The Southern Ocean is suffering not only from anthropogenic activities, but also from the impacts of rapid climate change and other environmental influences. These central factors, both directly and indirectly, affect the chemical and biological features occurring within Antarctic ecosystems at multiple trophic levels (Hill et al., 2006).
From the analysis of previous research, it can be concluded that the pelagic cold-water species Antarctic krill (Euphausia superba), is a keystone species within the food webs of Antarctica. As a consequence of this, fluctuation in their body mass, population abundances, and overall demography will see dramatic effects on a multitude of other species; for example albatrosses, penguin species and Antarctic fur seals. The effects seen range from variations in foraging behaviours, through to causing changes in reproductive strategies and reproductive behaviours right up to the apex predators (Croxall et al., 1999).
Although the Antarctic krill is a well-studied organism, there are still many uncertainties regarding key elements of their biology and the overarching influences occurring upon its life history and population dynamics. In addition, to broaden our understanding of the biology of the species through reviewing literature (Miller & Hampton, 1989), background information on the chemistry and ecology of the Southern Ocean food webs have also been further researched, particularly in relation to climate change and anthropogenic effects (Hofmann & Murphy, 2004).
In carrying out and reviewing further research into environmental and anthropogenic factors, and additionally that of predator-prey relations, the importance of E. superba within the ecosystem can be further comprehended. Moreover in doing so, measures in order to stabilise environmental discrepancies, can further help conserve the complete ecosystem.