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.
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.