At Limits of Life: Multidisciplinary Insights Reveal Environ
Details of Research
TitleAt Limits of Life: Multidisciplinary Insights Reveal Environmental Constraints on Biotic Diversity in Continental AntarcticaAbstractMultitrophic communities that maintain the functionality of the extreme Antarctic terrestrial ecosystems, while the simplest of any natural community, are still challenging our knowledge about the limits to life on earth. In this study, we describe and interpret the linkage between the diversity of different trophic level communities to the geological morphology and soil geochemistry in the remote Transantarctic Mountains (Darwin Mountains, 80 degrees S). We examined the distribution and diversity of biota (bacteria, cyanobacteria, lichens, algae, invertebrates) with respect to elevation, age of glacial drift sheets, and soil physicochemistry. Results showed an abiotic spatial gradient with respect to the diversity of the organisms across different trophic levels. More complex communities, in terms of trophic level diversity, were related to the weakly developed younger drifts (Hatherton and Britannia) with higher soil C/N ratio and lower total soluble salts content (thus lower conductivity). Our results indicate that an increase of ion concentration from younger to older drift regions drives a succession of complex to more simple communities, in terms of number of trophic levels and diversity within each group of organisms analysed. This study revealed that integrating diversity across multi-trophic levels of biotic communities with abiotic spatial heterogeneity and geological history is fundamental to understand environmental constraints influencing biological distribution in Antarctic soil ecosystems. Copyright 2012 Magalhaes et al.AcknowledgementsWe are sincerely grateful to Antarctica New Zealand for providing logistics support and especially to S. Gordon, I. Millar and M. Knox for logistics and/or field planning and assistance. We thank P. Broady for identification of algae, K. Cholnoky, B. Adams, U. Nielsen, Z. Sylvain and P. Zietz for laboratory assistance and analytical support, K. Joy for assembling figure 2, C.K. Lee for assistance in ARISA data analysis, and S. Ramos, J. Torres and L. Torgo for their assistance in statistical analyses.
1st AuthorMagalhaes, C.AuthorMagalhaes, C.Stevens, M.Cary, S.Ball, B.Storey, B.Wall, D.Turk, R.Ruprecht, U.Year2012JournalPLoS ONEVolume7Number9DOI10.1371/journal.pone.0044578URLhttps://www.scopus.com/inward/recor.....2f6dfd46b2701697bea303016Keywordsrank5
TypeArticleCitationMagalhaes, C., Stevens, M., Cary, S., Ball, B., Storey, B., Wall, D., Turk, R. and Ruprecht, U. (2012). At Limits of Life: Multidisciplinary Insights Reveal Environmental Constraints on Biotic Diversity in Continental Antarctica. PLoS ONE, 7(9)
Antarctica NZ (26th Nov 2018). At Limits of Life: Multidisciplinary Insights Reveal Environ . In Website Antarctica NZ. Retrieved 7th Dec 2021 11:49, from https://adam.antarcticanz.govt.nz/nodes/view/63635