Can small zooplankton mix lakes?

Stefano Simoncelli, Stephen J. Thackeray, Danielle J. Wain

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Citations (SciVal)


The idea that living organisms may contribute to turbulence and mixing in lakes and oceans (biomixing) dates to the 1960s, but has attracted increasing attention in recent years. Recent modeling and experimental studies suggest that marine organisms can enhance turbulence as much as winds and tides in oceans, with an impact on mixing. However, other studies show opposite and contradictory results, precluding definitive conclusions regarding the potential importance of biomixing. For lakes, only models and lab studies are available. These generally indicate that small zooplankton or passive bodies generate turbulence but different levels of mixing depending on their abundance. Nevertheless, biogenic mixing is a complex problem, which needs to be explored in the field, to overcome limitations arising from numerical models and lab studies, and without altering the behavior of the animals under study.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)167–176
JournalLimnology and Oceanography Letters
Issue number5
Early online date20 Sept 2017
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2017


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