Skip to main content

Cold tolerance in Tardigrada from Dronning Maud Land, Antarctica

Abstract

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.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

References

  1. Block W (1984) Terrestrial microbiology, invertebrates and ecosystems. In: Laws RW (ed) Antarctic ecology, vol 1. Academic Press, London

    Google Scholar 

  2. Dastych H (1984) The Tardigrada from Antarctic with description of several new species. Acta Zool Cracov 27:377–436

    Google Scholar 

  3. Dastych H, Ryan PG, Watkins BP (1990) Notes on Tardigrada from western Dronning Maud Land (Antarctica) with description of two new species. Entomol Mitt Zool Mus Hamburg 10:57–66

    Google Scholar 

  4. Hanssen-Bauer I (1993) Meteorological data from the Aurora Programme July–December 1992. Det Norske Meteorologiske Institutt, Oslo, Klima-rapport 33/93

    Google Scholar 

  5. Ingole BS, Parulekar AH (1987) Microfauna of Schirmacher Oasis, Antarctica. I. Water-moss communities. Fourth Indian Scientific Expedition to Antarctica. Department of Ocean Development, Tech Publ No 4:139–148

    Google Scholar 

  6. Ingole BS, Parulekar AH (1990) Limnology of Priyadarshani Lake, Schirmacher Oasis, Antarctica. Polar Rec 26:13–17

    Google Scholar 

  7. Jennings PG (1976a) Tardigrada from the Antarctic Peninsula and Scotia Ridge region. Br Antarct Surv Bull No 44:77–95

    Google Scholar 

  8. Jennings PG (1976b) Tardigrada from Signy Island, South Orkney Island, with a note on the Rotifera. Br Antarct Surv Bull No 44:1–25

    Google Scholar 

  9. Keilin D (1959) The problem of anabiosis or latent life history and current concepts. Proc R Soc London Ser 8150:149–191

    Google Scholar 

  10. Norwegian Polar Research Institute (1993) Nature environment map of Gjelsvikfjella and Western Mühlig-Hofmannfjella. Sheet 2. Norsk Polar institutt, Oslo

    Google Scholar 

  11. Ottesen PS, Meier T (1990) Tardigrada from the Husvik area South Georgia, sub-Antarctic. Polar Res 8:291–294

    Google Scholar 

  12. Rahm PG (1921) Biologische und physiologische Beitrage zur Kenntnis der Moosfauna. Z Allg Physiol 20:1–34

    Google Scholar 

  13. Rahm PG (1924) Weitere physiologische Versuche mit niederen Temperaturen. Verh Dtsch Zool Ges 29:106–111

    Google Scholar 

  14. Ramløv H, Westh P (1992) Survival of the cryptobiotic eutardigrade Adorybiotus coronifer during cooling to-196°C: Effect of cooling rate, trehalose level and short term acclimation. Cryobiology 19:125–130

    Google Scholar 

  15. Ryan PG, Watkins BP, Smith RIL, Dastych H, Eicker A, Foissner W, Heatwole H, Miller WR, Thompson G (1989) Biological survey of Robertskollen, western Dronning Maud Land: description and preliminary species lists. S Afr J Antarct Res 19:10–20

    Google Scholar 

  16. Sudzuki M (1979) On the microfauna of the Antarctic region. III. Microbiota of the terrestrial interstices. In: Matsuda T, Hoshiai T (eds) Mem Natl Inst Polar Res, Spec issue No. 11. Proc Symp Terr Ecosyst Syowa Station Area, National Institute of Polar Research, Tokyo pp 104–126

    Google Scholar 

  17. Usher MB, Dastych H (1987) Tardigrada from the maritime Antarctic. Br Antarct Surv Bull No 77:163–166

    Google Scholar 

  18. Utsugi K, Ohyama Y (1989) Antarctic Tardigrada. Proc Natl Inst Polar Res, Symp Polar Biol 2:190–197

    Google Scholar 

  19. Westh P, Kristensen RM (1992) Ice formation in the freeze-tolerant eutardigrades Adorybiotus coronifer and Amphibolus nebulosus studied by differential scanning calorimetry. Polar Biol 12:693–699

    Google Scholar 

  20. Wright JC, Westh P, Ramløv H (1992) Cryptobiosis in Tardigrada. Biol Rev 67:1–29

    Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Affiliations

Authors

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Sømme, L., Meier, T. Cold tolerance in Tardigrada from Dronning Maud Land, Antarctica. Polar Biol 15, 221–224 (1995). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00239062

Download citation

Keywords

  • Hydrated
  • Survival Rate
  • Extended Period
  • Good Survivorship
  • High Survival