Polar Biology

, Volume 41, Issue 4, pp 713–725 | Cite as

Collembola of Barrientos Island, Antarctica: first census and assessment of environmental factors determining springtail distribution

  • Natalia Enríquez
  • Pablo Tejedo
  • Javier Benayas
  • Belén Albertos
  • María José Luciáñez
Original Paper


Barrientos Island is a small islet in the South Shetland archipelago frequently visited by Antarctic tourists. Collembola were recently used in another study developed in this site to assess the environmental conditions of two paths used by visitors, showing the importance of this soil faunal community. This motivated the realization of the first comprehensive census of Collembola from Barrientos Island. Fifty-six samples were recorded over three seasons, 2011–2013, from eight different substrate types. During the last campaign, 39 soil samples were also taken to analyze different physical, chemical, biological, microbiological, and biochemical variables in order to put into relation all these environmental conditions with abundance and richness of Collembola species. A total of ten species were recorded, all of them previously cited from Antarctica. The native species Cryptopygus antarcticus antarcticus Willem (Collembola: Isotomidae) is the most abundant in the island. Two cosmopolitan species—Hypogastrura viatica (Tullberg) (Hypogastruridae) and Mesaphorura macrochaeta Rusek (Tullbergiidae)—were also identified. Many of the species on this island can be considered as eurytopic, appearing in most of the analyzed substrate types. Collembola distribution was found to be influenced by elevation and, to a lesser extent, by phosphorous content and slope. Other variables that are usually cited in the specialized literature did not significantly influence the Collembola distribution in this island. Our results show that the distribution and abundance of Collembola in Antarctic locations is not directly dependent on a single factor. The environmental characteristics of each studied site will determine what factors are driving the composition and structure of this soil community.


Aitcho Islands Non-indigenous species Hypogastruridae Basic collembolan species set Inter-annual resampling 



Logistical support for this work was provided by the Ecuadorian and the Spanish National Antarctic Programs, and the Spanish Navy. Fieldwork and analysis for this paper were developed under three projects: EVA-ANTARCTICA (CTM2009-06604-E) and ALIENANT (CTM2013-47381-P), which were supported by the Spanish Government, and Proposal for Tourism Management of Barrientos Island and Surroundings (2011–2013), funded by the Ecuadorian Government. The authors would like to thank José Olmedo Morán, Executive Director of the Ecuadorian National Antarctic Program, for his advice and support for this work; Daniela Cajiao for her help in the fieldwork during the 2012 and 2013 campaigns; Dr. Luis R. Pertierra for his collaboration in the 2012 campaign; Laura Muñoz for her help in the identification of mosses; Dr. Manuela Andrés-Abellán and Consuelo Wic for the analysis of soil samples in the laboratories of the Universidad de Castilla-La Mancha; and Dr.Tina Tin for her constructive and helpful comments during the editing process. We also would like to thank the anonymous reviewers and the Editor for their helpful comments, which have improved this work.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Supplementary material

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Supplementary material 1 (PDF 187 kb)
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Supplementary material 2 (PDF 187 kb)
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Supplementary material 3 (PDF 371 kb)
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Supplementary material 4 (PDF 187 kb)
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Supplementary material 5 (PDF 187 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Natalia Enríquez
    • 1
  • Pablo Tejedo
    • 2
  • Javier Benayas
    • 2
  • Belén Albertos
    • 3
  • María José Luciáñez
    • 1
  1. 1.Departamento de BiologíaUniversidad Autónoma de MadridMadridSpain
  2. 2.Departamento de EcologíaUniversidad Autónoma de MadridMadridSpain
  3. 3.Departamento de Botánica y GeologíaUniversidad de ValenciaBurjassotSpain

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