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Cyanobacterial succession in glacier forefields (Cyanofields)

Glacier retreat due to global warming has been occurring around the cryosphere, including the north and south poles as well as high mountain ranges like the Alps and the Andes, exposing soils previously covered by ice. Plant succession has been extensively studied especially in Arctic chronosequences, where consistent patterns of plant-mediated pro

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Project date

Starts
2014-06-01

Ends
2015-02-27

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Project Keywords

  • biosphere / ecological dynamics / ecosystem functions
  • biosphere / vegetation / nitrogen
  • biological classification / bacteria/archaea / cyanobacteria (blue-green algae)
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Summary

Glacier retreat due to global warming has been occurring around the cryosphere, including the north and south poles as well as high mountain ranges like the Alps and the Andes, exposing soils previously covered by ice. Plant succession has been extensively studied especially in Arctic chronosequences, where consistent patterns of plant-mediated processes have been observed. However, we know little about the earlier stages of primary succession before the establishment of plant communities, in which microbial processes dominate the soil nutrient cycling. Understanding the relation between cyanobacterial community structure and soil development will provide crucial knowledge on how cyanobacteria influence and respond to changes in environmental conditions. The study of cyanobacterial succession in high-latitude ecosystems is of special interest, since here the effects of global warming on microbial processes are expected to be the highest.

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