After more than two years of work, the text was published by Springer Nature, the most important international scientific publisher today.
Andrea Navarro, IDEAL Center. “Antarctic Seaweeds. Diversity, adaptation and ecosystem services” is the name of a new scientific book whose main objective is to provide an overview of recent advances and ideas obtained in recent years of research of these organisms.
The text, which is divided into 18 chapters and gathers contributions from more than 50 Antarctic researchers, was edited by Dr. Iván Gómez and Dr. Pirjo Huovinen, both scientists from the Center for Dynamic Research of High Latitude Marine Ecosystems (IDEAL) from the Austral University of Chile (UACh).
The result of this work took more than two years and was published by Springer Nature, the most important international scientific publisher today that, in addition to books, publishes various high-impact journals in multiple disciplines.
The compilation highlights the ecological importance of Antarctic seaweeds in the Southern Ocean, assesses the challenges, and describes the future directions of their study. Its publication comes at a time when the effects of climate change are becoming more evident and, therefore, many questions arise regarding the responses of Antarctic marine organisms to these future scenarios.
“The last update for Antarctic algae was done more than 20 years ago. From this perspective, the message to be highlighted in today’s context is that these species are sensors of climate change. In the white continent, their abundance is so great that they have the capacity to form true underwater forests from five meters deep and, therefore, they can help mitigate the impacts of anthropogenic activity,” says the deputy director of the IDEAL Center, Dr. Gómez.
Seaweeds, and in particular macroalgae, represent the most striking living components in ecosystems near the Antarctic coast. Their roles as primary producers and founding organisms, and as sources of various metabolically active products, are central to biogeochemical cycles in Antarctic coastal systems.
In recent years, the imminence of climate change and the direct impacts of humans, which are affecting vast regions of Antarctica, have highlighted the importance of seaweed processes in relation to biodiversity, adaptation and interactions in the benthic network.
The publication is aimed at the scientific community and undergraduate and graduate students, and brought together more than 90% of researchers in active macroalgae on the white continent. Specialists from Chile, Argentina, Colombia, Brazil, Germany, Australia, the United States, among other countries, participated in its preparation.
“This book highlights recent studies by various Latin American groups that have been very active in recent decades in Antarctic research. Therefore, the publication makes these scientific initiatives even more visible at the international level,” concludes Dr. Huovinen.
The book can be purchased here.