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).
To view the complete study in the journal Marine Biology, contact Leslie Taylor, School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences (SoMAS) Stony Brook University, firstname.lastname@example.org, 631.632.8621.
Leslie Taylor | Newswise Science News
Smart Data Transformation – Surfing the Big Wave
02.12.2016 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Angewandte Informationstechnik FIT
Climate change could outpace EPA Lake Champlain protections
18.11.2016 | University of Vermont
In recent years, lasers with ultrashort pulses (USP) down to the femtosecond range have become established on an industrial scale. They could advance some applications with the much-lauded “cold ablation” – if that meant they would then achieve more throughput. A new generation of process engineering that will address this issue in particular will be discussed at the “4th UKP Workshop – Ultrafast Laser Technology” in April 2017.
Even back in the 1990s, scientists were comparing materials processing with nanosecond, picosecond and femtosesecond pulses. The result was surprising:...
Have you ever wondered how you see the world? Vision is about photons of light, which are packets of energy, interacting with the atoms or molecules in what...
A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.
Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...
In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.
“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...
The Max Planck Institute for Physics (MPP) is opening up a new research field. A workshop from November 21 - 22, 2016 will mark the start of activities for an innovative axion experiment. Axions are still only purely hypothetical particles. Their detection could solve two fundamental problems in particle physics: What dark matter consists of and why it has not yet been possible to directly observe a CP violation for the strong interaction.
The “MADMAX” project is the MPP’s commitment to axion research. Axions are so far only a theoretical prediction and are difficult to detect: on the one hand,...
16.11.2016 | Event News
01.11.2016 | Event News
14.10.2016 | Event News
07.12.2016 | Health and Medicine
07.12.2016 | Life Sciences
07.12.2016 | Health and Medicine