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Under Review for Scientific Reports




Antarctic krill (Euphausia superba) are considered a keystone species for higher trophic level predators along the West Antarctic Peninsula (WAP) during the austral summer. The connectivity of these populations may play a critical role in predator biogeography, especially for central-place foragers such as the Pygoscelis penguins that breed along the WAP during the austral summer. Here, we used a physical ocean model to examine adult krill connectivity in this region using simulated krill with realistic diel vertical migration behaviors across four austral summers. Specifically, we examined krill connectivity around the Adélie gap, a 400 km long region along the WAP with a distinct absence of Adélie penguin colonies, to determine if krill population connectivity around this feature played a role in its persistence. Our results indicate that krill populations north and south of the Adélie gap are nearly isolated from each other and that persistent current features play a role in this inter-region connectivity, or lack thereof. Our results indicate that simulated krill released within the Adélie gap are quickly advected from the region, suggesting that the lack of local krill recruit retention may play a role in the persistence of this biogeographic feature.

Data Availability

Article states: "Bounding boxes for the regions used in this study, indexes used to subset simulated krill released within each region, and the code used to conduct connectivity calculations are available on GitHub ( Simulated krill trajectories ( and current velocity and direction data ( are archived at the United States Antarctic Program Data Center."

Original Publication Citation

Gallagher, K. L., Dinniman, M. S., & Lynch, H. J. (2023). Examining the connectivity of Antarctic krill on the West Antarctic Peninsula: Implications for Pygoscelis penguin biogeography and population dynamics. Scientific Reports, 1-27.


0000-0001-7519-9278 (Dinniman)


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