First report of Laternula elliptica in the Antarctic intertidal zone

Catherine L. Waller, Andrew Overall, Elaine M. Fitzcharles, Huw Griffiths

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Many Antarctic marine invertebrates are considered to be highly stenothermal, subjected to loss of functionality at increased temperatures and so at high risk of mortality in a rapidly warming environment. The bivalveLaternula ellipticais often used as a model taxon to test these theories. Here, we report the first instanceL. ellipticafrom an intertidal site. Genetic analysis of the tissue confirms the species identity. A total of seven animals ranging in length from 6 to 85mm were collected from 3×0.25m2quadrats of intertidal sediments at St Martha Cove on James Ross Island, Eastern Antarctic Peninsula. Ambient temperatures of 7.5°C within the sediment and 10°C (air) were recorded. This raises questions as to the current perception that “many Antarctic marine invertebrates cannot adapt to higher temperatures”.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)227-230
Number of pages4
JournalPolar Biology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 6 May 2016

Bibliographical note

© The Author(s) 2016. This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made.


  • Ecophysiology
  • Temperature
  • Stenothermal
  • Climate change
  • Bivalve


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