In the 2007/2008 southern summer season a stratified random selection of travellers to the Antarctic were sampled for propagules on their way to Antarctica or sub-Antarctic islands.
This dataset lists the number of seeds found on each visitor, as well as the number of different seed morphotypes (species) per visitor. In addition data on visitor characteristics are given, derived from the Visitor ... Clothing Survey (VCS) questionnaire data (see separate download link).
Sampling was done by cleaning out the outer clothing (jackets, outer trousers, hats, gloves), insulation layer (jerseys, fleece), backpacks, camera bags, daypacks, boots and shoes, and walking poles and camera tripods, using Philips FC 9154 Performer Animal Care vacuum cleaners. All material was collected in nylon mesh bags, placed just behind the suction opening. For all people performing the sampling a detailed instruction DVD was provided.
Each sample in its mesh bag was placed a plastic bag, and put in an envelope, together with the matching questionnaire. Similarly the dust bag used (a new dust bag was inserted in the vacuum cleaner for each person sampled) was put in a labelled plastic bag. Plastic bag, each page of the questionnaire, and the envelope were labelled with a barcode sticker, a different barcode for each sampled person. On the plastic bag with the mesh bag with the sample was indicated which item(s) was (were) sampled.
At the end of the field season all questionnaires and samples were returned to the Netherlands (samples collected from people travelling through South America), South Africa (people leaving from Cape Town), Japan (people travelling with the Japanese national program vessel), or Australia (people travelling from Australia or New Zealand). Here the samples were weighed, and sorted into plant seeds, other plant propagules (large fragments of moss, hepatics or lichens), invertebrate animal remains, and other material.
Whenever possible all different items of clothing etc. were sampled separately. In this way separate samples per item were collected from 350 people.
The dataset lists the number of seeds found on separate items of clothing or other equipment per visitor, as well as the number of different seed morphotypes (species) per visitor. The number of seeds and number of species (morphotypes) is based on the results of the seed identifications (see metadata record Aliens_in_Antarctica_seed_identifications).
Items that were sampled separately were:
J Outer Jacket T Outer trousers I Insulating layer H Headwear G Gloves/mittens F Outdoor footwear B Various bags S Camera tripods/walking sticks
In addition data on visitor characteristics are given, derived from the VCS questionnaire data (see metadata record Aliens_in_Antarctica_survey_data).
The samples were collected by a large number of volunteers on the various ships and airplanes travelling to the Antarctic in the 2007/2008 summer season. Volunteers were shown an instruction video on how to collect the samples.
Responsible for the organisation of the data collecting were: Dr. A.H.L. Huiskes, Netherlands Institute of Ecology, P.O. Box 140, 4400 AC Yerseke, The Netherlands Dr. D.M. Bergstrom, Australian Antarctic Division, Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts, 203 Channel Highway, Kingston 7050, Australia. Dr. K. Hughes, British Antarctic Survey, Natural Environment Research Council, High Cross, Madingley Road Cambridge CB3 0E T, UK Dr. M. Lebouvier, University of Rennes 1, Station Biologique, 35380 Paimpont, France Dr. J. Lee, Centre for Invasion Biology, Department of Botany and Zoology, Stellenbosch University, Private Bag X1, Matieland 7602, South Africa Dr. S. Imura, National Institute of Polar Research, Tokyo, Japan
The samples were sorted by Dr N.J.M. Gremmen, Netherlands Institute of Ecology, P.O. Box 140, 4400 AC Yerseke, The Netherlands Dr. K. Kiefer, Australian Antarctic Division, Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts, 203 Channel Highway, Kingston 7050, Australia. Dr. J. Lee, Centre for Invasion Biology, Department of Botany and Zoology, Stellenbosch University, Private Bag X1, Matieland 7602, South Africa M. Tsujimoto, National Institute of Polar Research, Tokyo, Japan
Dr N.J.M. Gremmen, Netherlands Institute of Ecology, P.O. Box 140, 4400 AC Yerseke, The Netherlands, was responsible for the organization of the data in digital form.
Inconsistencies in the answers about previous use of items were solved as follows:
1. When an item was listed as used at Question 4 on page 1 of the questionnaire Aliens_in_Antarctica_QUESTIONNAIRE_2.5.pdf, it is taken as used
2. When an item was listed as used on page 3, it is taken as used, regardless of the answer to Q4 on page 1.
3. ... When an item has been indicated as worn in any of the habitats listed on page 3, it is considered as used, regardless of the answers to the questions mentioned above.
In a similar way there are discrepancies in the answers to questions relating to previous visits to the Antarctic. The values in the data file are as they were given in the questionnaires. In the analyses of the data these discrepancies have been resolved.
Data (two spreadsheets Aliens_in_Antarctica_VISITOR_data.xls and Aliens_in_Antarctica_ITEM_data.xlsx) embargoed until publication of papers A website will be available when the papers are published.