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Assessing the impacts of antarctic bases on Fildes Peninsula aquatic ecosystems

AuthorsGiralt, Santiago ; Antoniades, A.; Urrutia, Roberto
Issue Date19-Jun-2018
PublisherSwiss Federal Institute for Forest, Snow, and Landscape Research
CitationAbstract Proceedings Open Science Conference 19 – 23 June 2018 Davos, Switzerland: 2330 (2018)
AbstractThe Fildes Peninsula (King George Island, South Shetland Islands) has been the site of year-round human presence since the construction of Bellingshausen Station in 1968. The peninsula is now home to six permanent bases, creating one of Antarctica's densest human concentrations. Substantial infrastructure supports these bases, including an airport, roads, pipelines, and diesel generators. The construction and operation of these facilities has caused considerable disturbances, although the precise nature of the effects on most ecosystems is still poorly understood. In 2016 and 2017, eight lakes were sampled to determine nutrient and metal concentrations as well as basic water column properties. Short sediment cores were also retrieved to determine lake conditions prior to human presence on the peninsula, and to develop records of how anthropogenic pollutants have affected the lakes since bases were established. XRF core scanner, x-ray diffraction, and CT-Scan images have been used to determine how the deposition of pollutants to the lakes has changed in the past. Biological indicators, including diatoms and fossil pigments, will be employed to determine how aquatic communities have changed over time and if they been affected by local human activities. By comparing our study lakes situated near and distant from bases, we will determine what observed changes can be attributed to natural changes and thus quantify anthropogenic effects on Fildes Peninsula aquatic ecosystems.
Identifiersisbn: 978-0-948277-54-2
Appears in Collections:(ICTJA) Comunicaciones congresos
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