Stresses on Antarctic ecosystems result from environmental
change, including extreme events, and from (other) human impacts. Consequently,
Antarctic habitats are changing, some at a rapid pace while others are
relatively stable. A cascade of responses from molecular through organismic
to the community level are expected.
The differences in biological complexity and evolutionary histories between
both polar regions and the rest of the planet suggest that stresses on polar
ecosystem function may have fundamentally different outcomes from those
at lower latitudes. Polar ecosystem processes are therefore key to informing
wider ecological debate about the nature of stability and potential changes
across the biosphere.
The main goal of AnT-ERA is to facilitate the science required to examine
changes in biological processes in Antarctic and sub-Antarctic marine-, freshwater
and terrestrial ecosystems. Tolerance limits, as well as thresholds, resistance
and resilience to environmental change will be determined.
AnT-ERA is classified into three overlapping themes, which represent three
levels of biological organisation: (1) molecular and physiological performance,
(2) population processes and species traits, (3) ecosystem function and