Investigation of the effect of short-term variation in soil moisture and soil temperature on nematode anhydrobiosis as part of the McMurdo Dry Valleys Long Term Ecological Research (LTER) project. The percent of anhydrobiotic (coiled) nematodes with relation to soil moisture, temperature, and salinity was determined. The study began in the austral summer of 1996/1997.
Increases in soil temperature and moisture may change the bioavailability of essential elements by altering solubility and diffusion rates in soils, or by changing the amounts of organic compounds. Long-term experiments in the Bonney, Hoare and Fryxell basins have been established with 3 treatments: 1) increased moisture, 2) soil warming (ITEX chambers), and 3) soil warming + increased moisture. The identification and abundance of soil biota are reported.