Krill diet affects faecal string settling

  • G. C. Cadée
  • H. González
  • S. B. Schnack-Schiel


Free-floating sediment traps used on a transect from Scotia Sea to Weddell Sea collected larger, more degraded, krill faecal strings in the deeper (150 m) than in the 50 or 75 m traps. The smallest faecal strings were only present in the shallower traps. Sinking velocity of smaller faecal strings was - as expected - much lower than for larger ones, with a total range of 50 to 800m-day−1 for faecal string volumes of 0.007 to 0.53 mm3. Krill feeding largely on diatoms produced faeces with higher settling velocity than those feeding on non-diatom phytoplankton. Smaller krill faecal strings do not leave the upper mixed layer. Potential settling velocities as measured in settling tubes (without turbulence), may in this respect be misleading. Small oval faecal pellets of unknown origin showed relatively high settling velocities (80 to 250 m day1 for 0.002 to 0.013 mm3) due to higher compaction and lower form resistance to sinking.


Faecal Pellet Sediment Trap Settling Velocity Antarctic Krill Sediment Trap Sample 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1992

Authors and Affiliations

  • G. C. Cadée
    • 1
  • H. González
    • 2
    • 3
  • S. B. Schnack-Schiel
    • 3
  1. 1.Netherlands Institute for Sea ResearchDen Burg TexelThe Netherlands
  2. 2.BiotecmarPontificia Universidad Catolica de ChileTalcahuanoChile
  3. 3.Alfred-Wegener-Institut für Polar- und MeesresforschungBremerhavenFederal Republic of Germany

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