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Ocean Science An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Research article 10 Dec 2018

Research article | 10 Dec 2018

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This discussion paper is a preprint. It is a manuscript under review for the journal Ocean Science (OS).

The Pelagic In situ Observation System (PELAGIOS) to reveal biodiversity, behavior and ecology of elusive oceanic fauna

Henk-Jan Hoving1, Svenja Christiansen2, Eduard Fabrizius1, Helena Hauss1, Rainer Kiko1, Peter Linke1, Philipp Neitzel1, Uwe Piatkowski1, and Arne Körtzinger1,3 Henk-Jan Hoving et al.
  • 1GEOMAR, Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research Kiel, Düsternbrooker Weg 20, 24105 Kiel, Germany
  • 2University of Oslo, Blindernveien 31, 0371 Oslo, Norway
  • 3Christian Albrecht University Kiel, Christian-Albrechts-Platz 4, 24118 Kiel, Germany

Abstract. There is a need for cost-efficient tools to explore deep ocean ecosystems to collect baseline biological observations on pelagic fauna (zooplankton and nekton) and establish the vertical ecological zonation in the deep sea. The Pelagic In situ Observation System (PELAGIOS) is a 3000m-rated slowly (0.5m/s) towed camera system with LED illumination, an integrated oceanographic sensor set (CTD-O2) and telemetry allowing for online data acquisition and video inspection (Low Definition). The High Definition video is stored on the camera and later annotated using the VARS annotation software and related to concomitantly recorded environmental data. The PELAGIOS is particularly suitable for open ocean observations of gelatinous fauna, which is notoriously undersampled by nets and/or destroyed by fixatives. In addition to counts, diversity and distribution data as a function of depth and environmental conditions (T, S, O2), in situ observations of behavior, orientation and species interactions are collected. Here we present an overview of the technical setup of the PELAGIOS as well as example observations and analyses from the eastern tropical North Atlantic. Comparisons to MOCNESS net sampling and data from the Underwater Vision Profiler are provided and discussed.

Henk-Jan Hoving et al.
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Henk-Jan Hoving et al.
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Short summary
The pelagic in situ observation system (PELAGIOS) is a new towed observation system with HD video camera and environmental sensors. It is used for pelagic video transects down to 3000 m. The system enables the visualization and exploration of pelagic organisms (> 1 cm), in particular delicate gelatinous fauna, that cannot be captured by nets. The video and hydrographic data gives insight in the biodiversity, abundance and distribution of oceanic pelagic organisms, from the surface to the deep sea.
The pelagic in situ observation system (PELAGIOS) is a new towed observation system with HD...