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Publication Date




Publication Title

Scientific Reports






12072 (1-15)


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

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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 with and without DVM, and current velocity and direction data are available through the United States Antarctic Program Data Center ("

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.


0000-0001-7519-9278 (Dinniman)


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