Protection of Antarctic microbial communities - 'out of sigh
Details of Research
TitleProtection of Antarctic microbial communities - 'out of sight, out of mind'AbstractRecent advances in molecular biology techniques have shown the presence of diverse microbial communities and endemic species in Antarctica. Endemic microbes may be a potential source of novel biotechnologically important compounds, including, for example, new antibiotics. Thus, the scientific and biotechnological value of Antarctic terrestrial microbial habitats can be compromised by human visitation to a greater extent than previously realized. The ever-increasing human footprint in Antarctica makes consideration of this topic more pressing, as the number of locations known to be pristine habitats, where increasingly sophisticated cutting-edge research techniques may be used to their full potential, declines. Examination of the Protected Areas system of the Antarctic Treaty shows that microbial habitats are generally poorly protected. No other continent on Earth is dominated to the same degree by microbial species, and real opportunities exist to develop new ways of conceptualizing and implementing conservation of microbial biogeography on a continental scale. Here we highlight potential threats both to the conservation of terrestrial microbial ecosystems, and to future scientific research requiring their study. © 2015 Hughes, Cowan and Wilmotte.AcknowledgementsThis paper is a contribution to the Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research (SCAR) AntEco (State of the Antarctic Ecosystem) research programme and the British Antarctic Survey's Polar Science for Planet Earth core programme EO-LTMS (Environment Office -- Long Term Monitoring and Survey). A. Wilmotte is Research Associate of the Belgian Funds for Scientific Research FRS-FNRS and thanks the Belgian Science Policy Office for the support of the CCAMBIO (SD/BA/03A) project and her participation to the Belgian delegation to the Committee on Environmental Protection (CEP) of the Antarctic Treaty. KH acknowledges ongoing funding by the UK Natural Environment Research Council in support of his research and his participation in the UK delegation to the CEP. Thanks are due to Prof. A. Choquet (Brest Business School, France) for useful discussions and to two reviewers for helpful comments.
1st AuthorHughes, K.AuthorHughes, K.Cowan, D.Wilmotte, A.Year2015JournalFrontiers in MicrobiologyVolume6NumberFEBDOI10.3389/fmicb.2015.00151URLhttps://www.scopus.com/inward/recor.....5d24642614a028e3ca9af1af3KeywordsAntarcticaArticlebiodiversityecosystem healthenvironmental protectionhabitatmicrobial communitymicrobial contaminationnonhumanspecies distribution, rank1Author KeywordsAntarcticaConservationHuman impactInviolate areaMicrobial diversity
TypeArticleCitationHughes, K., Cowan, D. and Wilmotte, A. (2015). Protection of Antarctic microbial communities - 'out of sight, out of mind'. Frontiers in Microbiology, 6(FEB)
Antarctica NZ (29th Nov 2018). Protection of Antarctic microbial communities - 'out of sigh . In Website Antarctica NZ. Retrieved 14th Apr 2021 10:03, from https://adam.antarcticanz.govt.nz/nodes/view/63560