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The adaptation of cyanobacterial mats from the McMurdo Ice Shelf, Mt Discovery and the Alph River system to Antarctic environmental extremes
Entry ID: K081_1990_1991_NZ_1


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Summary
Abstract: The microbial adaptations of the cyanobacterial mats of the ponds of the McMurdo Ice Shelf to the environmental extremes experienced at this location, including changes in temperature and salinity, dehydration-rehydration cycles, low nitrogen: phosphorous ratios and high UV radiation was investigated. The fieldwork was mainly experimental with comparisons made between other pond systems from the McMurdo Sound area including Mt. Discovery - Minna Bluff and Pyramid Trough (Alph River) areas and from as far south as latitude 80°, the Darwin Glacier region. The Mt Discovery and Darwin Glacier regions underwent a limnological survey where ponds were sampled for conductivity, pH, temperature, size, discharge (L/s), depth, ion content (sodium, potassium, calcium, magnesium, chloride and sulphate), DRP, DOP, NH4, NO3, DON, benthic biomass and species composition. At Bratina Island, 12 ponds were studied at weekly intervals for water quality parameters (relative water level, sediment and water temperature, pH, DIC, conductivity, DRP, DOP, NH4, NO3, DON) and chlorophyll a concentrations. In addition, samples of water and dissolved gases were collected from around and below the benthic mats for dissolved gas composition (CO2, CH4 and N2O) and nutrient composition. The microbial adaptation to extreme Antarctic environments (low temperature/high salinity) was studied from a number of different physiological responses including biochemical adaptations (biochemical mechanisms of membrane lipid composition), the photosynthetic responses and changes in nitrogen fixation rates. A series of four experiments designed to examine the physiological responses of the benthic mats to the prevailing and extreme conditions which occur each year including response to extremes of salinity and temperature, short-term dehydration, ambient UV radiation and nutrient conditions were completed. The effects of salinity on mat metabolism by creating a salinity gradient and measuring nitrogen fixation, photosynthesis and respiration rates. A long term aim of research on these communities is to define the light-capturing and light screening properties of the microbial communities which dominate this and other freshwater ecosystems. To meet this aim, HPLC analysis of microbial communities in the Alph River-Trough Lake region was carried out to evaluate the changes in pigment composition as a function of UVA and UVB manipulations and as a response to desiccation and salinity changes.

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Link: VIEW PROJECT HOME PAGE


Geographic Coverage
 N: -78.0 S: -78.0  E: 165.3333  W: 165.3333

Temporal Coverage
Start Date: 1990-12-29
Stop Date: 1991-01-27


Location Keywords
CONTINENT > ANTARCTICA
CONTINENT > ANTARCTICA > MCMURDO ICE SHELF
CONTINENT > ANTARCTICA > MT DISCOVERY
CONTINENT > ANTARCTICA > ALPH RIVER
GEOGRAPHIC REGION > POLAR


Science Keywords
BIOSPHERE >TERRESTRIAL ECOSYSTEMS >WETLANDS    [Definition]
TERRESTRIAL HYDROSPHERE >WATER QUALITY/WATER CHEMISTRY >CHLOROPHYLL    [Definition]
TERRESTRIAL HYDROSPHERE >WATER QUALITY/WATER CHEMISTRY >CONDUCTIVITY    [Definition]
TERRESTRIAL HYDROSPHERE >WATER QUALITY/WATER CHEMISTRY >NUTRIENTS    [Definition]
TERRESTRIAL HYDROSPHERE >WATER QUALITY/WATER CHEMISTRY >PH    [Definition]
TERRESTRIAL HYDROSPHERE >WATER QUALITY/WATER CHEMISTRY >PHOSPHOROUS COMPOUNDS    [Definition]
TERRESTRIAL HYDROSPHERE >WATER QUALITY/WATER CHEMISTRY >WATER TEMPERATURE    [Definition]
BIOLOGICAL CLASSIFICATION >BACTERIA/ARCHAEA >CYANOBACTERIA (BLUE-GREEN ALGAE)    [Definition]
BIOLOGICAL CLASSIFICATION >PLANTS >MICROALGAE    [Definition]
BIOSPHERE >ECOLOGICAL DYNAMICS >SPECIES/POPULATION INTERACTIONS >EVOLUTIONARY ADAPTATION    [Definition]
BIOSPHERE >ECOLOGICAL DYNAMICS >ECOSYSTEM FUNCTIONS >NUTRIENT CYCLING    [Definition]
BIOSPHERE >ECOLOGICAL DYNAMICS >ECOSYSTEM FUNCTIONS >PHOTOSYNTHESIS    [Definition]


ISO Topic Category
BIOTA
INLAND WATERS


Platform
FIELD SURVEYS    [Information]
FIELD INVESTIGATION    [Information]


Keywords
environmental characteristics
adaptations
primary production
nutrient cycling


Data Set Progress
COMPLETE


Data Center
Antarctica New Zealand, New Zealand Antarctic Institute, New Zealand    [Information]
Data Center URL: http://www.antarcticanz.govt.nz/

Data Center Personnel
Name: SHULAMIT GORDON
Phone: +64 3 358 0200
Fax: +64 3 358 0211
Email: s.gordon at antarcticanz.govt.nz
Contact Address:
Antarctica New Zealand
Private Bag 4745
City: Christchurch
Country: New Zealand


Personnel
BRIAN SORRELL
Role: INVESTIGATOR
Phone: +64 3 343 7802
Fax: +64 3 348 5548
Email: b.sorrell at niwa.co.nz
Contact Address:
NIWA
PO BOX 11-115
City: Christchurch
Country: New Zealand


IAN HAWES
Role: INVESTIGATOR
Email: AquaticResearchSolutions at gmail.com
Email: ian.hawes at canterbury.ac.nz
Contact Address:
Waterways Centre for Freshwater Management
University of Canterbury
City: Christchurch
Country: New Zealand


CLIVE HOWARD-WILLIAMS
Role: INVESTIGATOR
Phone: +64 3 343 7857
Fax: +64 3 348 5548
Email: c.howard-williams at niwa.co.nz
Contact Address:
NIWA
PO BOX 8602
City: Christchurch
Country: New Zealand


CEISHA POIROT
Role: DIF AUTHOR
Phone: +64 3 358 0200
Fax: +64 3 358 0211
Email: c.poirot at antarcticanz.govt.nz
Contact Address:
Antarctica New Zealand
Private Bag 4745
City: Christchurch
Country: New Zealand


SHULAMIT GORDON
Role: DIF AUTHOR
Phone: +64 3 358 0200
Fax: +64 3 358 0211
Email: s.gordon at antarcticanz.govt.nz
Contact Address:
Antarctica New Zealand
Private Bag 4745
City: Christchurch
Country: New Zealand


Publications/References
Vincent, W.F. Howard-Williams, C. Broady, P.A. Microbial communities and processes in Antarctic flowing waters. in: Antarctic microbiology. Friedmann E.I. (ed) New York: Wiley-Liss. 1993. pp.543-569

Downes, M.T. Hrstich, L. Vincent, W.F. Extraction of chlorophyll and carotenoid from Antarctic benthic mats for analysis by HPLC. Journal of applied phycology 5(6): 623-628, 1993.

Hawes, I. Photosynthesis in thick cyanobacterial films: a comparison of annual and perennial Antarctic mat communities. Hydrobiologia 252(3): 203-209, 1993.

Hawes, I. Howard-Williams, C. Pond life on the McMurdo Ice Shelf - one of the world's strangest ecosystems. Water and atmosphere 11(3): 16-17, 2003.

Hawes, I. The state of the Ross Sea region terrestrial environment: Aquatic habitats. in: Ross Sea Region 2001: A state of the environment report for the Ross Sea region of Antarctica.Waterhouse E.(ed) Christchurch: New Zealand Antarctic Institute. 2001. pp.4.58-4.78

Vincent, W.F. Howard-Williams, C. 1994 Nitrate-rich inland waters of the Ross Ice Shelf region, Antarctica. Antarctic science 6(3): 339-346

Downes, M.T. Hrstich, L. Vincent, W.F. 1993 Extraction of chlorophyll and carotenoid from Antarctic benthic mats for analysis by HPLC. Journal of applied phycology 5(6): 623-628

Hawes, I. Howard-Williams, C. Vincent, W.F. 1992 Desiccation and recovery of Antarctic cyanobacterial mats. Polar biology 12(6-7): 587-594

Quesada, A. Vincent, W.F. 1993 Adaptation of cyanobacteria to the light regime within Antarctic microbial mats. Proceedings of the International Association of Theoretical and Applied Limnology. 2(December): 960-965

Quesada, A. Mouget, J.L. Vincent, W.F. 1995 Growth of Antarctic cyanobacteria under ultraviolet radiation: UVA counteracts UVB inhibition. Journal of phycology 31(2): 242-248

Vincent, W.F. Roy, S. 1993 Solar ultraviolet-B radiation and aquatic primary production: damage, protection, and recovery. Environmental reviews 1(1): 1-12

Creation and Review Dates
DIF Creation Date: 2009-01-09
Last DIF Revision Date: 2009-01-13


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