Protistan diversity in the arctic

Title:
Protistan diversity in the arctic : a case of paleoclimate shaping modern biodiversity?
Creator:
Stoeck, Thorsten (Author)
Kasper, Jennifer (Author)
Bunge, John (Author)
Leslin, Chesley (Author)
Ilyin, Valya (Author)
Epstein, Slava S. (Author)
Language:
English
Publisher:
Public Library of Science
Copyright date:
2007
Type of resource:
Text
Genre:
Articles
Format:
electronic
Digital origin:
born digital
Abstract/Description:

Background


The impact of climate on biodiversity is indisputable. Climate changes over geological time must have significantly influenced the evolution of biodiversity, ultimately leading to its present pattern. Here we consider the paleoclimate data record, inferring that present-day hot and cold environments should contain, respectively, the largest and the smallest diversity of ancestral lineages of microbial eukaryotes.

Methodology/Principal Findings


We investigate this hypothesis by analyzing an original dataset of 18S rRNA gene sequences from Western Greenland in the Arctic, and data from the existing literature on 18S rRNA gene diversity in hydrothermal vent, temperate sediments, and anoxic water column communities. Unexpectedly, the community from the cold environment emerged as one of the richest observed to date in protistan species, and most diverse in ancestral lineages.

Conclusions/Significance


This pattern is consistent with natural selection sweeps on aerobic non-psychrophilic microbial eukaryotes repeatedly caused by low temperatures and global anoxia of snowball Earth conditions. It implies that cold refuges persisted through the periods of greenhouse conditions, which agrees with some, although not all, current views on the extent of the past global cooling and warming events. We therefore identify cold environments as promising targets for microbial discovery.
Comments:
Originally published in PLoS ONE 2(8): e728. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0000728
This research was supported by the US NSF grant OPP-0214231 to SSE and Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft grants STO414/2-2 and STO 414/2-3 to TS.
Subjects and keywords:
Biodiversity - Climatic factors
Protista - Arctic Ocean
climate
biodiversity
Arctic
rRNA
paleoclimate
microbial eukaryotes
Biodiversity
Microbiology
Permanent Link:
http://hdl.handle.net/2047/d20002448

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