Spatial variability of benthic diatom communities in the Windmill Islands, Antarctica.Entry ID: Diatom_spatial_var
Abstract: A hierarchical, 3-level, nested design was used. The highest hierarchical level consisted of six locations. Two of these locations, Brown Bay and Shannon Bay, have been contaminated with heavy metals (Stark et al., 2003; Snape et al., 2001); Brown Bay has also been contaminated with petroleum hydrocarbons (Snape et al., 2001). The remaining four locations are more distant from Casey Station and ... were used as control locations. These locations were Denison Island, Odbert Island, O'Brien Bay and Sparkes Bay. A full description of these sites is given below.
Within each location two sites were selected approximately 100 m apart. Within each site, two plots were sampled (~ 10 m apart). Although the sampling program had been designed for four replicates within each plot, the patchy distribution of bottom sediments in the Windmill Islands restricted this to two replicate samples (~ 1 m apart) per plot. Samples were collected using an Eckman grab sampler, deployed from a boat. To minimise the potential influence of water depth, all samples were collected from 8 m water depth. Samples were collected within a three day period in early February when no sea-ice was present.
Diatom data are presented as the relative abundances of benthic species. Samples are identified xyz where x = first initial of sample location (or first 2 initials where 2 locations start with the same letter), y = plot number (plots 1 and 2 represent site 1, while plots 3 and 4 are from site 2), and z = replicate number (a or b). Abbreviations used for species are shown in the separate file sp_list.
This work was completed as part of ASAC project 1130 (ASAC_1130) and project 2201 (ASAC_2201).
Public summary from project 1130:
Algal mats grow on sea floor in most shallow marine environments. They are thought to contribute more than half of the total primary production in many of these areas, making them a critical food source for invertebrates and some fish. We will establish how important they are in Antarctic marine environments and determine the effects of local sewerage and tip site pollution. We will also investigate the impact on the algal mats of the additional UV radiation which results from the ozone hole.
Public summary from project 2201:
As a signatory to the Protocol on Environmental Protection to the Antarctic Treaty Australia is committed to comprehensive protection of the Antarctic environment. This protocol requires that activities in the Antarctic shall be planned and conducted on the basis of information sufficient to make prior assessments of, and informed judgements about, their possible impacts on the Antarctic environment. Most of our activities in the Antarctic occur along the narrow fringe of ice-free rock adjacent to the sea and many of our activities have the potential to cause environmental harm to marine life. The Antarctic seas support the most complex and biologically diverse plant and animal communities of the region. However, very little is known about them and there is certainly not sufficient known to make informed judgements about possible environmental impacts
The animals and plants of the sea-bed are widely accepted as being the most appropriate part of the marine ecosystem for indicating disturbance caused by local sources. Attached sea-bed organisms have a fixed spatial relationship with a given place so they must either endure conditions or die. Once lost from a site recolonisation takes some time, as a consequence the structure of sea-bed communities reflect not only present conditions but they can also integrate conditions in the past. In contrast, fish and planktonic organisms can move freely so their site of capture does not indicate a long residence time at that location. Because sea-bed communities are particularly diverse they contain species with widely differing life strategies, as a result different species can have very different levels of tolerance to stress; this leads to a range of subtle changes in community structure as a response to gradually increasing disturbance, rather than an all or nothing response.
This project will examine sea-bed communities near our stations to determine how seriously they are affected by human activities. This information will be used to set priorities for improving operational procedures to reduce the risk of further environmental damage.
The fields in this dataset are:
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Start Date: 1997-11-03Stop Date: 2000-02-05
CRYOSPHERE > FROZEN GROUND > SOIL TEMPERATURE
BIOLOGICAL CLASSIFICATION > ANIMALS/INVERTEBRATES > ARTHROPODS > CHELICERATES > ARACHNIDS
BIOLOGICAL CLASSIFICATION > ANIMALS/INVERTEBRATES > ARTHROPODS
BIOLOGICAL CLASSIFICATION > ANIMALS/INVERTEBRATES > ARTHROPODS > HEXAPODS
BIOSPHERE > ECOLOGICAL DYNAMICS > SPECIES/POPULATION INTERACTIONS > EVOLUTIONARY ADAPTATION
Quality All collected specimens are held by the Otago Museum in Dunedin, New Zealand. Specimens are preserved in ethanol and are accompanied by both hard and electronic inventories and descriptions of the data. For more information, please contact:
Registrar - Natural Sciences
PO Box 6202
Dunedin 9059, New Zealand
Ph: (03) 474 7474 ext 862
Fax: (03) 477 5993
Data Set Progress
Phone: +1-519-661-2111 Ext 83138
Email: bsincla7 at uwo.ca
Department of Biology Room 2078, Biological & Geological Sciences Building 1151 Richmond St North University of Western Ontario
Province or State: Ontario
Postal Code: N6A-5B7
Role: DIF AUTHOR
Phone: +64 3 358 0200
Fax: +64 3 358 0211
Email: s.gordon at antarcticanz.govt.nz
Antarctica New Zealand Private Bag 4745
Country: New Zealand
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Sinclair, B.J. Sjursen, H. Cold tolerance of the Antarctic springtail Gomphiocephalus hodgsoni (Collembola, Hypogastruridae). Antarctic science 13(3): 271-279, 2001.
Sinclair, B. Effects of increased temperatures simulating climate change on terrestrial invertebrates on Ross Island, Antarctica. Pedobiologia 46: 150-160, 2002.
Sjursen, H. Sinclair, B.J. On the cold hardiness of Stereotydeus mollis (Acari: Prostigmata) from Ross Island, Antarctica. Pedobiologia 46: 188-195, 2002.
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Creation and Review Dates
DIF Creation Date: 2005-03-15
Last DIF Revision Date: 2009-05-11