Bioluminescence, light produced by a chemical reaction within a living organism, has been found across a broad range of the major groups of organisms from bacteria and protists to zooplankton and fishes. There are many noted functions to bioluminescence including interspecies interaction such as defence (startling a predator away), offense (attracting prey), and intraspecies communication for examples attracting a mate (Haddock et al., 2010). Since zooplankton plays a central role in the marine Arctic ecosystem and many Arctic zooplankton species are bioluminescent, the role of bioluminescence in the interactions between different species in this environment is of special interest.
Behavioural experiments can be used to expose organisms to bioluminescent signals and monitoring their responses. Behavioural experiments involve exposing organisms to bioluminescent signals and monitoring their responses. Such behavioural experiments can also be conducted using artificial light sources in place of bioluminescent organisms, replicating the spectral composition and flash kinetics either by using flash lamps or controlled LEDs (Light Emitting Diodes).
The goal of this project is to conduct behavioural experiments on selected key zooplankton organisms collected in the arctic to determine their behavioural response and sensitivity when exposed to different bioluminescent signals.