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Antarctic krill is a key component of Southern Ocean ecosystems and there is significant interest in identifying regions acting as sources for the krill population. We develop a mechanistic model combining thermal and food requirements for krill egg production, with predation pressure post-spawning, to predict regions that could support high larval production (spawning habitat). We optimise our model on regional data using a maximum likelihood approach and then generate circumpolar predictions of spawning habitat quality. The uploaded datasets represent model predictions of seasonal circumpolar spawning habitat quality of Antarctic krill as well as composite data of the circumpolar mean annual number of weeks in which modelled spawning habitat quality is higher than the summer 80th percentile.
Whale muscle samples were collected from stranded and dead blue (Baleoptera musculus) and fin (Baleoptera physalus) whales in South-western Australia. Blue, fin, sperm (Physeter macrocephalus), humpback (Megaptera novaeangliae) and pygmy blue (Baleoptera musculus brevicauda) whale faecal samples were collected from coastal waters off Southern Australia by trawling 0.5 mm mesh nets over the surface waters following defecation. Four species of krill (Nyctiphanes australia, Euphausia pacifica, Meganyctiphanes norvegica), including Antarctic krill (Euphausia superba) were collected from various locations worldwide. We analysed the concentration of iron, cadmium, manganese, cobalt, copper, zinc, phosphorus and carbon in baleen whale faeces and muscle, and krill tissue using inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry.