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Impact of anthropogenic transportation to Antarctica on alien seed viability

Hughes, Kevin A.; Lee, J. E.; Ware, C.; Kiefer, K.; Bergstrom, D. M.. 2010 Impact of anthropogenic transportation to Antarctica on alien seed viability. Polar Biology, 33 (8). 1125-1130. 10.1007/s00300-010-0801-4

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Abstract/Summary

Antarctic ecosystems are at risk from the introduction of invasive species. The first step in the process of invasion is the transportation of alien species to Antarctic in a viable state. However, the effect of long-distance human-mediated dispersal, over different timescales, on propagule viability is not well known. We assessed the viability of Poa trivialis seeds transported to Antarctica from the UK, South Africa and Australia by ship or by ship and aircraft. Following transportation to the Antarctic Treaty area, no reduction in seed viability was found, despite journey times lasting up to 284 days and seeds experiencing temperatures as low as -1.5A degrees C. This work confirms that human-mediated transport may overcome the dispersal barrier for some propagules, and highlights the need for effective pre-departure biosecurity measures.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI): 10.1007/s00300-010-0801-4
Programmes: BAS Programmes > Global Science in the Antarctic Context (2005-2009) > Long-Term Monitoring and Survey – Biological Sciences Division
ISSN: 0722-4060
NORA Subject Terms: Botany
Biology and Microbiology
Ecology and Environment
Date made live: 06 Oct 2010 12:41
URI: http://nora.nerc.ac.uk/id/eprint/10848

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