Interannual spatial variability of krill (Euphausia superba) influences seabird foraging behavior near Elephant Island, Antarctica
Article first published online: 28 JAN 2009
© 2009 The Authors.
Volume 18, Issue 1, pages 20–35, January 2009
How to Cite
SANTORA, J. A., REISS, C. S., COSSIO, A. M. and VEIT, R. R. (2009), Interannual spatial variability of krill (Euphausia superba) influences seabird foraging behavior near Elephant Island, Antarctica. Fisheries Oceanography, 18: 20–35. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2419.2008.00490.x
- Issue published online: 28 JAN 2009
- Article first published online: 28 JAN 2009
- Received 12 October 2007 Revised version accepted 2 September 2008
- Antarctic krill;
- Elephant Island;
- Euphausia superba;
We investigate the influence of krill (principally Euphausia superba) patchiness on the foraging distributions of seabirds to understand how variation in krill influences patch dynamics between krill and birds. At sea-surveys were conducted near Elephant Island, Antarctica, for 3 yr (2004–2006) during the annual U.S. Antarctic Marine Living Resources (AMLR) program. Standardized strip-transect surveys were used to map seabirds, and a combination of acoustic and net surveys was used to map krill. We measured patch size of krill and seabirds and elucidated how krill patch dynamics influence foraging seabirds. The spatial association between krill and predators was influenced by the size and arrangement of krill patches. We found a negative relationship between abundance and patchiness of krill and predators, indicating that when krill is less abundant, its predators are less abundant and concentrated. We conclude that annual patch dynamics of krill strongly influences the local abundance and distribution of seabirds. Such information should be used to interpret potential interactions between seabirds and krill fisheries operating near Elephant Island.