2023-2024 USAP Field Season
Seasonal primary productivity and nitrogen cycling in photosynthetic mats, Lake Fryxell, McMurdo Dry Valleys
Dr. Dawn Yvonne Sumner
Supporting Stations: McMurdo Station
This project will evaluate the effect of light and microbial mat activity on biogeochemical cycling in winter and summer in Lake Fryxell, McMurdo Dry Valleys. The team will specifically evaluate the role of light on microbial mat oxygen production and nitrogen cycling in the system. Divers will deploy microsensors in and immediately above the benthic mats in different months to measure small scale changes in water chemistry with differing light exposure. Mats will also be subsampled to evaluate changes in microbial gene expression in differing conditions. The research will provide important new insights into the winter behaviors of microbes in mats and how biotic, abiotic, and environmental components of ecosystems interact within specific processes (e.g., redox and nitrogen cycling to affect the entire McMurdo Dry Valley ecosystem). Results will be used to construct a biogeochemical model for seasonal biomass generation and phenotypic changes in the system.
Field Season Overview
During this short season, B-047-M will maintain their ongoing experiments at the bottom of Lake Fryxell. Two participants will dive at the site established in 2022-23 to recover and download data from dataloggers, remove experimental shades, and replace dataloggers at the bottom of lake Fryxell. One participant is a collaborator supported by Antarctica New Zealand. The full team will return next season to continue sampling and full experiments.
Deploying Team Members