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2014 Annual Science Report

Arizona State University Reporting  |  SEP 2013 – DEC 2014

Stoichiometry of Life - Task 2c - Field Studies - Other

Project Summary

We performed biogeochemical and microbiological studies of novel aquatic habitats, floating pumice in lakes of northern Patagonia that were derived from the 2011 eruption of the Puyehue / Cordon Caulle volcano in Chile.

4 Institutions
3 Teams
1 Publication
1 Field Site
Field Sites

Project Progress

Life on floating pumice: Director’s Discretionary Fund project. During 2012 we obtained supplementary funding from the NAI DDF to take advantage of the opportunity for astrobiological research presented by the massive eruption of the Puyehue / Cordon Caulle volcano near Bariloche, Argentina (Elser’s 2011/2012 sabbatical leave location). During the most recent funding period we completed the DNA and biogeochemical analyses and completed two scientific papers (Elser et al. 2015, Modenutti et al. in review). These data are among the first to ever characterize the ecology of microbes that colonize floating pumice in the wake of a volcanic eruption.

Figure 1. Circos diagram showing the phylogenetic association of microbial taxa that are disproportionately found growing on pumice vs the lake water (red) or vice versa (blue).