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Scientific Publications

(2022) A polar insect’s tale: Observations on the life cycle of Parochlus steinenii, the only winged midge native to Antarctica

Autores: Tamara Contador Mejias, Melisa Gañan, Javier Rendoll-Cárcamo, Claudia S. Maturana, Hugo Benítez, James Kennedy, Ricardo Rozzi, Peter Convey
Journal/Source: Scientific data
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1002/ecy.3964
Link to published article: https://esajournals.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1002/ecy.3964

This article has been accepted for publication and undergone full peer review but has not been through the copyediting, typesetting, pagination and proofreading process, which may lead to differences between this version and the Version of Record. Please cite this article as doi: 10.1002/ecy.3964.

(2022) Quantifying elevational effect on the geometric body shape of Russian beetle Carabus exaratus (Coleoptera: Carabidae)

Authors: Hugo A.Benítez, Raisa A. Sukhodolskay, Tamara A.Avtaeva, ScottEscobar-Suárez, RodrigoÓrdenes-Claveria, David Laroze, Raquel Hernández-P, Dmitriy N.Vavilov
Journal/Source: Science Direct
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jcz.2022.11.005
Link to published article: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0044523122001024

The study of phenotypic changes in organisms at different organizational levels (population, community, and ecosystem) in combination with genetic and genomic tools have helped researchers to understand how microevolutionary processes may lead to adaptation. Insects have been used in many studies as change bioindicators in the ecosystem and they have been the focus of many genetic, ecological and morphological studies. In the following research, we studied how an endemic beetle species Carabus exaratus Quensel, modified its phenotype in response to the altitudinal clines in the Russian North Caucasus.

(2022) A combined microbial and biogeochemical dataset from high-latitude ecosystems with respect to methane cycle

Autores: Maialen Barret, Laure Gandois, Frederic Thalasso, Karla Martinez Cruz, Armando Sepulveda Jauregui, Céline Lavergne, Roman Teisserenc, Polette Aguilar, Oscar Gerardo Nieto, Claudia Etchebehere, Bruna Martins Dellagnezze, Patricia Bovio Winkler, Gilberto J. Fochesatto, Nikita Tananaev, Mette M. Svenning, Christophe Seppey, Alexander Tveit, Rolando Chamy, María Soledad Astorga España, Andrés Mansilla, Anton Van de Putte, Maxime Sweetlove, Alison E. Murray & Léa Cabrol
Journal/Source: Scientific data
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1038/s41597-022-01759-8
Link to published article: https://www.nature.com/articles/s41597-022-01759-8

High latitudes are experiencing intense ecosystem changes with climate warming. The underlying methane (CH4) cycling dynamics remain unresolved, despite its crucial climatic feedback. Atmospheric CH4 emissions are heterogeneous, resulting from local geochemical drivers, global climatic factors, and microbial production/consumption balance. Holistic studies are mandatory to capture CH4 cycling complexity. Here, we report a large set of integrated microbial and biogeochemical data from 387 samples, using a concerted sampling strategy and experimental protocols.

(2022) Complete distribution of the genus Laevilitorina (Littorinimorpha, Littorinidae) in the Southern Hemisphere: remarks and natural history

Authors: Sebastián Rosenfeld, Claudia S. Maturana, Hamish G. Spencer, Peter Convey, Thomas Saucède, Paul Brickle, Francisco Bahamonde, Quentin Jossart, Elie Poulin, Claudio Gonzalez-Wevar
Journal/Source: ZooKeys
DOI: https://doi.org/10.3897/zookeys.1127.91310
Link to published article: https://zookeys.pensoft.net/article/91310/ 

Littorinid snails are present in most coastal areas globally, playing a significant role in the ecology of intertidal communities. Laevilitorina is a marine gastropod genus distributed exclusively in the Southern Hemisphere, with 21 species reported from South America, the sub-Antarctic islands, Antarctica, New Zealand, Australia and Tasmania. Here, an updated database of 21 species generated from a combination of sources is presented: 1) new field sampling data; 2) published records; 3) the Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF) and The Atlas of Living Australia (ALA), to provide a comprehensive description of the known geographic distribution of the genus and detailed occurrences for each of the 21 species.

(2022) Unraveling the morphological patterns of a subantarctic eelpout: a geometric morphometric approach

Authors: Fernanda S. ORREGO, Mathias HÜNE, Hugo A. BENÍTEZ, Mauricio F. LANDAETA
Journal/Source: Integrative Zoology
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1111/1749-4877.12692
Link to published article: https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/1749-4877.12692

Phenotypic variation in organisms depends on the genotype and the environmental constraints of the habitat that they exploit. Therefore, for marine species inhabiting contrasting aquatic conditions, it is expected to find covariation between the shape and its spatial distribution. We studied the morphology of the head and cephalic sensory canals of the eelpout Austrolycus depressiceps (4.5–22.5 cm TL) across its latitudinal distribution in South Pacific (45°S–55°S). Geometric morphometric analyses show that the shape varied from individuals with larger snout and an extended suborbital canal to individuals with shorter snouts and frontally compressed suborbital canal.

(2022) Prediction of the Metabolic Functions of Nitrogen, Phosphorus, and Sulfur Cycling Bacteria Associated with the Lichen Peltigera frigida

Authors: Valenzuela, C., Leiva, D., Carú, M. & Orlando, J.
Journal/Source: Springer link
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1134/S0026261721102117
Link to published article: https://link.springer.com/article/10.1134/S0026261721102117

Lichens are currently interpreted as complex self-sustaining ecosystems formed by the interaction of the primary symbionts and other microorganisms. These microorganisms, which colonize the surface of lichen thalli, could be crucial actors in nutrient cycling. Here, we used PICRUSt2 to predict and compare the potential functions of bacteria closely associated with Peltigera frigida thalli and their substrates. We found that these bacteria could potentially transform organic and inorganic molecules related to nitrogen, phosphorus, and sulfur cycles. Although further experiments to verify these potential contributions are required, these results reinforce the proposal of the nutrient-cycling role of bacteria associated with P. frigida.

(2022) Effects of temperature on the innate immune response on Antarctic and sub-Antarctic fish Harpagifer antarcticus and Harpagifer bispinis challenged with two immunostimulants, LPS and Poly I:C: In vivo and in vitro approach

Authors: Saravia, J., Paschke, K., Pontigo, J., Nualart, D., Navarro, J. & Vargas- Chacoff, L.
Journal/Source: Science Direct
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.fsi.2022.09.025
Link to published article: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S1050464822005927?via%3Dihub

Rising ocean temperatures due to climate change combined with the intensification of anthropogenic activity can drive shifts in the geographic distribution of species, with the risks of introducing new diseases. In a changing environment, new host-pathogen interactions or changes to existing dynamics represent a major challenge for native species at high latitudes. Notothenioid fish constitute a unique study system since members of this group are found inside and outside Antarctica, are highly adapted to cold and particularly sensitive to temperature increments.

(2022) Variability at multiple spatial scales in intertidal and subtidal macrobenthic communities in a fjord with glaciers, Magellanic Subantarctic ecoregion, Chile

Authors: Bahamonde, F., Rodríguez, J., Rosenfeld, S., Méndez, F., López, Z., Gerar, K. & Mansilla, A.
Journal/Source: Science Direct
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.pocean.2022.102879
Link to published article: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0079661122001380?via%3Dihub

It has been observed in high-latitude marine environments of the Southern Hemisphere that the variability in the ecological patterns of macrobenthic communities show variations at different spatial scales (i.e. cm to km), mainly influenced by environmental stress gradients. We examined macrobenthic communities of intertidal and subtidal habitats in a glacial fjord using taxonomic, ecological and oceanographic approaches, estimating vertical and horizontal variation using a nested design with different spatial scales ranging from centimeters to kilometers (quadrats, patches, shore and sites respectively).

(2022) Recent massive invasions of the circumboreal sea anemone Metridium senile in North and South Patagonia

Authors: Häussermann, V., Molinet, C., Díaz Gómez, M., Försterra G., Henríquez, J., Espinoza Cea, K., Matamala Ascencio, T., Hüne, M., Cárdenas, C., Glon, H., Barahona Toledo, N. & Subiabre Mena, D.
Journal/Source: Springer Link
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cub.2017.03.020
Link to published article: https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10530-022-02878-4

The circumboreal sea anemone species Metridium senile is a non-native species in Chilean Patagonia. The species is responsible for the occupation of large tracts of benthic substrate, threatening benthic resources such as sea urchins and barnacles. It has potentially devastating ecological impact on the overall benthic community. Species associated to the genus Metridium have been alluded to in the historical literature on Chilean marine life by various names. 

(2022) The Subantarctic Rayadito (Aphrastura subantarctica), a new bird species on the southernmost islands of the Americas

Authors: Rozzi, R., Quilodrán, C., Botero-Delgadillo, E., Napolitano, C., Torres-Mura, J., Barroso, O., Crego R., Bravo, C., Ippi, S., Quirici, V., Mackenzie, R., Suazo, C., Rivero-de-Aguilar, J., Goffinet B., Kempenaers B., Poulin, E. & Vásquez, R.
Journal/Source: Scientific reports
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-022-17985-4
Link to published article: https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-022-17985-4

We describe a new taxon of terrestrial bird of the genus Aphrastura (rayaditos) inhabiting the Diego Ramírez Archipelago, the southernmost point of the American continent. This archipelago is geographically isolated and lacks terrestrial mammalian predators as well as woody plants, providing a contrasted habitat to the forests inhabited by the other two Aphrastura spp. Individuals of Diego Ramírez differ morphologically from Aphrastura spinicauda, the taxonomic group they were originally attributed to, by their larger beaks, longer tarsi, shorter tails, and larger body mass.

(2022) Microbiomic analysis of bacteria associated with rock tripe lichens in continental and maritime antarctic regions

Authors: He, Z., Naganuma, T., Nakai, R., Imura, S., Tsujimoto, M., Convey, P.
Journal/Source: Journal of fungi
DOI: https://doi.org/10.3390/jof8080817
Link to published article: https://www.mdpi.com/2309-608X/8/8/817

Increased research attention is being given to bacterial diversity associated with lichens. Rock tripe lichens (Umbilicariaceae) were collected from two distinct Antarctic biological regions, the continental region near the Japanese Antarctic station (Syowa Station) and the maritime Antarctic South Orkney Islands (Signy Island), in order to compare their bacterial floras and potential metabolism.

(2022) Projecting environmental and krill fishery impacts on the Antarctic Peninsula food web in 2100

Authors: Autores: Testa, G., Neira, S., Giesecke, R., Piñones, A.
Journal/Source: Science Direct
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.pocean.2022.102862
Link to published article: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0079661122001215

The Antarctic Peninsula ecosystem is extremely sensitive to climatic variability and other anthropogenic perturbances ascribed to biomass extraction by fisheries. An Ecopath with Ecosim model calibrated for the 1996–2012 period was projected into the future (2100) under three different climate projections for environmental variables (sea ice extent, open water area and chlorophyll-a concentration) and three Antarctic krill fishery scenarios (no-take, constant and decadal increase until doubling of the current catches).

(2022) Methane and carbon dioxide cycles in lakes of the King George Island, maritime Antarctica

Authors: Thalasso, F., Sepúlveda- Jauregui, A., Cabrol, L., Lavergne, C., Olgun, N., Martínez- Cruz, K., Aguilar- Muñoz, P., Calle, N., Mansilla, A., Astorga- España, M.
Journal/Source: Science Direct
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2022.157485 
Link to published article: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0048969722045831

Freshwater ecosystems are important contributors to the global greenhouse gas budget and a comprehensive assessment of their role in the context of global warming is essential. Despite many reports on freshwater ecosystems, relatively little attention has been given so far to those located in the southern hemisphere and our current knowledge is particularly poor regarding the methane cycle in non-perennially glaciated lakes of the maritime Antarctica.

(2022) Seven snail species hidden in one: Biogeographic diversity in an apparently widespread periwinkle in the Southern Ocean

Authors: González- Wevar, C., Segovia, N., Maturana, C., Rosenfeld, S., Jeldres, V., Pinochet, R., Saucéde, T., Morley, S., Brickle, P., Wilson, N., Spencer, H., Poulin, E.                                                                                                                                                              Journal/Source: Journal of Biogeography 
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1111/jbi.14453
Link to published article: https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/jbi.14453

The Antarctic Circumpolar Current imparts significant structure to the Southern Ocean biota. The Antarctic Polar Front is a major barrier to dispersal, with separate species (or sometimes intraspecific clades) normally occurring either side of this feature. We examined the biogeographic structure of an apparent exception to this rule in a widespread genus of the Southern Ocean, the periwinkle snail, Laevilitorina.

(2022) Phylogenomics of the world’s otters

Authors: de Ferran, V., Vieira Figueiró, H., de Jesus Trindade, F., Smith, O., Sinding, M., Trinca, C., Zenato, G., Veron, G., Vianna, J., Barbanera, F., Kliver, S., Serdyukova, N., Bulyonkova, T., Ryder, O., Gilbert, M., Koepfli,  K., Eizirik, E.   
Journal/Source: Current Biology
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cub.2022.06.036
Link to published article: https://www.cell.com/current-biology/fulltext/S0960-9822(22)00995-2

Comparative whole-genome analyses hold great power to illuminate commonalities and differences in the evolution of related species that share similar ecologies. The mustelid subfamily Lutrinae includes 13 currently recognized extant species of otters, a semiaquatic group whose evolutionary history is incompletely understood. We assembled a dataset comprising 24 genomes from all living otter species, 14 of which were newly sequenced. We used this dataset to infer phylogenetic relationships and divergence times, to characterize patterns of genome-wide genealogical discordance, and to investigate demographic history and current genomic diversity. 

(2022) Peltigera frigida Lichens and Their Substrates Reduce the Influence of Forest Cover Change on Phosphate Solubilizing Bacteria

Authors: Muster, C., Leiva, D., Morales, C., Grafe, M., Schloter, M., Carú, M., Orlando, J.
Journal/Source: Frontiers in microbiology
DOI: https://doi.org/10.3389/fmicb.2022.843490
Link to published article: https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fmicb.2022.843490/full

Phosphorus (P) is one of the most critical macronutrients in forest ecosystems. More than 70 years ago, some Chilean Patagonian temperate forests suffered wildfires and the subsequent afforestation with foreign tree species such as pines. Since soil P turnover is interlinked with the tree cover, this could influence soil P content and bioavailability.

(2022) Unravelling the suitability of Branchinecta gaini as a potential biomonitor of contaminants of emerging concern in the Antarctic Peninsula region

Authors: González-Aravena, M., Iturra, G., Font, A., Cárdenas, C., Rondon, R., Bergami, E., Corsi, I.
Journal/Source: Cambrige University Press
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/S0954102022000086
Link to published article: https://www.cambridge.org/core/journals/antarctic-science/article/abs/unravelling-the-suitability-of-branchinecta-gaini-as-a-potential-biomonitor-of-contaminants-of-emerging-concern-in-the-antarctic-peninsula-region/5BC8A02ACC0AB2C2D4375C6442AD4155

The occurrence and impact of contaminants of emerging concerns (CECs) have been investigated in Antarctica much less than in other parts of the world. Although legacy anthropogenic pollutants can reach Antarctica via long-range transport, CECs mainly originate from local sources. Here, we investigated the ability of a freshwater crustacean, the Antarctic fairy shrimp Branchinecta gaini, to cope with nanoscale titanium dioxide (n-TiO2), a widely used pigment in consumer products (e.g. paintings), including those for personal care (e.g. sunscreens).

(2022) Evolution, Expression Patterns, and Distribution of Novel Ribbon Worm Predatory and Defensive Toxins

Authors: Verdes, A., Taboada, S., Hamilton, B., Undheim, E., Sonoda, G., Andrade, S., Morato, E., Marina, A., Cárdenas, C., Riesgo, A.
Journal/Source: Oxford academic
DOI:  https://doi.org/10.1093/molbev/msac096
Link to published article: https://academic.oup.com/mbe/article/39/5/msac096/6580756?login=false

Ribbon worms are active predators that use an eversible proboscis to inject venom into their prey and defend themselves with toxic epidermal secretions. Previous work on nemertean venom has largely focused on just a few species and has not investigated the different predatory and defensive secretions in detail. Consequently, our understanding of the composition and evolution of ribbon worm venoms is still very limited.

(2022) Hyposalinity affects diurnal photoacclimation patterns in the rhodophyte Palmaria palmata under mimicked Arctic summer conditions

Authors: Marambio, J., Rosenfeld, S., Bischof, K.
Journal/: Science direct
DOI:  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jpap.2022.100124
Link to published article: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2666469022000173

Ocean temperatures have increased during 2011–2020, causing significant changes in the marine environment. One area that has been affected by the temperature increase is the Arctic, leading to a decrease in glacial mass and an increase in meltwater. Some organisms e.g., Fucus (brown seaweed) benefit from these environmental changes while others may be strongly affected.

(2022) Contrasting Patterns of Genetic Diversity and Divergence Between Landlocked and Migratory Populations of Fish Galaxias maculatus, Evaluated Through Mitochondrial DNA Sequencing and Nuclear DNA Microsatellites

Authors: Astorga, M., Valenzuela, A., Segovia, N., Poulin, E., Vargas-Chacoff, L., González.Wevar, C.
Journal/Source: Science direct
DOI:  https://doi.org/10.3389/fgene.2022.854362
Link to published article: https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fgene.2022.854362/full?&utm_source=Email_to_authors_&utm_medium=Email&utm_content=T1_11.5e1_author&utm_campaign=Email_publication&field=&journalName=Frontiers_in_Genetics&id=854362

Galaxias species are interesting biogeographic models due to their distribution and different types of life cycles, with migratory and landlocked populations. To obtain a better understanding of the genetic consequences of the Quaternary glacial cycles in Galaxias maculatus, in this work we compared landlocked and migratory populations collected in areas that were differentially affected by ice advances and retreats.

(2022) The biotechnological potential of microbial communities from Antarctic soils and sediments: Application to low temperature biogenic methane production

Authors: Aguilar Muñoz, P., Lavergne, C., Chamy, R., Cabrol, L.
Journal/Source: Science direct
DOI:  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jbiotec.2022.04.014
Link to published article: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0168165622000931?dgcid=coauthor

Anaerobic digestion (AD) is an attractive bioprocess for waste treatment and energy recovery through methane-rich biogas production. Under temperate to cold climate, the implementation of AD for low-organic load wastewater treatment has been limited to date, due to the energetic and economic cost of maintaining optimal mesophilic temperature. 

(2022) Positive selection over the mitochondrial genome and its role in the diversification of gentoo penguins in response to adaptation in isolation

Authors: Noll, D., León, F., Brandt, D., Pistorius, P., Le Bohec, C., Bonadonna, F., Trathan, P.N., Barbosa, A., Raya Rey, A., Dantas, G.P.M., Bowie, R.C.K., Poulin, E., Vianna, J.
Journal/Source: Scientific reports
DOI:  https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-022-07562-0
Link to published article: https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-022-07562-0

Although mitochondrial DNA has been widely used in phylogeography, evidence has emerged that factors such as climate, food availability, and environmental pressures that produce high levels of stress can exert a strong influence on mitochondrial genomes, to the point of promoting the persistence of certain genotypes in order to compensate for the metabolic requirements of the local environment.

(2022) Stability of the Microbiome of the Sponge Mycale (Oxymycale) acerata in the Western Antarctic Peninsula

Authors: Happel, L., Rondon, R., Font, A., González-Aravena, M., Cárdenas, C.
Journal/Source: Frontiers in microbiology
DOI: https://doi.org/10.3389/fmicb.2022.827863
Link to published article: https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fmicb.2022.827863/full?utm_source=Email_to_authors_&utm_medium=Email&utm_content=T1_11.5e1_author&utm_campaign=Email_publication&journalName=Frontiers_in_Microbiology&id=827863

The sponge microbiome, especially in Low Microbial Abundance (LMA) species, is expected to be influenced by the local environment; however, contrasting results exist with evidence showing that host specificity is also important, hence suggesting that the microbiome is influenced by host-specific and environmental factors. Despite sponges being important members of Southern Ocean benthic communities, their relationships with the microbial communities they host remain poorly studied.

(2022) The right tool for the right question: contrasting biogeographic patterns in the notothenioid fish Harpagifer spp. along the Magellan Province

Authors: Segovia, N., González- Wevar, C.A., Naretto, J., Rosenfeld, S., Brickle, P., Hüne, M., Bernal, V., Haye, P.A., Poulin, E.
Journal/Source: The Royal Society Publishing  
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1098/rspb.2021.2738
Link to published article: https://royalsocietypublishing.org/doi/10.1098/rspb.2021.2738

Molecular-based analysis has become a fundamental tool to understand the role of Quaternary glacial episodes. In the Magellan Province in southern South America, ice covering during the last glacial maximum (20 ka) radically altered the landscape/seascape, speciation rates and distribution of species. For the notothenioid fishes of the genus Harpagifer, in the area are described two nominal species

(2022) Spatial and temporal catch concentrations for Antarctic krill: Implications for fishing performance and precautionary management in the Southern Ocean

Authors: Santa Cruz, F., Krüger, L., Cárdenas, C.
Journal/Source: Science Direct
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ocecoaman.2022.106146
Link to published article: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0964569122001211

The undergoing rapid climate changes recorded along the Western Antarctic Peninsula (WAP) in combination with the increasing seasonal catches reported by the krill fishery have raised concerns as to whether the management strategy established by the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR) is effectively avoiding impacts on the krill stock and related ecosystem.

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