Oceanic islands are ideal natural laboratories to study spatial diversity. This is because the ecosystems on these islands are typically more simple than those on mainlands, and populations occur within well-defined geographic barriers. Our previous work on the sub-Antarctic Prince Edward Islands indicated that the spatial patterns in a variety of arthropods and plant species are more complex than previously anticipated, with higher levels of diversity than expected. Using selected springtail and mite species as models, we study the spatial patterns at fine scale as well as the scale of the island. We interpret our findings in light of the current climate and abiotic history of the island
Invasive species are widely recognized as a major threat to biodiversity. Although Antarctica and many of the Southern Ocean islands remain relatively pristine, increased human visits inadvertently lead to the introduction of alien species. Understanding how these alien species occupy and spread provide important information to manage them. Using the sub-Antarctic Marion Island as model, we document the spatial patterns of genetic diversity in a variety of invasive arthropod species, and by comparing these patterns to those of native species, aim to understand more about the invasion biology of species in the Southern Ocean.
Understanding biogeography of the Antarctic: A large multi-national collaborative effort to understand the functional biodiversity of selected taxa distributed across the region. See – antarcticbiogeography.org