Geothermal Fumarole Subsurface Mt. Erebus, Antarctica
The Tramway Ridge geothermal site on Mt. Erebus in Antarctica, is the most geographically isolated geothermal site on earth. This makes it an excellent system for studies of microbial speciation, biogeography, and evolution.
The data in this occurrence resource has been published as a Darwin Core Archive (DwC-A), which is a standardized format for sharing biodiversity data as a set of one or more data tables. The core data table contains 40 records.
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How to cite
Researchers should cite this work as follows:
Herbold, CW; Lee, CK; McDonald, IR; Cary, SC; Evidence of global-scale aeolian dispersal and endemism in isolated geothermal microbial communities of Antarctica; Nature Comms (2014); 5
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ASPA 130 - Tramway Ridge Specially Protected Area on the northwest summit of Mt. Erebus, Antarctica
|Bounding Coordinates||South West [-77.519, 167.106], North East [-77.517, 167.114]|
No Description available
|Title||Life at the extreme: resolving the genetic basis of microbial endemism in the super-heated soils of Mt Erebus, Antarctica|
|Funding||Financial support was provided by grant UOW0802 from the New Zealand Marsden Fund to SCC and IRM and a CRE award from the National Geographic Society to SCC. Antarctic logistic support for Event K-023 was provided by Antarctica New Zealand.|
|Study Area Description||The summit of Mt. Erebus features several high-elevation geothermal features that are separated from similar features at Mts. Melbourne and Rittman by 350-400 km. Warm fumarolic ground and ice towers on the flanks of Mt. Erebus passively emit steam and CO2 that are believed to have magmatic origins(Wardell et al., 2003). The lower end of Tramway Ridge, located approximately 1.5 km NW of the main crater of Erebus, at an elevation between 3350 and 3400 m, is an extensive warm fumarolic area protected by international treaty as a site of particular biological interest (ASPA 130 Management Plan). At Tramway Ridge, unique communities of photoautotrophic organisms (mosses and cyanobacterial mats) surround fumaroles that reach and maintain year round surface temperatures of 60-65°C, have a neutral to mildly alkaline pH, and are characterized by steep lateral pH and temperature gradients (Broady, 1984; Hudson et al., 1989; Soo et al., 2009).|
|Design Description||The current study aimed to fully characterize the distribution of microbial communities inhabiting the 60-65°C sites of the CO2-emitting fumaroles located at Tramway Ridge, and to identify the set of organisms specifically associated with the subsurface. To meet these objectives, a mixed amplicon /metagenomic pyrosequencing-based approach was employed. Correlated relative abundance, as calculated from 16S rRNA gene amplicon libraries was used to identify sets of organisms that occupy shared niches. A pooled shotgun-metagenomic dataset was then used to both verify the abundance of dominant organisms and reconstruct whole 16S rRNA genes, allowing more comprehensive phylogenetic analyses.|
The personnel involved in the project:
Sediment samples were collected within the Tramway Ridge Antarctic Specially Protected Area (ASPA 130) in February 2009 from two sites (site A: 77° 31.103' S, 167° 6.682' S and site B: 77° 31.106' S, 167° 6.668' E). All suggested sterilization protocols for entering into this protected site were adhered to, following the ASPA 130 Management Plan (http://www.scar.org/publications/bulletins/151/aspa130.html). Sites were chosen based on measuring a surface temperature of 65°C with a stainless steel Checktemp1 temperature probe (Hanna Instruments, Rhode Island, USA), sterilized with 70% ethanol immediately prior to each use. Surface "crust" was set aside prior to collecting samples. Samples were collected by aseptically removing the top 2 cm of sediment in an approximately 25cm2 area. Sediment was placed into a fresh 50 mL Falcon tube. Sampling continued with the collection of a second (2-4 cm depth) and third (4-8 cm depth) layer following the same procedures. Temperature measurements were repeated for each layer sampled. All samples were immediately frozen and maintained at -80°C in the laboratory until analysed.
|Study Extent||The study encompassed two locations in the permitted area of the Tramway Ridge ASPA 130. http://www.nature.com/ncomms/2014/140520/ncomms4875/fig_tab/ncomms4875_F1.html|
|Quality Control||Sampling conditions resulted in a high probability of cross-contamination between sampling depths. We used standard quality filtering for our 454 datasets, including denoising and chimera removal with AmpliconNoise. Sequence abundances, as inferred from library abundance, were used to cluster individual OTUs into correlated clusters which defined whether a given sequence was likely of surface or subsurface origin. Shotgun metagenomics was utilized to extract full-length 16S rRNA sequences for high-resolution phylogenetic analysis.|
Method step description:
|Collection Name||Geothermal fumarole subsurface microbial communities from Mt. Erebus, Antarctica|
|Parent Collection Identifier||Not Applicable|
|Specimen preservation methods||Deep frozen|