IBB PAS Repository

Are the diets of sympatric Pygoscelid penguins more similar than previously thought?

Wawrzynek‑Borejko, Justyna and Panasiuk, Anna and Hinke, Jefferson T. and Korczak-Abshire, Małgorzata (2022) Are the diets of sympatric Pygoscelid penguins more similar than previously thought? Polar Biology, 45 . ISSN 0722-4060


Official URL: https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s00300-0...


In recent years, functional changes in Southern Ocean are becoming more noticeable, due to climate change and increasing human impacts, including a growing fshery that is concentrating in the Antarctic Peninsula (AP) region. Antarctic krill Euphausia superba is often the primary prey species for animals such as Pygoscelis penguins, a sentinel species for ecosystem monitoring and management. During the last two decades in the AP gentoo penguin numbers (Pygoscelis papua) have increased and their range has shifted southward, in contrast to the decline in numbers of Adélie (P. adeliae) and chinstrap (P. antarcticus) penguins. Given divergent population trends, the goal of this study was to examine diferences in their diet, and size structure of Antarctic krill recovered from penguin diet samples. The study is based on diet samples collected during the austral summers on King George Island (South Shetland Islands) where P. adeliae, P. antarcticus, and P. papua breed in mixed colonies. Results indicate that the penguins consumed krill of similar sizes during the breeding period. In contrast to prior diet studies, we found higher proportions of krill in the gentoo diet and changes in the percentage of krill in the diet relative obtained during 1970s. The similarity in diets among all three species suggests that the availability prey items (e. g., fshes) may be changing and driving higher dietary overlap. Moreover, we also check diferences in krill length among penguin individuals and we did not fnd any statistically signifcant diferences. We also found plastic debris in penguin stomachs during both summers.

Item Type:Article
Subjects:Q Science > QL Zoology
S Agriculture > SH Aquaculture. Fisheries. Angling
Divisions:Department of Antarctic Biology
ID Code:2187
Deposited By: dr Malgorzata Korczak-Abshire
Deposited On:27 Oct 2022 07:23
Last Modified:27 Oct 2022 07:23

Repository Staff Only: item control page