The Dynamic Mosaic Disturbance and Development of Antarctic Benthic Communities

Barnes, David K.A. ORCID:; Conlan, Kathleen E.. 2012 The Dynamic Mosaic Disturbance and Development of Antarctic Benthic Communities. In: Rogers, Alex D.; Johnston, Nadine M.; Murphy, Eugene J. ORCID:; Clarke, Andrew ORCID:, (eds.) Antarctic Ecosystems: An Extreme Environment in a Changing World. Blackwell Publishing, 255-290.

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The continental shelf is the platform for many of the planet’s most productive ecosystems but it is exposed to high disturbance. At high latitudes, massive grounded ice sheets have extended and retreated during glaciations whilst at lower latitudes sea level changes alternately emerse it as land or deepen it below the euphotic zone. The magnitude, frequency and mode of disturbances differ around the planet and in this chapter we describe these for the the Antarctic region, where icebergs and the highest wind speeds and wave heights in the world result in communities in a continuous cycle of disturbance and recolonization. Concepts of disturbance, colonization and early development or succession have been a source of considerable interest to ecologists for more than a century but now, with increasing realisation that the world’s coastal areas are facing unprecedented and accelerating anthropogenic threats (Jackson et al.,2001) these concepts have assumed new importance.

Item Type: Publication - Book Section
Digital Object Identifier (DOI):
Programmes: BAS Programmes > Polar Science for Planet Earth (2009 - ) > Ecosystems
Additional Keywords: Ice effects, Asteroid impacts, Sediment instability, Hypoxia, Deception island volcano, Eruption, Antarctic sea-bed colonisaton, Climate change, Antarctic shelf, Naturally disturbed areas
Date made live: 06 Jun 2012 10:48 +0 (UTC)

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