The impact of environmental change on the Antarctic silverfish Pleuragramma antarcticum - Identifying physiological and ecological limits



Dr. Christian Bock, seit 7/2012 
Helmholtz-Zentrum für Polar- und Meeresforschung


Project Description

This project aims to investigate the vulnerability of the Antarctic silverfish, Pleuragramma antarcticum, to environmental alterations due to climate change. Climate change in the marine Antarctic is reflected in increasing temperature and reduced salinity, both entailing alterations in phytoplankton and zooplankton composition. P. antarcticum is a key species in the Antarctic marine food web and a major prey for most warm‐blooded animals, in particular for penguins and seals. Evidence suggests that this species might be highly sensitive to direct effects of climate change, i.e. increasing temperature and reduced salinity, as well as to indirect effects such as alterations in prey composition and availability. Accordingly, this project involves experimental studies on physiological sensitivity of P. antarcticum to changing temperature and salinity regimes, as well as feeding experiments to investigate the impact of changes in prey availability, prey size, and prey energy content on survival and condition of P. antarcticum. This study will provide a comprehensive picture of environmental sensitivity of this key species.


Final Report

DFG Programme: Infrastructure Priority Programmes

Former Applicant: Dr. Katja Mintenbeck, until 7/2012

Term from 2009 to 2012