The resilience of Polar Collembola (Springtails) in a changing climate.
Permanent link to Research Commons versionhttps://hdl.handle.net/10289/15613
Assessing the resilience of polar biota to climate change is essential for predicting the effects of changing environmental conditions for ecosystems. Collembola are abundant in terrestrial polar ecosystems and are integral to food-webs and soil nutrient cycling. Using available literature, we consider resistance (genetic diversity; behavioural avoidance and physiological tolerances; biotic interactions) and recovery potential for polar Collembola. Polar Collembola have high levels of genetic diversity, considerable capacity for behavioural avoidance, wide thermal tolerance ranges, physiological plasticity, generalist-opportunistic feeding habits and broad ecological niches. The biggest threats to the ongoing resistance of polar Collembola are increasing levels of dispersal (gene flow), increased mean and extreme temperatures, drought, changing biotic interactions, and the arrival and spread of invasive species. If resistance capacities are insufficient, numerous studies have highlighted that while some species can recover from disturbances quickly, complete community-level recovery is exceedingly slow. Species dwelling deeper in the soil profile may be less able to resist climate change and may not recover in ecologically realistic timescales given the current rate of climate change. Ultimately, diverse communities are more likely to have species or populations that are able to resist or recover from disturbances. While much of the Arctic has comparatively high levels of diversity and phenotypic plasticity; areas of Antarctica have extremely low levels of diversity and are potentially much more vulnerable to climate change.
© 2022 The Authors. Published by Elsevier B.V. This is an open-access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license.