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Exploration of the microbial diversity and assessment of the environmental impact in the region of the Antarctic research station 'Princess Elisabeth'

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Organization
Abstract
The purpose of the BelSPO project ANTAR-IMPACT is to contribute to the evaluation of the impact of the construction and operation of the Princess Elisabeth Station on the environment, particularly on the microbial biodiversity. The necessary baseline data on the biodiversity (incl. microbial) that was present prior to the construction can be obtained thanks to the samples taken in 2007. These data will be available for immediate and long-term evaluation of the environmental impact of the Station. The results will complete the Comprehensive Environmental Evaluation report that was communicated to the Committee for Environmental Protection (CEP), a body set up by the Madrid Protocol. With the station, scientists have a unique opportunity to follow the effect of a station in a region previously devoid of human impact. Indeed, most of the Antarctic stations were constructed many years before the protocol of Madrid became operational, so that there are no data on the original state of these sites. Field observations, microscopy and molecular analyses (including DGGE and sequencing of cultured organisms) of terrestrial samples from the Utsteinen nunatak and ridge showed the presence of three bird species (Snow Petrel, South Polar Skua and Wilson’s Storm-Petrel), 21 lichen species, 1 moss species, 12 morphotypes of cyanobacteria, at least 880 strains of cultured bacteria, 9 different sequences of chlorophytes, a rotifer community but no diatoms. Sampling campaigns in 2009 and 2010 within the BelSPO funded BELDIVA project, contribute to the monitoring, and expand the geographical range of the studies to other locations, habitats (e.g. cryoconites) and organisms (e.g. collembola) near the Sör Rondane Mountains. Our results revealed that granite outcrops situated in a 20 km circle around the Station harbor a large cyanobacterial diversity. Open top chambers (OTC) were installed during the Austral summer of 2010 to predict the effect of further warming on the microbial communities. The first measurements revealed that the temperature was 10 °C higher insi de the OTCs compared with reference sites outside the chambers. Air filtration experiments were carried out to assess the importance of wind-driven dispersal of microorganisms. These experiments and monitoring studies will contribute to the understanding of the processes that are responsible for the geographical patterns in the diversity and composition of microbiota, lichens and microarthropods and to observe possible future changes due to ecosystem change and/or human introductions.
Keywords
Princess Elisabeth Station, microbial diversity, Antarctica, ANTAR-IMPACT, BELDIVA

Citation

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MLA
De Smet, Wim, Cyrill D’Haese, Josef Elster, et al. “Exploration of the Microbial Diversity and Assessment of the Environmental Impact in the Region of the Antarctic Research Station ‘Princess Elisabeth’.” Belgian IPY Symposium, Abstracts. 2010. Print.
APA
De Smet, Wim, D’Haese, C., Elster, J., Ertz, D., Fernandez-Carazo, R., Mangold, A., Mano, M. J., et al. (2010). Exploration of the microbial diversity and assessment of the environmental impact in the region of the Antarctic research station “Princess Elisabeth.” Belgian IPY Symposium, Abstracts. Presented at the Belgian IPY Symposium.
Chicago author-date
De Smet, Wim, Cyrill D’Haese, Josef Elster, Damien Ertz, Rafael Fernandez-Carazo, Alexander Mangold, Marie José Mano, et al. 2010. “Exploration of the Microbial Diversity and Assessment of the Environmental Impact in the Region of the Antarctic Research Station ‘Princess Elisabeth’.” In Belgian IPY Symposium, Abstracts.
Chicago author-date (all authors)
De Smet, Wim, Cyrill D’Haese, Josef Elster, Damien Ertz, Rafael Fernandez-Carazo, Alexander Mangold, Marie José Mano, Zorigto Namsaraev, Dagmar Obbels, Karolien Peeters, Steve Roberts, Ines Tavernier, Wim Van Nieuwenhuyze, Bart Van de Vijver, Jeroen Van Wichelen, Elie Verleyen, Wim Vyverman, Anne Willems, and Annick Wilmotte. 2010. “Exploration of the Microbial Diversity and Assessment of the Environmental Impact in the Region of the Antarctic Research Station ‘Princess Elisabeth’.” In Belgian IPY Symposium, Abstracts.
Vancouver
1.
De Smet W, D’Haese C, Elster J, Ertz D, Fernandez-Carazo R, Mangold A, et al. Exploration of the microbial diversity and assessment of the environmental impact in the region of the Antarctic research station “Princess Elisabeth.”Belgian IPY Symposium, Abstracts. 2010.
IEEE
[1]
W. De Smet et al., “Exploration of the microbial diversity and assessment of the environmental impact in the region of the Antarctic research station ‘Princess Elisabeth,’” in Belgian IPY Symposium, Abstracts, Brussels, Belgium, 2010.
@inproceedings{978404,
  abstract     = {The purpose of the BelSPO project ANTAR-IMPACT is to contribute to the evaluation of the impact of the construction and operation of the Princess Elisabeth Station on the environment, particularly on the microbial biodiversity. The necessary baseline data on the biodiversity (incl. microbial) that was present prior to the construction can be obtained thanks to the samples taken in 2007. These data will be available for immediate and long-term evaluation of the environmental impact of the Station. The results will complete the Comprehensive Environmental Evaluation report that was communicated to the Committee for Environmental Protection (CEP), a body set up by the Madrid Protocol. With the station, scientists have a unique opportunity to follow the effect of a station in a region previously devoid of human impact. Indeed, most of the Antarctic stations were constructed many years before the protocol of Madrid became operational, so that there are no data on the original state of these sites. Field observations, microscopy and molecular analyses (including DGGE and sequencing of cultured organisms) of terrestrial samples from the Utsteinen nunatak and ridge showed the presence of three bird species (Snow Petrel, South Polar Skua and Wilson’s Storm-Petrel), 21 lichen species, 1 moss species, 12 morphotypes of cyanobacteria, at least 880 strains of cultured bacteria, 9 different sequences of chlorophytes, a rotifer community but no diatoms.
Sampling campaigns in 2009 and 2010 within the BelSPO funded BELDIVA project, contribute to the monitoring, and expand the geographical range of the studies to other locations, habitats (e.g. cryoconites) and organisms (e.g. collembola) near the Sör Rondane Mountains. Our results revealed that granite outcrops situated in a 20 km circle around the Station harbor a large cyanobacterial diversity. Open top chambers (OTC) were installed during the Austral summer of 2010 to predict the effect of further warming on the microbial communities. The first measurements revealed that the temperature was 10 °C higher insi de the OTCs compared with reference sites outside the chambers. Air filtration experiments were carried out to assess the importance of wind-driven dispersal of microorganisms. These experiments and monitoring studies will contribute to the understanding of the processes that are responsible for the geographical patterns in the diversity and composition of microbiota, lichens and microarthropods and to observe possible future changes due to ecosystem change and/or human introductions.},
  author       = {De Smet, Wim and D'Haese, Cyrill and Elster, Josef  and Ertz, Damien and Fernandez-Carazo, Rafael and Mangold, Alexander and Mano, Marie José and Namsaraev, Zorigto and Obbels, Dagmar and Peeters, Karolien and Roberts, Steve and Tavernier, Ines and Van Nieuwenhuyze, Wim and Van de Vijver, Bart and Van Wichelen, Jeroen and Verleyen, Elie and Vyverman, Wim and Willems, Anne and Wilmotte, Annick},
  booktitle    = {Belgian IPY Symposium, Abstracts},
  keywords     = {Princess Elisabeth Station,microbial diversity,Antarctica,ANTAR-IMPACT,BELDIVA},
  language     = {eng},
  location     = {Brussels, Belgium},
  title        = {Exploration of the microbial diversity and assessment of the environmental impact in the region of the Antarctic research station 'Princess Elisabeth'},
  year         = {2010},
}