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Soil moisture measurements taken at various sites on Signy Island during the 2008-2009 field season. These measurements were used as part of an investigation to understand the effect of temperature and moisture on the availability of different nitrogen forms.
Soil temperature measurements taken at various sites on Signy Island during the 2008-2009 field season. These measurements were used as part of an investigation to understand the effect of temperature and moisture on the availability of different nitrogen forms.
Three plant species, the leafy liverwort Cephaloziella varians and the angiosperms Deschampsia antarctica and Colobanthus quitensis, were sampled from 12 islands across a 1480 km latitudinal gradient from South Georgia through to Adelaide Island. Samples were collected to determine the abundance of dark septate fungi in Antarctic plant and soil communities and the effects of these organisms on plant growth. Where the target species were found in sufficient numbers to allow sampling, it proved possible to collect at least 10 samples of each species. At least 10 soil samples were collected from each site where Deschampsia was found. Plants, with intact roots and soil, were transported back to the UK using cool and frozen stowage. Additionally, intact live plants were transported to the UK in an illuminated cabinet. Seeds of the two key species (Deschampsia antarctica and Colobanthus quitensis) were also collected at Bird Island and South Georgia. As the exact months of the data collection were not provided, and the metadata standard requires a YYYY-MM-DD format, this dataset has been dated as 1st January for start date, and 31st December for stop date.
To investigate the availability of peptides in the soils on Signy Island, soil solutions were sampled throughout the summer season, from mid November 2008 until early March 2009. Soil solution samples were extracted under vacuum, with minimal disturbance to the soil, through small porous tubes. A total of 19 sites across the island were sampled in areas dominated by all the major primary producers, vascular plants, mosses, algae and lichens. The collected soil solution samples were analysed for different forms of nitrogen, including peptides.
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.