Krill vs salps: dominance shift from krill to salps is associated with higher dissolved N:P ratios


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berenike.bick [ at ] hifmb.de

Abstract

Pronounced atmospheric and oceanic warming along the West Antarctic Peninsula (WAP) has resulted in abundance shifts in populations of Antarctic krill and Salpa thompsoni determined by changes in the timing of sea-ice advance, the duration of sea-ice cover and food availability. Krill and salps represent the most important macrozooplankton grazers at the WAP, but differ profoundly in their feeding biology, population dynamics and stoichiometry of excretion products with potential consequences for the relative availability of dissolved nitrogen and phosphorus. Alternation of the dissolved nutrient pool due to shifts in krill and salp densities have been hypothesized but never explicitly tested by using observational data. We therefore used the Palmer LTER dataset in order to investigate whether the dominance of either grazer is related with the observed dissolved nitrogen:phosphorus (N:P) ratios at the WAP. Across the whole sampling grid, the dominance of salps over krill was significantly correlated to higher concentrations of both N and P as well as a higher N:P ratios. Using actual long-term data, our study shows for the first time that changes in key grazer dominance may have consequences for the dynamics of dissolved nitrogen and phosphorus at the WAP.



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ISI/Scopus peer-reviewed
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Published
Eprint ID
52844
DOI 10.1038/s41598-020-62829-8

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Plum, C. , Hillebrand, H. and Moorthi, S. (2020): Krill vs salps: dominance shift from krill to salps is associated with higher dissolved N:P ratios , Scientific Reports, 10 (5911) . doi: 10.1038/s41598-020-62829-8


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