GeoMap products banner

pdf SCAR EXCOM 2013 WP11: Report on AnT-ERA (Antarctic Thresholds - Ecosystem Resilience and Adaptation)

Tagged in AnT-ERA 2276 downloads

Download (pdf, 670 KB)


SCAR EXCOM 2013 WP11: Report on AnT-ERA (Antarctic Thresholds - Ecosystem Resilience and Adaptation)
SCAR Executive Committee Meeting
22-23 July 2013, Barcelona, Spain

SCAR EXCOM 2013 WP11: Report on AnT-ERA (Antarctic Thresholds - Ecosystem Resilience and Adaptation)

Working Paper 11
Agenda Item: 2.3.4
Deadline: 22 May 2013
Person Responsible: Julian G.

Executive Summary

Title: Antarctic Thresholds - Ecosystem Resilience and Adaptation (AnT-ERA)

Author: Julian Gutt

Introduction/ Background:

Stresses on Antarctic ecosystems result from global climate change, including extreme events, and from other human impacts. Consequently, Antarctic ecosystems are changing, some at a rapid pace while others are relatively stable. A cascade of responses from molecular through organismic to the community level are expected.

The differences in biological complexity and evolutionary histories between the polar regions and the rest of the planet suggest that stresses on polar ecosystem function may have fundamentally different outcomes from those at lower latitudes. Polar ecosystem processes are therefore key to informing wider ecological debate about the nature of stability and potential changes across the biosphere.

The main goal of AnT-ERA is to facilitate the science required to examine changes in biological processes, from the molecular to the ecosystem level, in Antarctic and Sub-Antarctic marine, freshwater and terrestrial ecosystems. Tolerance limits as well as thresholds, resistance and resilience to environmental change will be determined.

AnT-ERA will be classified into 3 overlapping themes: (1) molecular and physiological performance, (2) population processes, (3) ecosystem functions and services.


As a SCAR program AnT-ERA lives from the contributions of the scientific community, the national programs and closely linked third party funded projects. Thus, we need full support in promoting AnT-ERA through the SCAR Delegates.


Exchange of experience and ideas within a truly global scientific community.

Exchange of experience and ideas independent of competition for research funds.

Expected major Outcomes and Milestones:

Integration of early career scientists and new national programs.

Support of scientific publications, especially reviews.

Dissemination of results.

Communication between and coordination of research activities including trans-disciplinary projects.

Action recommendations especially in the context of natural variability and anthropogenic environmental change.

Contributions to overarching reports, especially "Antarctic Climate Change and the Environment".

Presentations at influential Antarctic-specific symposia.

Presentation of results to the broader scientific community.

Leading of, and participating in, major workshops, which support both the development of long-term observation networks (weather, ocean, lakes and streams or terrestrial) and an integration of ecological information into interdisciplinary models.

Providing mini-grants for early career scientists, members of newly emerging national programmes and contributors to reviews for traveling.

Planned achievements:

The following events mark potential milestones in communication within the AnT-ERA community and will provide a platform for exchange with a broader scientific world:

2012      Begin implementation of specific science, management and outreach plans

2013      Kick-off AnT-ERA workshop at the XI Biology Symposium, Barcelona

2014      Mini joint AnT-ERA – ICED workshop at the XXXIII SCAR and Open Science Conference

2015      AnT-ERA workshop: capacity building to train the next generation of specialists for biological process studies

2016      Joint AnT-ERA - AntEco - AntClim21 Syntheses-workshop at the XXXIV SCAR and Open Science Conference

2017      Meeting to structure and draft reviews for each scientific level

2019      Meeting to plan the future of AnT-ERA

2020      Final workshop (SCAR OSC).


Budget Implications: $ 20,000 per year

Chief offers and SC:

LLOYD PECK, British Antarctic Survey, UK; CINZIA VERDE, Institute of Protein Biochemistry, National Research Council, Italy; BYRON ADAMS, Brigham Young University, USA; DIANA WALL, Natural Resources Ecology Laboratory, Colorado State University, USA; AKINORI TAKAHASHI, National Institute of Polar Research, Japan; VONDA CUMMINGS, The National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (NIWA), New Zealand; CRAIG SMITH, Department of Oceanography, University of Hawaii at Manoa, USA; ENRIQUE ISLA, Institut de Ciències del Mar-CSIC, Barcelona, Spain; IRENE SCHLOSS, Dirección Nacional del Antartico, Argentina & Institut des sciences de la mer de Rimouski, Canada; JOSÉ XAVIER, Institute of Marine Research, Department of Life Sciences, University of Coimbra, Portugal;

Liaison officer to PS SSG, especially AntClim21: T. Bracegirdle (British Antarctic Survey, BAS); to IASC: R. Gradinger (School of Fisheries and Ocean Science, Fairbanks, Alaska); to ICED: E. Murphy (BAS); to ANTOS: D. Wall. APECS representative: C. Suckling (BAS) & T. McIntyre (AWI).

Implementation plan: See appendix