Cold tolerance in Tardigrada from Dronning Maud Land, Antarctica
- Cite this article as:
- Sømme, L. & Meier, T. Polar Biol (1995) 15: 221. doi:10.1007/BF00239062
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Survival at low temperatures was studied in three species of Tardigrada from Müihlig-Hofmannfjella, Dronning Maud Land, Antarctica. Both hydrated and dehydrated specimens of Echiniscus jenningsi, Macrobiotus furciger and Diphascon chilenense had high survival rates following exposure to -22°C for ca. 600 days, and dehydrated specimens following 3040 days at this temperature. In hydrated E. jenningsi, mortality increased with the duration of exposure from 7 to 150 days at -80°C, while mortalities of the two other species did not change. Hydrated specimens of all species were rapidly killed at -180°C, but all species exhibited good survivorship in the dehydrated state after 14 days at -180°C. In conclusion, hydrated tardigrades are able to survive extended periods at low temperatures, and dehydrated specimens are even better adapted to survive overwintering on Antarctic nunataks.