Title Life hung by a thread; endurance of Antarctic fauna in glacial periods
Author Thatje, S.; Hillenbrand, C.; Mackensen, A.; Larter, R.
Author Affil Thatje, S., University of Southampton, National Oceanography Centre, Southampton, United Kingdom. Other: British Antarctic Survey, United Kingdom; Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research, Germany
Source Ecology, 89(3), p.682-692, . Publisher: Ecological Society of America, Ithaca, NY, United States. ISSN: 0012- 9658
Publication Date Mar. 2008
Notes In English. Based on Publisher- supplied data Ant. Acc. No: 90443. CRREL Acc. No: 65003547
Index Terms glacial geology; ice; ice shelves; paleoecology; Pleistocene; Antarctica; Southern Ocean; Aves; Cenozoic; Chordata; food chains; Foraminifera; glacial environment; International Polar Year 2007- 08; Invertebrata; IPY 2007-08 Research Publications; microfossils; productivity; Protista; Quaternary; sea ice; Tetrapoda; Vertebrata
Abstract Today, Antarctica exhibits some of the harshest environmental conditions for life on Earth. During the last glacial period, Antarctic terrestrial and marine life was challenged by even more extreme environmental conditions. During the present interglacial period, polar life in the Southern Ocean is sustained mainly by large-scale primary production. We argue that during the last glacial period, faunal populations in the Antarctic were limited to very few areas of local marine productivity (polynyas), because complete, multiannual sea-ice and ice shelf coverage shut down most of the Southern Ocean productivity within today's seasonal sea-ice zone. Both marine sediments containing significant numbers of planktonic and benthic foraminifera and fossil bird stomach oil deposits in the adjacent Antarctic hinterland provide indirect evidence for the existence of polynyas during the last glacial period. (mod. journ. abst.)
URL http://hdl.handle.net/10.1890/07-0498.1
Publication Type journal article
Record ID 306312