Diverse hypolithic refuge communities in the McMurdo Dry Valleys

  title={Diverse hypolithic refuge communities in the McMurdo Dry Valleys},
  author={Don Arthur Cowan and Nuraan Khan and Stephen B. Pointing and Stephen C. Cary},
Hyper-arid deserts present extreme challenges to life. The environmental buffering provided by quartz and other translucent rocks allows hypolithic microbial communities to develop on sub-soil surfaces of such rocks. These refuge communities have been reported, for many locations worldwide, to be predominantly cyanobacterial in nature. Here we report the discovery in Antarctica’s hyper-arid McMurdo Dry Valleys of three clearly distinguishable types of hypolithic community. Based on gross… CONTINUE READING
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