"Antarctic benthic communities below anchor ice and ice scour are subjected to intense biotic interactions, and this has propitiated the development of chemicals to avoid predation, competition, and/or fouling avoidance. In particular, Sterechinus neumayeri, a common eurybathic sympatric sea urchin species, can have a negative effect on early recruitment of benthic organisms through grazing. An adaptive response of these co-existing benthic animals may consist in displaying cytotoxic activities, poorly investigated so far in Antarctic ecosystems, in order to prevent the settlement of embryos and larvae of this sea urchin on them or near and, consequently, to decrease its grazing pressure. Cytotoxic activities of Antarctic benthic organisms, mainly from the deep waters of the poorly surveyed area of the eastern Weddell Sea, were assessed against embryos and sperm of the sea urchin S. neumayeri.
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Last date updated on July, 2014