Navigation Links
Unexpected crustacean diversity discovered in northern freshwater ecosystems
Date:3/2/2012

BUFFALO, N.Y. -- Freshwater ecosystems in northern regions are home to significantly more species of water fleas than traditionally thought, adding to evidence that regions with vanishing waters contain unique animal life.

The new information on water fleas -- which are actually tiny crustaceans -- comes from a multi-year, international study that was published Feb. 24 in the journal Zootaxa.

The researchers scoured the globe seeking the creatures and found them inhabiting northern lakes and ponds in locations from Alaska to Russia to Scandinavia.

After analyzing the anatomy and genetic makeup of many different specimens, the team conclusively determined that at least 10 species of the crustaceans existed -- five times as many as thought for much of the last century.

More than half the diversity was found in northern latitudes, where rapid freshwater habitat loss is occurring due to melting permafrost, increased evaporation and other changes tied to climate change.

"It is well known that parts of Alaska and Siberia have suffered a huge reduction in freshwater surface area, with many lakes and ponds disappearing permanently in the past few decades," said Derek J. Taylor, a University at Buffalo biologist and member of the research team. "What we're now finding is that these regions with vanishing waters, while not the most diverse in the world, do contain some unique aquatic animals."

"Some of these subarctic ponds that water fleas inhabit are held up by permafrost, so when this lining of ice melts or cracks, it's like pulling the plug out of a sink," Taylor said. "When you see the crop-circle-like skeletons of drained ponds on the tundra you can't help but wonder what animal life has been lost here."

Taylor's colleagues on the study included Eugeniya I. Bekker and Alexey A. Kotov of the A. N. Severtsov Institute of Ecology and Evolution in Moscow.

The research focused on water fleas of the genus Eurycercus, which can reach lengths of about 6 millimeters. The findings add to a body of evidence suggesting that the species diversity of water fleas is greater in northern regions than in the tropics.

This is a counterintuitive concept, as scientists have long supposed that the advance and readvance of ice sheets reduced much of the species diversity in colder climates, Taylor said. However, there is growing evidence that some northern areas remained ice-free and acted as hideouts during the harsh glacial advances.

The researchers not only convincingly documented new species diversity, but identified one likely new species and provided a detailed, formal description of another: Eurycercus beringi.

Like other water fleas, E. beringi is an important source of nutrients for fish and aquatic birds.

The new species -- from Alaska's remote Seward Peninsula -- has unusual anatomical features that force a rewrite of the taxonomy of Eurycercus above the species level. Moreover, the new anatomical details should aid future studies that use preserved body parts of Eurycercus found in lake sediments to reconstruct past ecological conditions.

The discovery of new crustacean species in unexpected places underscores the scope of the ongoing biodiversity crisis for freshwater ecosystems.


'/>"/>
Contact: Charlotte Hsu
chsu22@buffalo.edu
510-388-1831
University at Buffalo
Source:Eurekalert  

Related biology news :

1. A bugs (sex) life: Diving beetles offer unexpected clues about sexual selection
2. An unexpected player in a cancer defense system
3. Study shows unexpected effect of climate change on body size for many different species
4. Unexpected role of noise in spine formation
5. Orchids and fungi: An unexpected case of symbiosis
6. Unexpected function of dyslexia gene
7. Unexpected exoskeleton remnants found in Paleozoic fossils
8. New research reveals unexpected biological pathway in glaucoma
9. Unexpected findings of lead exposure may lead to treating blindness
10. Land evapotranspiration taking unexpected turn: huge parts of world are drying up
11. Waters unexpected role in blood pressure control
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Unexpected crustacean diversity discovered in northern freshwater ecosystems
(Date:6/3/2016)... 3, 2016 Das ... Nepal hat ein 44 ... geprägter Kennzeichen, einschließlich Personalisierung, Registrierung und IT-Infrastruktur, ... Produktion und Implementierung von Identitätsmanagementlösungen. Zahlreiche renommierte ... Januar teilgenommen, aber Decatur wurde als konformste ...
(Date:6/2/2016)... Perimeter Surveillance & Detection Systems, Biometrics & ... & Other Service  The latest report from ... of the global Border Security market . Visiongain ... billion in 2016. Now: In November 2015 ... and hardware technologies for advanced video surveillance. ...
(Date:5/20/2016)... 20, 2016  VoiceIt is excited to announce ... By working together, VoiceIt and VoicePass ... and VoicePass take slightly different approaches to voice ... security and usability. ... new partnership. "This marketing and technology ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2016)... , ... June 23, 2016 , ... ... pleased to announce the launch of their brand, UP4™ Probiotics, into Target stores ... 35 years, is proud to add Target to its list of well-respected retailers. ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... ... June 23, 2016 , ... Charm ... Mold) microbial test has received AOAC Research Institute approval 061601. , “This is ... last year,” stated Bob Salter, Vice President of Regulatory and Industrial Affairs. “The ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... ... 2016 , ... STACS DNA Inc., the sample tracking software company, today announced ... has joined STACS DNA as a Field Application Specialist. , “I am thrilled ... COO of STACS DNA. “In further expanding our capacity as a scientific integrator, Hays ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... 2016 On Wednesday, June 22, 2016, ... 0.22%; the Dow Jones Industrial Average edged 0.27% lower to ... down 0.17%. Stock-Callers.com has initiated coverage on the following equities: ... (NASDAQ: NKTR ), Aralez Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ: ... BIND ). Learn more about these stocks by accessing their ...
Breaking Biology Technology: