In summary

In conclusion, sea ice provides an invaluable source of food and shelter to krill, which in turn acts as a foundation of many ocean ecosystems.

How this link will be affected by the ongoing threat of climate change is not fully known, but simple hypotheses demonstrate the severe consequences posed to marine ecosystems should krill populations be affected by retreating sea ice.

In order to fully understand the link between krill and sea ice and it’s importance to marine ecosystems, the abundance, behavior and life history strategies of species of krill besides those more abundant (eg. Euphausia superba), as well as any changes in behavior, abundance or life history strategy of krill that could be linked to climate change must be extensively studied.

These results can then be used in conjunction with extensive oceanographic data to investigate the extent to which different species of krill associate with sea ice, and what, if any, changes are occurring. If these changes are slow enough it may be possible to put artificial habitats in place to help krill survive these threats. Doing these things will help to understand and preserve a vital pillar of the marine ecosystem.

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