A long-term soil manipulation experiment has been conducted as part of the McMurdo Dry Valleys Long Term Ecological Research (LTER) project. The response of soil organisms (nematodes, rotifers and tardigrades) to the treatments is monitored by sampling soil on an annual basis.
The McMurdo Dry Valleys, Antarctica, are experiencing rapid landscape scale change including increased glacial melt, the expansion of water tracks, thermokarst formation, an increase in the extent of the soil active layer, lake level rise, and altered stream flow. The impacts of these changes for biological communities are currently unknown. The goal of this study was to conduct surveys and experiments in three Dry Valley soil habitats that are expected to undergo change: water tracks, lake margins, and active layer profiles.