One of the ways in which the effects of ocean acidification will be measured during the Antarctic Free Ocean Carbon Enrichment (antFOCE) experiment is by comparing cores of the sea floor taken inside and outside the chambers at the beginning and end of the experiment.

These cores are tested in the laboratory for differences in biological community composition and chemical profiles, such as the pH of the sediment.

The initial set of these cores has now been analysed in the laboratory on site at Casey station. Biological analysis revealed many common Antarctic invertebrate species inhabiting sediment at the antFOCE site, including the sea urchin Abatus and various burrowing crustaceans and polychaete worms.

Helena Baird — Science Officer