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Penguin tissue as a proxy for relative krill abundance in East Antarctica during the Holocene
Huang, T.; Sun, L.; Long, N.; Wang, Y.; Huang, W. (2013). Penguin tissue as a proxy for relative krill abundance in East Antarctica during the Holocene. NPG Scientific Reports 3(2807): 6 pp.
In: Scientific Reports (Nature Publishing Group). Nature Publishing Group: London. ISSN 2045-2322, more
Peer reviewed article  

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  • Huang, T.
  • Sun, L.
  • Long, N.
  • Wang, Y.
  • Huang, W.

    Antarctic krill (Euphausia superba) is a key component of the Southern Ocean food web. It supports a large number of upper trophic-level predators, and is also a major fishery resource. Understanding changes in krill abundance has long been a priority for research and conservation in the Southern Ocean. In this study, we performed stable isotope analyses on ancient Adélie penguin tissues and inferred relative krill abundance during the Holocene epoch from paleodiets of Adélie penguin (Pygoscelis adeliae), using inverse of d15N (ratio of 15N/14N) value as a proxy. We find that variations in krill abundance during the Holocene are in accord with episodes of regional climate changes, showing greater krill abundance in cold periods. Moreover, the low d15N values found in modern Adélie penguins indicate relatively high krill availability, which supports the hypothesis of krill surplus in modern ages due to recent hunt for krill-eating seals and whales by humans.

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