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Nitrogen cycling in aquatic ecosystems in the high Arctic: Contribution of microbial communities in periglacial lakes and cryoconite holes (LakeN)

This project aims to the microbial foodwebs and nitrogen cycling in the aquatic ecosystems of the Ny ?lesund area. Using molecular, chemical and radiolabelling techniques I will deduce nitrogen (and carbon) pathways. In cooperation with other colleagues in the project NSINK I will also investigate the influence of nitrogen (and carbon) inputs on th

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Project date

Starts
2008-11-01

Ends
2011-10-30

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Project Keywords

  • biosphere / ecological dynamics / ecosystem functions
  • cryosphere / glaciers/ice sheets / glaciers
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Summary

This project aims to the microbial foodwebs and nitrogen cycling in the aquatic ecosystems of the Ny ?lesund area. Using molecular, chemical and radiolabelling techniques I will deduce nitrogen (and carbon) pathways. In cooperation with other colleagues in the project NSINK I will also investigate the influence of nitrogen (and carbon) inputs on the structure, activity and function of these aquatic microbial communities. To emphasize the link between the snowpack, ice cover and water column, lake ice microbial communities (LIMCOs) will be given particular attention, since there are highly active assemblages living inside the alternating ice and slush layers of lake's winter cover. Not only are these the components most sensitive to climate warming, they provide a greatly simplified basis with wich to examine coupling between aquatic ecosystems and their adjectant atmosphere and terrestrial environment. I will also study the the release of these LIMCOs during ablation of the winter ice cover, a phase wich provides immense potential for the introduction of new microorganisms and sources of C and N in to aquatic ecosystems. This work is the base of my doctroal thesis and will be supervised by Birgit Sattler and Roland Psenner (University Innsbruck, Faculty of Biology, Institute of Ecology). The analysis of the samples and theoretical work will be done at the University Innsbruck, Austria.

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