Oceanus Seminar Series | Mafalda Baptista | 4 January | 12h



Nitrogen point source tracking in Antarctica terrestrial environments: a case study of the Adare Peninsula.



Mafalda Baptista (CIIMAR)



Antarctica is the remotest and most inhospitable continent on Earth, characterized by extremely dry and oligotrophic terrestrial environments, which limits life distribution and the development of terrestrial complex communities. Therefore, penguin colonies might play important roles in the biogeochemical cycles and transfer of elements between the Antarctic Ocean and terrestrial ecosystems. We investigated the level and the extent of nitrogen (N) transfer from near shore to the terrestrial ecosystems by an Adélie penguin colony, whose habitat is delimited by the ocean and the Transantarctic mountains, assessing its effect on N-biogeochemistry and on the microbial communities involved in the N cycle, whose activities drive N availability to the terrestrial biota. This provided us with an unique opportunity to test fundamental hypotheses regarding the key role of N in altering Antarctic habitats to become suitable for the development of more complex communities.