Mercier, A.; Sun, Z.; Baillon, S.; Hamel, J.-F. (2011). Lunar Rhythms in the Deep Sea: Evidence from the Reproductive Periodicity of Several Marine Invertebrates. Journal of Biological Rhythms. 26 (1) 82-86.
While lunar rhythms are commonly documented in plants and animals living in terrestrial and shallow-water environments, deep-sea organisms have essentially been overlooked in that respect. This report describes evidence of lunar periodicity in the reproduction of 6 deep-sea species belonging to 2 phyla. Occurrences of gamete release in free spawners and larval release in brooders exhibited significant peaks around the new and full moons, respectively. The exact nature of this lunar period (endogenous or exogenous rhythm) and its adaptive significance in the deep sea remain elusive. Current knowledge suggests that proxies of moon phases at depth may include fluxes in particulate matter deposition, cyclic currents, and moonlight for species living in the disphotic zone.