2012-2013 Science Planning Summaries
U.S. Antarctic Program - Science Support Section United States Antarctic Program United States Antarctic Program Logo National Science Foundation Logo
Euphausia superba feeding using DNA analysis of gut contents

Program Manager:

NSF/PLR Award 1142107

ASC POC/Implementer:

Dr. Edward G Durbin (Principal Investigator)

University of Rhode Island
Graduate School of Oceanography
Narragansett, Rhode Island

Supporting Stations:  RV/IB Nathaniel B. Palmer
Research Locations:  

Project Description:
Seasonal Trophic Roles of Euphasia superba (STRES). The overall goal of this project is to investigate Euphausia superba in-situ feeding and swimming behavior in the West Antarctic Peninsula region during austral spring and early summer. This will cover the period when phytoplankton is likely to be the major prey, but we will investigate whether alternative food resources, such as benthos or zooplankton, may form an important component of krill diets. Four specific objectives are proposed: • To determine how the oceanographic environment structures krill prey distributions and the associations of krill with these. • To use the DNA approach to determine the in situ consumption of all prey by krill collected in the WAP during the spring phytoplankton bloom • To determine the in situ feeding rates of E. superba diet on abundant prey items. • To determine both the small? and larger?scale prey fields and how the distribution patterns of krill are related to these.

Field Season Overview:
STRES’s austral summer cruise will occur during 12 Dec, 2014 - 11 Jan, 2015, to Wilhelmina, Anvord and Flandres Bays, the adjacent Gerlache Strait, and selected shelf regions in the WAP. The general cruise plan will be to carry out larger?scale surveys of hydrography, phytoplankton and zooplankton abundance using CTD, bottles and nets ( 1 m MOCNESS, ring nets), and krill abundance using nets (MOCNESS) and acoustics (ADCP). Based on patterns of krill distribution we will then chose locations to carry out both day and night sampling to characterize phytoplankton, zooplankton and krill in the water column, determine prey consumed in situ, and make in situ swimming observations using acoustics (ADCP) and camera, both in the water column, and at the benthic?water column interface. In addition, krill will be captured and maintained in aquaria on board for shipboard digestion rate experiments (STRES-full).

Deploying Team Members:

  • Richard Bell
  • Bonnie Blalock
  • David Casagrande
  • Maria Casas
  • Gang Chen
  • Alison Cleary
  • Samantha DeCuollo
  • Michelle Dennis
  • Edward Durbin (PI)
  • Rebecca Graham
  • Rachel Greene
  • Thomas Heath II
  • Gabrielle Inglis
  • Bethany Jenkins
  • Mary Kane
  • Iain McCoy
  • Susanne Menden-Deuer (Co-PI)
  • Michael Orchard
  • Christopher Roman (Co-PI)
  • Tatiana Rynearson (Co-PI)
  • Kerry Whittaker
  • Meng Zhou (Co-PI)
  • Xiaoshan Zhu
  • Yiwu Zhu

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Curator: Esther L. Hill PhD, Antarctic Support Contract   |   NSF Official: Alexandra Isern, Division of Polar Programs