Concerns over environmental disturbance in the McMurdo Dry Valleys are increasing with increasing foot traffic from tourists and scientist. The effect of pedestrian disturbance was monitored by comparing the species composition, depth distribution and soil properties between adjacent high-, low- and no- traffic sites. This study began in the austral summer 1995/1996.
Investigation of the effect of penguins (high C and N inputs) on soil biota was part of the McMurdo Dry Valleys Long Term Ecological Research (LTER) project. The number of soil organisms (nematodes, rotifers and tardigrades), divided by species, sex and maturity was monitored at Cape Crozier in order to accomplish this. Samples were gathered on December 5, 1997 from Cape Crozier.