MARINE ANTARCTIC BIODIVERSITY IN RELATION TO ENVIRONMENTAL HETEROGENEITY AT ADMIRALTY BAY, KING GEORGE ISLAND, AND ADJACENT AREAS AT THE BRANSFIELD STRAIT (MABIREH) L.S. Campos1, M.V. Petti2, H.P. Lavrado3, R.C. Montone2, R.F. Carelli Fontes4, M. Bassoi3, E.R. Secchi5, R.P.R. Paranhos3, C.E. Rezende6, D.R. Tenenbaum3, V.H. Pellizari7, D.J. Silva8, R. Frensel3, M.T.V. Berardo9, R.R. Costa10, L. Hsu10 1 - Federal University of Rio de Janeiro 2 - Oceanographic Institute, University of Sao Paulo 3 - Institute of Biology, Federal University of Rio de Janeiro 4 - State University of Sao Paulo, Sao Vicente 5 - Fundacao Universidade do Rio Grande, Brazil 6 - Universidade Federal do Norte Fluminense, Brazil 7 - Institute of Biological Sciences, University of Sao Paulo, Brazil 8 - Federal University of Santa Catarina, Brazil 9 - Mackenzie University, Sao Paulo, Brazil 10 - COPPE, Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil Admiralty Bay, at King George Island, has been studied over 30 years by different countries, and is within an Antarctic Specially Managed Area (ASMA #1). Microbes to top predators past data have been gathered as a baseline to a new transdisciplinary sampling programme. The relationship between geodiversity and biodiversity is a key to understanding ecosystems functioning, how benthic communities are structured, and how they might be affected by parameters such as currents, nutrients, sediment chemistry and others. A small remotely operated vehicle (ROV LUMA) has been developed to function down to the deepest zone of the bay (~500m). This project has allowed the continuity of relevant research that investigates signals of global and regional changes in Antarctica. Available metadata from the Brazilian Antarctic Programme (PROANTAR) have been gathered into a format that shall be linked to the Admiralty Bay Benthic Database (ABBED), SCARMarBIN, and the Ocean Biogeography Information System (OBIS) contributing to the Census of Antarctic Marine Life (CAML). The main results have been shown through an Educational and Outreach programme. This has explored the potential to generate relevant didactic and media material, contributing to raising the awareness of Antarctic significance to South America in Brazil.

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