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.
In the Antarctic Dry Valleys, soil polygons are prominent features of the landscape and may be key units for scaling local ecological information to the greater region. We examined polygon soils in each of the 3 basins of Taylor Valley, Antarctica. Our objectives were to characterize variability in soil biogeochemistry and biodiversity at local to regional scales, and to test the influence of soil properties upon invertebrate communities.