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Scuba Science 7 - Integrating Broad-Scale Eco Patterns w Fine-Scale Genetic Processes in Polar Marin

Adam G. Marsh University of Delaware, Lewes Polar environments impose unique selection forces on endemic species given the extreme conditions of low temperature and limited food availability during the dark winter months. Although in many respects a polar environment can be described as 'stable' in comparison to dynamic temperate marine habitats with large seasonal fluctuations, the strong selection gradients that do exist pose formidable challenges for populations to successfully survive and reproduce. In shallow coastal zones, iceberg groundings are a significant disturbance to the community of bottom-dwelling marine invertebrates. However, large iceberg scours can have long-term effects on the hydrodynamics of water flow around a benthic invertebrate community. Research described in this talk attempts to link large-scale iceberg scour events in Antarctica with molecular processes of genetic imprinting to regulate growth and reproduction, such that the long-term impact of an iceberg scour may actually be 'beneficial' and lead to an increase in the fitness or survivability of the suspension and deposit-feeding invertebrates in the impacted area.
Length: 12:00

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