Humans and wind, shaping Antarctic soil arthropod biodiversity
1. Biodiversity loss has increased globally in recent years. The major threat to Antarctica’s unique terrestrial biodiversity is the establishment of non-native species.
Nonetheless, while preventing the introduction of non-native species from outside, Antarctica
has received increasing research attention, the movement of species within and between Antarctic biogeographic regions remains largely unexplored.
2. Within a biogeographical framework, we attempt to disentangle the role of abiotic and movement factors leading to potential range expansion in the Antarctic Peninsula of
two native Collembola: Cryptopygus antarcticus and olsomotoma octooculata.
3. We found that, although locations exist with similar abiotic conditions to those already occupied by both species in non-colonised areas of the Antarctic Peninsula, connectivity via wind to these currently unoccupied areas is smaller than that between present occurrences. Thus, wind transport might result in range expansion very sporadically.
Meanwhile, we found that human-influenced sites at the north-eastern tip of the Antarctic Peninsula had similar climates to locations where both species are currently found. Thus, range expansion could occur to these areas if these invertebrates are inadvertently transported
through human activities.
Authors: Vega, Greta C., Convey, Peter ORCID record for Peter Convey, Hughes, Kevin A., Olalla‐Tárraga, Miguel Ángel