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The winter pack-ice zone provides a sheltered but food-poor habitat for larval Antarctic krill

Meyer, B, Freier, U, Grimm, V, Groeneveld, J, Hunt, BPV, Kerwath, S, King, R, Klaas, C, Pakhomov, E, Meiners, KM, Melbourne-Thomas, J, Murphy, EJ, Thorpe, SE, Stammerjohn, S, Wolf-Gladrow, D, Auerswald, L, Gotz, A, Halbach, L, Jarman, S, Kawaguchi, S, Krumpen, T, Nehrke, G, Ricker, R, Sumner, M, Teschke, M, Trebilco, R ORCID: 0000-0001-9712-8016 and Yilmaz, NI 2017 , 'The winter pack-ice zone provides a sheltered but food-poor habitat for larval Antarctic krill' , Nature Ecology and Evolution, vol. 1 , pp. 1853-1861 , doi: 10.1038/s41559-017-0368-3.

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Abstract

A dominant Antarctic ecological paradigm suggests that winter sea ice is generally the main feeding ground for krill larvae. Observations from our winter cruise to the southwest Atlantic sector of the Southern Ocean contradict this view and present the first evidence that the pack-ice zone is a food-poor habitat for larval development. In contrast, the more open marginal ice zone provides a more favourable food environment for high larval krill growth rates. We found that complex under-ice habitats are, however, vital for larval krill when water column productivity is limited by light, by providing structures that offer protection from predators and to collect organic material released from the ice. The larvae feed on this sparse ice-associated food during the day. After sunset, they migrate into the water below the ice (upper 20 m) and drift away from the ice areas where they have previously fed. Model analyses indicate that this behaviour increases both food uptake in a patchy food environment and the likelihood of overwinter transport to areas where feeding conditions are more favourable in spring.

Item Type: Article
Authors/Creators:Meyer, B and Freier, U and Grimm, V and Groeneveld, J and Hunt, BPV and Kerwath, S and King, R and Klaas, C and Pakhomov, E and Meiners, KM and Melbourne-Thomas, J and Murphy, EJ and Thorpe, SE and Stammerjohn, S and Wolf-Gladrow, D and Auerswald, L and Gotz, A and Halbach, L and Jarman, S and Kawaguchi, S and Krumpen, T and Nehrke, G and Ricker, R and Sumner, M and Teschke, M and Trebilco, R and Yilmaz, NI
Keywords: krill, ecosystem based management, ecosystem modelling, life history, habitat structural complexity, sea ice, under-ice habitat
Journal or Publication Title: Nature Ecology and Evolution
Publisher: Nature Publishing Group
ISSN: 2397-334X
DOI / ID Number: 10.1038/s41559-017-0368-3
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© 2017 Macmillan Publishers Limited, part of Springer Nature. All rights reserved.

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