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Posted by on Dec 20, 2012 in Science |

Eretmoptera murphyi: the species that threatens the ecosystem in Antarctica

Eretmoptera murphyi: the species that threatens the ecosystem in Antarctica

A group of researchers has sounded the alarm about a mosquito species, a variety known as Eretmoptera murphyi, which could drastically alter the ecosystem in Antarctica . Species isolated for millions of years could be in danger.

The research study of the British Survey, who explain that it is a variety of mosquito that act so invasive in the enclave of the Earth. The Eretmoptera murphyi happens to be a kind prepared to survive in extreme conditions, releasing large amounts of nutrients in the soil that could alter the way in which native species have lived at the time. According to Peter Convey, lead investigator of the study:

In terms of their role, their job is to move away. Ie help break things on the ground. The population density in the area that have been introduced is responsible for moving more waste than the community that was already there. This could mean a significant change in the way the ecosystem functions.

The first risk aggravating this situation would be the possibility of extinction or displacement of unique species on Earth that existed in that part of Antarctica. One type of mosquito, the Eretmoptera murphyi, which dates back to the subantarctic makes tens of millions of years. According to Convey:

The area formed stands on a tectonic plate that has been moving away from South America for 30 0 40 million years. The Antarctic Peninsula is like another tectonic plate, and there are common elements, but each has its own biodiversity. If you transfer things between them, also incorporate new functions to the ecosystem.

And according to the researchers, the problem of invasive species is increasing in regions hitherto isolated from Antarctica. The reason: the large number of visitors to the enclave. It is estimated that about 5,000 scientists and 30,000 tourists flock there every year. To Convey:

The risk arises when people are full of mud boots. Two days later. in the Orkney Islands, the mud falls off the boots, and are able to colonize the area. The next day, the boat reached Elephant Island, which is at the tip of the Antarctic Peninsula. Twenty-four hours later, in the midst of the peninsula. There is the potential for transporting things simply walking from one side to another.

The research team concludes its study explaining that the impact of these insect species will be broad and sustained, mainly because they have the ability to adapt to extreme conditions. Although there is no possible solution to this situation, Convey gives a clue:

If each person is not careful with the way we move in these places, we can become the most important transport vector for this situation.

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