Start date:
Early December
End date:
Early February
McMurdo Dry Valleys, Lakes Fryxell, Hoare, and Bonney
Principle Investigator:
Dr Diana Wall
Colorado State University
Field season overview:
Biological activity in soil is at a peak in December and January. Therefore deployment during this period is essential to the continued success of this project. Research activities this field season will consist of brief trips, ranging from one day to one week, to the Dry Valleys for monitoring, maintenance, and sampling of long-term experiments, and sampling of soil to support developing work on the Nitrogen and Phosphorus cycles, turnover of organic matter, and moss-soil interactions in the field. Researchers will require field camp and helicopter support for activities in the field. They will return to the Crary Laboratory at McMurdo Station for sample processing and initial analysis, as well as to perform incubation assays on selected soils.
Theme or program:
Long Term Ecological Research (LTER) Program
The McMurdo Long Term Ecological Research (LTER) projects will continue to investigate the McMurdo Dry Valleys as an end-member ecosystem and focus on the relative roles of legacy and extant processes on current biodiversity and ecosystem structure and function. Specifically, the B-507-M research team will continue to 1. maintain (through application of water and nutrients), monitor (soil moisture and temperature) and sample (soils) in their various long-term experimental plots near Lakes Fryxell, Hoare, and Bonney in order to determine the impacts of natural factors and those associated with potential climate change on the abundance, distribution, and diversity of soil biota; 2. monitor and assess soil biota and soil chemical properties; and 3. study relationships between soil biodiversity and ecosystem function by measuring in situ carbon dioxide exchange (photosynthesis, respiration), soil Nitrogen and Phosporus pools and transformations through a combination of gas flux, soil incubation, and soil chemical extraction techniques.