Inter-Research > MEPS > v299 > Feature  
Marine Ecology Progress Series

via Mailchimp
MEPS - Vol. 299 - Feature article
Swarms of krill were patrolled by large piscivorous fish. The piscivores preyed on planktivores attracted by the swarms, at the same time providing protection for the krill. Illustration: Hege Vestheim

Stein Kaartvedt, Anders Røstad, Øyvind Fiksen, Webjørn Melle, Thomas Torgersen, Mari Tiseth Breien, Thor A. Klevjer


Piscivorous fish patrol krill swarms


Many species of krill (pelagic crustaceans) form swarms of great size, and thereby constitute a key component of offshore ecosystems. Kaartvedt, Røstad, Fiksen, Melle, Torgersen, Breien & Klevjer observed swarms of northern krill Meganyctiphanes norvegica being followed (patrolled) by large piscivorous fishes. They conclude that the swarms provide a feeding ground for large piscivores, which hunt for the smaller planktivorous fishes that prey upon the krill. In this way, the large fishes provide protection for the krill, according to the rule that 'the enemy of my enemy is my friend'. Thus, social aggregations of krill are 'hot spots' of predator–prey interactions at several trophic levels.


Inter-Research Science Center is pleased to make this Feature Article openly available for viewing by our readers.


Abstract   Back to contents page   Link to full PDF