The physiology and biochemistry of low temperature adaptations in polar marine ectotherms

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Visitors’ impressions of the polar regions are often those of great expanses devoid of life and they are most impressed by the extremely low temperatures, snow, ice and long periods of darkness. The mechanism of cold adaptation which permits survival of marine ectotherms at low temperatures can be divided into two general categories; those which extend the lower temperature tolerances of the organisms and, those which confer relatively high levels of metabolism and growth on organisms. In some respects the arctic and antarctic polar marine environments are very similar. Both are characterized by alternating periods of intense light and darkness, low temperatures and thick ice cover. However a number of interesting physical distinctions can be made between the two areas which have lead to different evolutionary responses in the physiology and biochemistry of polar marine organisms. The geography of the polar regions has a tremendous effect on the climate which in turn affects the ice cover.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationPolar Research
Subtitle of host publicationTo the Present, and the Future
PublisherTaylor and Francis
Number of pages28
ISBN (Electronic)9781000234039
ISBN (Print)9780367283148
StatePublished - Jan 1 2019

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Social Sciences


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