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Biodiversity change after climate-induced ice-shelf collapse in the Antarctic

Gutt, Julian; Barratt, Iain; Domack, Eugene; d'Udekem d'Acoz, Cédric; Dimmler, Werner; Grémare, Antoine; Heilmayer, Olaf; Isla, Enrique; Janussen, Dorte; Jorgensen, Elaina; Kock, Karl-Hermann; Lehnert, Linn Sophia; López-Gonzáles, Pablo; Langner, Stephanie; Linse, Katrin; Manjón-Cabeza, Maria Eugenia; Meißner, Meike; Montiel, Americo; Raes, Maarten; Robert, Henri; Rose, Armin; Sañé Schepisi, Elisabet Sañé; Saucéde, Thomas; Scheidat, Meike; Schenke, Hans-Werner; Seiler, Jan; Smith, Craig. 2011 Biodiversity change after climate-induced ice-shelf collapse in the Antarctic. Deep Sea Research Part II, 58 (1-2). 74-83. 10.1016/j.dsr2.2010.05.024

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Abstract/Summary

The marine ecosystem on the eastern shelf of the Antarctic Peninsula was surveyed 5 and 12 years after the climate-induced collapse of the Larsen A and B ice shelves. An impoverished benthic fauna was discovered, that included deep-sea species presumed to be remnants from ice-covered conditions. The current structure of various ecosystem components appears to result from extremely different response rates to the change from an oligotrophic sub-ice-shelf ecosystem to a productive shelf ecosystem. Meiobenthic communities remained impoverished only inside the embayments. On local scales, macro- and mega-epibenthic diversity was generally low, with pioneer species and typical Antarctic megabenthic shelf species interspersed. Antarctic Minke whales and seals utilised the Larsen A/B area to feed on presumably newly established krill and pelagic fish biomass. Ecosystem impacts also extended well beyond the zone of ice-shelf collapse, with areas of high benthic disturbance resulting from scour by icebergs discharged from the Larsen embayments.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI): 10.1016/j.dsr2.2010.05.024
Programmes: BAS Programmes > Polar Science for Planet Earth (2009 - ) > Environmental Change and Evolution
ISSN: 0967-0645
Additional Keywords: Antarctic Peninsula; Benthos; Krill; Apex predators; Pioneer species; Deep-sea species
NORA Subject Terms: Marine Sciences
Meteorology and Climatology
Ecology and Environment
Date made live: 13 May 2011 09:51
URI: http://nora.nerc.ac.uk/id/eprint/14064

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