Significant avoidance of acoustically detected zooplankton was observed in response to a profiling instrument package. Avoidance decreased acoustic scattering from zooplankton averaged over the entire profile by more than a factor of 2, while the maximum avoidance decreased zooplankton acoustic scattering by a factor of 15 over the depth of some discrete scattering layers. Experimental manipulation of the profiler and its instruments revealed that an open-path fluorometer was triggering the avoidance. Avoidance occurred at an average of 8 m below the profiler with a range between 2 and 13 m. Effect range was positively correlated with the average attenuation coefficient of light over the effect range and consistently resulted in avoidance when light levels of approximately 0.013 µmol photons m−2 s−1 were received by the zooplankton. These results have important implications for the analysis of zooplankton data collected from platforms carrying open-path fluorometers and may also warrant careful interpretation of optical measurements from these packages.



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This is a pre-copy-editing, author-produced PDF of an article accepted for publication in Journal of Plankton Research following peer review.

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