Start date:
End date:
Barwick and Balham Valleys, Coombs Hills, Victoria Valley
Principle Investigator:
Jackie Aislabie
Landcare Research
Hamilton, New Zealand
Our Antarctic-wide Environmental Domains has been formally adopted by the Committee for Environmental Protection (CEP) as the environmental classification framework for the Antarctic continent. Within this framework Antarctica New Zealand (AntNZ) requires a high resolution enhancement specific to the Ross Sea region (RSR) to monitor, report and manage the territory to meet New Zealand’s obligations as a partner to the Antarctic Treaty. Landcare Research (LCR) in partnership with AntNZ, the universities of Waikato and Auckland, USA and Australian collaborators will: 1) develop an environmental classification specific for the RSR using environmental domains analysis (EDA) (the ‘RSR EDA’), delivered by a state-of-the-art web portal; and 2) advance the biogeographic characterization of RSR, filling key data gaps needed to deliver the RSR EDA, by: producing a soil map of the McMurdo Dry Valleys (MDV); monitoring soil climate in upland slopes; and determining whether soil distribution patterns aid prediction of the abundance and diversity of microbes, arguably the most important living component of RSR terrestrial ecosystems).