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Antarctic Ecosystems: An Extreme Environment in a Changing World

Edited By: Alex D Rogers, Nadine M Johnston, Eugene J Murphy and Andrew Clarke

562 pages, 24 colour plates, b/w illustrations, b/w maps

John Wiley & Sons

Hardback | Feb 2012 | #192125 | ISBN-13: 9781405198400
Availability: Usually dispatched within 5 days Details
NHBS Price: £94.99 $116/€106 approx

About this book

Since its discovery Antarctica has held a deep fascination for biologists. Extreme environmental conditions, seasonality and isolation have lead to some of the most striking examples of natural selection and adaptation on Earth. Paradoxically, some of these adaptations may pose constraints on the ability of the Antarctic biota to respond to climate change. Parts of Antarctica are showing some of the largest changes in temperature and other environmental conditions in the world. In this volume, published in association with the Royal Society, leading polar scientists present a synthesis of the latest research on the biological systems in Antarctica, covering organisms from microbes to vertebrate higher predators. This book comes at a time when new technologies and approaches allow the implications of climate change and other direct human impacts on Antarctica to be viewed at a range of scales; across entire regions, whole ecosystems and down to the level of species and variation within their genomes. Chapters address both Antarctic terrestrial and marine ecosystems, and the scientific and management challenges of the future are explored.


Introduction: Antarctic ecology in a changing world

Part I: Terrestrial and freshwater habitats
Chapter 1. Spatial and temporal variability in terrestrial Antarctic biodiversity Steven L. Chown and Peter Convey
Chapter 2. Global Change in a Low Diversity Terrestrial Ecosystem: The McMurdo Dry Valleys, Diana H. Wall
Chapter 3. Antarctic lakes as models for the study of microbial biodiversity, biogeography and evolution

Part II: Marine habitats and regions
Chapter 4. The impact of regional climate change on the marine ecosystem of the western Antarctic Peninsula
Chapter 5. The Marine Ecosystem of the West Antarctic Peninsula
Chapter 6. Spatial and Temporal Operation of the Scotia Sea Ecosystem
Chapter 7. The Ross Sea Continental Shelf: Regional Biogeochemical Cycles, Trophic Interactions, and Potential Future Changes
Chapter 8. Pelagic ecosystems in the waters off East Antarctica (30 degrees E-150 degrees E) Stephen Nicol and Ben Raymond
Chapter 9. The dynamic mosaic: Disturbance and development of Antarctic benthic communities
Chapter 10. Southern Ocean deep benthic biodiversity
Chapter 11. Environmental forcing and Southern Ocean marine predator populations: effects of climate change and variability

Part III: Molecular adaptations and evolution
Chapter 12. Molecular ecophysiology of Antarctic notothenioid fishes
Chapter 13. Mechanisms defining thermal limits and adaptation in marine ectotherms: an integrative view
Chapter 14. Evolution and biodiversity of Antarctic organisms; a molecular perspective

Part IV: Conservation and management aspects
Chapter 15. Biogeography and regional classifications of Antarctica
Chapter 16. Conservation and Management of Antarctic Ecosystems


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Alex Rogers is a marine biologist working on the ecology and conservation of marine ecosystem. Most of his research has focused on Antarctic and deep-sea habitats, including seamounts, hydrothermal vents and cold-water corals. He uses molecular tools to help investigate the diversity and evolution of species and connectivity of populations of marine organisms. He has also worked extensively on human impacts on the oceans and the development of policies for improved management of the oceans.

Nadine Johnston is a marine ecologist. Her research is focused on the interaction of Scotia Sea species and their links to the circumpolar ocean (from a food web perspective) to understand the importance of spatial and temporal variability in the operation of this ecosystem.

Eugene Murphy has spent over 25 years working on polar marine ecosystems, as a marine ecologist and ecological modeller. His major interests are in the structure and function of oceanic ecosystems, and how biological and physical interactions at different scales affect the dynamics of marine populations, the overall structure of marine ecosystems amd their response to change.

Andrew Clarke has spent the over 40 years working in polar regions, principally as a marine ecologist. His major interests are the elationship between temperature and the physiology and ecology of organisms, and how changes in climate over geological time have influenced the distribution and diversity of organisms.

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