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Rotifers as Indicators of Climate Change in the Antarctic Environments

DOI: 10.2478/v10190-010-0003-5

Keywords: rotifers, biodiversity, freshwater ecosystem, terrestrial ecosystem, climatic impact, Antarctica

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Abstract:

An important question stated in the presented paper is: Could rotifers be the indicators of climate change in the Antarctic environments? Rotifers are one of the most important components of the invertebrate fauna of the Antarctic freshwater and terrestrial ecosystems. However, investigations of their distribution, diversity and an ecological role in the environment have been widely neglected, mainly due to the methodological and taxonomical difficulties. During the investigations 176 species of rotifers were found, including the endemic and cosmopolitan species. Their existence is directly proportional to microvariations of humidity factor. Scientists still have poor knowledge about the occurrence of rotifer species in recently studied habitats e.g. cryoconite holes, nunataks or soil. Probably rotifers could be the indicators of climate change in the Antarctic freshwater and terrestrial ecosystems but more investigations and monitoring studies are needed.

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