Beak length analysis of the Southern Ocean squid Psychroteuthis glacialis (Cephalopoda: Psychroteuthidae) and its use for size and biomass estimation
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A detailed analysis of beak length to body size and mass measurements was carried out for the glacial squid Psychroteuthis glacialis, which is an endemic cephalopod species in the Southern Ocean. Beak lengths (lower rostral length) were measured from 211 specimens which had been sampled in the Atlantic sector of the Southern Ocean. The basic idea was to find some calibration model in order to inter- or extrapolate missing mantle length and/or wet body mass data by means of beak lengths. The relationships between beak length and mantle length/wet body mass bear essential information for future use in biomass estimates in Southern Ocean top predators, since beaks of P. glacialis occur frequently in the stomach contents of Antarctic seabirds, seals and toothed whales. Therefore, lower rostral lengths were plotted against both mantle length and wet body mass to determine the relationship between these variables. The relationships had limited scatter and very high coefficients of determination, showing that lower rostral length is a good predictor of the squid's mantle length and wet mass. A non-linear 3rd order polynomial regression of lower rostral length against mantle length was identified as the best fitted calibration model, explaining 93% (R2) of the associated variance. The relationship between lower rostral length and wet body mass was empirically well fitted through regressing ln-transformed values of lower rostral length against wet body mass, explaining 95% (R2) of the associated variance. The present investigation provides measurements for a wide size range of P. glacialis individuals compared to earlier studies, which were limited on very small data sets.
KeywordsCalibration Model Southern Ocean Atlantic Sector Mantle Length Length Analysis
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