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:2/3/2017)... ANTONIO , Feb. 3, 2017  Texas Biomedical Research ... Dr. Larry Schlesinger as the Institute,s new ... Texas Biomed effective May 31, 2017. He is currently the ... Director of the Center for Microbial Interface Biology at Ohio ... Schlesinger as the new President and CEO of Texas Biomed," ...
(Date:2/2/2017)... -- EyeLock LLC, a market leader of iris-based identity authentication ... You Should Know About Biometrics in the Cloud ."  ... a growing concern. In traditional schemes, cryptography is used ... schemes such as username/password suffer from inherent weaknesses. ... elegant solution to the problem of high-security user authentication. ...
(Date:1/31/2017)... , Jan. 31, 2017  Spero Therapeutics, LLC, ... for the treatment of bacterial infections, today announced ... antibacterial candidates from Pro Bono Bio Ltd (PBB) ... of multi-drug resistant forms of Gram-negative bacteria.   The ... Infectives Ltd, a PBB group company. ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:2/24/2017)...  Aethlon Medical, Inc. (Nasdaq: AEMD ), ... and CEO, Jim Joyce . In ... Saturday, Bill Gates warned world leaders that ... nuclear weapons. Mr. Gates expressed his concern, which is ... scientific terrorists have access to the necessary tools to ...
(Date:2/24/2017)... KONG, Feb. 24, 2017 China Cord Blood Corporation ... China,s leading provider of cord blood collection, laboratory testing, ... today announced its unaudited financial results for the third ... ended December 31, 2016. Third Quarter of ... third quarter of fiscal 2017 increased by 18.6% to ...
(Date:2/24/2017)... 2017  VWR Corporation (NASDAQ: VWR), the leading global independent ... customers, today reported its financial results for the fourth quarter ... 4Q16 record quarterly net sales of ... organic basis. 4Q16 EMEA-APAC segment ... while the Americas net sales increased 2.5%, or down 0.9% ...
(Date:2/23/2017)... 2017 ... share data, unaudited)Three Months Ended December 31,Twelve Months Ended ... $           ... 89026%Aldurazyme Net Product Revenue 3539(10)%9498(4)%Kuvan ... Product Revenue  756025%297303(2)%Vimizim Net Product ...
Breaking Biology Technology: