Response of Antarctic terrestrial microarthropods to long-term climate manipulations

Convey, P. and Pugh, Philip J.A. and Jackson, C. and Murray, A.W. and Ruhland, C.T. and Xiong, F.S. and Day, T.A. (2002) Response of Antarctic terrestrial microarthropods to long-term climate manipulations. Ecology. ISSN 0012-9658

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Abstract

The terrestrial biota of the Antarctic Peninsula region are experiencing marked changes in climate, especially rising temperatures, precipitation, and UV-B radiation—a combination unique worldwide. These changes, combined with the inherent simplicity of terrestrial communities, have led to their use as “model systems” to predict the future climate change responses of biota at lower latitudes. However, studies integrating responses at different levels of the community trophic structure are lacking. We report here the consequences on the soil microarthropod community of a four-year, multivariate, climate-manipulation experiment carried out over vegetation near Palmer Station, Anvers Island, western Antarctic Peninsula. The experiment used a multifactorial randomized-block design, deploying filters to raise temperatures and reduce ultraviolet (UV)-B (280–320 nm) or both UV-B and UV-A (320–400 nm) radiation of existing vegetation, with further water and fertilizer amendment treatments. Seven microarthropod species recovered in sufficient numbers for statistical analyses showed considerable spatial aggregation independent of treatment, a feature typical of many soil invertebrates. Analyses using negative binomial generalized linear modeling identified further significant and consistent treatment impacts on both individual species and species groups. Relative to controls, manipulations increasing temperature decreased numbers of microarthropods (particularly Collembola), as did exposure to near-ambient levels of UV radiation (separate significant effects for both UV-A and UV-B), while water amendment increased numbers. The impacts of temperature and water are consistent with our understanding of the importance of these two environmental variables and their interaction in Antarctic terrestrial ecosystems. The negative impact of UV (-A or -B) on arthropod heterotroph and detritivore populations in the Antarctic terrestrial food web is likely to be a secondary consequence of UV impact on vegetation characteristics. This is, again, consistent with general predictions of the impact of changing UV climate on ecosystem function.

Item Type: Journal Article
Additional Information: Citation: Convey, P. et al., 2002. Response of Antarctic terrestrial microarthropods to long-term climate manipulations. Ecology, 83(11), pp.3130-3140..
Faculty: Faculty of Science & Technology
Depositing User: Mr I Walker
Date Deposited: 25 Nov 2010 15:53
Last Modified: 29 Jun 2017 12:05
URI: http://arro.anglia.ac.uk/id/eprint/116346

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