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The biodiversity and ecology of Antarctic lakes: models for evolution

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Laybourn-Parry, J and Pearce, DA (2007) The biodiversity and ecology of Antarctic lakes: models for evolution. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society Series B Biological Sciences, 326 (1488). pp. 2273-2289. ISSN 0962-8452

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Abstract

Antarctic lakes are characterised by simplified, truncated food webs. The lakes range from freshwater
to hypersaline with a continuum of physical and chemical conditions that offer a natural laboratory in
which to study evolution. Molecular studies on Antarctic lake communities are still in their infancy,
but there is clear evidence from some taxonomic groups, for example the Cyanobacteria, that there is
endemicity. Moreover, many of the bacteria have considerable potential as sources of novel
biochemicals such as low temperature enzymes and anti-freeze proteins. Among the eukaryotic
organisms survival strategies have evolved, among which dependence on mixotrophy in
phytoflagellates and some ciliates is common. There is also some evidence of evolution of new
species of flagellate in the marine derived saline lakes of the Vestfold Hills. Recent work on viruses in
polar lakes demonstrates high abundance and high rates of infection, implying that they may play an
important role in genetic exchange in these extreme environments.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: lakes; bacteria; flagellates; cyanobacteria; ciliates
Journal or Publication Title: Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society Series B Biological Sciences
Page Range: pp. 2273-2289
ISSN: 0962-8452
Identification Number - DOI: 10.1098/rstb.2006.1945
Date Deposited: 06 Mar 2008 23:54
Last Modified: 18 Nov 2014 03:31
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