Biodiversity of the Southern Ocean

Biodiversity of the Southern Ocean

1st Edition - October 20, 2015

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  • Authors: David Bruno, Thomas Saucède
  • eBook ISBN: 9780081004852
  • Hardcover ISBN: 9781785480478

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The Southern Ocean surrounding the Antarctic continent is vast, in particular, its history, its isolation, and climate, making it a unique "laboratory case" for experimental evolution, adaptation and ecology. Its evolutionary history of adaptation provide a wealth of information on the functioning of the biosphere and its potential. The Southern Ocean is the result of a history of nearly 40 million years marked by the opening of the Straits south of Australia and South America and intense cooling. The violence of its weather, its very low temperatures, the formation of huge ice-covered areas, as its isolation makes the Southern Ocean a world apart. This book discusses the consequences for the evolution, ecology and biodiversity of the region, including endemism, slowed metabolism, longevity, gigantism, and its larval stages; features which make this vast ocean a "natural laboratory" for exploring the ecological adaptive processes, scalable to work in extreme environmental conditions. Today, biodiversity of the Southern Ocean is facing global change, particularly in regional warming and acidification of water bodies. Unable to migrate further south, how will she cope, if any, to visitors from the North?

Key Features

  • Designed for curious readers to discover the immense ocean surrounding the most isolated and most inhospitable continent on the planet.
  • Describes the Southern Ocean facing biodiversification due to global change
  • Authored by scientists with experience of expeditions to the Southern Ocean


Graduates and researchers in the fields of oceanography, earth sciences, environmental science and climatology

Table of Contents

    • Preface
    • Introduction
    • 1: A Brief History of Exploration and Discovery
      • Abstract
      • 1.1 The Age of Navigation
      • 1.2 Scientific expeditions come to the fore
      • 1.3 An increase in commercial exploitation
      • 1.4 Dynamics of the discovery of Southern Ocean biodiversity
      • 1.5 Tools for oceanography exploration
    • 2: The Southern Ocean and its Environment: a World of Extremes
      • Abstract
      • 2.1 An ocean with undefined limits
      • 2.2 The southern climate: windy and cold, with very little light
      • 2.3 Ice in all its forms
      • 2.4 In isolation yet interconnected, the complexity of ocean circulation
      • 2.5 Sediment and nutrients
    • 3: The Ocean Through Time
      • Abstract
      • 3.1 The split of a supercontinent from the Jurassic to the Eocene
      • 3.2 Global cooling at the Eocene-Oligocene transition
      • 3.3 Other thermal anomalies during the Oligocene and Miocene
      • 3.4 Another cold snap in the late Miocene
      • 3.5 Climatic oscillations and glacial-interglacial cycles
    • 4: Southern Ocean Biogeography and Communities
      • Abstract
      • 4.1 Inventorying Antarctic marine biodiversity
      • 4.2 Southern Ocean biogeography
    • 5: History of Biodiversity in the Southern Ocean
      • Abstract
      • 5.1 So much ice yet so few fossils
      • 5.2 Origins and age of Antarctic marine biodiversity
      • 5.3 Break-up of Gondwana and isolation of Antarctic fauna
      • 5.4 Mass extinction event at the end of the Mesozoic Era
      • 5.5 Evolution of biodiversity and ancient climatic changes
    • 6: Adaptation of Organisms
      • Abstract
      • 6.1 Surviving the cold and escaping the ice
      • 6.2 Living with ice
      • 6.3 Dealing with intense fluctuations
      • 6.4 Lower metabolic rates, longer lifespans and gigantism
      • 6.5 Parents caring for their offspring
    • 7: Projections into the Future
      • Abstract
      • 7.1 The immediate future
      • 7.2 The next cold event
      • 7.3 Drifting continents
    • Appendix
    • Bibliography
    • Index

Product details

  • No. of pages: 130
  • Language: English
  • Copyright: © ISTE Press - Elsevier 2015
  • Published: October 20, 2015
  • Imprint: ISTE Press - Elsevier
  • eBook ISBN: 9780081004852
  • Hardcover ISBN: 9781785480478

About the Authors

David Bruno

Affiliations and Expertise

UMR CNRS 6282 Biogéosciences, Université de Bourgogne, Dijon, France

Thomas Saucède

Affiliations and Expertise

Paleontologist and Macroecologist, Associate Professor of Life Sciences, Earth and Environment, Université de Bourgogne, Dijon, France

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