Ben Van Mooy, PI

Microorganisms < 1 µm long form an important ecosystem component at the base of ocean foodwebs and catalyze critical biogeochemical transformations in the carbon, nitrogen and other elemental cycles. The goal of the PAL microbial component is to document the long term trends and variability of bulk bacterial and Archaeal biomass and production rates in space and time. Microbial observations have been made on the LTER sampling grid encompassing the offshore domain and in the inshore regime near Palmer Station since 2002. The goal of the biogeochemistry component is to understand how climate change and ecosystem responses impact key biogeochemical properties and processes: dissolved inorganic carbon and nutrients, net community production and particle export. The Southern Ocean is an important sink for atmospheric CO2; our studies of the metabolically active gases are aimed at clarifying the linkages among biological and physical processes affecting CO2 storage.