Chemical defense mechanisms may not protect Antarctic seafloor animals and their value for drug discovery
Long-lived sponges, intestine-like worms, colonies of sea squirts and many other cold-loving animals populate the seafloor around Antarctica. But the arrival of outsiders (non-natives) in ships’ ballast water, on plastic refuse or on floating kelp, or encouraged by warming temperatures are threatening this ecosystem. Like their northern counterparts, benthic organisms in Antarctica make chemical compounds to defend themselves from local predators. Are these defenses enough to repel the increasing population of non-native invaders?
Avila, C., Buñuel, X., Carmona, F., Cotado, A., Sacristán-Soriano, O., and Angulo-Preckler, C. (2022). Would Antarctic Marine Benthos Survive Alien Species Invasions? What Chemical Ecology May Tell Us. Marine Drugs, 20(9), 543. DOI: https://doi.org/10.3390/md20090543.