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Antarctic Is Ripe for Invasive Species

This is Scientific American, 60 seconds science.

I'm Christopher Intagliata.

Antarctica is a lonely continent.

But the Antarctic Peninsula, the little "tail" that juts out toward South America, is a hub of human activity.

More than 50 scientific research stations are based there.

And in a recent travel season, 42,000 tourists visited, mostly from cruise ships.

Problem is when humans go somewhere, hitchhikers come withlike a nonnative flightless midge, an insect that has already taken up residence in the peninsular region.

"And its biomass is greater than all the other invertebrates in the soil.

It's already taking over the nutrient cycling in that environment".

Kevin Hughes is an environmental researcher with the British Antarctic Survey.

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