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 ?
In the Lake Monte Alegre, Bosmina tubicen is susceptible to predation by chaoborids in the pelagic zone, as it is the favorite prey (Arcifa, 2000), and possibly by mites, what probably caused its virtual disappearance from the lake (Cassano et al.
In conclusion, microcrustaceans did not undergo significant DHM in the Lake Monte Alegre throughout one year, showing an indistinct distribution in the littoral and the pelagic zone or preference for the latter zone.
According reports, it is evident that the diet of species of the genus Scomberomorus is very similar and is directly related to the prey species that inhabit the coastal pelagic zone.
In their youth, sailing through the bottomless blue of the pelagic zone, the fishes of the coral reef take on extraordinary forms.
The poison then spreads through the food web from herbivorous to carnivorous fishes to people, until today most of the tropical oceans are affected both on the reefs and in the pelagic zone.
Meanwhile, the ultraviolet light now pouring in (particularly to the southern hemisphere) through the ozone holes above the planet's poles not only stresses corals enough for them to bleach but also kills phytoplankton and the delicate fish larvae in the pelagic zone.
This is in contrast to a study by Jorgensen (1997), who found that although one- and two-year-old Greenland halibut from West Greenland nursery areas were found in high abundance in pelagic waters, larger fish (>52 cm) were not found in the pelagic zone of the area inhabited by adult fish.
borealis, all important prey species, may also have been encountered in the pelagic zone.
The methods used in our study are not suitable for quantifying pelagic behavior, but both diet composition and vertical activity from archival tags indicate that use of the pelagic zone may be significant.