Arctic microbial ecosystems and impacts of extreme warming during the International Polar Year

Download
  1. (PDF, 821 KB)
  2. Get@NRC: Arctic microbial ecosystems and impacts of extreme warming during the International Polar Year (Opens in a new window)
DOIResolve DOI: http://doi.org/10.1016/j.polar.2009.05.004
AuthorSearch for: ; Search for: ; Search for: ; Search for: ; Search for: ; Search for: ; Search for: ; Search for:
TypeArticle
Journal titlePolar Science
Volume3
Issue3
Pages171180; # of pages: 10
SubjectArctic; Biodiversity; Climate change; Ecosystems; Ice; Microbiology; Permafrost; env
AbstractAs a contribution to the International Polar Year program MERGE (Microbiological and Ecological Responses to Global Environmental change in polar regions), studies were conducted on the terrestrial and aquatic microbial ecosystems of northern Canada (details at: http://www.cen.ulaval.ca/merge/). The habitats included permafrost soils, saline coldwater springs, supraglacial lakes on ice shelves, epishelf lakes in fjords, deep meromictic lakes, and shallow lakes, ponds and streams. Microbiological samples from each habitat were analysed by HPLC pigment assays, light and fluorescence microscopy, and DNA sequencing. The results show a remarkably diverse microflora of viruses, Archaea (including ammonium oxidisers and methanotrophs), Bacteria (including filamentous sulfur-oxidisers in a saline spring and benthic mats of Cyanobacteria in many waterbodies), and protists (including microbial eukaryotes in snowbanks and ciliates in ice-dammed lakes). In summer 2008, we recorded extreme warming at Ward Hunt Island and vicinity, the northern limit of the Canadian high Arctic, with air temperatures up to 20.5 °C. This was accompanied by pronounced changes in microbial habitats: deepening of the permafrost active layer; loss of perennial lake ice and sea ice; loss of ice-dammed freshwater lakes; and 23% loss of total ice shelf area, including complete break-up and loss of the Markham Ice Shelf cryo-ecosystem. These observations underscore the vulnerability of Arctic microbial ecosystems to ongoing climate change.
Publication date
LanguageEnglish
AffiliationNational Research Council Canada (NRC-CNRC); NRC Biotechnology Research Institute
Peer reviewedYes
NRC number49985
NPARC number14148121
Export citationExport as RIS
Report a correctionReport a correction
Record identifier459ef8cd-7c13-404a-a6bf-a31dd39c4866
Record created2010-06-02
Record modified2016-05-09
Bookmark and share
  • Share this page with Facebook (Opens in a new window)
  • Share this page with Twitter (Opens in a new window)
  • Share this page with Google+ (Opens in a new window)
  • Share this page with Delicious (Opens in a new window)