The PErformance of KRIll vs. Salps to withstand in a warming Southern Ocean II - PEKRIS II

The PErformance of KRIll vs. Salps to withstand in a warming Southern Ocean II - PEKRIS II

Antarctic krill (Euphausia superba) is a key structural element for the functional biodiversity of the Southern Ocean ecosystem and an important target of a highly specialized fishing industry which is almost exclusively localized in the south-west Atlantic sector of the Southern Ocean, where krill has the highest abundance. However, this region has seen some of the greatest impacts from climate change on the planet, affecting biodiversity and the integrity of the pelagic food web. In addition, the increasing abundance of the tunicate Salpa thompsoni make predictions on future population dynamics of krill extremely difficult. The first phase of the PEKRIS project aimed to improve our understanding of the population dynamics of salps and krill in the Southern Ocean in relation to climate change by examining the temperature dependence of physiological processes in field and laboratory experiments and then summarizing the results through models. During the PEKRIS project crucial knowledge gaps and additional research needs were identified including, the influence of increased water temperatures on the reproductive capacities of the parental generations and offspring of both species, the effects of changing food quality and quantity, and the influence of krill fisheries in spawning areas. These knowledge gaps form the basis for PEKRIS II. New empirical data integrated into ecological models, together with the results from the first phase, will allow for more realistic predictions about the effects of climate changes on the ecosystem of the Southern Ocean and support a more adaptive risk assessment of the krill fishery in the Southern Ocean.

Prof. Dr. Bettina Meyer (AWI/ICBM) (Principal investigator)
Prof. Dr. Uta Berger (Technische Universität Dresden)
Dr. Katharina Michael (ICBM)
MSc Svenja Julica Müller (ICBM)

Prof. Dr. Gabriele Sales, University of Padua, Padua, Italien
Prof. Dr. Cristiano DePittà, University of Padua, Padua, Italien
Prof. Dr. Evgeny Pakhomov (UBC), Canada
Dr. So Kawaguchi, Australian Antarctic Division, Kingston, Tasmania
Prof. Dr. Loyd Peck, British Antarctic Survey


German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF)

(Changed: 2021-05-10)