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Microbial communities and fluxes in the cryosphere. Controls and connectivity on glaciers and sea ice, Billefjorden. (Microbial communities and fluxes in the cryosphere)

The aim of the project is to study the roles of microbes in the cryosphere and their fluxes to the sea floor. We will study communities on glaciers, in the fjords and in and underneath sea ice. Microscopy with different staining methods and NGS methods will be used in summer with high glacial inputs and in winter with sea ice coverage.

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Project date

Starts
2018-04-21

Ends
2018-07-31

Project status

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Project type

  • field work
  • arctic field grant (afg)

Discipline

  • marine biology
  • terrestrial biology
  • cryosphere

Project Keywords

  • oceans / marine biology / marine microbiota
  • oceans / coastal processes / fjords
  • oceans / marine sediments / particle flux
  • oceans / ocean chemistry / biogeochemical cycles
  • oceans / coastal processes
  • oceans / marine biology
  • terrestrial hydrosphere / glaciers/ice sheets
  • oceans / sea ice
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Fieldwork information

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Summary

Microbial communities in high Arctic fjords can be affected by sea ice formation and glacial meltwater input. Both processes are changing drastically with a changing climate. Sea ice can act as a habitat for specific sea ice algae, adapted to low light but dependent on substrates. Glaciers are known to harbor a large variety of specific snow algae and cyanobacteria, as well as chemolithoautotrophic bacteria and archaea. These organisms have been shown to be important for supplying the glacial system with nutrients, such as reduced iron, and nitrogen. The importance of icebergs for iron inputs has been shown in Antarctica, but the direct effects on high Arctic fjords are, yet, hardly studied. We will investigate microbial communities, their biomass and viability together with potential environmental controls, such as nutrient concentrations. We will study the role of microbial communities and physiology on downward export fluxes. Additionally, microalgae will be cultured and screened for their biotechnological potential. Microbial community structures will be studied in the field, using Nanopore MinION sequencing technologies for sequencing 16S and 18S genes and microscopy. Fluxes will be measured via short term sediment traps. Nutrient, POC, PON, and chlorophyll, will be sampled in the field and measured in Tromsø. Multivariate analyses will be used to investigate the connectivity and most important environmental controls on bacteria, archaea, microalgae, microzooplankton, and ichtyoplankton communities in the fjords. Sampling in the light winter and in early summer will help to differentiate sea ice ecosystems and the same system controlled by glacial meltwater input.

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