vendredi 8 février 2013

In Escudero Station

Dear all,
Dail has arrived on the 3rd February at the Chilean station Escudero. 

The weather has not been very nice this season, and there is an unusually important snow cover. This could be a problem for field work!

Dail has immediately started to go to the field and take samples. We are mostly interested in microbial mats that can be found in lakes, or meltwaters. These mats are made by filamentous cyanobacteria that produce the 'matrix' of the mats, where other organisms are also living (other microalgae, bacteria, fungi, nematodes, rotifers, tardigrades...).

However, other ecosystems are interesting to study for the presence of cyanobacteria and microalgae. For example, in the picture below, they sample soil which is just in front of a glacier.

The mats are often red/brown, 

This is due to protective pigments that protect the upper layers of the mat against the high light intensities and the high UV radiations.

For several days, now, Dail will walk on the Antarctic Peninsula with the colleagues at the Escudero Station, and look for interesting samples.

Cheers, Annick

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