Site: McMurdo Dry Valleys LTER

Credit: Aslan Wright-Stow Hilke Giles, Antarctica NZ Pictorial Collection: K081C 08/09

Record melt and thaw events over the past decade have increased the physical connectivity of the McMurdo Dry Valleys ecosystem. Researchers at MCM LTER have tested hypotheses that focus on responses, such as increased biogeochemical cycling and changes in biodiversity. These studies suggest that landscape morphology is changing as permafrost thaws, and that biological communities are indeed responding to altered climatic conditions (e.g., high and low flow controls on stream benthic mat abundance).