2012-2013 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, zooplankton component

Program Manager:
Dr. Lisa Clough


ASC POC/Implementer:
Samina Ouda / Philip Spindler

Dr. Deborah Steinberg (Principal Investigator)
http://pal.lternet.edu/External Non U.S. Government Site

Virginia Institute of Marine Sciences
Department of Biological Sciences
Gloucester Point, Virginia

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

Project Description:
Zooplankton and micro-nekton provides the main trophic link between primary producers and apex predators in the Southern Ocean. Researchers will focus on: (1) Trophic cascading and food selectivity experiments; (2) Determining the target strength and backscattering cross section of krill in response to data from the acoustic Doppler current profiler (ADCP) that will be used on the bio-acoustic Slocum Webb Glider; (3) Characterizing the microzooplankton community present in local waters to better understand their grazing impact on primary producers; and (4) Characterizing the quality and quantity of total lipids and fatty acids in zooplankton in the region.

Field Season Overview:
At Palmer Station, researchers will conduct bioacoustic surveys using the Biosonics DT-X echo sounder at least three times per week. 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 three net tows per station: One tow with a one-meter square net to a depth of 300 meters and one or two tows with a two-meter net to a depth of 120 meters. The 1-meter MOCNESS will be used to sample discrete depth horizons at the process study stations, and possibly a few of the regular grid stations. The Biosonics acoustic towfish will be deployed at the Process Study Stations to detect krill aggregations. Live zooplankton will be maintained and experimental vessels kept at cool temperatures using constantly flowing seawater into the aquaria. Microzooplankton grazing ("dilution") experiments will be conducted in on-deck incubators.

Deploying Team Members:

  • Kim Bernard
  • Brandon Conroy
  • Joseph Cope
  • Miram Gleiber
  • Lori Price
  • Kate Ruck
  • Deborah Steinberg (PI)

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