From the Heroic Age to today: What diatoms from Shackleton's Nimrod expedition can tell us about the ecological trajectory of Antarctic ponds

Adrian J Howkins, Tyler J. Kohler*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)
43 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Biological invasion and environmental change pose major threats to ecosystems. While long-term ecological change is commonly evaluated through sediment cores in lakes, it is generally not feasible for smaller ponds, and spatial resolution is limited. Here, we analyze pond diatom communities collected during Shackleton's Nimrod expedition at Cape Royds, Antarctica, to compare with the same waterbodies a century later. We find historical samples to be almost identical to modern counterparts, and provide no evidence of exotic introductions despite increasing human activity. However, a shift occurred in the pond nearest Shackleton's hut, Pony Lake, which was dominated by Luticola muticopsis a century ago, and was replaced by Craspedostauros laevissimus. Both are endemic species previously and currently present at Cape Royds, and we hypothesize that a shift in conductivity accompanying changing precipitation patterns may be responsible. Collectively, these results provide important data for assessing human and climate impacts among Antarctic lacustrine habitats.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)379-387
Number of pages9
JournalLimnology and Oceanography Letters
Volume6
Issue number6
Early online date2 Jul 2021
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We thank David Williams, Edgley Cesar, and the Natural History Museum of London for providing access to the original slides. Furthermore, we thank Patrick Kociolek, David Ainley, Jean Pennycook, Amy Chiuchiolo, and McMurdo morale trippers for field and lab assistance, and PHI helicopters for logistical support. Funding was provided by the MCMLTER (OPP‐1637708). Kateřina Kopalová received financial support from “Nadání Josefa, Maria a Zdeňky Hlávkových” and “Nadace Český literární fond” for her travel to the U.S.A., the SYNTHESYS program for her visit to the NHM, and Charles University Research Centre program no. 204069. Detailed comments from the editors and two anonymous reviewers greatly improved the manuscript. The authors declare that proper permission for all fieldwork was obtained before sampling was conducted.

Funding Information:
We thank David Williams, Edgley Cesar, and the Natural History Museum of London for providing access to the original slides. Furthermore, we thank Patrick Kociolek, David Ainley, Jean Pennycook, Amy Chiuchiolo, and McMurdo morale trippers for field and lab assistance, and PHI helicopters for logistical support. Funding was provided by the MCMLTER (OPP-1637708). Kate?ina Kopalov? received financial support from ?Nad?n? Josefa, Maria a Zde?ky Hl?vkov?ch? and ?Nadace ?esk? liter?rn? fond? for her travel to the U.S.A., the SYNTHESYS program for her visit to the NHM, and Charles University Research Centre program no. 204069. Detailed comments from the editors and two anonymous reviewers greatly improved the manuscript. The authors declare that proper permission for all fieldwork was obtained before sampling was conducted.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 The Authors. Limnology and Oceanography Letters published by Wiley Periodicals LLC on behalf of Association for the Sciences of Limnology and Oceanography.

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