Metadata record for data from AAS (ASAC) Project 3203
See the link below for public details on this project.
High-order predators rely on the productivity of the Southern Ocean marine ecosystem for their continued survival. Their place in that ecosystem is the result of a long history of evolutionary adaptation to a challenging and changing environment. The objective of this study ... is to understand how species have adapted historically and are responding to today's rapidly changing environment. This study will use current and innovative non-invasive approaches (stable isotope analyses, ancient DNA extraction and pollutant analyses) to reconstruct historical feeding behaviours, contaminant loading and genetic changes over time for predators found at Macquarie Island.
To initiate a pilot study of modern and fossil King and Royal penguin bones collected at Macquarie Island during the 2009/10 field season and in historical specimen collections from museums. The project will test the concept that the past 3000 years of climate variability may have caused measurable change in the penguins;
A. foraging areas and trophic position
B. genetic and/or evolutionary makeup
C. pollutant loading (specifically Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs))
If successful the study could contribute information to the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) on the potential responses of vertebrate predators to global climate change, and Australia's obligations under Article 16 of the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants.
Taken from the 2009-2010 Progress Report:
Progress against objectives:
The project has been active for only 6 months however this was a successful field season for this project. Two bone outcrop sites were sampled at Macquarie Island, Landing Beach and Bauer Bay. Complete stratigraphic sequences of penguin bones and the sediment matrix were collected and photographic records taken of the outcrops. The samples are now at the AAD.
A PhD student has been engaged at Griffith University in David Lambert's lab to extract and analyse the bone DNA. Preliminary investigations have succeeded in extracting the DNA.