Antarctica's unique ecosystem is threatened by invasive species ‘hitchhiking’ on ships
By Arlie McCarthy, PhD Researcher, British Antarctic Survey, and Department of Zoology, University of Cambridge
Antarctica has been relatively isolated from the rest of the world for millions of years but these days ships could potentially introduce marine animals and seaweeds. Invasive species can have drastic consequences for ecosystems, for example by taking over areas and creating a new habitat or becoming predators for species with no suitable defences.
The best way to protect against this is to prevent any non-native species arriving in the first place. Of course, any new species would still need to survive the freezing waters around Antarctica but, as it happens, the ships usually visit…
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- Tuesday, January 11, 2022