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The terrain surounding Cape Royds is covered with many ponds that vary in size, depth, shape and conductivity (salinity). There are also two larger lakes: Blue Lake and Clear lakes that are ice-covered all year. They were named during Shakleton’s expedition because of their blue and clear ice colour.  We were amazed by the variability of pond characteristics and diversity of microbial mats.



Back at the Natural History Museum we will study the cyanobacterial mats using microscopy and DNA-based tools to see if different mat types comprise different cyanobacterial communities.




                                             small pond with lift-off mats at Cape Royds

                                                 

                                                  CR_mats1.jpg


                                                                 Cyanobacteria-dominated mats

    

                                                  CR_mats2.jpg


                                                    CR_mats3.jpg

                                                                     

                             

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