Washington, March 11 IANS | 7 months ago

It is difficult to associate volcanoes with preserving life but that is true - heat from volcanoes helped cold Antarctica's plants and bugs survive ice ages, a study suggests.

"Volcanoes are generally seen as these big, explosive destroyers of life, but they might be important in promoting biodiversity," said lead author Ceridwen Fraser, a bio-geographer at Australian National University.

"This explains how life survived in Antarctica but we think this idea of geothermal refuges could also apply elsewhere," Fraser added.

Genetic and fossil evidence suggests that during the earth's last ice age 20,000 years ago, any Antarctic species that could cross the Southern Ocean fled, with penguins, seals and birds heading for warmer refuges.

"The only species that were left in Antarctica were those that could not get off," Fraser noted in the study published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Genetic analyses also indicate that Antarctica's mosses, lichens and small invertebrates have been isolated from their relatives on other continents for millions of years.

Antarctica has at least 16 volcanoes that have erupted in the past 20,000 years.

Fraser and her team analysed more than 38,000 records of Antarctic species and discovered there are more moss, lichen and bug species close to Antarctica's volcanoes, and fewer farther away.

The pattern supports the idea that these species weathered the worst of the ice age at Antarctica's volcanoes, then gradually expanded their habitat range after the ice receded.

(Posted on 11-03-2014)

Share This Page:

Post your comments

Information on States of India:

Andaman Nicobar | Andhra Pradesh | Arunachal Pradesh | Assam | Bihar | Chandigarh | Chhattisgarh | Dadar Nagar Haveli | Daman Diu | Delhi | Goa | Gujarat | Haryana | Himachal Pradesh | Jammu Kashmir | Jharkhand | Karnataka | Kerala | Lakshadweep | Madhya Pradesh | Maharashtra | Manipur | Meghalaya | Mizoram | Nagaland | Orissa | Pondicherry | Punjab | Rajasthan | Sikkim | Tamil Nadu | Tripura | Uttar Pradesh | Uttaranchal | West Bengal


Andhra Pradesh Travel Map | Bihar Travel Map | Goa Travel Map | Gujarat Travel Map | Haryana Travel Map | Himachal Pradesh Map | Karnataka Travel Map | Kerala Travel Map | Maharashtra Travel Map | Punjab Travel Map | Rajasthan Travel Map | Sikkim Travel Map | Tamil Nadu Travel Map | Uttar Pradesh Travel Map | West Bengal Travel Map |


Alappuzha | Ernakulam | Idukki | Kannur | Kasaragod | Kollam | Kottayam | Kozhikode | Malappuram | Palakkad | Pathanamthitta | Thiruvananthapuram | Thrissur | Wayanad |


Airports of India | Districts of India | India Pilgrim Centers | Tourism Map of India | National Highways in India | India Railway Routes |


Ahmadabad | Bangalore | Chennai | Coimbatore | Delhi | Hyderabad/Secunderabad | Kochi | Kolkata | Mumbai | Pondicherry | Pune | Surat |