Peter Convey

Peter Convey
British Antarctic Survey | BAS

PhD

About

629
Publications
155,259
Reads
How we measure 'reads'
A 'read' is counted each time someone views a publication summary (such as the title, abstract, and list of authors), clicks on a figure, or views or downloads the full-text. Learn more
28,263
Citations
Introduction
I am a terrestrial ecologist with 33 years' experience of working in the polar regions. Research includes: Biodiversity and biogeography of polar terrestrial invertebrates, plants and microbes Life history and ecophysiological strategies of extreme environment terrestrial biota Polar ecosystems as models of the past and future global consequences of climate change Palaeobiogeographical reconstruction of Antarctica Human impacts, conservation and management in Antarctica
Additional affiliations
January 2000 - present
University of Birmingham
Position
  • Honorary Lecturer
October 1988 - present
British Antarctic Survey
Position
  • Individual Merit Scientist

Publications

Publications (629)
Chapter
Terrestrial environments of Antarctica include some of the most extreme on Earth, challenging the very existence of life itself. This article outlines briefly the geological and biological history of the continent, leading on to the conditions currently experienced, before describing its terrestrial biogeography and biota. Major determinants of ter...
Article
Current understanding of ecological and evolutionary processes underlying island biodiversity is heavily shaped by empirical data from plants and birds, although arthropods comprise the overwhelming majority of known animal species, and as such can provide key insights into processes governing biodiversity. Novel high throughput sequencing (HTS) ap...
Article
Full-text available
Intensive human exploitation of the Antarctic fur seal ( Arctocephalus gazella ) in its primary population centre on sub-Antarctic South Georgia, as well as on other sub-Antarctic islands and parts of the South Shetland Islands, in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries rapidly brought populations to the brink of extinction. The species has now re...
Article
We detected the fungal assemblages present in lake sediments on James Ross Island, Antarctica, using DNA metabarcoding. A total of 132 amplicon sequence variants (ASVs) were assigned, dominated by taxa of the phyla Ascomycota, Basidiomycota, Mortierellomycota and Mucoromycota. The less common phyla Chytridiomycota, Rozellomycota, Monoblepharomycota...
Poster
Full-text available
Rhionaeschna variegata (Odonata: Aeshnidae) is the world’s southern-most occurring dragonfly. Its distribution ranges from northern Chile to the Cape Horn archipelago in southern South America. The species has been poorly studied and little is known of its biology. Morphological features can be phenotypically important and can indicate responses or...
Article
Full-text available
We report the first formal record of the Indian meal moth Plodia interpunctella from a location within the Antarctic Treaty area, with the capture of a live adult male within the Brazilian Comandante Ferraz research station on King George Island, South Shetland Islands. This species is a well-known pest of stored products and is widely recorded in...
Article
Full-text available
Increased research attention is being given to bacterial diversity associated with lichens. Rock tripe lichens (Umbilicariaceae) were collected from two distinct Antarctic biological regions, the continental region near the Japanese Antarctic station (Syowa Station) and the maritime Antarctic South Orkney Islands (Signy Island), in order to compare...
Experiment Findings
Full-text available
International E-Conference of Science and Biosphere Reserve 2021 Mercury (Hg) is a heavy metal that can be released into the environment through natural activity such as volcanic eruptions and release from vegetation during bushfires, and anthropogenic activities such as the gold mining process and fossil fuel burning. Most atmospheric mercury is e...
Article
Full-text available
We studied the fungal DNA present in a lake sediment core obtained from Trinity Peninsula, Hope Bay, north-eastern Antarctic Peninsula, using metabarcoding through high-throughput sequencing (HTS). Sequences obtained were assigned to 146 amplicon sequence variants (ASVs) primarily representing unknown fungi, followed by the phyla Ascomycota, Rozell...
Article
Full-text available
Invasive alien species may cause substantial changes and damaging impacts. Here, we document the current distribution and ecological interactions with native biota of relatively recently introduced wasps, Vespula vulgaris and V. germanica, in the southern part of the Cape Horn Biosphere Reserve (CHBR) in southern Chile. We conducted field studies i...
Article
Polar and alpine regions are changing rapidly with global climate change. Yet the impacts on biodiversity, especially on the invertebrate ectotherms which are dominant in these areas, remain poorly understood. Short‐term extreme temperature events, which are growing in frequency, are expected to have profound impacts on high‐latitude ectotherms, wi...
Article
Full-text available
The rhizosphere microbiome of the native Antarctic hairgrass Deschampsia antarctica from the central maritime Antarctic was investigated using 16S RNA metagenomics and compared to those of the second native Antarctic plant Colobanthus quitensis and closely related temperate D. cespitosa. The rhizosphere microbial communities of D. antarctica and D....
Article
1. Antarctic winters are challenging for terrestrial invertebrates, and species that live there have specialized adaptations to conserve energy and protect against cold injury in the winter. However, rapidly occurring climate change in these regions will increase the unpredictability of winter conditions, and there is currently a dearth of knowledg...
Article
Full-text available
We assessed fungal diversity in sediments obtained from four lakes in the South Shetland Islands and James Ross Island, Antarctica, using DNA metabarcoding. We detected 218 amplicon sequence variants (ASVs) dominated by the phyla Ascomycota, Basidiomycota, Mortierellomycota, Mucoromycota and Chytridiomycota. In addition, the rare phyla Aphelidiomyc...
Preprint
The presence of marine vertebrates in reproductive colonies contributes to the input of organic matter into the local environment and it is believed that trace elements are subsequently remobilized from the excreta of these animals. In this study, we investigate the influence of marine vertebrates on trace elements levels (As, Cd, Co, Cu, Fe, Li, L...
Article
Solar radiation regulates most biological activities on Earth. Prolonged exposure to solar UV radiation can cause deleterious effects by inducing two major types of DNA damage, namely cyclobutane pyrimidine dimers (CPDs) and pyrimidine 6‐4 pyrimidone photoproducts (6‐4PPs). These lesions may be repaired by the photoreactivation (Phr) and nucleotide...
Article
Full-text available
Located 1140 km from the South American coastline in the South Atlantic Ocean and with an age of 4 million years, Trindade Island is the most recent volcanic component of Brazilian territory. Its original native vegetation has been severely damaged by human influence, in particular through the introduction of exotic grazing animals such as goats. H...
Article
Full-text available
For more than five decades, research has been conducted at Ny-Ålesund, in Svalbard, Norway, to understand the structure and functioning of High-Arctic ecosystems and the profound impacts on them of environmental change. Terrestrial, freshwater, glacial and marine ecosystems are accessible year-round from Ny-Ålesund, providing unique opportunities f...
Article
Full-text available
We set out to document the diversity and distribution of bryophytes in Admiralty Bay and thereby enable the identification of patterns in local diversity and their possible drivers. Combining data extracted from different sources and recent collections, we documented the presence of 63 species. Similarity analyses of moss species diversity in relat...
Article
Understanding the success factors underlying each step in the process of biological invasion provides a robust foundation upon which to develop appropriate biosecurity measures. Insights into the processes occurring can be gained through clarifying the circumstances applying to non-native species that have arrived, established and, in some cases, s...
Article
Full-text available
We assessed fungal diversity present in glacial from the Antarctic Peninsula using DNA metabarcoding through high-throughput sequencing (HTS). We detected a total of 353,879 fungal DNA reads, representing 94 genera and 184 taxa, in glacial ice fragments obtained from seven sites in the north-west Antarctic Peninsula and South Shetland Islands. The...
Article
Full-text available
Research in global change ecology relies heavily on global climatic grids derived from estimates of air temperature in open areas at around 2 m above the ground. These climatic grids do not reflect conditions below vegetation canopies and near the ground surface, where critical ecosystem functions occur and most terrestrial species reside. Here, we...
Article
Full-text available
Antarctic snow represents a microhabitat directly linked with atmospheric precipitation, and through it receives dust, sea spray, organic materials and microbial propagules. Among the microorganisms that inhabit Antarctic snow, fungi are not well known. In the current study, we assessed the uncultured fungal diversity in seasonal snow samples obtai...
Article
We assessed the potentially pathogenic fungi in Antarctic permafrost and the overlying active layer on King George, Robert, Livingston and Deception Islands in the South Shetland Islands archipelago, maritime Antarctica. Permafrost and active layer sub-samples were incubated at 37 °C to select fungi able to growth inside the human body. A total 67...
Preprint
Our current understanding of ecological and evolutionary processes underlying island biodiversity is heavily shaped by empirical data from plants and birds, although arthropods comprise the overwhelming majority of known animal species. This is due to inherent problems with obtaining high-quality arthropod data. Novel high throughput sequencing app...
Article
Full-text available
The temperature experienced by micro-invertebrates in extreme environments (such as those of Antarctica) is a pivotal parameter regarding these animals' ecology and physiology. However, at present, detailed knowledge of microhabitat physical conditions in Antarctica is limited, as well as being biased towards sub-Antarctic and Maritime Antarctic re...
Article
Antarctica contains most of the glacial ice on the planet, a habitat that is largely unexplored by biologists. Recent warming in parts of Antarctica, particularly the Antarctic Peninsula region, is leading to widespread glacial retreat, releasing melt water and, potentially, contained biological material and propagules. In this study, we used a DNA...
Article
Full-text available
Snow is an important driver of ecosystem processes in cold biomes. Snow accumulation determines ground temperature, light conditions, and moisture availability during winter. It also affects the growing season’s start and end, and plant access to moisture and nutrients. Here, we review the current knowledge of the snow cover’s role for vegetation,...
Article
Full-text available
Snow is an important driver of ecosystem processes in cold biomes. Snow accumulation determines ground temperature, light conditions and moisture availability during winter. It also affects the growing season’s start and end, and plant access to moisture and nutrients. Here, we review the current knowledge of the snow cover’s role for vegetation, p...
Article
Full-text available
The Ellsworth Mountains experience frigid desert conditions. No macroscopic vegetation is present, with only very few published records of microalgae, and the range has received virtually no formal biological survey. Rocks, including gypsum crusts, were sampled from five specific locations in part of the region during the austral summer of 2012/13....
Article
Full-text available
Peatlands contain a significant fraction of global soil carbon, but how these reservoirs will respond to the changing climate is still relatively unknown. A global picture of the variations in peat organic matter chemistry will aid our ability to gauge peatland soil response to climate. The goal of this research is to test the hypotheses that 1) pe...
Article
Antarctica has been isolated and progressively glaciated for over 30 million years, with only approximately 0.3 % of its area currently ice-free and capable of supporting terrestrial ecosystems. As a result, invertebrate populations have become isolated and fragmented, in some cases leading to speciation. Terrestrial invertebrate species currently...
Article
The strong air temperature warming between the 1950s and 2016 in the Antarctic Peninsula region¹ exceeded the global average warming²,³ with evident impacts on terrestrial ecosystems and the two native Antarctic vascular plants Deschampsia antarctica Desv. and Colobanthus quitensis (Kunth) Bartl.4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10 Subsequently, a short but intens...
Article
Full-text available
This study was initiated following the serendipitous discovery of a unialgal culture of a Stichococcus-like green alga (Chlorophyta) newly isolated from soil collected on Signy Island (maritime Antarctica) in growth medium supplemented with 100 µg/mL cycloheximide (CHX, a widely used antibiotic active against most eukaryotes). In order to test the...
Article
Full-text available
We assess the fungal diversity present in permafrost from different islands in the South Shetland Islands archipelago, maritime Antarctic, using next-generation sequencing (NGS). We detected 1,003,637 fungal DNA reads representing, in rank abundance order, the phyla Ascomycota, Mortierellomycota, Basidiomycota, Chytridiomycota, Rozellomycota, Mucor...
Article
Snow cover changes can have important effects on ecosystems, especially where spatial variability in cover is high, influencing the biogeochemical conditions of the underlying soil as well as the vegetation. In this study, snow thickness and areal distribution were monitored using a time lapse camera over a grid of 15 × 20 m between 2009 and 2017 a...
Article
Full-text available
Background Vega Island is located off the eastern tip of the Antarctic Peninsula (Maritime Antarctica), in the Weddell Sea. In this study, we used metabarcoding to investigate green algal DNA sequence diversity present in sediments from three lakes on Vega Island (Esmeralda, Copépodo, and Pan Negro Lakes). Methods and results Total DNA was extract...
Preprint
Full-text available
Located 1,140 km from the South American coastline in the South Atlantic Ocean, and with an age of 4 million years, Trindade Island is the most recent volcanic component of Brazilian territory. Its vegetation was severely damaged by human influence in particular through the introduction of exotic grazing animals such as goats. However, since the co...
Article
Full-text available
We assessed the content of some major and trace elements and lichen compounds as well as antioxidant activity in eight lichen species representing four families collected in areas > 1 km distant from Bellingshausen (King George Island) and > 1 km distant from Molodezhnaya (Thala Hills, Enderby Land) research stations. Content levels of Cu, Pb, Cd,...
Article
Full-text available
Since the heroic age of Antarctic exploration, the continent has been pressurized by multiple anthropogenic activities, today including research and tourism, which have led to the emergence of phenol pollution. Natural attenuation rates are very slow in this region due to the harsh environmental conditions; hence, biodegradation of phenol using nat...
Article
Full-text available
Aim We investigated evolutionary relationships and biogeographical patterns within the genus Boeckella to evaluate (1) whether its current widespread distribution in the Southern Hemisphere is due to recent long-distance dispersal or long-term diversification; and (2) the age and origin of sub-Antarctic and Antarctic Boeckella species, with particu...
Article
Full-text available
Rice straw, an agricultural waste product generated in huge quantities worldwide, is utilized to remediate diesel pollution as it possesses excellent characteristics as a natural sorbent. This study aimed to optimize factors that significantly influence the sorption capacity and the efficiency of oil absorption from diesel-polluted seawater by rice...
Article
Full-text available
An Antarctic soil bacterial consortium (reference BS14) was confirmed to biodegrade canola oil, and kinetic studies on this biodegradation were carried out. The purpose of this study was to examine the ability of BS14 to produce biosurfactants during the biodegradation of canola oil. Secondary mathematical equations were chosen for kinetic analyses...
Article
Full-text available
The polar regions provide valuable insights into the functioning of the Earth’s regulating systems. Conducting field research in such harsh and remote environments requires strong international cooperation, extended planning horizons, sizable budgets and long-term investment. Consequently, polar research is particularly vulnerable to societal and e...
Article
Full-text available
Human activity and climate change are increasing the spread of species across the planet, threatening biodiversity and ecosystem functions. Invasion engineers, such as birds, facilitate plant growth through manuring of soil, while native vegetation influences plant germination by creating suitable microhabitats which are especially valuable in cold...
Article
Full-text available
We evaluated fungal and bacterial diversity in an established moss carpet on King George Island, Antarctica, affected by ‘fairy ring’ disease using metabarcoding. A total of 127 fungal and 706 bacterial taxa were assigned. Ascomycota dominated the fungal assemblages, followed by Basidiomycota, Rozellomycota, Chytridiomycota, Mortierellomycota and M...
Article
Full-text available
Since the nineteenth century, a ring-forming disease attacking Antarctic mosses has been reported. However, to date, only the effects on the mosses themselves are known. In this study, we used DNA metabarcoding to investigate the effects on the moss epiphytic algal community at different stages of disease progression. As the disease progressed, alg...
Article
Linkages between aboveground and belowground communities are a key but globally under-researched component of responses to environmental change. Given the logistical complications to studying these relationships, much of our knowledge derives from laboratory experiments and localized field studies which have so far yielded inconsistent results. Bec...
Article
Full-text available
Knowledge of the biodiversity of the Thala Hills oasis (Enderby Land, East Antarctica) is very limited. Here, we integrate all information available since 1962, when the Russian ‘Molodyozhnaya’ station was established in the western part of the oasis. The published data on local eukaryote diversity (lichens, embryophytes, metazoans) include records...
Article
Full-text available
The Antarctic region has been experiencing rapid change in recent decades due to human-induced factors. Most notably, climate heating is causing ice sheet melting, leading to sea level rise and disruption in global ocean heat circulation, with far-reaching consequences. At the same time, this region holds unique research potential that can help ad...
Article
Full-text available
In the harsh Antarctic terrestrial ecosystems, invertebrates are currently confined to sparse and restricted ice free areas, where they have survived on multi-million-year timescales in refugia. The limited dispersal abilities of these invertebrate species, their specific habitat requirements, and the presence of geographical barriers can drastical...
Article
Full-text available
Antarctica is increasingly vulnerable to climate change impacts, with the continent predicted to warm by ∼4 °C by 2100 under a ‘business as usual’ greenhouse gas emission scenario. Simultaneously, human activity, primarily in the form of scientific research and the fishing and tourism industries, is putting increasing pressure on Antarctic and Sout...
Article
Antarctic lakes have generally simple periphyton communities when compared with those of lower latitudes. To date, assessment of microbial diversity in Antarctica has relied heavily on traditional direct observation and cultivation methods. In this study, sterilized cotton baits were left submerged for two years in two lakes on King George Island a...
Article
Human- and animal-impacted sites in Antarctica can be contaminated with heavy metals, as well as areas influenced by underlying geology and naturally occurring minerals. The present study examined the relationship between heavy metal presence and soil microalgal occurrence across a range of human-impacted and undisturbed locations on Signy Island....