Long-term anhydrobiotic survival in semi-terrestrial micrometazoans

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This study represents the first systematic investigation of long-term anhydrobiotic survival in tardigrades, rotifers and nematodes inhabiting mosses and lichens. Sixty-three different samples from public and private collections, kept dry for 9-138 years, were examined. Rotifers of the genus Mniohia and the eutardigrade Ramazzottius oberhaeuseri (hatched from eggs) were found alive from one of the samples (9 years old). These observations represent the longest record for rotifers in the anhydrobiotic state. For tardigrades, our results confirm previous reports on the upper limit of anhydrobiotic survival under atmospheric oxygen conditions. This study suggests the possibility that tardigrade eggs are able to withstand longer periods in anhydrobiosis than animals. Some problems related to the evaluation of long-term anhydrobiotic survival, such as contamination and chemical treatments of samples, are reported. The possible role of the microenvironment in which the anhydrobiotic animals are kept is discussed.


  • R Guidetti
  • Ingemar Jönsson
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Ecology
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)181-187
JournalJournal of Zoology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2002
Publication categoryResearch

Bibliographic note

The information about affiliations in this record was updated in December 2015. The record was previously connected to the following departments: Theoretical ecology (Closed 2011) (011006011)

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