50 degrees south and discover
its hidden secrets
Very little is known about the numerous pond, tarns, and streams on the Island, but isolation, climate, the landscape, and species interactions will all have a part to play in shaping these aquatic habitats.
We will attempt to unravel the mysteries of the freshwater environs by finding out how the communities change and function from fish to fishless streams, sea-level to high-altitude, and open to underground peat streams; how adult flying insects cope with living in such a windswept place; how much the nutrient-rich marine environment (via sea birds) subsidises otherwise nutrient-poor streams, and the inevitable effects of isolation and geological history in shaping present-day communities. We will use sediment cores collected from the tarns to look back in time to see how the area was affected by the history of farming and subsequent vegetation and seabird colony changes.