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Marine Ecology Progress Series

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MEPS 513:131-142 (2014)  -  DOI:

Cephalopod fauna of South Pacific waters: new information from breeding New Zealand wandering albatrosses

José C. Xavier1,2,*, Kath Walker3, Graeme Elliott3, Yves Cherel4, David Thompson5

1Institute of Marine Research, Department of Life Sciences, University of Coimbra, 3001-401 Coimbra, Portugal
2British Antarctic Survey, Natural Environment Research Council, High Cross, Madingley Road, CB3 0ET Cambridge, UK
3Albatross Research, 594 Rocks Road, Nelson 7011, New Zealand
4Centre d’Etudes Biologiques de Chizé, UMR 7372 du CNRS-Université de La Rochelle, BP 14, 79360 Villiers-en-Bois, France
5National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research Ltd., 301 Evans Bay Parade, Hataitai, Wellington 6021, New Zealand
*Corresponding author:

ABSTRACT: Cephalopods play an important ecological role in the Southern Ocean, being the main prey group of numerous top predators. However, their basic ecology and biogeography is still poorly known, particularly in the lightly sampled Pacific sector of the Southern Ocean. We collected and analysed information on cephalopods in that area, using Antipodean and Gibson’s wandering albatrosses (Diomedea antipodensis antipodensis and D. antipodensis gibsoni, respectively) breeding at Antipodes Islands and Auckland Islands, respectively, in the New Zealand subantarctic islands as samplers, as they are known from tracking studies to cover huge areas of the Pacific sector of the Southern Ocean (Antipodean wandering albatrosses mostly forage east of New Zealand, whereas Gibson’s wandering albatrosses forage west of New Zealand). A total of 9111 cephalopod beaks, from 41 cephalopod taxa, were identified from boluses (voluntarily regurgitated items by chicks). The families Histioteuthidae (e.g. Histioteuthis atlantica) and Onychoteuthidae (e.g. Moroteuthis robsoni) were the most important cephalopods numerically and by reconstructed mass, respectively, in both wandering albatross species. Combining this information with previously gathered data on cephalopods in the Atlantic and Indian sectors of the Southern Ocean, we provide evidence from predators of the circumpolar distribution of numerous key cephalopod species in the Southern Ocean, and provide new information on poorly known cephalopods (i.e. relevance in the diet of wandering albatrosses, sizes consumed, biodiversity in the South Pacific, assemblages according to predator breeding sites) in one of the most remote ocean areas in the planet.

KEY WORDS: Squid · Histioteuthidae · Onychoteuthidae · Distribution · Biodiversity · Predatory sampling · Diomedea antipodensis · Seabird · Southern Ocean

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Cite this article as: Xavier JC, Walker K, Elliot G, Cherel Y, Thompson D (2014) Cephalopod fauna of South Pacific waters: new information from breeding New Zealand wandering albatrosses. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 513:131-142.

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