KRILLBASE: a circumpolar database of Antarctic krill and salp numerical densities, 1926–2016
Abstract. Antarctic krill (Euphausia superba) and salps are major macroplankton contributors to Southern Ocean food webs and krill are also fished commercially. Managing this fishery sustainably, against a backdrop of rapid regional climate change, requires information on distribution and time trends. Many data on the abundance of both taxa have been obtained from net sampling surveys since 1926, but much of this is stored in national archives, sometimes only in notebooks. In order to make these important data accessible we have collated available abundance data (numerical density, no. m−2) of postlarval E. superba and salp individual (multiple species, and whether singly or in chains). These were combined into a central database, KRILLBASE, together with environmental information, standardisation and metadata. The aim is to provide a temporal-spatial data resource to support a variety of research such as biogeochemistry, autecology, higher predator foraging and food web modelling in addition to fisheries management and conservation. Previous versions of KRILLBASE have led to a series of papers since 2004 which illustrate some of the potential uses of this database. With increasing numbers of requests for these data we here provide an updated version of KRILLBASE that contains data from 15 194 net hauls, including 12 758 with krill abundance data and 9726 with salp abundance data. These data were collected by 10 nations and span 56 seasons in two epochs (1926–1939 and 1976–2016). Here, we illustrate the seasonal, inter-annual, regional and depth coverage of sampling, and provide both circumpolar- and regional-scale distribution maps. Krill abundance data have been standardised to accommodate variation in sampling methods, and we have presented these as well as the raw data. Information is provided on how to screen, interpret and use KRILLBASE to reduce artefacts in interpretation, with contact points for the main data providers.
The DOI for the published data set is doi:10.5285/8b00a915-94e3-4a04-a903-dd4956346439.