SOUTH AMERICAN AND ANTARCTIC INTERACTIONS IN THE MARINE ENVIRONMENT - BIOLOGICAL RELATIONSHIPS, GENERAL RELEVANCE AND RESEARCH PERSPECTIVE

Julian Gutt, Wolf E. Arntz

Abstract


The  relevance  of  faunistic  intercontinental  comparisons  is  discussed  here  in  the  context  of  the  past and  current  projects  related  to Antarctic  biodiversity  research.  Some  of  these  have  focussed  on  questions regarding Antarctic isolation and evolutionary pathways between South America and that continent, such as the  ‘Investigación  Biológica  Marina  en  Magellanes  relacionada  con  la Antártida'(IBMANT),  ‘Ecology  of the Antarctic  Sea  Ice  Zone'  (EASIZ),  and  more  recently  the  ‘Evolution  and  Biodiversity  in  the Antarctic' (EBA) as well as the ‘Census of Antarctic Marine Life' (CAML) and the ‘Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research Marine Biodiversity Information Network' (SCARMarBIN). The Latin American subproject of the ‘Census of Antarctic Marine Life' (LA-CAML) provided a landmark to collect data on the biodiversity and life history for all groups of organisms ranging from microbes to endotherms. In addition to such fundamental knowledge the application of molecular techniques and highly sophisticated methods to study macroecological processes are necessary to better understand ecosystem functioning and large-scale comparisons in the southern hemisphere, especially between South America and Antarctica. More cooperation between scientists and more interdisciplinary approaches are required to develop reliable projections for the future of our biosphere under anthropogenic stress and its ecosystem services.


Keywords


Biodiversity; interdiscipinary studies; ecosystem functioning; predictions.

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