The Krill Surplus Hypothesis and the Power of Data

This post was chosen as an Editor's Selection for ResearchBlogging.orgAlmost a year ago, we discussed briefly the Krill Surplus Hypothesis. In this model, the removal of large baleen whales created a competitive release for Minke whales, Balaenoptera bonaerensis, exponentially increasing their food supply and and allowing their population to boom. By removing all other krill eating whale from the Antarctic, Minke whales were allowed to thrive, gorging on an endless supply of krill. The flipside to this hypothesis is that now Minke whales have become competitive excluders of other baleen whales, preventing their re-population post-whaling. Minke whale may be preventing the recovery of other whale species.

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