Scientia Marina, Vol 69, No S2 (2005)

Thoughts on controls on evolution and dispersal of benthos in the Magellan-Scotia Sea region: a workshop proposal


https://doi.org/10.3989/scimar.2005.69s2355

Michael R.A. Thomson
School of Earth Sciences, University of Leeds, Leeds, United Kingdom

Abstract


The Scotia Arc and the Scotia Sea comprise a geologically young feature of the Earth’s surface that evolved over the last 40 million years (Ma) or so, between the southern tip of South America and the northern tip of the Antarctic Peninsula. With the notable exception of the much younger South Sandwich Islands, the islands, banks and seamounts of the arc represent dispersed fragments of a previous continental link between southern South America (Magellan region) and the Antarctic Peninsula. The benthic marine shelf faunas of the region are the focus of the IBMANT (Investigación Biolólogica Marina en Magallanes relacionada con la Antártida) programme, and those of the surrounding oceanic deeps are the focus of ANDEEP (Antarctic Benthic Deep-Sea Biodiversity). Elucidating the potential relationships between the faunas of the region and the profound geographical, oceanographic and climatic changes undergone by the region in later Cenozoic time is hampered by significant unknowns in the geological history, the expense of further geoscientific exploration to fill these, and a general lack of communication between the biological and geological science communities. It is suggested that the time is opportune for a truly multidisciplinary workshop at which all the involved science communities have much to gain from the others.

Keywords


Antarctic; evolution; invertebrates; faunistic exchange; interdisciplinary perspectives

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