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Evolution and Biodiversity in the Antarctic: The response of life to change LSSSG primary proposal.

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Presentation on theme: "Evolution and Biodiversity in the Antarctic: The response of life to change LSSSG primary proposal."— Presentation transcript:

1 Evolution and Biodiversity in the Antarctic: The response of life to change LSSSG primary proposal

2 Describe the past, understand the present and predict the future … EBA

3 The Science Using a suite of modern techniques and an interdisciplinary approach EBA will: –Explore the evolutionary history of modern Antarctic biota –Examine the role of Antarctic biodiversity in present-day ecosystem function –Predict the responses to future environmental change

4 EBA will.. Integrate research in marine, terrestrial and freshwater ecosystems in a manner never before attempted Advance evolutionary and ecological science globally using model systems and organisms from the Antarctic

5 The science structure Matrix system Five broad objectives Three realms (marine, terrestrial, freshwater) Spatial and temporal variation Use of state-of-the art integrative science methodologies, particularly new molecular technology

6 The five objectives

7 1. Evolutionary history of the Antarctic biota Interaction with geoscientists to establish a clearer picture of the physical history of the Antarctic Use of modern molecular techniques to advance our understanding of how evolutionary processes are related to the physical setting

8 2. Evolutionary Adaptation to the Antarctic Environment Studies of how organisms living at the extremes survive are central to developing our understanding of how life adapts to its environment

9 2. Evolutionary Adaptation to the Antarctic Environment There will be: Exploration of limits of organismal performance Examination of adaptations that allow organisms to survive in the Antarctic today and their response(s) to environmental changes

10 3. Patterns of gene flow and consequences for population dynamics Isolation is a driving force of evolution in the Antarctic (and elsewhere) – Deep oceans –Circulation patterns (oceanic and atmospheric) – Ice

11 Seek to understand the extent of isolation of Antarctic populations Examine: –Population structure and dynamics –Dispersal to and around the Antarctic –Genetic make-up and gene flow 3. Patterns of gene flow and consequences for population dynamics

12 4. Patterns and diversity of organisms and ecosystems in the Antarctic Examination of biodiversity: –Spatial and temporal variation –Latitudinal and environmental gradients –Unexplored areas –Relationships with global patterns

13 5. Impact of past, current and future environmental change on biodiversity and ecosystem function Examination of how environmental changes are driving evolution Prediction of future outcomes

14 Why Now ? Largest challenge facing humankind is the management of the Earth System to ensure a sustainable human future A thorough and profound knowledge of the way in which life has evolved and the likely way in which it will change is required urgently

15 Why Now ? The Antarctic and the Southern Ocean are fundamental to the Earth System –Influencing the pace and nature of change –Responding to change in integrated system of biological modulated teleconnections

16 The SCAR community offers the opportunity for a regional approach to harness a wide variety of international resources both physical and intellectual Why Now ?

17 The need to understand the impact of climate change on biota is the most pressing issue of our time EBA provides the opportunity for ALL Antarctic biologists to focus their activities into an area of utmost importance in a program that offers an un-precedented level of synergy in Antarctic research Why now ?

18 If we delay ? Many National programs will not delay research into these fundamental and high priority areas Lack of funding will reduce the opportunities for capacity building among nations If collective research is delayed, the development of a profound understanding of the impact of environmental change across an entire biome will be delayed by decades

19 Timing - opportune Well developed tools for comprehending interactions between the physical environment and biota are sufficiently advanced to allow integration from molecular to ecosystem scales

20 Timing - IPY Census of Marine life Last opportunity to participate in a very successful global initiative (completed in 2010) High Profile IPY activity Many nations and ships exploring unknown parts of the South Ocean Potential for Sloane Foundation funding ($1.25M US with 15% to SCAR)

21 Operational and Technical feasibility State-of-the art enabling technology, particularly genomic tools are well established Will promote development of some new technologies – remote operated vehicles for deep seas, under- ice and air craft, remote sensors and real time monitoring (sensor web)

22 Degree of international involvement High Many nations have compatible national programs/ strategic plans Circum-Antarctic Census of Marine Life –Commitment of 6 ships so far –Possibility of more Many opportunities for capacity building

23 Data archival and access Two Antarctic databases/ portals already developed which can be expanded to accommodated the program –RISCC terrestrial/ freshwater biodiversity database AADC –MARBIN marine biodiversity portal (Belgium) –Both linked to GIBIF, OBIS and GENBANK

24 Public/policy profile IPY – high opportunity for expanding public consciousness Annual multidisciplinary workshops will increase the opportunity for scientific exchange and therefore highlight the role of SCAR Scientific papers contributing to the fundamental processes of evolution will increase SCARs profile

25 Value added by SCAR involvement Absolute necessity –as SCAR provides the platform for the whole of the Antarctic approach No other BIOME on the planet can be explored so effectively

26 Education and outreach (E&O) Outreach via National Programmes and SCAR Outreach committee

27 SCAR Strategic Plan Leading edge, high profile science of global importance Topic is the most pressing issue of our time Can not be achieved without the SCAR framework in terms of co-ordination and facilitation Opportunity for capacity development and cross-discipline interactions

28 Prepared by D. M. Bergstrom. Images © AAD and D Bergstrom, W Papps, G Hoise, J Kitchner, M Riddle, K. Kiefer, B. Wienecke Thank you

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