Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Foraging Behavior of Key Antarctic Predators Unchanged After Storms That Alter Prey Distribution

11.02.2009
Chinstrap penguins and fur seals showed persistent preferences for particular foraging areas even after a storm reduced the availability of food of choice in those areas, according to a study by Dr. Joseph Warren, Assistant Professor in the School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences at Stony Brook University and colleagues, published in the January issue of Marine Biology.

Entitled, “Submesoscale distribution of Antarctic krill and its avian and pinniped predators before and after a near gale,” the team’s research shows that the spatial distribution of fur seals and foraging chinstrap penguins did not change after a near gale, despite substantial changes in the abundance and distribution of their prey, Antarctic krill.

“In order to better understand how energy moves through an ecosystem, we need to have a better understanding of how predator-prey interactions are affected by environmental conditions,” said Dr. Warren. “The storm that occurred between our two ship-based surveys created a perfect ‘natural experiment’ which allowed us to take ‘before’ and ‘after’ measurements and examine how the nearshore ecosystem north of Livingston Island Antarctica was affected by the winds and waves.”

Antarctic krill are 1-2 inches long crustaceans that play a critically important role in the ecosystem because so many other animals rely on krill as their primary food source. Dr. Warren and colleagues found that the storm reduced the concentration of krill in their study area to roughly half what it was before the storm, likely because currents pushed the krill off shore. They also observed that after the storm, krill were found in different geographic areas within the study site.

When Antarctic krill abundance decreased in certain areas after the storm, Dr. Warren and colleagues found that feeding aggregations of cape petrels, which are flying seabirds that eat krill, also decreased in those areas. However, other krill predators did not change their foraging behaviors in response to changes in krill distribution. Chinstrap penguins, which are swimming seabirds, and fur seals, which are marine mammals, both showed little change in their distribution after the storm.

“Relative to cape petrels, penguins and fur seals may not be as dependent on finding prey over small time scales due to their longer foraging-trip length and energy-storage capacity,” said Dr. Warren. “If the changes due to a storm are relatively short-lived, penguins and seals may not need to alter their habits and can stick to their familiar feeding areas.”

This research was funded by the National Science Foundation's Office of Polar Programs and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Antarctic Marine Living Resources program. The study's co-authors are Jarrod A. Santora (City University of New York, now at the Farallon Institute for Advanced Ecosystem Research) and David A. Demer (NOAA, National Marine Fisheries Service, Southwest Fisheries Science Center).

About the School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences at Stony Brook University
The School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences (SoMAS) is the State University of New York's center for marine and atmospheric research, education, and public service. The expertise of SoMAS faculty places them in the forefront in addressing and answering questions about immediate regional problems, as well as long-term problems relating to the global oceans and atmosphere.

To view the complete study in the journal Marine Biology, contact Leslie Taylor, School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences (SoMAS) Stony Brook University, leetaylor@notes.cc.sunysb.edu, 631.632.8621.

Leslie Taylor | Newswise Science News
Further information:
http://www.sunysb.edu

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht New study: How does Europe become a leading player for software and IT services?
03.04.2017 | Fraunhofer-Institut für System- und Innovationsforschung (ISI)

nachricht Reusable carbon nanotubes could be the water filter of the future, says RIT study
30.03.2017 | Rochester Institute of Technology

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Making lightweight construction suitable for series production

More and more automobile companies are focusing on body parts made of carbon fiber reinforced plastics (CFRP). However, manufacturing and repair costs must be further reduced in order to make CFRP more economical in use. Together with the Volkswagen AG and five other partners in the project HolQueSt 3D, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) has developed laser processes for the automatic trimming, drilling and repair of three-dimensional components.

Automated manufacturing processes are the basis for ultimately establishing the series production of CFRP components. In the project HolQueSt 3D, the LZH has...

Im Focus: Wonder material? Novel nanotube structure strengthens thin films for flexible electronics

Reflecting the structure of composites found in nature and the ancient world, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have synthesized thin carbon nanotube (CNT) textiles that exhibit both high electrical conductivity and a level of toughness that is about fifty times higher than copper films, currently used in electronics.

"The structural robustness of thin metal films has significant importance for the reliable operation of smart skin and flexible electronics including...

Im Focus: Deep inside Galaxy M87

The nearby, giant radio galaxy M87 hosts a supermassive black hole (BH) and is well-known for its bright jet dominating the spectrum over ten orders of magnitude in frequency. Due to its proximity, jet prominence, and the large black hole mass, M87 is the best laboratory for investigating the formation, acceleration, and collimation of relativistic jets. A research team led by Silke Britzen from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, Germany, has found strong indication for turbulent processes connecting the accretion disk and the jet of that galaxy providing insights into the longstanding problem of the origin of astrophysical jets.

Supermassive black holes form some of the most enigmatic phenomena in astrophysics. Their enormous energy output is supposed to be generated by the...

Im Focus: A Quantum Low Pass for Photons

Physicists in Garching observe novel quantum effect that limits the number of emitted photons.

The probability to find a certain number of photons inside a laser pulse usually corresponds to a classical distribution of independent events, the so-called...

Im Focus: Microprocessors based on a layer of just three atoms

Microprocessors based on atomically thin materials hold the promise of the evolution of traditional processors as well as new applications in the field of flexible electronics. Now, a TU Wien research team led by Thomas Müller has made a breakthrough in this field as part of an ongoing research project.

Two-dimensional materials, or 2D materials for short, are extremely versatile, although – or often more precisely because – they are made up of just one or a...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Fighting drug resistant tuberculosis – InfectoGnostics meets MYCO-NET² partners in Peru

28.04.2017 | Event News

Expert meeting “Health Business Connect” will connect international medical technology companies

20.04.2017 | Event News

Wenn der Computer das Gehirn austrickst

18.04.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Wireless power can drive tiny electronic devices in the GI tract

28.04.2017 | Medical Engineering

Ice cave in Transylvania yields window into region's past

28.04.2017 | Earth Sciences

Nose2Brain – Better Therapy for Multiple Sclerosis

28.04.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>