2013-2014 Science Planning Summaries
U.S. Antarctic Program - Science Support Section United States Antarctic Program United States Antarctic Program Logo National Science Foundation Logo
Palmer Long Term Ecological Research (LTER): Looking back in time through marine ecosystem space, microbial ecology component

Program Manager:
Dr. Lisa Clough

Event Number: C-045-L/P
NSF/PLR Award 1440435

ASC POC/Implementer:
Samina Ouda / Adam Jenkins

Dr. Hugh William Ducklow (Principal Investigator)
http://pal.lternet.eduExternal Non U.S. Government Site

Columbia University
Lamont Doherty Earth Observatory
Palisades, New York

Supporting Stations:  ARSV Laurence M. Gould, Palmer Station
Research Locations:  LTER Study Area / Palmer Station

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:
At Palmer Station the group will continue to sample the Thorium-234 deficit at a reduced level (weekly samples). They will perform several incubation experiments to test specific hypotheses about microbial processes and organic matter cycling. Project participants will also sail onboard the annual 28-day LTER cruise onboard the 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:

  • Collins James
  • Fiona Jevon
  • Sebastian Vivancos

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