Maritime Antarctic Lakes As Sentinels of Climate Change

Maritime Antarctic Lakes As Sentinels of Climate Change

A. Camacho C. Rochera J.A. Villaescusa D. VelÁzquez M. Toro E. Rico E. Fernandez- Valiente A. Justel M. BaÑon A. Quesada

Cavanilles Institute for Biodiversity and Evolutionary Biology, University of Valencia, Spain.

Department of Biology, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, Spain.

Centro de Estudios Hidrográfi cos del CEDEX, Spain.

Department of Ecology, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, Spain.

Department of Mathematics, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, Spain.

Agencia Estatal de Meteorologıa, Spain.

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Remote lakes, such as lakes from the Maritime Antarctica, can be used as sentinels of climate change, because they are mostly free of direct anthropogenic pressures, and they experience climate change as a main stressor capable of modifying the ecosystem structure and function. In this paper, the content of a lecture that has been presented at the First Conference of Lake Sustainability, which has been centred in our studies on lakes from Byers Peninsula (Maritime Antarctica), are summarized. These included physical, chemical and biological studies of these lakes and other freshwater ecosystems, which highlighted the relevance of biotic interactions for these ecosystems and its sensibility to temperature variations and to biological invasions, which is of relevance given the acute regional warming occurring during the last decades in the area, concomitant with the enhancement of dispersion of alien species linked to the increased presence of humans.


Biological invasions, climate change, ecosystem modelling, environmental prognoses, Maritime Antarctica, regional warming, remote lakes, sensor systems, simple food webs, species interactions


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