Zooplankton and zoobenthos in high-latitude water bodies
The biodiversity of zooplankton and zoobenthos decreases towards high latitudes, though the two poles have different species compositions despite environmental similarities in temperature, habitat structure, and light cycle. Different geological history and accessibility largely explain the faunal differences between the poles. While some species live close to their environmental tolerance in the cold polar regions, others have adapted to life at low temperatures. This chapter describes the unique cold-water communities of zooplankton and zoobenthos in the two polar regions. It reviews the most important factors that define the zoogeography and diversity of freshwater invertebrates in the Arctic and Antarctic, and provides detail on the ecology and life-history of some key zooplankton and aquatic insects. The final section considers how climate change, especially elevated temperature and increase in UV radiation, are altering high-latitude aquatic invertebrate communities.
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