2012-2013 Science Planning Summaries
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Palmer Long Term Ecological Research (LTER): Looking back in time through marine ecosystem space, microbial ecology component
Midsummer sea ice near Charcot Island, 24 January 2012 seen from Research Vessel LM GOULD. Credit: H Ducklow. 

Program Manager:
Dr. Lisa Clough

C-045-L/P
NSF/PLR Award 0823101

ASC POC/Implementer:
Samina Ouda / Philip Spindler

Dr. Hugh William Ducklow (Principal Investigator)
hducklow@ldeo.columbia.edu
http://pal.lternet.edu/External Non U.S. Government Site

Columbia University
Lamont Doherty Earth Observatory
Palisades, New York

Supporting Stations:  ARSV Laurence M. Gould, Palmer Station
Research Locations:  West Antarctic Peninsula

Project Description:
Microorganisms form an important ecosystem component at the base of Antarctic foodwebs and catalyze critical biogeochemical transformations in the carbon, nitrogen and other elemental cycles. This project documents long-term trends variability of bulk bacterial and Archaeal biomass and production rates in space and time. Researchers seek to understand the effects of climate change and ecosystem response on dissolved oxygen, organic and inorganic carbon—key biogeochemical properties. The Southern Ocean is an important sink for atmospheric carbon dioxide and studies of the metabolically active gases can clarify the linkages among biological and physical processes affecting oxygen storage. Microbial oxidation of dissolved organic compounds is an important flow in marine ecosystems and provides a link between microbial functioning and oxygen/carbon dioxide cycles.

Field Season Overview:
The field sampling season takes place from mid- to late-October through the end of March and thus encompasses the entire biologically active plankton ecology season. This component of the LTER program will include two participants on station from October through March. Researchers will collect samples in Arthur Harbor at the LTER A-G hydrographic stations.

Project participants will also sail onboard the annual 28-day LTER cruise onboard the Laurence M. Gould (LMG) from January 1 to February 15th. Vessel-based activities include collecting samples by trawling, conducting multiple CTD casts, deploying gliders and servicing five physical oceanographic moorings. A sediment trap mooring will be recovered and re-deployed at the LTER site near Hugo Island. Three- to five-day field camps will take place on Avian and Charcot Islands. Zodiac support is required for deploying to these field sites, as time and ice conditions permit. During the time at process stations, Zodiac support will be allocated for glider operations and to deploy satellite tags on baleen whales, collect biopsy samples, and individual photo-ID data. Two fully-equipped radioisotope vans will be used for C14 and for 3H.

Deploying Team Members:

  • Emelia DeForce
  • Hugh Ducklow (PI)
  • David Johnston
  • Sarah Laperriere
  • Catherine Luria
  • Nikhil Murgai
  • Stefanie Strebel
  • Michael Stukel
  • Natasja van Gestel
  • Lara Vimercati
  • Kathleen Woods

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Curator: Esther L. Hill PhD, Antarctic Support Contract   |   NSF Official: Alexandra Isern, Division of Polar Programs