16 December, 2003
Sampling at Minna Bluffs and Black Island
In addition to determining the role that yeast play in Antarctic soils, our team is also exploring the genetic diversity and distribution of the yeast. The purpose of sampling at Minna Bluffs and Black Island was to collect “grab samples”, which will support the latter of these two goals.
In Taylor Valley we are looking at population dynamics. The team will continue to collect samples from their chosen sites at three different times in the season. This will let them know not only the distribution of the species in the Valley, but more importantly how they change. If yeast are active in the ecosystem, the team expects to see changes in their numbers and populations as the summer season progresses.
To determine diversity in relation to distribution, multiple sampling throughout the season is not required. The team merely collects samples from a variety of locations. Last season the team collected soil samples at Cape Royds, New Harbor, around other lakes and glaciers in Taylor Valley, and around McMurdo. This year they are surveying Minna Bluffs, Black Island, and various locations in Wright Valley; including Don Juan Pond and the Labyrinths. Since the purpose of sampling in the Mt. Discovery area was not to determine population dynamics, our sampling process on this trip was much simpler.
Review the sampling process described in my Nov 24th journal and my live broadcasts and determine what steps would not be necessary.
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