Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1893/23138
Appears in Collections:Biological and Environmental Sciences Journal Articles
Peer Review Status: Refereed
Title: Successional patterns along soil development gradients formed by glacier retreat in the Maritime Antarctic, King George Island
Authors: Boy, Jens
Godoy, Roberto
Shibistova, Olga
Boy, Diana
McCulloch, Robert
Andrino, de la Fuente Alberto
Aguirre, Morales Mauricio
Mikutta, Robert
Guggenberger, Georg
Contact Email: robert.mcculloch@stir.ac.uk
Keywords: Temporal gradients
Chronosequences
Soil succession
Soil organic carbon
Ornithic, Mycorrhiza
Maritime Antarctica
King George Island
Issue Date: 6-Apr-2016
Publisher: BioMed Central
Citation: Boy J, Godoy R, Shibistova O, Boy D, McCulloch R, Andrino de la Fuente A, Aguirre Morales M, Mikutta R & Guggenberger G (2016) Successional patterns along soil development gradients formed by glacier retreat in the Maritime Antarctic, King George Island, Revista Chilena de Historia Natural, 89 (6), Art. No.: 6.
Abstract: Background: Maritime Antarctica is severely affected by climate change and accelerating glacier retreat forming temporal gradients of soil development. Successional patterns of soil development and plant succession in the region are largely unknown, as are the feedback mechanisms between both processes. Here we identify three temporal gradients representing horizontal and vertical glacier retreat, as well as formation of raised beaches due to isostatic uplift, and describe soil formation and plant succession along them. Our hypotheses are (i) plants in Antarctica are able to modulate the two base parameters in soil development, organic C content and pH, along the temporal gradients, leading to an increase in organic carbon and soil acidity at relatively short time scales, (ii) the soil development induces succession along these gradients, and (iii) with increasing soil development, bryophytes and Deschampsia antarctica develop mycorrhiza in maritime Antarctica in order to foster interaction with soil.  Results: All temporal gradients showed soil development leading to differentiation of soil horizons, carbon accumulation and increasing pH with age. Photoautptroph succession occurred rapidly after glacier retreat, but occurrences of mosses and lichens interacting with soils by rhizoids or rhizines were only observed in the later stages. The community of ground dwelling mosses and lichens is the climax community of soil succession, as the Antarctic hairgrass D. antarctica was restricted to ornithic soils. Neither D. antarctica nor mosses at the best developed soils showed any sign of mycorrhization.  Conclusion: Temporal gradients formed by glacier retreat can be identified in maritime Antarctic, where soil development and plant succession of a remarkable pace can be observed, although pseudo-succession occurs by fertilization gradients caused by bird feces. Thus, the majority of ice-free surface in Antarctica is colonized by plant communities which interact with soil by litter input rather than by direct transfer of photoassimilates to soil.
Type: Journal Article
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/1893/23138
DOI Link: http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s40693-016-0056-8
Rights: © Boy et al. 2016 This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (http://​creativecommons.​org/​licenses/​by/​4.​0/​), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver (http://​creativecommons.​org/​publicdomain/​zero/​1.​0/​) applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.
Affiliation: Leibniz University of Hanover
Universidad Austral de Chile
Leibniz University of Hanover
Leibniz University of Hanover
Biological and Environmental Sciences
Leibniz University of Hanover
Leibniz University of Hanover
Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg
Leibniz University of Hanover

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