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Rafting by five phyla on man-made flotsam in the Southern Ocean

Barnes, David K.A.; Fraser, Keiron P.P.. 2003 Rafting by five phyla on man-made flotsam in the Southern Ocean. Marine Ecology Progress Series, 262. 289-291. 10.3354/meps262289

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Abstract/Summary

In just 4 decades, marine litter has become abundant in northern oceans and seas and is increasing on even remote Southern Ocean island shores. The Southern Ocean was thought to be protected from rafting organisms by its freezing sea surface temperatures. Here we report on an assemblage of animals attached to a piece of plastic that was washed ashore on Adelaide Island, Antarctic Peninsula (68degreesS). The band of plastic was positively buoyant. At least 10 species belonging to 5 phyla were present on the plastic and the size of some indicated that it had been afloat for more than a year. Clearly it is possible for a range of animals to survive and grow in such an environment, and so exotic species could enter or leave the Southern Ocean.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3354/meps262289
Programmes: BAS Programmes > Antarctic Science in the Global Context (2000-2005) > Life at the Edge - Stresses and Thresholds
ISSN: 0171-8630
Additional Keywords: marine debris, plastic, invasive species, Antarctica
NORA Subject Terms: Marine Sciences
Zoology
Ecology and Environment
Date made live: 17 Feb 2012 09:23
URI: http://nora.nerc.ac.uk/id/eprint/12579

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