic zone, that is, the bottom of the body of water, which is inhabited by benthos.

In oceans and seas, the pelagic zone is divided horizontally into two regions: the neritic (water above the shelf) and the oceanic (all the remaining water). Vertically the zone is divided, usually depending on the degree of illumination, into three regions: the euphotic (well illuminated), the dysphotic (feebly illuminated), and the aphotic (lightless). The zone is also broken down according to the distribution of life into the epipelagic, mesopelagic, and deep-water regions. In freshwaters, the pelagic zone is divided horizontally into two regions: the shore region (the water near the shore) and the pelagic region proper (all the remaining water). Vertically three regions are distinguished according to the rate of temperature drop: the epilimnion, the metalimnion, and the hypolimnion.

References in periodicals archive ?
Related species as Scomberomorus cavalla and Scomberomorus regalis from the western coast of India fed on fish of the families Carangidae (Caranx) and Engraulidae (Harengula), prey species inhabiting the coastal pelagic zone (Randall 1967).
The study aims at describing the use of the pelagic zone by adult Greenland halibut in the Northeast Arctic, both in terms of temporal variability and through parameters such as size, sex, and maturity.
lack of data on heterotrophic nanoflagellates) to explain all details of the microbial food web in the pelagic zone, or the possible functional coupling between the abundant picocyanobacteria and the large fish biomass.
The intent of our study was to identify the characteristics of that portion of the shark populations that use the pelagic zone (>200 m), although due to the free-floating nature of pelagic longline gear some of the effort observed might have come from water as shallow as 100 m.
Most of the individuals larger than 60 mm TL collected from May to November in the pelagic zone were collected with a mid-water trawl.