The Antarctic environment has recently been shown to support a high level of diversity of bacteria in the soil given the simplicity and extreme nature of the habitat. Understanding the relationship between soil biodiversity and ecosystem functioning is critical to predicting and monitoring the effects of ecosystem changes on important soil processes. This study investigated what environment ... factors (moisture, nutrients, mineralogy, geochemistry) drive the microbial diversity in the dry valley soils of Antarctica. Soils were sampled from several different environments (Miers Valley, Mt Erebus thermal soils, Bratina Island meltwater pools, Beacon Valley, Upper Wright Valley and Battleship Promontory) with different environmental factors and analysed for micro-organism using a number of genetic and geochemical analysis such as in situ ATP analysis for quantification of microbial biomass, phylogenetic studies and PCR analysis. The data sets were rather large and detailed and are outlined by season of study in the associated metadata entries.
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