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  • The palaeontology collection at the British Antarctic Survey is a unique and internationally important collection of specimens sourced predominantly from the Antarctic Peninsula and Scotia Arc. The collection was started in the 1940s and continues to be added to frequently through ongoing BAS research. Its importance lies not only in the fact that it is globally one of the main reference collections of Antarctic palaeontological material, but also in its high proportion of Mesozoic flora and fauna which can be used to understand evolutionary dynamics, continental movements and climatic changes over the past 250 ma. In addition to molluscs and other major animal phyla, the collection is particularly strong in plant material, ranging from fossilised wood and exceptionally preserved leaves to pollen and spores. Given the logistical challenges of sampling material from the Antarctic continent, this collection represents a wealth of taxa which were previously unknown to science and consequently houses a high number of taxonomic types. A project is underway to digitally catalogue the BAS Type and Figured fossil collection and make the data easily accessible to researchers worldwide. Currently the data from over 2000 fossil specimens are available online, together with high resolution photographs. Over the next year further specimens, including palynological samples, will be added to the database and photographs will be made available of the entire collection. Please direct any comments, questions or enquiries to: fossils@bas.ac.uk

  • The British Antarctic Survey holds one of the most extensive collections of Antarctic rocks and fossils anywhere in the world. These are predominately from the Antarctic Peninsula region and Scotia Arc, although there is also important material from areas such as the Ellsworth Mountains, Marie Byrd Land and the Transantarctic Mountains. Some of these specimens go back to the very earliest days of the Falkland Islands Dependencies Survey in the 1940s, and include collections made by the pioneer geologists at bases such as Hope Bay and Deception Island. Right from the outset, every specimen collected in Antarctica has been numbered and catalogued, and a vast reference archive is now available for use by the geoscience community. We currently have information relating to 150,000 field samples often with associated analysis data such as geochemistry. Additionally we hold a variety of data for nearly 500 marine cores. Metadata and data are stored digitally within a number of Oracle 10g database tables and for some datasets such as the type and figured fossil collection there is external access through a web interface. However, a significant number of datasets exist only in analog form and are held within the BAS archives organised by individual geologist. This abstract acts as an overview of the BAS geological data - both terrestrial and marine.

  • Automatic data loggers are often used to monitor environmental variables such as temperature (of air and soil), humidity, wind speed and radiation in microclimates where experimental or ecological studies are being carried out. Some loggers are only in operation for a few weeks or months while others have been run for several years. Loggers have been sited in a wide variety of locations from the sub-Antarctic (South Georgia), South Orkney Islands (Signy) various Peninsula sites (as far south as Alexander Island - 70S), and some continental localities (e.g. Victoria Land). These form an important data resource to the climate conditions experienced by Antarctic terrestrial organisms. Various types of logger are used. Sensors tend to be deployed at or near ground level and in and around particular types of vegetation, or other experimental sites, such as cloches. Loggers used include Grant, Delta-T, Campbell and Squirrels. Victoria Land data for Kay Island and Edmonson Point in 1995 and 1996 was collected under the BIOTEX 1 experiment of the SCAR BIOTAS (Biological Investigations of Terrestrial Antarctic Systems) Programme. An overview of BIOTEX is available as a PDF file.

  • This list provides a check-list of the non-lichenized fungi reported from Antarctica that have been published in the literature or deposited in major culture collections. The list includes all macrofungi, filamentous forms and yeasts, together with some members of the Chromista (Straminipila) that have historically been considered as fungi. This compilation excludes lichens, as these species have been extensively listed elsewhere. Primary source data are from the collections and records held in the Biological Sciences Division at British Antarctic Survey and the Mycology Section, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Secondary data is from publicly available specimen and culture collections and scientific literature. The list is part of an ongoing determination of the fungal diversity of the Antarctic region, and this version includes details of names, synonyms, taxonomy and at least one reference to an available record. Within these categories links are made between reported and current names, and all entries are bookmarked to individual references and citations. A details section is currently being developed to include hosts and substrates, this is very much a "work in progress" and is being regularly updated. Details on collection locations are also currently being added, and the information under region indicates at least whether the collection was from the Antarctic or sub-Antarctic , together with more information on location. These two fields will be expanded in the future.

  • The dataset consists of Ar-Ar isotope dating, field data, and selected geochemical analysis of igneous dykes and sills collected from Dronning Maud Land during the 2000-2001 field season. The aim was to measure ages of volcanism during flood basalt events in Dronning Maud Land associated with the breakup of Gondwana.The style and volume of magmatism varies between margins from large volume flood basalts such as the Parana or Deccan provinces to less volumetric margins such as the southern part of the South Atlantic. This case (Collaborative Awards in Science and Engineering) studentship was intended to provide support to study the evolution of the break-up of Africa and East Antarctica which occurred in the early Jurassic. An extended period of magmatism has been suggested for this margin associated with complex extensional tectonics. A combined geochronological / geochemical approach was used to understand the evolution of the crust and sub-continental lithospheric mantle during the break-up of one central portion of the Gondwana super continent.

  • SOMBASE is a tool for looking at marine molluscs in the seas around Antarctica. Using a database and the latest mapping technology it is possible to display all the places where a family, genus or species has been found on an electronic map. These maps show us how widely spread different organisms are and if they prefer a particular area or type of habitat. The database can also be used to address questions about biodiversity in the seas around Antarctica and how it''s unique environment affects which animals are found there. SOMBASE contains comprehensive distribution records of Antarctic, Magellanic, and Sub-Antarctic Gastropods and Bivalves as well as records for many other species from the Southern Hemisphere. Based upon published records and British Antarctic Survey data these distribution maps form part of a biogeographic database, which also includes taxonomic, ecological and habitat data. The database contains information on over 3,250 species from more than 3,800 locations.

  • This study investigated the status of dark septate (DS) fungi in Antarctic plant and soil communities, with the aim of determining the abundance of DS fungi in plant roots and rhizoids, their taxonomic affinities and their symbiotic status. Abundances of fungal hyphae were recorded in roots and rhizoids, and fungi were isolated and identified. Sequencing of ITS (internal transcribed spacer) regions of rDNA indicated that some isolates share taxonomic affinities with fungi of known symbiotic status. Synthesis experiments assessed the effects of DS fungal isolates, including H. ericae, on the growth and nutrient balance of their host plants. Seeds of Deschampsia antarctica and Colobanthus quitensis were collected for use in ecophysiological experiments.

  • This database contains information on the herbarium specimens held in the herbarium of the British Antarctic Survey (international code AAS) as well as information about specimens collected in the Antarctic and sub-Antarctic and held in other world herbaria. There are over 70 000 records, predominantly of mosses and lichens, but also of vascular plants, ferns, fungi and algae collected in Antarctic and sub-Antarctic regions as well as some from surrounding continents, particularly South America. The collection from South Georgia And The South Sandwich Islands started in 1775 and from Antarctica in 1834. Documents relating to the Herbarium are kept in the BAS Archives (LS2/4). The records can be searched and downloaded on: http://apex.nerc-bas.ac.uk/f?p=148:1. There is also a facility to see a distribution map of specimens retrieved by querying the database.

  • Long-term, continuous recording of VLF (Very Low Frequency) radio noise characteristics at Halley Station, collected under the aims of the VELOX experiment (VLF/ELF Data Logger Experiment). Data captured includes amplitude, polarisation, azimuth arrival bearing, maximum/minimum over ten frequency bands (8 wide, 2 narrow) from 300 Hz to 10 kHz at a 1 s time resolution. ELF/VLF measurements have been made in various forms at Halley since 1967. VELOX data are compatible with those from earlier loggers at Halley. For a full data description of BAS VLF/ELF data holdings, see BAS VLF/ELF/ULF Data Manual.

  • British Antarctic Survey ozone data consist of observations made at the following stations: Halley, Antarctica, from 1956; Faraday, Antarctica, from 1964 (Faraday/Vernadsky from 1996); King Edward Point, South Georgia, from 1971 (until 1982); Rothera, Antarctica, from 1996. Observations at all stations are recorded in UTC. All observations at Halley and Vernadsky are made with the Dobson ozone spectrophotometer and are seasonal (Apr to Aug). Datasets include daily mean and monthly ozone values. Observations for ozone and nitrogen dioxide are made at Rothera using the SAOZ instrument, which can make observations throughout the year. There is also a Bentham spectro-radiometer at Rothera, which can be used to compute ozone levels. Full metadata on collection, instrumentation and calibration are available on the BAS ozone webpages.