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Artikel David J. Russell et al.

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David J. Russell Senckenberg Museum of Natural History Görlitz,
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Karin Hohberg Senckenberg Museum of Natural History Görlitz,
Postfach 300 154, 02806 Görlitz, Germany

 
Mikhail Potapov Moscow Pedagogical State University,
Mnevniki Street, 123308 Moscow, Russia

 
Alexander Bruckner University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Gregor Mendel-Straße 33, 1180 Vienna, Austria

 
Volker Otte Senckenberg Museum of Natural History Görlitz,
Postfach 300 154, 02806 Görlitz, Germany

 
Axel Christian Senckenberg Museum of Natural History Görlitz,
Postfach 300 154, 02806 Görlitz, Germany

 

 

Native terrestrial invertebrate fauna from the northern Antarctic Peninsula: new records, state of current knowledge and ecological preferences – Summary of a German federal study


Abstract

The Antarctic terrestrial invertebrate fauna has been intensely studied during the last 120 years. However, due to their difficult accessibility, large regions of terrestrial Antarctica still remain to be investigated soil-zoologically. Some areas that have remained unstudied are now being increasingly visited by, i.e., Antarctic cruise-ship voyages. These sites are therefore becoming available for the expansion of Antarctic soil-zoological research. A study commissioned by the German Federal Environment Agency allowed the investigation of the edaphic fauna in ice-free areas along the routes of touristic cruise ships in the maritime Antarctic. A total of 13 localities around the northern Antarctic Peninsula were studied during the austral summers of 2009/2010 and 2010/2011, many of which had never been investigated regarding their edaphic fauna. Soil-substrate samples were taken and the Nematoda, Collembola and Acari extracted and identified. More than 320,000 individuals and almost 100 species were recorded. Nematoda represented the most individual- and species-rich taxonomic group, followed by Collembola (abundances) and actinedid mites (species richness). The recorded fauna was typical for Maritime Antarctica. Although previous authors consider Antarctic species to have a low habitat specificity and broad tolerance for different habitat conditions, in the present study many individual species showed significant relationships to specific habitat parameters (i.e., vegetation, soil organic matter, soil moisture). While no new endemic species were identified among the microarthropods (Collembola and Acari), several nematode taxa were found that are probably new to science. Previous knowledge regarding the distribution, ecology (i.e, microhabitat preferences, nutrient resources or life cycles) and partly also the taxonomy of the recorded species are reviewed.

Keywords

Maritime Antarctica | Nematoda | Collembola | Actinedida | Oribatida | Gamasina


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