Document Type

Article

Publication Date

1-1-2016

Publication Title

PLoS One

ISSN

1932-6203

Volume

11

Issue

7

First Page

0159038

Last Page

0159038

DOI

https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0159038

PubMed ID

27441705

Abstract

The McMurdo Dry Valleys constitute the largest ice free area of Antarctica. The area is a polar desert with an annual precipitation of ∼ 3 cm water equivalent, but contains several lakes fed by glacial melt water streams that flow from four to twelve weeks of the year. Over the past ∼20 years, data have been collected on the lakes located in Taylor Valley, Antarctica as part of the McMurdo Dry Valley Long-Term Ecological Research program (MCM-LTER). This work aims to understand the impact of climate variations on the biological processes in all the ecosystem types within Taylor Valley, including the lakes. These lakes are stratified, closed-basin systems and are perennially covered with ice. Each lake contains a variety of planktonic and benthic algae that require nutrients for photosynthesis and growth. The work presented here focuses on Lake Fryxell, one of the three main lakes of Taylor Valley; it is fed by thirteen melt-water streams. We use a functional regression approach to link the physical, chemical, and biological processes within the stream-lake system to evaluate the input of water and nutrients on the biological processes in the lakes. The technique has been shown previously to provide important insights into these Antarctic lacustrine systems where data acquisition is not temporally coherent. We use data on primary production (PPR) and chlorophyll-A (CHL)from Lake Fryxell as well as discharge observations from two streams flowing into the lake. Our findings show an association between both PPR, CHL and stream input.

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