In 1994, 16 stream transects were established in the McMurdo Dry Valleys of Antarctica 63 beginning a long term data set characterizing microbial communities and channel geometry. The 64 transects were established to record microbial mat dynamics and stream geomorphology. To accomplish this, the transects were surveyed for points of interest outside and inside the stream channel. Beginning in 2010 the microbial surveys received ground based LiDAR support. This allowed for greater resolution in mapping and analyzing stream morphology than traditional surveying methods.
The purpose of this experiment, performed as part of the McMurdo Dry Valleys Long Term Ecological Research (MCM LTER) program, was to investigate the impact of lake level rise and moat expansion on microbial community diversity and function in the East Lobe of Lake Bonney, located in Taylor Valley, Antarctica. The “tLICE” experiment tested the following MCM5 Hypotheses: H3-Disturbance increases connectivity and accelerates shifts towards homogeneity, and H4-Decreased heterogeneity reduces community resistance and resilience.