The process of microbial mineralization was analyzed in soil samples and plant material, mainly lichens, from the maritime and continental Antarctic King George Island and Wilkes Land, resp. to examine effects of temperature and moisture. Three methods were used total C02-evolution and biological oxygen demand as a measure of general metabolic activity, and remineralization of 14C-labeled glucose which may serve as a model for dissolved organic matter as a measure of the activity of heterotrophic microorganisms. These methods are used as indicators for different fractions of organic material and microbial populations. A comparison of the results of these methods showed that the portion of respired material from 14C-labeled glucose may even outcompete the totally metabolized material. These data differ with respect to the parent material and thus give an indication of its quality and the actual activity of the bacterial population which is considered to be mainly responsible for the turnover and mineralization of dissolved organic matter.
This article is from 'Proceedings of the International Conference on the Role of the Polar Regions in Global Change Held in Fairbanks, Alaska on 11-15 June 990. Volume 2', AD-A253 028, p418-422. See also Volume 1, AD-A253 027.