"where there is water, there is life". We
are investigating the control of discontinuous seasonal
snow cover on
microbial structure and
biogeochemical cycling in soils across the valley
bottoms of the
Dry Valleys, Antarctica. Very little snow falls in the
during the summer. In the winter, snow is blown in
from the polar
plateau, and it collects in topographic low points
(behind ridges, in
streambeds, etc.). We expect that these snow packs are
controls of soil microbiology and biogeochemical cycling
occupy approximately the same locations each year.
packs then slowly ablate during the austral spring and
Most snow appears to be lost to sublimation, and some
lost to melt that
infiltrates the underlying soils.
Subnivian soils (soils under the snow pack) are likely influenced in several ways by the presence of the snow pack: 1) potential moisture source, 2) insulation during the winter and spring, 3) disconnection from the atmosphere during the winter. We expect that these factors influence the microbial communities under these snow packs, possibly selecting for specfic species, and that the associated biogeochemical cycles within the soils are different than in adjacent soils that are rarely covered by snow.
Valley and Wright Valley, Antarctica.
Links: (links will be
come live as we generate these products)
Published Results from this Project: (* indicates student lead author; I indicates invited talk)
*Altrichter, AE, KM Geyer, JE Barrett, MN Gooseff, and C Takacs-Vesbach. 2010. Influence of snow packs on soil biota and biogeochemical cycling in polar desert soils. 95th Ecological Society of America Annual Meeting, Pittsburgh, PA.
*Geyer, KM, JE Barrett, MN Gooseff, and C Takacs-Vesbach. 2010. Geochemical controls over biotic communities in melt-water ponds of Wright Valley, Antarctica. 95th Ecological Society of America Annual Meeting, Pittsburgh, PA.
*Eveland, JW, MN Gooseff, DJ Lampkin, JE Barrett, and CD Takacs-Vesbach. 2010. Snow Dynamics in a Polar Desert, McMurdo Dry Valleys, Antarctica. American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting, San Francisco, CA (C33C-0542).
This project is funded through the National Science Foundation's Office of Polar Programs.
This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant Nos. 0830050, 0838879, and 0838922. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation