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Marine Ecology Progress Series

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MEPS 702:105-122 (2022)  -  DOI:

A subsurface eddy associated with a submarine canyon increases availability and delivery of simulated Antarctic krill to penguin foraging regions

K. Hudson1,8,*, M. J. Oliver1, J. Kohut2, M. S. Dinniman3, J. M. Klinck3, M. A. Cimino4, K. S. Bernard5, H. Statscewich6, W. Fraser7

1College of Earth, Ocean, and Environment, University of Delaware, Lewes, Delaware 19958, USA
2Department of Marine and Coastal Sciences, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, New Brunswick, New Jersey 08901, USA
3Department of Ocean and Earth Sciences, Old Dominion University, Norfolk, Virginia 23529, USA
4Institute of Marine Science, University of California, Santa Cruz, California 95064, USA
5College of Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Sciences, Oregon State University, Corvallis, Oregon 97331, USA
6College of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences, University of Alaska, Fairbanks, Fairbanks, Alaska 99775, USA
7Polar Oceans Research Group, Sheridan, Montana 59749, USA
8Present address: Institute of Advanced Computational Sciences, Stony Brook University, Stony Brook, New York 11794, USA
*Corresponding author:

ABSTRACT: The distribution of marine zooplankton depends on both ocean currents and swimming behavior. Many zooplankton perform diel vertical migration (DVM) between the surface and subsurface, which can have different current regimes. If concentration mechanisms, such as fronts or eddies, are present in the subsurface, they may impact zooplankton near-surface distributions when they migrate to near-surface waters. A subsurface, retentive eddy within Palmer Deep Canyon (PDC), a submarine canyon along the West Antarctic Peninsula (WAP), retains diurnal vertically migrating zooplankton in previous model simulations. Here, we tested the hypothesis that the presence of the PDC and its associated subsurface eddy increases the availability and delivery of simulated Antarctic krill to nearby penguin foraging regions with model simulations over a single austral summer. We found that the availability and delivery rates of simulated krill to penguin foraging areas adjacent to PDC were greater when the PDC was present compared to when PDC was absent, and when DVM was deepest. These results suggest that the eddy has potential to enhance krill availability to upper trophic level predators and suggests that retention may play a significant role in resource availability for predators in other similar systems along the WAP and in other systems with sustained subsurface eddies.

KEY WORDS: Krill · Resource availability · Diel vertical migration · Retention · Biological hotspot · Palmer Deep Canyon · Regional Ocean Modeling System · Penguins · Antarctica

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Cite this article as: Hudson K, Oliver MJ, Kohut J, Dinniman MS and others (2022) A subsurface eddy associated with a submarine canyon increases availability and delivery of simulated Antarctic krill to penguin foraging regions. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 702:105-122.

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