Advertisement

Diet overlap among top predators at the South Orkney Islands, Antarctica

  • M. Lila Bertolin
  • Ricardo Casaux
Original Paper
  • 27 Downloads

Abstract

In order to understand interspecific trophic relationships between top predators, we analyzed diet information for nine bird and two seal species collected in the austral summer from 1996 to 2000 at South Orkney Islands. Overall, the diet of most of the predators was mainly composed of krill and fish. The percentage of re-occurrence of prey among predators ranged from 25.3 to 36.7, and fish, krill and squid re-occurred most frequently. The re-occurrence of fish among predator pairs ranged from 8.1 to 28.1. The species that re-occurred most frequently were the nototheniid fishes Gobionotothen gibberifrons, Nototheniops nudifrons and Nototheniops nybelini, and the myctophid Electrona antarctica. Prey overlap was greatest between Chinstrap (Pygoscelis antarctica) and Adélie (Pygoscelis adeliae) Penguins. Most predator pairs had high overlap of fish prey species. Predators that could forage on demersal and water column prey had yearly variable diets. This variability may be explained by fluctuations in krill availability. In years when krill is scarce (e.g. 2000), these predators diversify their diet by increasing the consumption of fish, which increases the re-occurrence of these preys in the diets. Our samples suggest the recovery of G. gibberifrons stocks around the South Orkney Islands and draw attention to the potential increase of interspecific food competition between predators under scenarios of decreasing krill availability. This information can be used to identify the ecological consequences of fluctuations in krill availability and aid in the management of krill fisheries.

Keywords

Dietary overlap Top predators South Orkney Islands Antarctica 

Notes

Acknowledgements

We would like to express our appreciation to Marcela Libertelli and members of Orcadas Station for their logistic help and field assistance.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interests.

Supplementary material

300_2018_2428_MOESM1_ESM.docx (22 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 22 kb)
300_2018_2428_MOESM2_ESM.docx (27 kb)
Supplementary material 2 (DOCX 27 kb)
300_2018_2428_MOESM3_ESM.docx (36 kb)
Supplementary material 3 (DOCX 36 kb)

References

  1. Ainley DG, Fraser WR, Smith WO Jr, Hopkins TL, Torres JJ (1991) The structure of upper level pelagic food webs in the Antarctic: effect of phytoplankton distribution. J Mar Syst 2:111–122CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Anon (2014) Informe del Grupo de Trabajo de Seguimiento y Ordenación del Ecosistema, Anexo 6. Punta ArenasGoogle Scholar
  3. Barrera-Oro ER, Casaux RJ (1998) Ecology of demersal fish species from Potter Cove. Ber Polarforsch 299:156–167Google Scholar
  4. Barrera-Oro E, Marschoff E, Casaux R (2000) Trends in relative abundance of fjord Notothenia rossii, Gobionotothen gibberifrons and Notothenia coriiceps at South Shetland Islands, after commercial fishing in the area. CCAMLR Sci 7:43–52Google Scholar
  5. Bertolin ML (2012) Análisis de las relaciones tróficas entre peces y vertebrados ictiófagos de las Islas Orcadas del Sur, Antártida: hacia el conocimiento integral del ecosistema y el manejo racional de los recursos. Doctoral dissertation, Facultad de Ciencias Naturales y Museo. La Plata, Buenos AiresGoogle Scholar
  6. Boyd IL, Murray AWA (2001) Monitoring a marine ecosystem using responses of upper trophic level predators. J Anim Ecol 70:747–760CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Boyd IL, Arnould JP, Barton T, Croxall JP (1994) Foraging behaviour of Antarctic fur seals during periods of contrasting prey abundance. J Anim Ecol 63:703–713CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Burger A, Piatt J (1990) Flexible time budgets in breeding common murres: buffers against variable prey abundance. Stud Avian Biol 14:71–83Google Scholar
  9. Burns JM, Trumble SJ, Castellini MA, Testa JW (1998) The diet of Weddell seals in McMurdo Sound, Antarctica as determined from scat collections and stable isotope analysis. Polar Biol 19:272–282CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Casaux R, Barrera-Oro E (2006) Shags in Antarctica: their feeding behaviour and ecological role in the marine food web. Antarct Sci 18:3–14CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Casaux R, Barrera-Oro E (2016) Linking population trends of Antarctic shag (Phalacrocorax bransfieldensis) and fish at Nelson Island, South Shetland Islands (Antarctica). Polar Biol 39:1491–1497CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Casaux R, Baroni A, Carlini A (1997) The diet of the Weddell Seal Leptonychotes weddelli at Harmony Point, South Shetland Islands. Polar Biol 18:371–375CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Casaux R, Baroni A, Carlini A (1998) The diet of the Antarctic fur seal Arctocephalus gazella at Harmony Point, Nelson Island, South Shetland Islands. Polar Biol 20:424–428CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Casaux R, Barrera-Oro E, Baroni A, Ramón A (2003a) Ecology of inshore notothenioid fish from the Danco Coast, Antarctic Peninsula. Polar Biol 26:157–165CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Casaux R, Baroni A, Arrighetti F, Ramón A, Carlini A (2003b) Geographical variation in the diet of the Antarctic fur seal Arctocephalus gazella. Polar Biol 26:753–758CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Casaux R, Bellizia L, Baroni A (2004) The diet of the Antarctic fur seal Arctocephalus gazella at Harmony Point, South Shetland Islands: evidence of opportunistic foraging on penguins? Polar Biol 27:59–65CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Casaux R, Baroni A, Ramón A, Carlini A, Bertolin M, DiPrinzio CY (2009) Diet of the leopard seal Hydrurga leptonyx at the Danco Coast, Antarctic Peninsula. Polar Biol 32:307–310CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Casaux R, Bertolin ML, Carlini A (2011) Feeding habits of three seal species at the Danco Coast, Antarctica: a re-assessment. Polar Biol 34:1615–1620CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Casaux R, Juares M, Carlini A, Corbalán A (2016) The diet of the Antarctic fur seal Arctocephalus Gazella at the South Orkney Islands in ten consecutive years. Polar Biol 39:1197–1206CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Cobley N, Bell G (1998) Weddell Seal (Leptonychotes weddellii) feeding on Gentoo Penguins (Pygoscelis papua). Mar Mamm Sci 14:881–883CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Croxall JP, Nicol S (2004) Management of Southern Ocean fisheries: global forces and future sustainability. Antarct Sci 16:569–584CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Croxall JP, Prince PA (1987) Seabirds as predators on marine resources, especially krill, at South Georgia. In: Croxall JP (ed) Seabirds: feeding ecology and role in marine ecosystems. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, pp 347–368Google Scholar
  23. Croxall JP, Reid K, Prince PA (1999) Diet, provisioning and productivity responses of marine predators to differences in availability of Antarctic krill. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 177:115–131CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Daneri G, Carlini A (1999) Spring and summer predation on fish by the Antarctic fur seal Arctocephalus gazella at King George island, South Shetland Island. Can J Zool 77:1157–1160CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Daneri GA, Coria NR (1993) Fish prey of Antarctic fur seals, Arctocephalus gazella, during the summer-autumn period at Laurie Island, South Orkney Islands. Polar Biol 13:287–289CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. DeWitt HH, Heemstra PC, Gon O (1990) Nototheniidae. In: Gon O, Heemstra PC (eds) Fishes of the Southern Ocean. Grahamstown, South Africa, pp 279–331Google Scholar
  27. Doidge DW, Croxall JP (1985) Diet and energy budget of the Antarctic fur seal, Arctocephalus gazella, at South Georgia. In: Walter R, Siegfried WR, Condy PR, Laws RM (eds) Antarctic nutrient cycles and food webs. Springer, Berlin, pp 543–550CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Green K, Burton H, Watts D (1995) Studies of the Weddell seals in the Vestfold Hills East Antarctica. ANARE Res Notes 93:1–64Google Scholar
  29. Kock K (1992) Antarctic fish and fisheries. Cambridge University Press, CambridgeGoogle Scholar
  30. Kock KH, Jones CD, Wilhelms S (2000) Biological characteristics of Antarctic fish stocks in the southern Scotia Arc region. CCAMLR Sci 7:1–41Google Scholar
  31. Lake S, Burton H, van den Hoff J (2003) Regional, temporal and fine-scale spatial variation in Weddell seal diet at four coastal locations in east Antarctica. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 254:293–305CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Linton LR, Davies RW, Wrona FJ (1981) Resource utilization indices: an assessment. J Anim Ecol 50:283–292CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Lishman GS (1985) The food and feeding ecology of Adélie penguins (Pygoscelis adeliae) and chinstrap penguins (Pygoscelis antarctica) at Signy Island, South Orkney Islands. J Zool Lond 205:245–263CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Lynnes A, Reid K, Croxall J, Trathan P (2002) Conflict or co-existence? Foraging distribution and competition for prey between Adélie and Chinstrap Penguins. Mar Biol 141:1165–1174CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Miller AK, Karnovsky NJ, Trivelpiece WZ (2009) Flexible foraging strategies of gentoo penguins Pygoscelis papua over 5 years in the South Shetland Islands, Antarctica. Mar Biol 156:2527–2537CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Moline MA, Karnovsky NJ, Brown Z, Divoky GJ, Frazer TK, Jacoby CA, Torres JJ, Fraser WR (2008) High latitude changes in ice dynamics and their impact on polar marine ecosystems. Ann NY Acad Sci 1134:267–319CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Montevecchi WA (1993) Birds as indicators of change in marine prey stocks. In: Furness RW, Greenwood J (eds) Birds as monitors of environmental change. Chapman and Hall, London, pp 217–266CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Plötz J, Ekau W, Reijnders P (1991) Diet of Weddell Seals Leptonychotes weddelli at Vestkapp, eastern Weddell Sea (Antarctica), in relation to local food supply. Mar Mamm Sci 7:136–144CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Reid K, Sims M, White RW, Gillon KW (2004) Spatial distribution of predator/prey interactions in the Scotia Sea: implications for measuring predator/fisheries overlap. Deep Sea Res Part II 51:1383–1396CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Rombolá E, Marschoff E, Coria N (2003) Comparative study of the effects of the late pack-ice break-off on chinstrap and Adélie penguins’ diet and reproductive success at Laurie Island, South Orkney Islands, Antarctica. Polar Biol 26:41–48Google Scholar
  41. Siegel V, Loeb V, Gröger J (1998) Krill (Euphausia superba) density, proportional and absolute recruitment and biomass in the Elephant Island region (Antarctic Peninsula) during the period 1977 to 1997. Polar Biol 19:393–398CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Trathan PN, Brierley AS, Brandon MA, Bone DG, Goss C, Grant SA, Murphy EJ, Watkins JL (2003) Oceanographic variability and changes in Antarctic krill (Euphausia superba) abundance at South Georgia. Fish Oceanogr 12:569–583CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Tyler AV (1972) Food resource division among northern, marine demersal fishes. J Fish Res Board Can 29:997–1003CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Vacchi M, LaMesa M, Dalu M, McDonald J (2004) Early life stages in the life cycle of Antarctic silverfish, Pleuragramma antarcticum in Terra Nova Bay, Ross Sea. Antarct Sci 16:299–305.  https://doi.org/10.1017/s0954102004002135 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Van Franeker JA, Williams R, Imber MJ and Wolff WJ (2001) Diet and foraging ecology of southern fulmar (Fulmarus glacialoides), Antarctic petrel Thalassoica antarctica, Cape petrel Daption capense and snow petrels Pagodroma nivea ssp on Ardery Island, Wilkes Land, Antarctica. Doctoral dissertation, University of Groningen, Alterra, TexelGoogle Scholar
  46. White MG, Conroy JWH (1975) Aspects of competition between pygoscelid penguins at Signy Island, South Orkney Islands. Ibis 117:371–373CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Instituto Antártico ArgentinoBuenos AiresArgentina
  2. 2.Centro de Investigación Esquel de Montaña y Estepa Patagónica (CONICET-UNPSJB)EsquelArgentina

Personalised recommendations