Pandourski, I., V. Evtimova & L. Kenderov. (2022). Sexually-manifested variations in pigmentation of Boeckella poppei (Copepoda, Calanoida) from Livingston Island (Maritime Antarctica). BioRisk. 17:263-269. Apr 2022.
Sexually-manifested variations in pigmentation of Boeckella poppei (Copepoda, Calanoida) from Livingston Island (Maritime Antarctica).
17:263-269. Apr 2022
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Antarctic environments are exposed to high levels of ultraviolet radiation (UVR) that are often detrimen-tal to their biota. Recent studies suggest that the genus Boeckella (Copepoda, Calanoida) has a high level of plasticity in terms of its reaction to UVR, which enables its wide distribution in various water bodies in Antarctica. Boeckella poppei is common in freshwater habitats of all three main biogeographic regions in Antarctica: sub-Antarctic islands, maritime and continental. We present for the first time a specific photoprotective response in populations of B. poppei from Livingston Island, Maritime Antarctica. In non-ovigerous females and in males, we observed uniform distribution of carotenoids in the body, while these pigments were almost entirely concentrated in the ovisacs of mature females. We consider this as a means of progeny protection from the teratogenic influence of the high level of UVR in Antarctic envi-ronments. Unequivocally, such adaptation would facilitate the expansion of B. poppei on the continent through colonisation and survival in shallow freshwater habitats. Given that the Antarctic environment is dynamically changing over the past decades and the accelerated retreat of permanent ice cover is a prem-ise for the formation of shallow ponds, B. poppei could be a suitable indicator for reflecting the ongoing global environmental changes in Antarctica.