Selective feeding in Southern Ocean key grazers—diet composition of krill and salps


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nora-charlotte.pauli [ at ] awi.de

Abstract

Over the past decades, two key grazers in the Southern Ocean (SO), krill and salps, have experienced drastic changes in their distribution and abundance, leading to increasing overlap of their habitats. Both species occupy different ecological niches and long-term shifts in their distributions are expected to have cascading effects on the SO ecosystem. However, studies directly comparing krill and salps are lacking. Here, we provide a direct comparison of the diet and fecal pellet composition of krill and salps using 18S metabarcoding and fatty acid markers. Neither species’ diet reflected the composition of the plankton community, suggesting that in contrast to the accepted paradigm, not only krill but also salps are selective feeders. Moreover, we found that krill and salps had broadly similar diets, potentially enhancing the competition between both species. This could be augmented by salps’ ability to rapidly reproduce in favorable conditions, posing further risks to krill populations.



Item Type
Article
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Helmholtz Cross Cutting Activity (2021-2027)
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Peer-reviewed
Publication Status
Published
Eprint ID
54749
DOI 10.1038/s42003-021-02581-5

Cite as
Pauli, N. C. , Metfies, K. , Pakhomov, E. A. , Neuhaus, S. , Graeve, M. , Wenta, P. , Flintrop, C. M. , Badewien, T. H. , Iversen, M. H. and Meyer, B. (2021): Selective feeding in Southern Ocean key grazers—diet composition of krill and salps , Communications Biology, 4 (1) . doi: 10.1038/s42003-021-02581-5


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