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Unknown freshwater inhabitants discovering the secrets of the Antarctic and Patagonian – mundoacuicola

The Crustacean group inhabits almost all aquatic ecosystems and has captured the attention of the Chilean explorer (Mundo Acuícola).

Coppices, or they are called "super-crustaceans", are amazed at their great strength and adaptation to extreme environments. Today they give clues about the limited continental and freshwater fauna of the White Continent and its link with South America.

Its small size does not prevent them from spreading throughout the planet. They are part of the zooplankton in the marine and freshwater environment, in addition to providing a key role in the food chain and identifying environmental changes. It is a group of crustaceans living in almost all aquatic ecosystems and has captured the attention of Chilean researchers.

For this reason, the Ministry of the Environment has published records of the species of the 14th Boeckella populations of the Czech and Argentinean Patagonia, the Sub-Sahara and the Antarctic region. This work was prepared by scientists from the Institute of Ecology and Biodiversity (IEB), the University of Magallanes University of Chile, Kostas Humboldt and the British Antarctic Inspectorate (UK) to facilitate research and democratize access to data on small-scale freshwater biodiversity.

"Antarctic land or freshwater fauna is very limited and reduced compared to marine biodiversity, as there are no mammals, amphibians or reptiles, and there is only one bird species. Moreover, many believe that the whole continent is frozen, but it has the greatest diversity of water systems in the water, such as fjords, lakes, which also live on kopopogas, "says Claudia Maturana, a scientist at the Institute for Ecology and Biodiversity, who receives support from the CONICYT and the Chilean Antarctic Institute.

Although the Magellan and Antarctic lakes are usually oligotrophic, that is, they are low in nutrients and they are also different from each other.

Although Patagonia has a wealth of Boeckella species, only the white continent is found Boeckella poppei. It was this latter species that induced scientists to be the only invertebrate in the lakes of the Antarctic Continental Antarctic Peninsula and Sub-Antarctic Islands.

"While there are other freshwater parrots on the White Continent, Boeckella poppei This is the only crustacean that is so large in the area, "explains Maturana, who explained some of the work at the Museum of Natural History in London a few days ago.

Among the main features of these animals is high resistance and adaptability. To get the idea, this ankle has an intense red color that protects it from UV radiation and inhabits vast and deep lakes that interact with marine waters or the smallest and shallow ecosystems that feed on ice melting processes when supplied at temperatures below 5 ° C and even below 0 ° C.

"This animal may stay in the egg for many years as if it is wintering to survive in extreme conditions. For example, in winter Antarctic lakes are frozen, you can go to depth or lower the level of metabolism in order to maintain the existing conditions."

The IEB researcher adds: "In 2012, a team of Chinese scientists analyzed depletion from the lagoon at the Antarctic and discovered viable eggs from Boeckella poppei, who was 100 years old and could loosen up at any time. "

Whack Whales Hunt?

Currently, one of the biggest issues is how Boeckella poppei he became one of the few representatives of the Antarctic and freshwater fauna.

"There is no certainty about what happened when the continent took over the last great glacier more than 20 thousand years ago. Although some indicate that everything has been eradicated, others think that some species survived in shelters," says Maturana.

Given its widespread distribution in the Antarctic, Boeckella poppei this is an example to test the two previous hypotheses.

The big question is whether this limestone colonized the southern continent of the Earth from the Patagonia or sub-Antarctic islands, or if it managed to survive, capturing refuge in isolated areas during glacial periods and climatic changes that took place over several thousand years.

Although there is a link between populations Boeckella poppei Antarctica and Patagonia, it would not be very recent, because it would exceed 20,000 years. In any case, it is not yet clear how these organisms move. Some of the possible explanations show that, when moving these crustaceans, seabirds traveling between the two continents could become vectors.

Another possible mechanism will be the growth of the whaling industry in the nineteenth century. The ship's crew obtained freshwater from the Antarctic lagoon stored in barrels for consumption and other purposes. Therefore, when transporting or emptying containers with liquid, cetacean hunters could move cetaceans to places where they were not.

However, none of these theories has been proven. "Antarctic chapel populations remain very untouched and interfere little. We have not seen any more human impact," the scientist said.

Despite the apparent "superheating" characteristics, there is no clear picture of the differentiation and adaptation mechanisms for the various ecosystems in which it lives. An example is that some individuals have decreased body size and female fertility in response to lower availability of resources in the Antarctic Continent.

"Although the role of these animals has been studied as climate change guards or as water quality indicators, research on the evolution of freshwater fauna has been poorly explored. That is why it is important to create and provide information from Chile to learn more about freshwater biodiversity in highlands," Maturana



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