Measuring the effects of temperature increases in the Antarctic fauna

Jun 30, 2009

Researchers from the British Antarctic Survey subjected species found in Antarctic waters to increasing levels of water temperature to learn how well they would cope with a warmer ocean. The study, to be presented at the Society for Experimental Biology meeting on Tuesday, June 30, shows that several of these species are already living really close to their upper temperature range, and that further increases could easily provoke serious ecological imbalances in this region.

A group of researchers from the have collected individuals from a wide range of species commonly found in and subjected them to increasing levels of water temperature to learn how each species is prepared to cope with the conditions that they are likely to experience in the future. The study showed that several of these species are already living really close to their upper temperature range, and that further increases caused by global warming could easily provoke serious ecological imbalances in this region. These results will be presented by Dr. Lloyd S. Peck at the Society of Experimental Biology Annual Meeting in Glasgow on Tuesday 30th June 2009.

The researchers found that, for a given species, smaller individuals were able to tolerate higher temperatures compared to larger ones. Since larger individuals are the ones more likely to have reached sexual maturity, their vulnerability to temperature change could seriously damage population levels within a few generations. In addition, since active species such as predators fared better than sessile ones when dealing with temperature increase, a disruption in the could add up to the direct effect of to cause disruptions earlier and to greater extents in the Antarctic marine ecosystem.

Source: Society for Experimental Biology

Explore further: Study indicates large raptors in Africa used for bushmeat

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Scientists discover new life in the Antarctic deep sea

May 16, 2007

Scientists have found hundreds of new marine creatures in the vast, dark deep-sea surrounding Antarctica. Carnivorous sponges, free-swimming worms, crustaceans, and molluscs living in the Weddell Sea provide ...

Insect population growth likely accelerated by warmer climate

Oct 30, 2006

Insects have proven to be highly adaptable organisms, able through evolution to cope with a variety of environmental changes, including relatively recent changes in the world's climate. But like something out of a scary Halloween ...

Recommended for you

Study indicates large raptors in Africa used for bushmeat

7 hours ago

Bushmeat, the use of native animal species for food or commercial food sale, has been heavily documented to be a significant factor in the decline of many species of primates and other mammals. However, a new study indicates ...

Noise pollution impacts fish species differently

10 hours ago

Acoustic disturbance has different effects on different species of fish, according to a new study from the Universities of Bristol and Exeter which tested fish anti-predator behaviour.

Invertebrate numbers nearly halve as human population doubles

10 hours ago

Invertebrate numbers have decreased by 45% on average over a 35 year period in which the human population doubled, reports a study on the impact of humans on declining animal numbers. This decline matters because of the enormous ...

Insecticides similar to nicotine widespread in Midwest

10 hours ago

Insecticides similar to nicotine, known as neonicotinoids, were found commonly in streams throughout the Midwest, according to a new USGS study. This is the first broad-scale investigation of neonicotinoid ...

User comments : 0