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World Firsts

The Eco Snow team have previously carried out studies to make the first-ever large-scale area and biomass distribution map of snow algae across the whole of the Antarctic Peninsula, recording for the first time the third largest terrestrial photosynthetic ecosystem on the Antarctic Peninsula after mosses and lichens. They found that these blooms were influenced by both temperature and nutrients with 60% of blooms being within 5km of a penguin colony. Eco Snow will map all locations of the blooms for the whole of Antarctica.

Project Aims

To do this the team conducts a comprehensive survey of snow algae blooms from detected sites all the way along the Antarctic Peninsula and then studies one very large bloom for a whole growth season. Once all this information is available, they can construct detailed models to predict how the snow algae blooms will change in location, size, biomass and species in the coming years. Overall, this will be a significant advance in our understanding of the Antarctic terrestrial ecosystem.



Using a combination of empirical data from field measurements and satellite imagery we made the first ever maps of these blooms in Antarctica

Antarctic Plants Gallery