Predicting the impacts of climate change on the evolutionary adaptations of polar fish
The recognition of the important role of the polar habitats in global climate changes has awakened great interest in the evolutionary biology of the organisms that live there, as well as the increasing threat of loss of biological diversity and depletion of marine fisheries. These organisms are exposed to strong environmental constraints, and it is important to understand how they have adapted to cope with these challenges and to what extent adaptations may be upset by current climate changes. Adaptations of the dominant group of Antarctic fish, the suborder Notothenioidei, have been thoroughly investigated by several teams. Considering the amount of information available on cold adaptation, the study of fish adapted to the extreme conditions of the polar seas will allow us to gain invaluable clues on the development, impact and consequences of climate and anthropogenic challenges, with powerful implications for the future of the Earth.