Viruses contribute more to Antarctica than the common cold: a review on viral importance in Antarctic lakes (2018)
The role viruses play in mediating the ecology of Antarctic lakes is vastly underrepresented and the effects climate change may have on these roles is widely unknown. At the microbial level viruses are involved in the important roles of limiting host population densities, selecting for host diversity, and contributing dissolved organic carbon to the aquatic environment. These roles are especially important in Antarctic lakes as they are dominated by microorganisms. The ecology of the lake is dependent on viruses as they control microbe population levels and increase nutrient levels into the environment. Climate change may alter Antarctic lake compositions by causing an increase in incidence of blooms, increase in lysogenic viral infections, and an increase in viral decay due to UV-B radiation. These changes will likely have profound impacts on the microbe populations currently residing in Antarctic lakes. Further research needs to be conducted in order to determine if viruses in Antarctic lakes will be able to continue carrying out their important roles in the changing environment.
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