Foraging Ecology of Crabeater Seals (Lobodon Carcinophagus)
The U.S. Global Ocean Ecosystems Dynamics (U.S. GLOBEC) program has the goal of understanding and ultimately predicting how populations of marine animal species respond to natural and anthropogenic changes in climate. Research in the Southern Ocean (SO) indicates strong coupling between climatic processes and ecosystem dynamics via the annual formation and destruction of sea ice. The Southern Ocean GLOBEC Program (SO GLOBEC) will investigate the dynamic relationship between physical processes and ecosystem responses through identification of critical parameters that affect the distribution, abundance and population dynamics of target species. The overall goals of the SO GLOBEC program are to elucidate shelf circulation processes and their effect on sea ice formation and krill distribution, and to examine the factors which govern krill survivorship and availability to higher trophic levels, including penguins, seals and whales. The focus of the U.S. contribution to the international SO GLOBEC program will be on winter processes. This component will focus on the distribution and foraging behavior of adult female crabeater seals, using a combination of satellite-linked tracking, specialized diver recorders, and stable isotopic tracers. This research will be coordinated with components focused on prey (krill) distribution and the physical environment. The results will be analyzed using an optimality model. The result of the integrated SO GLOBEC program will be to improve the predictability of living marine resources, especially with respect to local and global climatic shifts.
Data Management Plan
None in the Database
1 (processed data)
Platforms and Instruments
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