In January 2001, we surveyed streams and ponds above 300 m asl in Taylor Valley, South Victoria Land, Antarctica. One pond was examined in detail. Organic materials covered nearly 100% of the adjacent soil to 5-20 m from the shore, with intermittent patches to 80 m. Organic matter averaged 257 gC/m2, and totaled 1388 kg organic C on the soil around the pond. Soil moisture content (0.56 to 12.41%) decreased with distance from shore, whereas pH (7.8 to 10.8) increased with distance. Electrical conductivity was lowest in the soils less than 10 m from the pond (416 +- 94 uS/cm).
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.