Interpreting Two Articles Detailing A Study Of Kelp Genes

1288 words - 5 pages

The article, Kelp genes reveal effects of subantarctic sea ice during the Last Glacial Maximum, describes an experiment designed to measure the extent of sea ice in the Southern Hemisphere during the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM). Prior to this study, palaeogeographers had had yet to decisively determine the extent of sea ice in the southern hemisphere during the LGM, so this experiment greatly contributed to the progress of the palaeogeographic field. The authors of this article also notably pioneered a new method of study in this field; they were the first palaeogeographers to examine modern genetic data in order to draw conclusions about the past conditions and climate of the southern hemisphere (Fogarty, 2009).
The authors used mitochondrial and chloroplast genetic markers (COI; rbcL) to genetically examine 300 kelp samples from 45 various locations about Southern Ocean localities. They then used these results to approximate how long the kelp has been in that area; if the kelp displayed genetic homogeneity then it suggested that the kept recently colonized the area, and if the kept did not then it suggested that that population of kelp has been there for a comparatively longer period of time (Fraser et al., 2009). Since the D. antarctica cannot survive ice scour, it is inferred that the areas in which the kelp seem to have recently colonized were affected by ice scour during the LGM. As a result of the experiment, the authors found that their data suggested that the ice cover during the LGM spanned a much larger area than previously assumed.
In the article, the authors provide a diagram containing the results of their genetic characterization of the kelp on page 2. The figures are organized into a phylogenetic tree. The purpose of this phylogenetic tree is to illustrate how close or how far strains of kelp from certain localities are genetically related in respect to kelp from other localities.
The topic of this article is relevant to many topics in various scientific fields, especially those pertaining to genetic data analysis, the study of organisms in the subantartic, or palaeogeography. According to the Web of Science, the article cites 57 references and is cited by 36 articles It seems evident that the article is relevant to the field because not only did it draw inspiration and information from previous studies, but it also was used as reference material in future studies.
A mainstream article, entitled Kelp Genetics reveals Ice Age climate clues, was written in an attempt to convey the information detailed in the scientific article in a more easily understandable way. However, as a result, the mainstream article is lacking much of the information the scientific article provides. For example, he mainstream article doesn’t specifically address the methods in which scientists determined how recently the kelp recolonized the subantarctic islands. It also does not give the specific species of kelp the researchers used in the experiment....

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