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The evolution and biology of Antarctic saline lakes in relation to salinity and trophy


Laybourn-Parry, J and Henshaw, T and Quayle, WA, The evolution and biology of Antarctic saline lakes in relation to salinity and trophy, Polar Biology, 25, (7) pp. 542-552. ISSN 0722-4060 (2002) [Refereed Article]

DOI: doi:10.1007/s00300-002-0383-x


Five brackish to hypersaline lakes (Highway, Ace, Pendent, Williams and Rookery) in the Vestfold Hills, eastern Antarctica were investigated during the I austral summer of 1999/2000. The aims were to characterise the functional dynamics of the plankton and gain an understanding of how the different environments in the lakes have led to the evolution of different communities. The plankton was dominated by microorganisms and differed across the salinity spectrum in relation to trophy, age and the presence of meromixis. However, some elements of the plankton were common to all of the lakes, e.g. the mixtrophic ciliate, Mesodinium rubrum, which reached abundances of 2.7×105 1-1 and spanned a salinity gradient of 4-63‰. Marine dinoflagellate species also occurred in all of the lakes, often at high abundances m Highway Lake, Pendent Lake and Lake Williams. During December (mid-summer), primary production showed an increase along the salinity gradient from Highway Lake to Lake Williams; however, it was low in hyper-nutrified Rookery Lake because of the turbidity of the waters. Bacterial production followed the same trend and was extremely high in Rookery Lake (327 μg 1-1 h-1 in January). The lakes possessed a marine microbial plankton that has become very simplified through time, I and now contains a small number of highly successful species, which were pre-adapted to surviving in extreme Antarctic lakes.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Research Division:Biological Sciences
Research Group:Microbiology
Research Field:Microbial ecology
Objective Division:Environmental Management
Objective Group:Management of Antarctic and Southern Ocean environments
Objective Field:Biodiversity in Antarctic and Southern Ocean environments
UTAS Author:Laybourn-Parry, J (Professor Johanna Laybourn-Parry)
ID Code:49001
Year Published:2002
Web of Science® Times Cited:33
Deposited By:Research Division
Deposited On:2007-11-10
Last Modified:2011-08-02

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