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Adult antarctic krill feeding at abyssal depths

Adult antarctic krill feeding at abyssal depths
Adult antarctic krill feeding at abyssal depths
Antarctic krill (Euphausia superba) is a large euphausiid, widely distributed within the Southern Ocean [1], and a key species in the Antarctic food web [2]. The Discovery Investigations in the early 20th century, coupled with subsequent work with both nets and echosounders, indicated that the bulk of the population of postlarval krill is typically confined to the top 150 m of the water column [1], [3] and [4]. Here, we report for the first time the existence of significant numbers of Antarctic krill feeding actively at abyssal depths in the Southern Ocean. Biological observations from the deep-water remotely operated vehicle Isis in the austral summer of 2006/07 have revealed the presence of adult krill (Euphausia superba Dana), including gravid females, at unprecedented depths in Marguerite Bay, western Antarctic Peninsula. Adult krill were found close to the seabed at all depths but were absent from fjords close inshore. At all locations where krill were detected they were seen to be actively feeding, and at many locations there were exuviae (cast molts). These observations revise significantly our understanding of the depth distribution and ecology of Antarctic krill, a central organism in the Southern Ocean ecosystem.

0960-9822
282-285
Clarke, Andrew
b54fba97-b95a-4a17-86d6-c2bb0f1d10e3
Tyler, Paul A.
d1965388-38cc-4c1d-9217-d59dba4dd7f8
Clarke, Andrew
b54fba97-b95a-4a17-86d6-c2bb0f1d10e3
Tyler, Paul A.
d1965388-38cc-4c1d-9217-d59dba4dd7f8

Clarke, Andrew and Tyler, Paul A. (2008) Adult antarctic krill feeding at abyssal depths. Current Biology, 18 (4), 282-285. (doi:10.1016/j.cub.2008.01.059).

Record type: Article

Abstract

Antarctic krill (Euphausia superba) is a large euphausiid, widely distributed within the Southern Ocean [1], and a key species in the Antarctic food web [2]. The Discovery Investigations in the early 20th century, coupled with subsequent work with both nets and echosounders, indicated that the bulk of the population of postlarval krill is typically confined to the top 150 m of the water column [1], [3] and [4]. Here, we report for the first time the existence of significant numbers of Antarctic krill feeding actively at abyssal depths in the Southern Ocean. Biological observations from the deep-water remotely operated vehicle Isis in the austral summer of 2006/07 have revealed the presence of adult krill (Euphausia superba Dana), including gravid females, at unprecedented depths in Marguerite Bay, western Antarctic Peninsula. Adult krill were found close to the seabed at all depths but were absent from fjords close inshore. At all locations where krill were detected they were seen to be actively feeding, and at many locations there were exuviae (cast molts). These observations revise significantly our understanding of the depth distribution and ecology of Antarctic krill, a central organism in the Southern Ocean ecosystem.

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More information

Published date: 26 February 2008
Organisations: Ocean and Earth Science

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 63920
URI: https://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/63920
ISSN: 0960-9822
PURE UUID: 3c99fa9b-c709-4751-b03a-4d0c3cf3217b

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Date deposited: 18 Nov 2008
Last modified: 13 Mar 2019 20:23

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Author: Andrew Clarke
Author: Paul A. Tyler

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