Abstract

This study presents compelling evidence for a diverse and abundant seabed community which has developed over the course of the Holocene beneath the Amery Ice Shelf in East Antarctica. Fossil analysis of a 47 cm long sediment core reveals a rich modern fauna, dominated by filter feeders (sponges and bryozoans), with an abundant infauna predominantly of polychaetes. The down-core assemblage reveals a succession in the colonisation of this site. The lower portion of the core (prior to ~9600 yr BP) is completely devoid of preserved fauna. The first colonisers of the site after this time were the mobile benthic organisms. Their occurrence in the core is matched by the first appearance of planktonic taxa, indicating a retreat of the ice shelf following the last glaciation to within sufficient distance to advect planktonic particles via bottom currents. The benthic infauna and filter feeders emerged during the peak abundance of the planktonic organisms, indicating their dependence on this advected food supply which is brought via bottom currents flowing from the open shelf waters of Prydz Bay. Understanding patterns of species succession in this environment has important implications for determining the potential significance of future global change. The collapse of Antarctic ice shelves, as has happened in recent times, would significantly change the organic supply regime, and therefore the nature of these sub-ice shelf benthic communities.
Google map showing geographic bounding box with values North bound -66.0 East bound 76.0 West bound 68.0 South bound -72.0
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Product Type/Sub Type

dataset - External Publication - Article

Constraints

license
Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Australia Licence

IP Owner

Commonwealth of Australia (Geoscience Australia)

Author(s)

Date (publication)

2007

Product Type

dataset

Topic Category

geoscientificInformation

Keywords

External Publication
Article
marine
habitat
palaeoclimatology
Antarctic data
Earth Sciences

Resource Language

English

Resource Character Set

utf8

Resource Security Classification

unclassified

Geographic Extent

North bound
-66.0
East bound
76.0
West bound
68.0
South bound
-72.0

Lineage

Unknown

Digital Transfer Options

onLine

Distributor

Role
distributor
Organisation Name
Geoscience Australia
City
Canberra
Administrative Area
ACT
Postal Code
2601
Country
Australia
Email Address

Metadata File Identifier

a05f7892-cf1c-7506-e044-00144fdd4fa6

Metadata Standard Name

ANZLIC Metadata Profile: An Australian/New Zealand Profile of AS/NZS ISO 19115:2005, Geographic information - Metadata

Metadata Standard Version

1.1

Metadata Date Stamp

2006-09-21

METADATA SECURITY CLASSIFICATION

unclassified

Metadata Contact

Role
pointOfContact
Organisation Name
Geoscience Australia
City
Canberra
Administrative Area
ACT
Postal Code
2601
Country
Australia
Email Address
Related Links
For information on acquiring this product,
please contact the Geoscience Australia Sales Centre via:

fax:
+61 2 6249 9960; or
phone:
1800 800 173 (within Australia);
 
+61 2 6249 9966 (outside Australia).

Please note that support hours are 9 am to 5 pm weekdays