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Microbial biodiversity

2 Posts tagged with the water_sampling tag
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In our project, we would like to investigate how microbial communities  differ between soil types. Therefore, we need to characterise the soil types and chemistry of the soils. This will entail measurements of pH, moisture content and nutrients such as nitrogen, phosphorus and iron.

 

The pH and soil moisture were determined straight after the collection on return to King Edward Point.  It makes quite a big mess in the lab, but worth it! Nutrient analyses are more complicated and therefore will be done back in the UK.

                                        IMG_8126.jpg Collection of a scree sample for molecular analsysis

 

IMG_8185.jpgOur little soil lab at KEP

 

We also measure pH, conductivity, oxygen and temperature for every stream that we sample, but this has to be done directly at the sampling site. For continous measurement over several days, a data logger was also installed in a stream near the station.

                                             DSCF1282.jpgSetting up a data logger in a stream


IMG_8024.jpgOur field probes for pH, conductivity, temperature and  oxygen


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On the fifth day, we saw the shores of South Georgia for the first time. We had the chance to go on land first time in Stromness Harbour, which contains the ruins of one of the many former whaling stations found in South Georgia. It was a great opportunity for us to collect our first samples. We also had a chance to admire some of the wildlife, that is so common for the shores of South Georgia.

 

Stromness Harbour is also famous for its importance in the rescue of the members of the Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition led by Sir Ernest H. Shackleton on the Endurance. Here in Stromness Bay, Shackleton's party finally reached the first human settlementafter their 36 day crossing of South Georiga, and could organise the rescue of the rest of the expedition members from Elephant Island.


IMG_7813.jpgFirst views of South Georgia

 

IMG_7841.jpgShackleton Valley

 

IMG_7832.jpgWater sampling of astreams that is fed by several meltwater streams running of the snow covered slopes of the surrounding valley


IMG_7825.jpgRuins of whaling station and moulting king penguins


IMG_7846.jpgGentoo penguins with chicks


IMG_7856.jpgFur seals and king penguins


IMG_7855.jpgFur seal pups

 

After visiting Stromness Harbour, we also had the chance to get on shore at Jason Harbour, where we were greetedby the as usual slighty grumpy fur seals. We also saw a blonde fur seal that are seals with very pale coloured fur, apparently 1 in 1000 seals is a blonde variant.

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Jason Harbour


IMG_7986.jpg Blonde fur seal

 

We also saw some elephant seals. Many elephant seals molt during this time of the year and they love doing it by laying on top of each other in smelly mud holes, so called wallows. There were also plenty of reindeer in Jason Harbour, which were introduced to South Georgia during the whaling era.

 

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IMG_8007.jpgReindeer in Jason Harbour

 

We passed several incredible icebergs in between Stromness and Jason Harbour.


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IMG_7903.jpgIMG_7939.jpg

Icebergs in coastal water of South Georgia