Collaborative Research: Seasonal Trophic Roles of Euphausia Superba (STRES)
Krill, Euphausia superba, is a keystone species in the Antarctic ecosystem and provides the trophic link between microscopic plankton and charismatic megafauna such as penguins and whales. Recent evidence suggests krill may not be exclusively planktonivorous, which introduces the potential of new pathways of carbon flux through krill based ecosystems. A change in our view of krill from one of being herbivores to omnivores opens up several questions.
Climate induced change in the extent, thickness and duration of overlying sea ice coverage is expected to change the prey fields available to krill, and to have subsequent effects on the suite of predators supported by krill. The nature of this benthic prey?krill link, which may be crucial in those parts of the seasonal cycle other than the well studied spring bloom, is yet to be determined. DNA techniques will be used to identify and quantify the prey organisms.
This project will measure the in situ feeding ecology and behavior of krill and, ultimately, the success of this key species. An overall goal is
to investigate seasonal changes in Euphausia superba in-situ feeding and swimming behavior in the Wilhelmina Bay region of the Western Antarctic Peninsula (WAP) area, known to be a region of changing climate. Understanding the biological impacts of climate change is important to societal and economic goals. The project scientists will additionally team with a marine and environmental reporting group to design presentations for an annual journalist meeting.
Data Management Plan
None in the Database