Polar Biology

, Volume 4, Issue 2, pp 65–73 | Cite as

Modelling individual growth of the Antarctic krill Euphausia superba Dana

  • H. Astheimer
  • H. Krause
  • S. Rakusa-Suszczewski


Growth of the Antarctic krill, Euphausia superba, is not easily determined from net catches nor from laboratory experiments. Therefore, in support of these methods, a phenomenological model was constructed which in its present state describes the growth of a single krill specimen under periodically limiting food conditions with summer seasons of variable lengths. Published data of krill body length vs. age and of the annual cycle of primary production of algae in the Drake Passage were used to formulate equations and to calculate growth curves. At 1,000 days after hatching, the model predicts a body length of 63 mm, growth being delayed by 380 days compared with constant, optimal feeding conditions. Final length, weight and time delay are related to the amount of food supplied and compared with published population growth curves.


Growth Curve Body Length Annual Cycle Variable Length Summer Season 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Bertalanffy L von (1951) Theoretische Biologie, Band II, Stoffwechsel, Wachstum. A Francke, Bern, 418 ppGoogle Scholar
  2. Boysen E (1982) Untersuchungen an einer Population des nordischen Krills Meganyctiphanes norvegica (M. Sars) im Kattegat. M Sc Thesis, University Kiel, 92 ppGoogle Scholar
  3. Boysen E, Buchholz F (1984) Meganyctiphanes norvegica in the Kattegat. Studies on the annual development of a pelagic population. Mar Biol 79:195–207Google Scholar
  4. Buchholz F (1985) Moulting and growth in Euphausiids. In: Siegfried WR, Laws RM, Condy PR (eds) Antarctic nutrient cycles and food webs (Proc 4th SCAR Symp Antarct Biol). Springer, Berlin, pp 339–345Google Scholar
  5. El-Sayed SZ (1968) On the productivity of the southwest Atlantic Ocean and the waters west of the Antarctic Peninsula. In: Schmitt WL, Llano GA (eds) Biology of the Antarctic Seas III (Antarct Res Ser 11:15–47)Google Scholar
  6. Everson I (1977) The living resources of the Southern Ocean. Southern Ocean Fisheries Survey Programme GLO/SO/77/1 FAO, Rome, 156 ppGoogle Scholar
  7. Fraser FC (1936) On the development and distribution of the young stages of krill (Euphausia superba). Discovery Rep 14:3–192Google Scholar
  8. Hempel I, Hempel G (1978) Larval krill (Euphausia superba) in the plankton and neuston samples of the German Antarctic Expedition 1975/76. Meeresforsch 26:206–216Google Scholar
  9. Ikeda T, Dixon P (1982) Observations on moulting in Antarctic krill (Euphausia superba Dana). Aust J Mar Freshwater Res 33:71–76Google Scholar
  10. Ivanov BG (1970) On the biology of the Anterctic krill Euphausia superba. Mar Biol 7:340–351Google Scholar
  11. Jazdzewski K, Dzik J, Porebski J, Rakusa-Suszczewski S, Witek Z, Wolnomiejski N (1978) Biological and populational studies on krill near South Shetland Islands, Scotia Sea and South Georgia in the summer 1976. Pol Arch Hydrobiol 25:607–631Google Scholar
  12. Kikuno T (1982) Observations of early developments of the Antarctic krill, Euphausia superba Dana. In: Hoshiai T, Naito Y (eds) Proc 5th Symp Antarct Biol. Memoirs of National Institute of Polar Research, Tokyo, pp 38–43Google Scholar
  13. Krüger F (1973) Zur Mathematik des tierischen Wachstums. 2. Vergleich einiger Wachstumsfunktionen. Helgol Wiss Meeresunters 25:509–550Google Scholar
  14. Mackintosh NA (1972) Life cycle of Antarctic krill in relation to ice and water conditions. Discovery Rep 36:1–94Google Scholar
  15. Majkowski J, Uchmański J (1980) Theoretical foundations of individual growth equations in animals. Pol Ecol Stud 6:7–31Google Scholar
  16. Makarov RR Larval development of theAntarctic euphausiids. BIOMASS handbook 3, 13 ppGoogle Scholar
  17. Marschall H-P, Hirche H-J (1984) Development of eggs and nauplii of Euphausia superba. Polar Biol 2:245–250Google Scholar
  18. Mauchline J (1980) The biology of mysids and euphausiids. Adv Mar Biol 18:373–595Google Scholar
  19. Mauchline J, Fisher LR (1969) The biology of euphausiids. Adv Mar Biol 7:1–454Google Scholar
  20. McWhinnie MA, Denys C (1978) Biological studies of Antarctic krill, austral summer 1977–78. Antarc J US 13:133–135Google Scholar
  21. Nast F (1978/79) The vertical distribution of larval and adult krill (Euphausia superba Dana) on a time station south of Elephant Island, South Shetlands. Meeresforsch 27:101–118Google Scholar
  22. Winberg GG (1971) Methods for the estimation of production of aquatic animals. Academic Press, London New York, 175 ppGoogle Scholar
  23. Witek Z, Koronkiewicz A, Soszka GJ (1980) Certain aspects of the early life history of krill Euphausia superba Dana (Crustacea). Pol Polar Res 1:97–115Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1985

Authors and Affiliations

  • H. Astheimer
    • 1
  • H. Krause
    • 1
  • S. Rakusa-Suszczewski
    • 2
  1. 1.Columbus-CenterAlfred-Wegener-Institut für PolarforschungBremerhavenFederal Republic of Germany
  2. 2.Instytut EkologiiLomiankiPoland

Personalised recommendations