incident on the surf ace of lakes or oceanic areas is absorbed by the water itself or by detritus and that only a very small part can be utilized by plants or animals. We conclude that aquatic organisms are existing under very unfavorable circumstances in regard to the utilization of solar energy. It is for this reason that the intensity, amount, and composition of the light are so frequently found to be limiting or highly significant factors in the aquatic environment. Attack on the unsolved problems outlined above is therefore urgent, and the extension of our present observations into other bodies of water and particularly over longer periods of time is of the greatest importance.


The amount and nature of daylight in natural waters depends upon the surface loss, the selective absorption of the water itself, and the selective action of particulate and dissolved material. Further changes in the illumination result from differences in transparency with depth and with the season, differences in the length of day, and differences in the angular distribution of the light.

The biological significance of ultraviolet in natural waters is in doubt, but the visible component of light is important in the regulation of the activity of many animals, in the vision of fish, and especially in the photosynthesis of the plants. Since the utilization of light is very low even under the most favorable circumstances, it is understandable that light is so frequently a limiting, factor in the aquatic environment.


ATKINS W. R. G. and POOLE H. H. 1933. The Photo-electric Measurement of the Penetration of Light of Various Wave-Lengths into the Sea and the Physiological Bearing of the Results. Phil. Trans. Boy. Soc. London, Ser. B, 222: 129.

BIRGE E. A. and JUDAY C. 1929-32. Solar Radiation and Inland Lakes. Trans. Wis. Acad. Sci. 1st Report, 24, 509, 1929; 2nd Report, 25, 285, 1930; 3rd Report, 26, 383, 1931; 4th Report, 27, 523, 1932.

BIRGE E. A. and JAMES H. R. 1939. Trans. Wis. Acad. Sci. (In preparation.)

CLARKE G. L. 1933. Observations on the Penetration of Daylight into Mid-Atlantic and Coastal Waters. Biol. Bull., 65: 2, p. 317.

-----. 1934. "Factors Affecting the Vertical Distribution of Copepods". Ecological Monographs, 4: 530.

-----. 1934. "Further Observations on the Diurnal Migration of Copepods in the Gulf of Maine". Biol. Bull., 67: 432.

-----. 1936a. Light Penetration in the Western North Atlantic and its Applications to Biological Problems. Rapports et Proces-Verbaux. Con. Perm. Intern. Exp. Mer., 101 (pt. 2): 3.

-----. 1936b. "On the Depth at Which Fish Can See". Ecology, 17: 452.

-----. 1938a. "Seasonal Changes in the Intensity of Submarine Illumination off Woods Hole". Ecology, 19: 89.

-----. 1938b. "Light Penetration in the Caribbean Sea and in the Gulf of Mexico". J. Marine Res., 1: 85.

-----. 1939. "Variation in the Transparency of Three Areas of the Atlantic Throughout the Year". Ecology. (In press.)

CLARKE G. L. and JAMES H. R. 1939. "Laboratory Analysis of the Selective Absorption of Light by Sea Water". J. Opt. Soc. Am., 29: 43.

DARBY H. M. and CLARKE H. T. 1937. "The Plant Origin of a Vitamin D". Science, 85: 318.

DARBY H. H., JOHNSON E. R. F. and BARNES G. W. 1937. Studies on the Absorption and Scattering of Solar Radiation by the Sea. Spectrographic and Photoelectric Measurements. Carnegie Inst. Wash. Publication475, 191.

DAWSON L. H. and HULBURT E. O. 1934. "The Absorption of Ultraviolet and Visible Light by Water". J. Opt. Soc. Am., 24: 175.

ERIKSON H. A. 1933. "Light Intensity at Different Depths in Lake Water". J. Opt. Soc. Am., 23, 170.

HASLER A. D. 1938. "Fish Biology and Limnology of Crater Lake, Oregon". J. Wildlife Management, 2: 94.

HULBURT E. O. 1928. "The Penetration of Ultraviolet Light into Pure Water and Sea Water". J. Opt. Soc. Am. and Rev. Sci. Inst., 17: 15.

JAMES H. R. and BIRGE E. A. 1938. "A Laboratory Study of the Absorption of Light by Lake Waters". Trans. Wis. Acad. Sci., 31: 1.

JENKIN P. M. 1937. Oxygen Production by the Diatom Coscinodiscus excentricus Ehr in Relation to Submarine Illumination in the English Channel. J. Mar. Biol. Ass., 22: 301.

JOHNSON N. G., and LILJEQUIST G. 1938. "On the Angular Distribution of Submarine Daylight and on the Total Submarine Illumination." Svenska Hydrografisk-Biologiska Kommissionens Skrifter Ny serie, Hydrografi, 14: 3.

JOHNSON W. H. 1938. "The Effect of Light on the Vertical Movements of Acartia clausi (Giesbrecht)". Biol. Bull., 75: 106.

JUDAY C. 1934. "The Depth Distribution of Some Aquatic Plants". Ecology, 15: 325.

KIKUCHI K. 1938. Studies on the Vertical Dis-


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