Colorado State University
Natural Resource Ecology Laboratory
Fort Collins, Colorado
Supporting Stations: McMurdo Station
Research Locations: Dry Valleys
Initially funded in 1980, the US Long-Term Ecological Research (LTER) Network is a collaborative effort involving more than 1,800 scientists and students. The McMurdo LTER program is an inter-disciplinary and multi-disciplinary study of the aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems in the ice-free McMurdo Dry Valleys. It is one of 26 LTER sites that investigates ecological processes over long temporal and broad spatial scales. This project is the 'soils' component of the McMurdo LTER. Researchers maintain (through application of water and nutrients), monitor (soil moisture and temperature), and sample (soils) in their long-term experimental plots near Lakes Fryxell, Hoare, and Bonney. The project aims to determine the impacts of natural factors and those associated with potential climate change on the abundance, distribution, and diversity of soil biota. This six-year award cycle comprises seven collaborative projects: Andrew Fountain B-504, John Priscu B-505, Diane McKnight B-506, Diana Wall B-507, Jeb Barrett, B-508, Berry Lyons B-509, and Peter Doran B-511.
Field Season Overview:
Ten participants will make one-to-seven-day trips to the dry valleys where they monitor, maintain, and sample long-term experiments, as well as sample soils to support developing work on the N and P cycles, turnover of organic matter, and moss-soil interactions in the field. Between trips to the field, team members return to Crary Lab for sample processing and initial analysis, and to perform incubation assays on selected soils.
Deploying Team Members:
John Barrett (Team Leader)
Ross Virginia (Co-PI)
Diana Wall (PI)