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Microorganisms living in the Arctic (MicroLife)

With MicroLife, we will deliver information about the role of external inputs (e.g., atmospheric) of nutrients and microorganisms that drive biogeochemical processes in relation to annual variation in Arctic microbial activity and biogeochemical processes. This will be carried out throughout an entire year and will include wintertime sampling.

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Project date

Starts
2017-11-01

Ends
2022-12-31

Project status

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Project type

  • field work
  • modelling
  • long-term monitoring

Discipline

  • atmosphere
  • terrestrial biology
  • cryosphere

Project Keywords

  • biosphere / ecological dynamics / ecosystem functions
  • cryosphere / snow/ice / snow/ice chemistry
  • atmosphere / aerosols / organic particles
  • biosphere / ecological dynamics
  • biosphere / terrestrial ecosystems

Fieldwork information

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Summary

The Arctic plays a key role in the Earth?s climate system and is an area of growing strategic importance for European policy. With MicroLife, we will deliver information about the role of external inputs (e.g., atmospheric) of nutrients and microorganisms that drive biogeochemical processes in relation to annual variation in Arctic microbial activity and biogeochemical processes. The first step in understanding the role of biotic and abiotic inputs on ecosystem functioning in Arctic terrestrial ecosystems is determining the sources of these inputs, how they vary seasonally and how they interact. As part of this research, we will need to improve our database with respect to seasonality. We would like to improve our data regarding snow and rain deposition throughout the winter, and starting in November 2017, we will being collecting and storing samples for the project with the support of onsite AWIPEV staff. In the spring of 2018, we will send researchers to Ny-Alesund in order to carry out more specific experiments and to prepare and handle the collected samples. With this project, we will be able to a) assess the role of the atmosphere as a source of microorganisms and nutrients to terrestrial ecosystems (supraglacial environments, snow and soils), b) identify factors involved in colonization of these terrestrial systems by studying interfaces and transition zones, c) determine seasonal changes in nutrient and contaminant budgets, and d) identify key organisms involved in regulating biogeochemical cycling of nutrients and contaminants. Additionally, process kinetics, community DNA and transcripts will be studied in response to a range of perturbations related to external inputs.

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