Monitoring climate change induced desertification of Antarctica using stable isotopic signatures
Entry ID: AAS_3129

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Summary
Abstract: Metadata record for data from AAS (ASAC) project 3219.

Public Summary
We will use mosses to investigate the changing climate in Antarctica and the implications this has for terrestrial biodiversity. Mosses grow incrementally from the tip, thus shoot sections contain a record of atmospheric carbon corresponding to each growing season, in a similar fashion to tree rings. This method has been used to age East Antarctic mosses and indicates that some individuals are more than 60 years old. Analysing stable isotopes of carbon and oxygen in cell walls tells us how climate has changed around these mosses over time and allows us to determine which sites are drying and becoming inhospitable.

Project Objectives
Our hypothesis is that the carbon and oxygen isotope composition of bryophytes can be used as a proxy for desertification, inundation and precipitation regimes in Antarctica.

We will determine whether stable isotopes of carbon and oxygen in plant tissues can be used as a surrogate for changes in effective growing season by determining whether they provide an accurate record of water availability to moss beds through time. To do this we will:

1) determine if long term water availability is accurately recorded in cell wall delta13C and delta18O signatures of moss, and if
2) short term, within/between season changes in moss submergence are reflected in the delta13C of sugars. In addition we will
3) measure instantaneous fractionation of carbon isotopes during photosynthesis in moss under different water availabilities.

Taken from the 2010-2011 Progress Report
Progress against objectives:
Moss, snow and water samples for Objectives 1 and 3 were collected in February 2011. These were from ASPA136 (Stevenson's Cove and a ridge site near Whitney Pt), on Bailey Peninsula (ASPA135, Science and Red Shed locations) and from Robinson Ridge
These samples have all been identified.

Objective 2 requires a longer season and was not possible in the time available at Casey.

Laboratory activity/analysis:
These samples have all been identified at Wollongong
Stable isotope analysis is planned for September-October 2011 in Vienna (Bramley-Alves and Robinson).
An experiment to investigate the fractionation of mosses under different water availabilities is planned with some of the samples that were collected and transferred to ANU (Bramley-Alves, Robinson and Ball).

Jess Bramley-Alves has applied for a 2011 AINSE Postgraduate Research Award, which would provide research funding and access to radiocarbon dating facilities at ANSTO. This will allow us to date the samples and track stable isotope changes over time.

Transplant experiment will be conducted and additional samples will be collected in 2011/12
These will be analysed in 2012.

Progress to date is excellent given the short season at Casey.

Related URL
Link: GET DATA
Description: Download point for the species list


Link: VIEW PROJECT HOME PAGE
Description: Public information for ASAC project 3129


Link: VIEW RELATED INFORMATION
Description: Citation reference for this metadata record and dataset


Geographic Coverage
 N: -66.0 S: -66.5  E: 110.5  W: 110.0

Data Set Citation
Dataset Originator/Creator: Robinson, S.
Dataset Title: Monitoring climate change induced desertification of Antarctica using stable isotopic signatures
Dataset Series Name: CAASM Metadata
Dataset Publisher: Australian Antarctic Data Centre
Online Resource: https://data.aad.gov.au/aadc/metadata/metadata_redirect.cfm?md=/AMD...


Temporal Coverage
Start Date: 2010-10-01
Stop Date: 2013-03-31


Location Keywords
CONTINENT > ANTARCTICA
GEOGRAPHIC REGION > POLAR


Science Keywords
BIOSPHERE >VEGETATION >FOREST COMPOSITION/VEGETATION STRUCTURE    [Definition]
BIOSPHERE >VEGETATION >VEGETATION COVER    [Definition]
BIOSPHERE >VEGETATION >VEGETATION INDEX    [Definition]
BIOSPHERE >VEGETATION >VEGETATION SPECIES    [Definition]
HUMAN DIMENSIONS >HABITAT CONVERSION/FRAGMENTATION >DESERTIFICATION    [Definition]
BIOLOGICAL CLASSIFICATION >PLANTS >MOSSES/HORNWORTS/LIVERWORTS    [Definition]
ATMOSPHERE >ATMOSPHERIC CHEMISTRY >CARBON AND HYDROCARBON COMPOUNDS    [Definition]
ATMOSPHERE >ATMOSPHERIC CHEMISTRY >OXYGEN COMPOUNDS    [Definition]
BIOSPHERE >VEGETATION >PLANT CHARACTERISTICS >VEGETATION WATER CONTENT


ISO Topic Category
BIOTA


Platform
FIELD SURVEYS    [Information]
LABORATORY    [Information]
FIELD INVESTIGATION    [Information]


Quality
The values provided in temporal and spatial coverage are approximate only.

Taken from the 2010-2011 Progress Report
Difficulties affecting project:
Due to flight delays and short time available at Casey we did not collect all the samples we had hoped to and in particular we were not able to collect the full suite of species along water availabilities required. Hence there are some gaps in the sampling that we hope to fill next season. In addition work on Objective 2 was delayed until 2011/12 because it requires a longer season than the 3 weeks available. Given the short time available and the fact that the weather was not ideal at this late stage in the season, we nonetheless collected the bulk of the samples as planned.

We had planned that the transplant experiment in Objective 2 would run for 2 years. This will probably not be possible if the project has to end in 2012.

Samples were delayed for a long time on RTA and this is not ideal.


Access Constraints
The full dataset for this project is not yet publicly available.

A copy of the species list collated during data collection is available for download from the provided URL.


Use Constraints
This data set conforms to the PICCCBY Attribution License
(http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/).

Please follow instructions listed in the citation reference provided at http://data.aad.gov.au/aadc/metadata/citation.cfm?entry_id=AAS_3129 when using these data.


Keywords
Climate Change
Moss
Carbon
Oxygen


Data Set Progress
COMPLETE


Originating Center
Australian Antarctic Division


Data Center
Australian Antarctic Data Centre, Australia    [Information]
Data Center URL: http://data.aad.gov.au

Data Center Personnel
Name: DATA OFFICER AADC
Phone: +61 3 6232 3244
Fax: +61 3 6232 3351
Email: metadata at aad.gov.au
Contact Address:
Australian Antarctic Division
203 Channel Highway
City: Kingston
Province or State: Tasmania
Postal Code: 7050
Country: Australia



Distribution
Distribution_Media: HTTP
Distribution_Size: 17 kb
Distribution_Format: Excel
Fees: Free


Personnel
SHARON ROBINSON
Role: INVESTIGATOR
Role: TECHNICAL CONTACT
Phone: +61 2 4221 5753
Fax: +61 2 4221 4135
Email: sharonr at uow.edu.au
Contact Address:
Department of Biological Sciences
University of Wollongong
Northfields Ave
City: WOLLONGONG
Province or State: New South Wales
Postal Code: 2522
Country: Australia


DAVE J. CONNELL
Role: DIF AUTHOR
Phone: +61 3 6232 3244
Fax: +61 3 6232 3351
Email: dave.connell at aad.gov.au
Contact Address:
Australian Antarctic Division
203 Channel Highway
City: Kingston
Province or State: Tasmania
Postal Code: 7050
Country: Australia



Creation and Review Dates
DIF Creation Date: 2011-04-29
Last DIF Revision Date: 2014-10-09

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