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EARTH SCIENCE > BIOSPHERE > ECOLOGICAL DYNAMICS > SPECIES/POPULATION INTERACTIONS > SPECIES LIFE HISTORY

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  • This model was produced as part of Australian Antarctic Science project 4037 - Experimental krill biology: Response of krill to environmental change - The experimental krill research project is designed to focus on obtaining life history information of use in managing the krill fishery - the largest Antarctic fishery. In particular, the project will concentrate on studies into impacts of climate change on key aspects of krill biology and ecology. This metadata record is to reference the paper that describes the model. There is no archived data output from this data product. Taken from the abstract of the referenced paper: Estimates of productivity of Antarctic krill, Euphausia superba, are dependent on accurate models of growth and reproduction. Incorrect growth models, specifically those giving unrealistically high production, could lead to over-exploitation of the krill population if those models are used in setting catch limits. Here we review available approaches to modelling productivity and note that existing models do not account for the interactions between growth and reproduction and variable environmental conditions. We develop a new energetics moult-cycle (EMC) model which combines energetics and the constraints on growth of the moult-cycle. This model flexibly accounts for regional, inter- and intra-annual variation in temperature, food supply, and day length. The EMC model provides results consistent with the general expectations for krill growth in length and mass, including having thin krill, as well as providing insights into the effects that increasing temperature may have on growth and reproduction. We recommend that this new model be incorporated into assessments of catch limits for Antarctic krill.

  • This dataset is a document describing the Decapoda of the Southern Ocean. It lists all the known species and with illustrated diagrams provides a guide to their taxonomic identification. The document is available for download as a pdf from the provided URL.

  • This dataset contains the data from Voyage 7.2 1989-90 of the Aurora Australis. The observations were taken from around Heard Island between May and June 1990. The objective of the zooplankton program was to determine the composition, distribution and abundance of zooplankton with the Heard Island-Kerguelen area, thus providing information of food availability to planktivorous fish. Surveys of krill and other zooplankton were made to obtain species identity and abundance data, length and age. Euphausia valentini and Themisto gaudichaudi were found to be the dominant species in the region. Other major species included the euphausiid Thysanoessa, the copepod Rhincalanus gigas and chaetognaths of the genus Sagitta. This dataset is a subset of the full cruise.

  • To quantify the dietary preferences and trophic level consumption of post-breeding adult female Antarctic fur seals (Arctocephalus gazella), we analysed the carbon:nitrogen composition of whiskers and blood samples from the females. Females were captured towards the end of the lactation period (March/April) and whiskers and a blood sample were collected at this time. Females were generally recaptured just prior to or after giving birth the following season and a further whisker and blood sample were collected at this time. Metadata for each individual include: Site, GLS ID, year, flipper tag number, season, sampling date, tissue type, whisker segment number, cumulative length along whisker of the segment, d15N, d13C, percentage N, percentage C and CN ratio.

  • To quantify the dietary preferences and trophic level consumption of post-breeding adult female Antarctic fur seals (Arctocephalus gazella), we analysed the carbon:nitrogen composition of whiskers and blood samples from the females. Females were captured towards the end of the lactation period (March/April) and whiskers and a blood sample were collected at this time. Females were generally recaptured just prior to or after giving birth the following season and a further whisker and blood sample were collected at this time. Metadata for each individual include: Site, GLS ID, year, flipper tag number, season, sampling date, tissue type, whisker segment number, cumulative length along whisker of the segment, d15N, d13C, percentage N, percentage C and CN ratio.

  • This dataset is a document describing the Chaetognaths of the Southern Ocean. The synonymy, diagnostic characters, geographical and bathymetric distribution of each species is given together with an illustration of body, head and a seminal vesicle, and a distribution map. The document is available for download as a pdf from the provided URL.

  • This dataset is a document describing the Ctenophores of the Southern Ocean. It lists all the known species and with illustrated diagrams provides a guide to their taxonomic identification. The document is available for download as a pdf from the provided URL.

  • Taken from the report prepared by R Kenny: In this report our comparatively brief knowledge of the Elephant Seal at Macquarie Island (based only on one year's observations) have been augmented by abstracting notes from "The Natural History of the Elephant Seal" by L. Harrison Matthews Discovery Reports, vol. 1 p. 233. 1929., based on observations at South Georgia. The Elephant Seal herds at the two islands are comparable - at South Georgia the animals had been overfished almost to the point of extinction by 1885, but were then not hunted for many years, and by 1929 had "increased in numbers till at the present time they are probably as numerous as ever", and are now fished under Government regulation to prevent extermination; the Macquarie Island herd has a similar history.

  • Adelie penguin breeding success records for Bechervaise Island, Mawson since 1990-91. Data include counts of occupied nests and chick counts when either 2/3 of the nests have creched or when all nests have creched. Breeding success values are calculated as the number of chicks per occupied nest. Breeding Success = the number of chicks raised to fledging per nest with eggs Breeding success is calculated from four different whole island counts: 1) the number of incubating nests (i.e. the number of nest with eggs) - 'incubating nest count' 2) the number of brooding nests (i.e. the number of nests brooding chicks) - 'brooding chick count' 3) the number of chicks present when 2/3 of the nests have creched their chicks - '2/3-creche count' 4) the number of chicks present when all the nests have creche their chicks - 'fully-creche count' Each colony on the island is manually counted by field observers, using 'counters', three times each. Counts within 10% of each other are used to average the number of nests or chicks for each colony and then in later calculations to determine breeding success. Incubating nest counts are conducted on or about 2nd December; Brooding chick counts are conducted on or about the 7th January; 2/3-creche counts on or about the 19th January; and Fully-creche chick counts on or about 26th January. Whole island 2/3-creche and fully-creche chick count dates are determined from calculating when 2/3 and all study nests in the census area (study colonies) have creche their chicks. This work was completed as part of ASAC Project 2205, Adelie penguin research and monitoring in support of the CCAMLR Ecosystem Monitoring Project. The fields in this dataset are: Year Breeding success Occupied nests

  • This is a local copy of a metadata record and dataset stored at Dryad. This local copy is maintained in order to provide a link to the originating Australian Antarctic program project. See the link to the Dryad site at the provided URL for full details on this data set. Age is a fundamental aspect of animal ecology, but is difficult to determine in many species. Humpback whales exemplify this as they have a lifespan comparable to humans, mature sexually as early as four years and have no reliable visual age indicators after their first year. Current methods for estimating humpback age cannot be applied to all individuals and populations. Assays for human age have recently been developed recently based on age-induced changes in DNA methylation of specific genes. We used information on age-associated DNA methylation in human and mouse genes to identify homologous gene regions in humpbacks. Humpback skin samples were obtained from individuals with a known year of birth and employed to calibrate relationships between cytosine methylation and age. Seven of 37 cytosines assayed for methylation level in humpback skin had significant age-related profiles. The three most age-informative cytosine markers were selected for a humpback epigenetic age assay. The assay has an R2 of 0.787 (p = 3.04e-16) and predicts age from skin samples with a standard deviation of 2.991 years. The epigenetic method correctly determined which of parent-offspring pairs is the parent in more than 93% of cases. To demonstrate the potential of this technique, we constructed the first modern age profile of humpback whales off eastern Australia and compared the results to population structure five decades earlier. This is the first epigenetic age estimation method for a wild animal species and the approach we took for developing it can be applied to many other non model organisms.