Navigation Links
Professor's Antarctica research shows potential king crab invasion
Date:8/24/2012

MELBOURNE, FLA.Climate change could cause a major ecological upheaval in the shallow marine waters of the continental shelf of Antarctica. This is the outlook according to Professor Richard Aronson, head of the Florida Institute of Technology Department of Biological Sciences. His research finds predatory crabs poised to return to warming Antarctic waters and disrupt the primeval marine communities that have lived there for millions of years.

Aronson just received $760,000 in a second round of funding from the National Science Foundation (NSF) for his research. The grant will support two oceanographic cruises, planned for the 2013-2014 and 2014-2015 austral-summer seasons, to chart the progress of the invasion. The grant is from the NSF Antarctic Organisms and Ecosystems program, which is part of the Division of Antarctic Sciences within the Office of Polar Programs.

Aronson sees cause for concern."The king crabs are predators that eat most types of hard-shelled prey. If the crabs make it onto the Antarctic shelf, it is highly likely they will disrupt the unique seafloor communities, which currently live just a few hundred meters shallower than the massed crab populations," he said. Although king crabs are a commercially harvested elsewhere, Antarctica is too remote and the crabs are too small for a viable fishery.

The shell-cracking crabs, fish, sharks and rays that dominate bottom communities in temperate and tropical zones have been shut out of Antarctica for millions of years because it is simply too cold for them.

But this situation is about to change. "Populations of predatory king crabs are already living in deeper water," said Aronson. "And increasing ship traffic is introducing exotic invaders all the time. When ships unload ballast water in the Southern Ocean that surrounds Antarctica, larvae from all over the world get introduced to the ecosystem."

Antarctica's coastal waters are warming rapidly. Temperatures at the sea surface off the western Antarctic Peninsula went up 1C in the last 50 years, making it one of the fastest-warming regions of the World Ocean.

"If the crabs invade, they will devastate Antarctica's unique shallow-marine fauna," said Aronson. "Unless we work to slow greenhouse-gas emissions, climate change over the next several decades will accelerate the crab invasion and threaten the marine communities in Antarctica. Those communities will lose their unique demeanor and come to look like seafloor communities everywhere else. Taken together, the world's marine ecosystems will be less diverse. We will have lost something unique and truly beautiful."
'/>"/>

Contact: Karen Rhine
krhine@fit.edu
321-674-8964
Florida Institute of Technology
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Notre Dame establishes professorships in adult stem cell research
2. Mainz University Medical Center attracts funding of Alexander von Humboldt Professorship
3. GSA Bulletin presents studies in Antarctica, Italy, Mexico, Algeria, Mongolia, and more
4. Ancient global warming allowed greening of Antarctica
5. Research on carbon-consuming life-forms in Antarctica published in JoVE
6. Researchers describe new molecular interactions behind the inhibition of TGF beta-signaling
7. U of M researchers: Newly discovered genetic markers could signal colon cancer development
8. Research on wood formation sheds light on plant biology
9. Origami inspires research into materials that self-assemble when exposed to light
10. MDA supports Duchenne muscular dystrophy research by University of Nevada School of Medicine
11. Iowa State, Ames Lab researchers study the structure of drug resistance in tuberculosis
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:6/22/2016)... , June 22, 2016   ... management and verification solutions, has partnered with ... software solutions for Visitor Management, Self-Service Kiosks ... provides products that add functional enhancements to ... provides corporations and venues with an automated ...
(Date:6/20/2016)... , June 20, 2016 Securus ... justice technology solutions for public safety, investigation, corrections ... the prisons involved, it has secured the final ... (DOC) facilities for Managed Access Systems (MAS) installed. ... additional facilities to be installed by October, 2016. ...
(Date:6/9/2016)... in attendance control systems is proud to announce the introduction of fingerprint attendance control ... right employees are actually signing in, and to even control the opening of doors. ... ... ... Photo - ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:12/2/2016)... , Dec. 2, 2016 /PRNewswire/ - bioLytical Laboratories, a world leader in rapid infectious ... Kenya,s Pharmaceutical Association members. (Photo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20161201/444905 ) ... ... , , ... the Kenya Pharmaceutical Association (KPA) to introduce the INSTI HIV Self Test to 350 ...
(Date:11/30/2016)... announced the appointment of Joshua F. Coleman , M.D., ... Coleman will oversee clinical content development and curation of scientific ... suite empowers molecular pathologists with a seamless workflow for the ... quality control through reporting. ... , , Prior ...
(Date:11/30/2016)... /PRNewswire/ - Portage Biotech Inc. ("Portage" or "the Company") ... to announce the formation of EyGen, Ltd. a ... assets through proof of concept. EyGen,s lead asset ... Pharmaceuticals Limited and being developed for topical ophthalmic ... segment diseases. This agent has the potential to ...
(Date:11/30/2016)... -- The Allen Institute for Cell Science has released ... collection of gene edited, fluorescently tagged human induced ... with unprecedented clarity. Distributed through the Coriell Institute ... crucial first step toward visualizing the dynamic organization ... cells healthy and what goes wrong in disease. ...
Breaking Biology Technology: