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On the origin of Antarctic marine benthic community structure

Thatje, Sven; Hillenbrand, Claus-Dieter; Larter, Rob. 2005 On the origin of Antarctic marine benthic community structure. Trends in Ecology and Evolution, 20 (10). 534-540. 10.1016/j.tree.2005.07.010

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Abstract/Summary

Environmental conditions fostering marine communities around Antarctica differ fundamentally from those in the rest of the world's oceans, particularly in terms of pronounced climatic fluctuations and extreme cold. Here, we argue that the rarity of pelagic larval stages in Antarctic marine benthic invertebrate species is a consequence of evolutionary temperature adaptation and that this has greatly contributed to the current structure of the Antarctic benthic community. In arguing this position, we challenge the likelihood of previously suggested survival strategies of benthic communities on the Antarctic continental shelf and slope during Cenozoic glacial periods. By integrating evidence from marine geology and geophysics, we suggest that the Antarctic continental shelf and slope were both unfavourable environments for benthic communities during glacial periods and that community survival was only possible in the deep sea or in shelters on the continental shelf as a result of the diachronism in maximum ice extent.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI): 10.1016/j.tree.2005.07.010
Programmes: BAS Programmes > Antarctic Funding Initiative Projects
ISSN: 0169-5347
NORA Subject Terms: Marine Sciences
Ecology and Environment
Date made live: 01 Feb 2008 11:21
URI: http://nora.nerc.ac.uk/id/eprint/2014

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