MEPS 515:11-32 (2014)  -  DOI: https://doi.org/10.3354/meps10965

Trends, cycles, interannual variability for three pelagic species west of the Antarctic Peninsula 1993-2008

Robin M. Ross1,*, Langdon B. Quetin1, Timothy Newberger2, C. Tracy Shaw3, Janice L. Jones1, Stephanie A. Oakes4, Kelly J. Moore5

1Marine Science Institute, University of California at Santa Barbara, Santa Barbara, CA 93106-6150, USA
2NOAA/GMD-1, 325 Broadway, Boulder, CO 80305, USA
3Hatfield Marine Science Center, 2030 SE Marine Science Dr, Newport, OR 97365, USA
4Marine Ecosystem Division, Office of Science and Technology, NOAA NMFS, 1315 East-West Highway, Silver Springs, MD 20910, USA
5Channel Islands National Park, 1901 Spinnaker Drive, Ventura, CA 93001, USA
*Corresponding author:

ABSTRACT: The Palmer Long Term Ecological Research study region west of the Antarctic Peninsula is experiencing warming and changing seasonal sea ice dynamics. Abundance patterns of 3 species of pelagic secondary producers were analyzed for trends, cycles, range extensions or shifts in the location of highest density, and for changes in population dynamics over a 16 yr period (1993-2008). Species analyzed represented different hydrographic regimes and are known to have contrasting responses to seasonal sea ice dynamics: krill Euphausia superba, seasonal sea ice zone; tunicates Salpa thompsoni, warmer waters with minimal sea ice; and larval Antarctic silverfish Pleuragramma antarcticum, cold continental shelf waters. Cycles were observed in grid-wide abundance and recruitment for E. superba. Maximum grid-wide densities did not decrease, but the location of highest densities shifted southward 200 km, away from Adélie penguin rookeries at the northern end. A distinct change post-1999 was apparent in the frequency of occurrence and abundance of S. thompsoni. Mixtures of krill and salps became common, but neither peak densities nor the frequency of peak years for salps increased. As with Antarctic krill, highest salp densities shifted southward alongshore. Larval P. antarcticum were abundant in the northern coastal region in the early 1990s, but virtually disappeared in that region after 1999/2000. Possible mechanisms underlying these observations include the southerly movement of the sea ice edge during spring, changes in proximity of source populations (salps), and changes in transport pathways (larval P. antarcticum). Patterns are compared to those in the SW Atlantic.


KEY WORDS: Time-series for Antarctic zooplankton · Antarctic krill · Antarctic silverfish


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Cite this article as: Ross RM, Quetin LB, Newberger T, Shaw TC, Jones JL, Oakes SA, Moore KJ (2014) Trends, cycles, interannual variability for three pelagic species west of the Antarctic Peninsula 1993-2008. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 515:11-32. https://doi.org/10.3354/meps10965

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