Occurrence of nematodes, tardigrades and rotifers on ice-free areas in East Antarctica

B Sohlenius, S Boström, K. Ingemar Jönsson

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49 Citeringar (Scopus)


Nematodes, rotifers and tardigrades were collected on three nunataks (mountain peaks penetrating the ice sheet) in Vestfjella, on six nunataks; in Heimefrontfjella and on the Schirmacher Oasis in East Antarctica in the austral summers of 1996/97 and 2001/02. Most samples were taken on the nunatak Basen in Vestfjella where the Swedish station Wasa is located. The microfauna was patchily distributed and the highest densities of animals were found on sites with visible vegetation of mosses, lichens or algae. Thirty-four taxa of nematodes and tardigrades were found. Only seven of these occurred regularly in apparently actively reproducing populations. Other occasional records of nematodes had very few specimens. The highest number of species was found on the nunatak Basen. Rotifers, found in 66% of the samples, were the most frequent animal group. Nematodes occurred in 37% of the samples and tardigrades in 42%. The most frequent nematodes were Plectus and Panagrolaimus, occurring in 26% and 5% of the samples, respectively. Macrobiotus, Hebesuncus and Acutuncus were the most frequent and abundant tardigrades. The pattern of animal distribution can be related to both habitat characteristics and to the geographic position of the nunatak. The communities are little organised and the distribution of the fauna has similarities with an early phase of colonisation.

Sidor (från-till)395-408
Antal sidor13
StatusPublicerad - 2004
Externt publiceradJa

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  • Zoologi (10608)


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