By: Marino Vacchi, Eva Pisano, Laura Ghigliotti
A comprehensive overview of the knowledge about the ecologically important Southern Ocean midwater fish, Pleuragramma antarctica, has recently been published in the Springer book series "Advances in Polar Ecology".
The Antarctic silverfish, Pleuragramma antarctica, is the dominant fish species in the circum-Antarctic shelf waters where it plays a crucial role at the mid-trophic level as a significant portion of the diet in a range of air-breathing as well as fish predators, including the Antarctic toothfish (Dissostichus mawsoni). The ecological success of this pelagic swim-bladder-less teleost is the result of a long evolutionary journey shared with a handful of Antarctic fish relatives, an amazing story of organismal adaptive capability that attracts the interest of a wide community of Antarctic researchers.
This new Springer book brings together a broad diversity of expertise relating to the Antarctic silverfish including evolutionary and adaptive issues, ecology and life history, challenges and conservation perspectives.
Broad circum-polar distribution, key role in the Antarctic shelf pelagic ecosystem, and adaptations makes understanding the species' likely response to environmental change relevant to foresee the potential responses at the local ecosystem level. A detailed understanding of demography, abundance and trophic ecology of such a dominant keystone species is vital element for the development of marine spatial planning and marine protected areas in the Antarctic continental shelf region.
The wide range of scientific issues covered by the authoritative and comprehensive reviews lay the bases to make this book an important reference not only for scientists interested in the biology and ecology of this Antarctic fish, but also for a broader audience involved in the conservation of Antarctic marine living resources and in studying the impact of climate change on Antarctic ecosystems.