This December I joined Stef Bokhorst for a fieldwork trip in Navarino Island in the Cape Horn region in southern Chile, to study the effect of invasive species in the Antarctic and sub-Antarctic.
We set up several sets of long-term experiments on the mountain top near Puerto Williams, as this experimental side showed a lot of similarities with the type of fellfield habitat you can find in many parts of the Maritime Antarctic.
The experiments were designed to study the effect of new species on the growth of the native Antarctic flora, as well as disentangling possible elements which may be of importance to future establisment of invasive species, e.g. the effects of water-retention in the native species on the establishment of new species, or what species may enhance or inhibit each others presence.
It was a busy but productive trip, and great to be back in the beautiful Beagle Channel area! Many thanks to Stef for inviting me to be part of this fieldwork, and thanks to Tamara Contador, Roy Mackenzie and others from the Puerto Williams Biological Field Station for help with the work!
Hi! I am Elise Biersma, an evolutionary biologist studying polar plants and microbes.