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BIOFLAME- Biodiversity, Function, Limits and Adaptation from Molecules to Ecosystems


This project is part of the BAS GSAC five year research programme. It was funded by NERC and covered a period from 2005 to 2009.

BIOFLAME will study the DNA "fingerprints " of biological evolution to trace the way species adapt to environmental extremes. The methods include high-volume, high-throughput molecular biological approaches, especially DNA sequencing, DNA libraries and micro-array technology on representative samples from the terrestrial and marine ecosystems on and around Antarctica.

BIOFLAME has two components: BIOPEARL (Biodiversity dynamics: Phylogeography, Evolution and Radiation of life) and BIOREACH (Biological Responses to Extreme Antarctic Conditions and Hyper-Extremes) and links with projects and programmes like ACES, CACHE, DISCOVERY2010 and GEACEP.

Scientific Objectives

The main objectives are:

  • Understand how the genomes of different species influence their responses to environmental variation and change at the level of individuals, populations, communities and ecosystems
  • Find out how the climate change influences biodiversity and affects important ways the ecosystem functions within the Antarctic and globally
  • Determine the role of Antarctica and extreme environments in evolutionary change and the development of global biodiversity

Data Availability

Data sets collected during this project are available to the academic community.

Acronyms used in this text:

BAS- British Antarctic Survey

GSAC- Global Science in an Antarctic Context

NERC- Natural Environment Research Council

ACES- Antarctic Climate and the Earth System

CACHE- Climate and Chemistry: forcings, feedbacks and phasings in the Earth System

DISCOVERY2010- Integrating Southern Ocean Ecosystems into the Earth System

GEACEP- Greenhouse to ice-house: Evolution of the Antarctic Cryosphere and Paleoenvironment