A long-term soil manipulation experiment has been conducted as part of the McMurdo Dry Valleys Long Term Ecological Research (LTER) project. The response of soil organisms (nematodes, rotifers and tardigrades) to the treatments is monitored by sampling soil on an annual basis.
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).
Investigation of the effect of elevation and topography on soil biota and soil properties 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 3 elevations, initially in Taylor Valley (1993) then Garwood and Miers Valleys (2012) in order to accomplish this.