Changes in the cephalopod diet of southern elephant seal females at King George Island, during El Niño - La Niña events.

Piatkowski, Uwe , Vergani, Daniel F. and Stanganelli, Zulma B. (2002) Changes in the cephalopod diet of southern elephant seal females at King George Island, during El Niño - La Niña events. Journal of The Marine Biological Association of The United Kingdom, 82 . pp. 913-916. DOI 10.1017/S0025315402006343.

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Abstract

Possible effects of ‘El Niño’ Southern Oscillation (ENSO) components ‘El Niño’ and ‘La Niña’ on populations of southern elephant seals, Mirounga leonina, were analysed. Changes in the cephalopod diet composition of moulting females at King George Island, Antarctic Peninsula were considered. The diet of female elephant seals sampled in 1991–1992 and 1992–1993 (El Niño years) were compared with those taken in 1995–1996 (La Niña year) at the same site and employing the same methodology. The squid Psychroteuthis glacialis constituted the main cephalopod prey of the seals. A reduction in the ‘Index of Biomass Ingested’ by female elephant seals (IBIF) of this prey species was observed in ‘El Niño’ years (1992, 1993) compared with the ‘La Niña’ year (1996). This reduction in biomass applied to all squid species in the seals' prey with the exception of Galiteuthis glacialis, which occurred in low numbers, but was more abundant during El Niño years than in the La Niña year.

Document Type: Article
Research affiliation: OceanRep > GEOMAR > FB3 Marine Ecology > FB3-EV Marine Evolutionary Ecology
Refereed: Yes
Open Access Journal?: No
DOI etc.: 10.1017/S0025315402006343
ISSN: 0025-3154
Date Deposited: 18 Feb 2008 17:25
Last Modified: 15 Jan 2019 13:04
URI: http://oceanrep.geomar.de/id/eprint/5535

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