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Fossil Rotifers and the Early Colonization of an Antarctic Lake

  • Kerrie M. Swadling (a1), Herbert J. G. Dartnall (a2), John A. E. Gibson (a3), Émilie Saulnier-Talbot (a1) and Warwick F. Vincent (a1)...

Early Holocene sediments from a continental Antarctic lake (Ace Lake, Vestfold Hills, East Antarctica) contained abundant fossil rotifers of the genus Notholca. The fossil is similar to specimens of Notholca sp. present in modern-day Ace Lake and other fresh and brackish lakes of the Vestfold Hills. Cyanobacteria and protists (chrysophyte cysts, dinoflagellate cysts, and rhizopod tests) were also recovered from the core samples. These sediments were deposited early in the freshwater phase of Ace Lake, soon after deglaciation of the area. The occurrence of this trophically diverse assemblage of organisms at an early stage in the evolution of the lake suggests either that they were part of an endemic Antarctic flora and fauna which pre-dated the last glacial maximum and survived in glacial refugia or that efficient intercontinental dispersal had occurred.

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Quaternary Research
  • ISSN: 0033-5894
  • EISSN: 1096-0287
  • URL: /core/journals/quaternary-research
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