Tardigrades (Tardigrada) in Baltic States
Keywords: tardigrada, eutardigrada, heterotardigrada, freshwater, life history, anhydrobiosis, cryptobiosis
AbstractThe tardigrades (Tardigrada), one of the micrometazoans groups, are reviewed. Tardigrades are distributed almost everywhere: in moss, lichens, soil, in niches of freshwater and seawater. The ability of tardigrades to undergo cryptobiosis has aroused interest among world scientists who would like to apply this mechanism to other biological systems that might benefit from dry storage in extreme conditions. This paper reviews the latest information on tardigrades taxonomy and phylogenetic position, distribution, some aspects of their biology, reproduction and life history. The present work also provides the data of research of tardigrades in the Baltic states.