Facing Southern Ocean warming: Temperature effects on whole animal performance of Antarctic krill (Euphausia superba)


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Bettina.Meyer [ at ] awi.de

Abstract

The ongoing environmental changes in the Southern Ocean may cause a dramatic decrease in habitat quality. Due to its central position in the food web, Antarctic krill (Euphausia superba) is a key species of the marine Antarctic ecosystem. It is therefore crucial to understand how increasing water temperatures affect important krill life-cycle processes. Here, a long-term (August – March) laboratory acclimation experiment at different temperature scenarios (0.5 ◦C, 1.5 ◦C, 2.5 ◦C, 3.5 ◦C, 5 ◦C, 7 ◦C) was performed and the effects of elevated temperatures on whole animal parameters (O2 consumption, body length, length of the digestive gland) were analyzed. The response of krill oxygen consumption to different experimental temperatures differed between acute/short-term and long-term acclimation. After 8 months, krill oxygen consumption remained unchanged up to temperatures of 3.5 ◦C and was significantly higher at temperatures > 3.5 ◦C. Krill acclimated to temperatures ≥ 3.5 ◦C were significantly smaller at the end of the experiment. Limited food intake and/or conversion may have contributed to this effect, especially pronounced after the onset of the reproductive period. In addition, the seasonal growth pattern in males differed from that of females. Together, our findings indicate that warming Southern Ocean waters are likely to increase metabolic rate in krill, possibly altering the amount of energy available for other important life-cycle processes, a finding directly related to future population dynamics and fisheries management.



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ISI/Scopus peer-reviewed
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Published
Eprint ID
54489
DOI 10.1016/j.zool.2021.125910

Cite as
Michael, K. , Suberg, L. , Wessels, W. , Kawagushi, S. and Meyer, B. (2021): Facing Southern Ocean warming: Temperature effects on whole animal performance of Antarctic krill (Euphausia superba) , Zoology, 146 . doi: 10.1016/j.zool.2021.125910


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