The Antarctic represents the last of the world's still unexplored continents. Since 1985, Italy has sent 10 expeditions to this region, three of those have been exclusively devoted to research on the marine ecology of the Ross Sea region. This volume presents a global picture of this research. It includes contributions on water mass characteristics, particulate organic matter and nutrient utilization, and physiological aspects of primary production. Further topics are zooplankton, krill and top predator interactions in relation to physical and biological parameters, ecological features of coastal fish communities and the spatio-temporal variability of benthic biocenoses.