Antarctic microbial biodiversity: the importance of geographical and ecological factors (AMBIO)

External promotor(s): 
W. Vyverman
Staff Extern: 
Karolien Peeters
Natanael Denbaes

AMBIO will determine the microbial diversity, community composition and taxonomic turnover in permanently and seasonally wet habitats (lakes, cryoconites and seepages) across Antarctica, and assess the relative importance of ecological versus historical factors in explaining the geographical distribution of particular taxa and communities. To this end, we will study regions at a circum-Antarctic level and along a latitudinal gradient ranging from high-latitude continental sites in East and West Antarctica (including the site of the future Belgian Base near the Utsteinen nunatak), to the Sub-Antarctic islands.
The first two years will be devoted to a systematic inventory of the diversity and community composition as well as to the establishment of culture collections of focal groups. Focus will be on Proteobacteria, Bacteroidetes, Cyanobacteria, Chlorophyta and Bacillariophyta, all known to be well-represented in Antarctic microbial communities. A mid-term assessment will identify regions and taxa particularly important to test hypotheses about the driving factors behind Antarctic microbial diversity and its evolution. These will be the focus of the two following years of the project.

Run time: 
15/12/2006 to 31/01/2011
Coordinator Extern: 
A. Wilmotte
Project titel (NL): 
Antarctische microbiële biodiversiteit: het belang van geografische en ecologische factoren (AMBIO)
Project omschrijving (NL): 

Nederlandstalige beschrijving niet beschikbaar.