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The Antarctic continent carries the greatest diversity of lake environments on the planet: freshwater and saline lakes, tidal freshwater epishelf lakes, lakes on ice shelves and glacier surfaces, and over three hundred subglacial lakes; extraordinary ecosystems that have been separated from the atmosphere for up to millions of years. This book provides a unique and cutting edge synthesis of Antarctic limnology, drawing together current knowledge on geomorphology, morphometry, chemistry, community structure and function. It emphasises throughout the value of these near-pristine ecosystems as barometers of climate change, showing how responsive and vulnerable they are to the indirect impacts of anthropogenic activity.
Antarctic Lakes begins with an introduction to their physical, chemical, and biological characteristics, providing a basis for understanding the subsequent detailed chapters on different lake types, and ends with a chapter considering the application of new technologies to polar limnology as well as identifying future research directions. This accessible text is suitable for both senior undergraduate and graduate students taking courses in Antarctic and polar limnology, and will also be of broad interest to researchers working in the areas of polar science, microbial ecology (and extremophiles), climatology, glaciology, and astrobiology.
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