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 krill may play a critical role in predator biogeography, especially for central-place foragers such as the Pygoscelis spp. penguins that breed along the WAP during the austral summer. Antarctic krill are also heavily fished commercially; therefore, understanding population connectivity of krill is critical to effective management. 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. Our results indicate that krill north and south of Low Island and the southern Bransfield Strait are nearly isolated from each other and that persistent current features play a role in this lack of inter-region connectivity. Transit and entrainment times were not correlated with penguin populations at the large spatial scales examined. However, long transit times and reduced entrainment correlate spatially with the areas where krill fishing is most intense, which heightens the risk that krill fishing may lead to limited krill availability for predators.
© The Authors 2023
This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original authors and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article's Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article's Creative Commons license and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder.
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 (https://github.com/klgallagher/connectivity). Simulated krill trajectories with and without DVM, and current velocity and direction data are available through the United States Antarctic Program Data Center (https://www.usap-dc.org/view/project/p0010349)."
Original Publication Citation
Gallagher, K. L., Dinniman, M. S., & Lynch, H. J. (2023). Quantifying Antarctic krill connectivity across the West Antarctic Peninsula and its role in large-scale Pygoscelis penguin population dynamics. Scientific Reports, 13(1), 1-15, Article 12072. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-023-39105-6
Gallagher, Katherine L.; Dinniman, Michael S.; and Lynch, Heather J., "Quantifying Antarctic Krill Connectivity Across the West Antarctic Peninsula and its Role in Large-Scale Pygoscelis Penguin Population Dynamics" (2023). CCPO Publications. 392.