Antarctica NZ Event

Antratica New Zealand

New Zealand Government

Inland Water:

late season ecosystem processes in Antarctic inland waters

This research is likely to fundamentally change our understanding of how the biological activity in a widespread and abundant element of the Antarctic landscape – meltwater ponds – is linked to their extreme climatic setting during the transition from summer to winter. Time series of measurements of key physical, chemical and biological attributes and processes within representative ponds were taken during March and April 2008 to determine how these change as freezing proceeds. This knowledge will help us to predict how Antarctic aquatic communities will respond to present and future environmental change. The programme is linked into a key international IPY initiative called MERGE (Microbiological and Ecological Responses to Global Environmental change in the polar regions) which includes studies on late-season/winter ecology carried out by researchers from a range of nations on both Arctic and Antarctic environments. It is also linked to the US-led project: Life in the Cold and Dark. The field work for this project has now been completed.



National Institute of Water and
Atmospheric Research NIWA


Dr Brian Sorrell

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IPY Project Number: 55

Poster: Ecosystem Processes During Early Winter Freezing

Presentation: From the Heat of the Summer to Life in the Cold and Dark