Comparison of Euphausia superba, Euphausia crystallorophias, Pleuragramma antarcticum and Environmental Distributions in the Western Ross Sea

Linnea Brynn Davis1, Eileen E Hofmann1, John Michael Klinck II2, Michael S Dinniman1 and Maria Andrea Pinones3, (1)Old Dominion University, Center for Coastal Physical Oceanography, Norfolk, VA, United States, (2)Old Dominion University, Norfolk, VA, United States, (3)Centro de Estudios Avanzados en Zonas Aridas, Coquimbo, Chile
Distributions of Antarctic krill (Euphausia superba), crystal krill (Euphausia crystallorophias), and Antarctic silverfish (Pleuragramma antarcticum) were constructed using observations collected in the western Ross Sea from 1988-2004. Distributions of mixed layer depth (MLD), water temperature below 200 m (an indicator for Circumpolar Deep Water, CDW), and surface speed were obtained from a Ross Sea circulation model; surface chlorophyll and percent sea ice coverage were obtained from satellite observations. The species and environmental distributions were analyzed to determine patterns and correlations. Statistical analyses of the distributions show that the three species are concentrated in specific regions and that their habitats have limited overlap. Antarctic krill are concentrated along the shelf break near Cape Adare and are associated with temperatures >0.5°C and -2°C to -0.75°C, 19-32% sea ice coverage, and high surface flow speeds. Crystal krill are concentrated in Terra Nova Bay in areas with depths of 400-600 m, temperatures < -1.3°, 50% or more sea ice coverage, shallow MLDs (2-36 m), moderate concentrations of chlorophyll (0.44 μg m-3) and low surface speeds (0.08 m s-1). Similarly, Antarctic silverfish are concentrated in Terra Nova Bay and are also found over the continental shelf in areas with depths of 500 m and temperatures of -2°C to -1°C. Additional statistical analyses provide insights into the relative contribution of the different environmental features to producing the distributions of the three species.