What Biome Is Antarctica

What Biome Is Antarctica – Figure 1 Map of Antarctica, showing areas mentioned in the text, and the Southern Ocean, showing ice-covered and ice-free areas below 200 m, between 200 and 1,000 m depth and above 1000 m [modified from ((21); photo by P. Fretwell, British Antarctic Survey].

Two studies published this week in a special issue of the journal Science Advances highlight the vulnerability of Antarctica and its ecosystems ahead of the UNFCCC’s COP25 meeting in Madrid next week.

What Biome Is Antarctica

The first study, involving scientists from the British Antarctic Survey (BAS), examined the integration of climate change considerations into the global network of marine protected areas, and how this will help secure the future of the ocean.

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Little is known about how MPAs communicate climate impacts or how climate adaptation can be enhanced within the global network of MPAs. A key finding is that the proportion of marine protected areas reporting on climate change cannot be accurately measured, as there is no database containing this information.

Developing a database to track climate adaptation plans in MPAs is one of eight recommendations made by the researchers. They also recommend developing new dynamic management tools to respond more quickly to climate impacts.

“The effects of climate change and biodiversity loss are two of the greatest challenges facing our oceans, but policies addressing these issues have been able to develop independently. There is now an urgent need to mainstream climate change into as a central consideration in ocean conservation and management.” says BAS environmental scientist Dr Rachel Cavanagh.

Another important aspect of climate-smart conservation and management is the focus on building capacity in resource-poor areas, as well as integrating and engaging influential actors in discussions and decision-making. of decision.

Map Of Antarctica, 50 Million Years After Present

“Creating marine protected areas (MPAs) that address climate change is critical in the Pacific Ocean, where marine ecosystems are rapidly changing. These new guidelines can improve how MPAs are used to ensure both the biodiversity conservation and climate adaptation.

The second study was published in the journal Science Advances, a review by BAS scientists. He will discuss how Antarctica’s unique and fragile ecosystems are coping with both the challenges of climate change and direct human impacts, in particular accidental introductions of alien species. The scientists analyzed the current literature on the environmental challenges facing the continent and the Pacific Ocean.

The study confirms the importance for all parties to the Antarctic Treaty to continue to manage the area, while including best practices to protect and preserve the environment. Scientists welcome the creation of the first genomic database of Antarctic species in New Zealand and call for it to be expanded to create a comprehensive genomic archive that future generations can use.

The Southern Ocean has one of the highest levels of biodiversity in the world, second only to the reefs. In contrast, Antarctic ecosystems contain some of the smallest in the world. However, the two have long been separated from the rest of the world, resulting in evolutionary radiation and adaptation to unique environments.

Antarctica. The White Continent.

“Visitor numbers to Antarctica remain low, with around 50,000 tourists and 5,000 researchers a year. There are no records of established non-native marine species around Antarctica, however, climate change and the increased human activity in the region can work together greatly increase the risk of establishment of non-native species, which is a challenge for the Antarctic Treaty System to respond quickly and effectively to fulfill its responsibility to properly protect Antarctic ecosystems and biodiversity.

Also read: Derek P. Tittensor et al. Integrating Climate Adaptation and Biodiversity Conservation in the World’s Oceans, Science Advances (2019). DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.aay9969

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Studies Highlight Fragility Of Antarctic Ecosystems

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That’s a great question, so I thought I’d leave my answer here too! (Also on a biologist’s FAQ website.)

The most important thing to remember about Antarctica is that it is a large continent. It’s bigger than the United States and there’s a lot of biodiversity! Most of Antarctica is desert, yes. Of course, it’s a very different type of desert than most people think, because most people think of deserts as hot places with lots of cacti, and that’s not the case. So I think a lot of people think Antarctica is tundra because they don’t realize the desert can get very cold. Scientists working in Antarctica often refer to most of the continent as a cold desert or a polar desert. The difference between cold and polar deserts is very technical, mainly related to the chemistry of mineral salts. Some say the coastal soils around most of the continent are polar deserts, while the rest of the continent (not near the ocean) is cold deserts. Some people use words differently.

However, parts of Antarctica and the surrounding area, known as the “maritime” climate zone, have a milder climate. This includes the islands along the Pacific Ocean (this is the part that extends to South America in the west of the planet), as well as the subantarctic islands. . Because it’s less complicated, there are more plants (mostly mosses and mosses, but also some grasses). Therefore, the soil is more organic (i.e. decaying plant material) and these areas resemble a tundra ecosystem. However, there are no trees in Antarctica and there are only two types of vascular plants (grasses and sedges), so it is not as diverse or complex as the Arctic tundra.

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So, yes, parts of Antarctica are considered tundra (or semi-tundra), but not all of the rest of the continent. Most Antarctic scientists consider the tundra ecosystems to be the “maritime climatic” region of the Pacific Ocean in West Antarctica and the sub-Antarctic islands, and the rest of West and East Antarctica to be a polar desert or cold. And of course, most desert areas are covered in ice, and less than 2% of the Earth is ice-free. In my opinion, organisms still live in these regions (like bacteria), so they are ecosystems. Whether this is an “ice biome” or a desert may not be official. Regions covered in ice still meet the criteria for being a desert, as there is water, frozen, and unavailable for life! It rains little and the humidity is lost to the wind. But ice lives very differently from ground, so it’s important to distinguish between the two. The ecosystem includes Antarctica and several island groups in the South Atlantic and Indian Oceans. Antarctica is so cold that it only supported 2 blood plants for millions of years, and its flora once consisted of around 250 lichens, 100 mosses, 25-30 liverworts and around 700 species of algae terrestrial and aquatic, living in areas of rock and soil along the coast of the earth. The two Antarctic flowering plants, Antarctic Hairweed (Deschampsia antarctica) and Antarctic Saltwort (Colobanthus quitsis), are found in the northern and western parts of the Antarctic Peninsula. Antarctica is home to many species of animals including penguins, seals and whales.

Several Antarctic and sub-Antarctic island groups are considered part of the Antarctic continent, including Bouvet Island, Crozet Islands, Heard Island, Kerguel Island, McDonald Island, Prince Edward Island, South Island.

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