Exposing the unique microbial biogeography of terrestrial Antarctica Event as iCalendar

(Biodiversity and Biosecurity, Biological Sciences, Coastal and Marine Science, Computer Science, Environment, Marine Science, Seminars)

13 March 2017

1 - 2pm

Venue: Mac 1, Biology Building

Location: 5 Symonds Street, City Campus

Host: School of Biological Science

Cost: Free - all welcome

Contact info: Associate Professor Mike Taylor

Contact email: mw.taylor@auckland.ac.nz

Exposing the unique microbial biogeography of terrestrial Antarctica

Dr Charles K Lee, International Centre for Terrestrial Antarctic Research, Faculty of Science and Engineering, University of Waikato

Microorganisms drive ecosystem function and productivity at the most fundamental level, and heterogeneities in microbial communities across spatial and environmental gradients (i.e., microbial biogeography) reveal the diversity and interconnectivity of ecosystems. For terrestrial Antarctica, the significance of microbial biogeography is particularly acute due to the absence of vascular plants and comparatively limited presence of eukaryotic photoautotrophs.

A complex network of processes has emerged from recent applications of molecular genetic tools to, and development of, ecological models for terrestrial Antarctic habitats. Many of the identified processes represent overwhelming selective pressures at local and regional scales, yet evidence also indicates persistent and substantial intra and inter-continental redistribution of microorganisms, challenging longstanding conventional wisdom.

A synthesis of divergent views on ecosystem organisation for terrestrial Antarctica has revealed potentially important roles of aeolian transport and redistribution at multiple spatial scales, and efforts are ongoing to describe and quantify these processes at local and regional scales.