Identify the following in the conclusion of a review paper:
Beginning in the late Eocene, global cooling reduced durophagous predation in Antarctica. Despite some climatic reversals, the post-Eocene cooling trend drove shallow-water, benthic communities to the retrograde, Paleozoic-type structure and function we see today. Now, global warming is facilitating the return of durophagous predators, which are poised to eliminate that anachronistic character and remodernize the Antarctic benthos in shallow-water habitats. Rising sea temperatures should in general act to reduce the mismatch between the development times of invasive larvae and the length of the growing season. Increased survivability of planktotrophic larvae will decrease the selective advantage of brooding and lecithotrophy, increasing the pool of potentially invasive species. Warming temperatures will also increase the scope for more rapid metabolism and should ultimately obviate the adaptive value of gigantism. All of these effects appear destined to amplify the ongoing, worldwide homogenization of marine biotas by reducing the endemic character of the Antarctic fauna.
The fact that benthic predators are already beginning to invade the Antarctic Peninsula should be taken as an urgent warning. Controlling the discharge of ballast water from ships will be difficult but not impossible. Whether or not humans are the proximal vectors, however, the long-term threat of invasion in Antarctica has its roots in climate change. The Antarctic Treaty cannot control global warming. Global environmental policy must immediately be directed to reducing and reversing anthropogenic emissions of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere if marine life in Antarctica is to survive in something resembling its present form.
(With permission from Annual Reviews)