Hot off the Press: A vast icefish breeding colony discovered in the Antarctic


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autun.purser [ at ] awi.de

Abstract

During the RV Polarstern expedition to the southern Weddell Sea, in Feb 2021, a breeding colony of notothenioid icefish (Neopagetopsis ionah, Nybelin 1947) of globally unprecedented extent has been discovered. The colony, at time of survey, covered at least ~240 square kilometres of the eastern flank of the Filchner Trough and was comprised of fish nests at a density of 0.26 nests per square metre, representing an estimated minimum total of ~60 million active nests, and an associated fish biomass of > 60,000 tonnes. The majority of nests were each occupied by 1 adult fish guarding 1735 eggs (±433 SD). Bottom water temperatures adjacent to the nests were up to 2 °C warmer than the surrounding bottom waters, indicating a spatial correlation between the modified Warm Deep Water (mWDW) upflow onto the Weddell Shelf and active nesting.



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Article
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Helmholtz Cross Cutting Activity (2021-2027)
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Not peer-reviewed
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Published
Eprint ID
55689
Cite as
Purser, A. , Hehemann, L. , Boehringer, L. , Tippenhauer, S. , Wege, M. , Bornemann, H. , Pineda Metz, S. , Flintrop, C. M. , Koch, F. , Hellmer, H. , Burkhardt-Holm, P. , Janout, M. , Werner, E. , Glemser, B. , Balaguer, J. , Rogge, A. , Holtappels, M. and Wenzhöfer, F. (2022): Hot off the Press: A vast icefish breeding colony discovered in the Antarctic , Deep Sea Life, (18), pp. 51-52 .


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