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Antarctic ascidians: an isolated and homogeneous fauna


Primo, C and Vazquez, E, Antarctic ascidians: an isolated and homogeneous fauna, Polar Research, 28, (3) pp. 403-414. ISSN 0800-0395 (2009) [Refereed Article]


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© 2009 The Authors Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International (CC BY-NC 4.0)

DOI: doi:10.1111/j.1751-8369.2009.00110.x


Several biogeographical studies have already been performed on the ascidians of the Antarctic region. However, new data obtained in the last few years have led us to a revision of the biogeography of this fauna. To examine the biogeographical structure of the Antarctic region, we divided it into 10 sectors, depending on the principal geographical features, and then applied cluster analysis and a multi-dimensional scaling ordination to a presence/absence matrix of species for each biogeographical area. Our study shows that Antarctic ascidians are a very homogeneous fauna, with a high level of endemism in the whole region (25–51% of Antarctic endemic species per sector), but with a low percentage of sector endemism (only up to 10%). This probably results from isolation arising from the Antarctic Convergence, and the vast geographical distances from adjacent regions, as well as from the relative constancy of the hydrographical conditions and the dispersal of organisms through circumpolar currents. In fact, cosmopolitan species represented only 0–7% of the total ascidian fauna in all sectors. Only the Bellingshausen Sea (low sample size), Bouvetøya (young and isolated, with an impoverished ascidian fauna) and the South Sandwich Islands (also young and isolated) are relatively separated. The insular sectors were more closely related to the South America and sub- Antarctic regions than the continental ones, showing a latitudinal gradient.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Research Division:Biological Sciences
Research Group:Evolutionary biology
Research Field:Biogeography and phylogeography
Objective Division:Environmental Management
Objective Group:Management of Antarctic and Southern Ocean environments
Objective Field:Biodiversity in Antarctic and Southern Ocean environments
UTAS Author:Primo, C (Dr Carmen Primo Perez)
ID Code:64422
Year Published:2009
Web of Science® Times Cited:14
Deposited By:NC Marine Conservation and Resource Sustainability
Deposited On:2010-07-28
Last Modified:2015-10-02
Downloads:194 View Download Statistics

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