Development and function of microbial communities in a glacier forefield chronosequence on Larsemann Hills, East Antarctica


Professor Dr. Dirk Wagner 
Helmholtz-Zentrum Potsdam
Deutsches GeoForschungsZentrum (GFZ)
Department 5
Sektion 5.3: Geomikrobiologie


In the scope of the proposed project the development and function of microbial communities in a glacier forefield on Larsemann Hills (East Antarctic) will be studied. Receding glaciers in Antarctic regions expose new terrain to soil development and subsequent colonization by microorganisms. The forefields are initially free of vegetation, and represent chronosequences as a function of the period of ice-free conditions. The dynamic local progression and colonization of such areas is thought to change dramatically in the face of climate change. Therefore, it is the aim of the project to understand the diversity of initial microbial communities and their development in dependence of the habitat formation and environmental conditions. This includes the investigation of small-scale variations within the community structure along the studied chronosequence (transect from youngest to oldest soils/sediments) and the effect of geochemical gradients on the diversity and function of the populations. For this purpose a large number of soil/sediment profiles along the glacier forefield on Larsemann Hills had been described and sampled during the expedition ANT-XXIII/9. A combined geochemical and microbiological approach will be used for a detailed characterization of the habitat properties and to study the diversity, abundance and function of the microbial communities.

DFG-Verfahren: Infrastruktur-Schwerpunktprogramme

Förderung von 2009 bis 2013