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Sample records for arctic microbial ecosystems

  1. Ecosystems on ice: the microbial ecology of Markham Ice Shelf in the high Arctic.

    PubMed

    Vincent, Warwick F; Mueller, Derek R; Bonilla, Sylvia

    2004-04-01

    Microbial communities occur throughout the cryosphere in a diverse range of ice-dominated habitats including snow, sea ice, glaciers, permafrost, and ice clouds. In each of these environments, organisms must be capable of surviving freeze-thaw cycles, persistent low temperatures for growth, extremes of solar radiation, and prolonged dormancy. These constraints may have been especially important during global cooling events in the past, including the Precambrian glaciations. One analogue of these early Earth conditions is the thick, landfast sea ice that occurs today at certain locations in the Arctic and Antarctic. These ice shelves contain liquid water for a brief period each summer, and support luxuriant microbial mat communities. Our recent studies of these mats on the Markham Ice Shelf (Canadian high Arctic) by high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) showed that they contain high concentrations of chlorophylls a and b, and several carotenoids notably lutein, echinenone and beta-carotene. The largest peaks in the HPLC chromatograms were two UV-screening compounds known to be produced by cyanobacteria, scytonemin, and its decomposition product scytonemin-red. Microscopic analyses of the mats showed that they were dominated by the chlorophyte genera cf. Chlorosarcinopsis, Pleurastrum, Palmellopsis, and Bracteococcus, and cyanobacteria of the genera Nostoc, Phormidium, Leptolyngbya, and Gloeocapsa. From point transects and localized sampling we estimated a total standing stock on this ice shelf of up to 11,200 tonnes of organic matter. These observations underscore the ability of microbial communities to flourish despite the severe constraints imposed by the cryo-ecosystem environment.

  2. Ice Shelf Microbial Ecosystems in the High Arctic and Implications for Life on Snowball Earth

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vincent, W. F.; Gibson, J. A. E.; Pienitz, R.; Villeneuve, V.; Broady, P. A.; Hamilton, P. B.; Howard-Williams, C.

    The Ward Hunt Ice Shelf (83°N, 74°W) is the largest remaining section of thick (>10m) landfast sea ice along the northern coastline of Ellesmere Island, Canada. Extensive meltwater lakes and streams occur on the surface of the ice and are colonized by photosynthetic microbial mat communities. This High Arctic cryo-ecosystem is similar in several of its physical, biological and geochemical features to the McMurdo Ice Shelf in Antarctica. The ice-mats in both polar regions are dominated by filamentous cyanobacteria but also contain diatoms, chlorophytes, flagellates, ciliates, nematodes, tardigrades and rotifers. The luxuriant Ward Hunt consortia also contain high concentrations (107-108cm-2) of viruses and heterotrophic bacteria. During periods of extensive ice cover, such as glaciations during the Proterozoic, cryotolerant mats of the type now found in these polar ice shelf ecosystems would have provided refugia for the survival, growth and evolution of a variety of organisms, including multicellular eukaryotes.

  3. Arctic soil microbial diversity in a changing world.

    PubMed

    Blaud, Aimeric; Lerch, Thomas Z; Phoenix, Gareth K; Osborn, A Mark

    2015-12-01

    The Arctic region is a unique environment, subject to extreme environmental conditions, shaping life therein and contributing to its sensitivity to environmental change. The Arctic is under increasing environmental pressure from anthropogenic activity and global warming. The unique microbial diversity of Arctic regions, that has a critical role in biogeochemical cycling and in the production of greenhouse gases, will be directly affected by and affect, global changes. This article reviews current knowledge and understanding of microbial taxonomic and functional diversity in Arctic soils, the contributions of microbial diversity to ecosystem processes and their responses to environmental change. PMID:26275598

  4. Arctic soil microbial diversity in a changing world.

    PubMed

    Blaud, Aimeric; Lerch, Thomas Z; Phoenix, Gareth K; Osborn, A Mark

    2015-12-01

    The Arctic region is a unique environment, subject to extreme environmental conditions, shaping life therein and contributing to its sensitivity to environmental change. The Arctic is under increasing environmental pressure from anthropogenic activity and global warming. The unique microbial diversity of Arctic regions, that has a critical role in biogeochemical cycling and in the production of greenhouse gases, will be directly affected by and affect, global changes. This article reviews current knowledge and understanding of microbial taxonomic and functional diversity in Arctic soils, the contributions of microbial diversity to ecosystem processes and their responses to environmental change.

  5. Relative contributions of rhizosphere and microbial respiration to belowground and total ecosystem respiration in arctic tussock tundra: results of a 13C pulse-chase experiment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Segal, A. D.; Sullivan, P.; Weintraub, M. N.; Darrouzet-Nardi, A.; Steltzer, H.

    2011-12-01

    Many arctic ecosystems that have historically been strong carbon (C) sinks are becoming sources of C to the atmosphere. Although ecosystem respiration is the largest C flux out of ecosystems, our ability to model respiration lags considerably behind our ability to model photosynthesis in the Arctic. Understanding the controls on respiration is especially important for an ecosystem which appears to be experiencing the greatest climate warming and also contains large stores of soil C. Partitioning respiration into its component fluxes and identifying factors controlling respiration of each component is a critical first step towards improving our ability to model changes in respiration. However, partitioning belowground constituents has proven to be challenging in most ecosystems. Therefore, to accurately estimate rhizosphere respiration and bulk soil microbial respiration in moist acidic tussock tundra, we selected an isotopic method that results in minimal disturbance of belowground processes. In mid July of 2011, we introduced a 13CO2 label into a clear ecosystem CO2 flux chamber, allowed the vegetation to incorporate the label through photosynthesis and returned 2 days and 4 days after labeling to follow the movement of the 13C signal. A smaller CO2 flux chamber was used to chase the label separately in tussock and inter-tussock areas. All above ground plant tissue was clipped immediately before the chase measurements and soil cores were taken immediately after chasing the label. Syringe samples (n=5 or 6) were collected from the small flux chamber at regular intervals as CO2 concentrations were allowed to build, and Keeling plots were used to estimate δ13C of belowground respiration. After completing the field measurements, the soil cores were sorted into live roots and root free soil. Samples of each were incubated in mason jars placed in a 10°C water bath. The jars were scrubbed free of CO2 and syringe samples were collected from each jar after CO2

  6. Microbial Analysis of Arctic Snow and Frost Flowers: What Next Generation Sequencing Method Can Reveal

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mortazavi, R.; Attiya, S.; Ariya, P. A.

    2014-12-01

    We herein examined and identified the population of the microbial communities of Arctic snow types and frost flower during the spring 2009 campaign of the Ocean-Atmosphere-Sea Ice-Snowpack (OASIS) program in Barrow, Alaska, USA. In addition to conventional microbial identification techniques (culture-isolation-PCR amplification-sequencing) we deployed a state-of-the-art genomic Next Generation Sequencing (NGS) technique to examine the true bacterial communities in Arctic samples. Our results have indicated that diverse community of microbial exists in Arctic with many originating from distinct ecological environment. The alterations observed in the texture of Arctic samples by microbial has further signified their importance in ecosystem.

  7. Changing Arctic ecosystems: ecology of loons in a changing Arctic

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Uher-Koch, Brian; Schmutz, Joel; Whalen, Mary; Pearce, John M.

    2014-01-01

    The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Changing Arctic Ecosystems (CAE) initiative informs key resource management decisions for Arctic Alaska by providing scientific information on current and future ecosystem response to a changing climate. From 2010 to 2014, a key study area for the USGS CAE initiative has been the Arctic Coastal Plain of northern Alaska. This region has experienced rapid warming during the past 30 years, leading to the thawing of permafrost and changes to lake and river systems. These changes, and projections of continued change, have raised questions about effects on wildlife populations that rely on northern lake ecosystems, such as loons. Loons rely on freshwater lakes for nesting habitat and the fish and invertebrates inhabiting the lakes for food. Loons live within the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska (NPR-A) on Alaska’s northern coast, where oil and gas development is expected to increase. Research by the USGS examines how breeding loons use the Arctic lake ecosystem and the capacity of loons to adapt to future landscape change.

  8. Nutrient Limitation of Microbial Mediated Decomposition and Arctic Soil Chronology

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Melle, C. J.; Darrouzet-Nardi, A.; Wallenstein, M. D.

    2012-12-01

    Soils of northern permafrost regions currently contain twice as much carbon as the entire Earth's atmosphere. Traditionally, environmental constraints have limited microbial activity resulting in restricted decomposition of soil organic matter in these systems and accumulation of massive amounts of soil organic carbon (SOC), however climate change is reducing the constraints of decomposition in arctic permafrost regions. Carbon cycling in nutrient poor, arctic ecosystems is tightly coupled to other biogeochemical cycles. Several studies have suggested strong nitrogen limitations of primary productivity and potentially warm-season microbial activity in these nutrient deficient soils. Nitrogen is required for microbial extracellular enzyme production which drives the decomposition of soil organic matter (SOM). Nitrogen limited arctic soils may also experience limitation via labile carbon availability despite the SOM rich environment due to low extracellular enzyme production. Few studies have directly addressed nutrient induced microbial limitation in SOC rich arctic tundra soils, and even less is known about the potential for nutrient co-limitation. Additionally, through the process of becoming deglaciated, sites within close proximity to one another may have experienced drastic differences in their effective soil ages due to the varied length of their active histories. Many soil properties and nutrient deficiencies are directly related to soil age, however this chronology has not previously been a focus of research on nutrient limitation of arctic soil microbial activity. Understanding of nutrient limitations, as well as potential co-limitation, on arctic soil microbial activity has important implications for carbon cycling and the ultimate fate of the current arctic SOC reservoir. Analyses of nutrient limitation on soils of a single site are not adequate for fully understanding the controls on soil microbial activity across a vast land mass with large variation in

  9. Biogeochemical Processes in Microbial Ecosystems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    DesMarais, David J.

    2001-01-01

    The hierarchical organization of microbial ecosystems determines process rates that shape Earth's environment, create the biomarker sedimentary and atmospheric signatures of life, and define the stage upon which major evolutionary events occurred. In order to understand how microorganisms have shaped the global environment of Earth and, potentially, other worlds, we must develop an experimental paradigm that links biogeochemical processes with ever-changing temporal and spatial distributions of microbial populations and their metabolic properties. Additional information is contained in the original extended abstract.

  10. Microbial community composition and function across an arctic tundra landscape.

    PubMed

    Zak, Donald R; Kling, George W

    2006-07-01

    Arctic landscapes are characterized by a diversity of ecosystems, which differ in plant species composition, litter biochemistry, and biogeochemical cycling rates. Tundra ecosystems differing in plant composition should contain compositionally and functionally distinct microbial communities that differentially transform dissolved organic matter as it moves downslope from dry, upland to wet, lowland tundra. To test this idea, we studied soil microbial communities in upland tussock, stream-side birch-willow, and lakeside wet sedge tundra in arctic Alaska, USA. These are a series of ecosystems that differ in topographic position, plant composition, and soil drainage. Phospholipid fatty acid (PLFA) analyses, coupled with compound-specific 13C isotope tracing, were used to quantify microbial community composition and function; we also assayed the activity of extracellular enzymes involved in cellulose, chitin, and lignin degradation. Surface soil from each tundra ecosystem was labeled with 13C-cellobiose,13C-N-acetylglucosamine, or 13C-vanillin. After a five-day incubation, we followed the movement of 13C into bacterial and fungal PLFAs, microbial respiration, dissolved organic carbon, and soil organic matter. Microbial community composition and function were distinct among tundra ecosystems, with tussock tundra containing a significantly greater abundance and activity of soil fungi. Although the majority of 13C-labeled substrates rapidly moved into soil organic matter in all tundra soils (i.e., 50-90% of applied 13C), microbial respiration of labeled substrates in wet sedge tundra soil was lower than in tussock and birch-willow tundra; approximately 8% of 13C-cellobiose and approximately 5% of 13C-vanillin was respired in wet sedge soil vs. 26-38% of 13C-cellobiose and 18-21% of 13C-vanillin in the other tundra ecosystems. Despite these differences, wet sedge tundra exhibited the greatest extracellular enzyme activity. Topographic variation in plant litter biochemistry

  11. Arctic permafrost: Microbial lid on subsea methane

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Thornton, Brett F.; Crill, Patrick

    2015-08-01

    Submarine permafrost thaw in the Arctic has been suggested as a trigger for the release of large quantities of methane to the water column, and subsequently the atmosphere -- with important implications for global warming. Now research shows that microbial oxidation of methane at the thaw front can effectively prevent its release.

  12. Biogeochemical Processes in Microbial Ecosystems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    DesMarais, David J.; DeVincenzi, Donald L. (Technical Monitor)

    2001-01-01

    The hierarchical organization of microbial ecosystems determines process rates that shape Earth's environment, create the biomarker sedimentary and atmospheric signatures of life and define the stage upon which major evolutionary events occurred. In order to understand how microorganisms have shaped the global environment of Earth and potentially, other worlds, we must develop an experimental paradigm that links biogeochemical processes with ever-changing temporal and spatial distributions of microbial population, and their metabolic properties. Photosynthetic microbial mats offer an opportunity to define holistic functionality at the millimeter scale. At the same time, their Biogeochemistry contributes to environmental processes on a planetary scale. These mats are possibly direct descendents of the most ancient biological communities; communities in which oxygenic photosynthesis might have been invented. Mats provide one of the best natural systems to study how microbial populations associate to control dynamic biogeochemical gradients. These are self-sustaining, complete ecosystems in which light energy absorbed over a diel (24 hour) cycle drives the synthesis of spatially-organized, diverse biomass. Tightly-coupled microorganisms in the mat have specialized metabolisms that catalyze transformations of carbon, nitrogen. sulfur, and a host of other elements.

  13. Synthetic microbial ecosystems for biotechnology.

    PubMed

    Pandhal, Jagroop; Noirel, Josselin

    2014-06-01

    Most highly controlled and specific applications of microorganisms in biotechnology involve pure cultures. Maintaining single strain cultures is important for industry as contaminants can reduce productivity and lead to longer "down-times" during sterilisation. However, microbes working together provide distinct advantages over pure cultures. They can undertake more metabolically complex tasks, improve efficiency and even expand applications to open systems. By combining rapidly advancing technologies with ecological theory, the use of microbial ecosystems in biotechnology will inevitably increase. This review provides insight into the use of synthetic microbial communities in biotechnology by applying the engineering paradigm of measure, model, manipulate and manufacture, and illustrate the emerging wider potential of the synthetic ecology field. Systems to improve biofuel production using microalgae are also discussed.

  14. Changing Arctic ecosystems--research to understand and project changes in marine and terrestrial ecosystems of the Arctic

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Geiselman, Joy; DeGange, Anthony R.; Oakley, Karen; Derksen, Dirk; Whalen, Mary

    2012-01-01

    Ecosystems and their wildlife communities are not static; they change and evolve over time due to numerous intrinsic and extrinsic factors. A period of rapid change is occurring in the Arctic for which our current understanding of potential ecosystem and wildlife responses is limited. Changes to the physical environment include warming temperatures, diminishing sea ice, increasing coastal erosion, deteriorating permafrost, and changing water regimes. These changes influence biological communities and the ways in which human communities interact with them. Through the new initiative Changing Arctic Ecosystems (CAE) the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) strives to (1) understand the potential suite of wildlife population responses to these physical changes to inform key resource management decisions such as those related to the Endangered Species Act, and (2) provide unique insights into how Arctic ecosystems are responding under new stressors. Our studies examine how and why changes in the ice-dominated ecosystems of the Arctic are affecting wildlife and will provide a better foundation for understanding the degree and manner in which wildlife species respond and adapt to rapid environmental change. Changes to Arctic ecosystems will be felt broadly because the Arctic is a production zone for hundreds of species that migrate south for the winter. The CAE initiative includes three major research themes that span Arctic ice-dominated ecosystems and that are structured to identify and understand the linkages between physical processes, ecosystems, and wildlife populations. The USGS is applying knowledge-based modeling structures such as Bayesian Networks to integrate the work.

  15. Microbial cell retention in a melting High Arctic snowpack, Svalbard

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zarsky, Jakub; Björkman, Mats; Kühnel, Rafael; Hell, Katherina; Hodson, Andy; Sattler, Birgit; Psenner, Roland

    2014-05-01

    Introduction The melting snow pack represents a highly dynamic system not only for chemical compounds but also for bacterial cells. Microbial activity was found at subzero temperatures in ice veins when liquid water persists due to high concentration of ions on the surface of snow crystals and brine channels between large ice crystals in ice. Several observations also suggest microbial activity under subzero temperatures in seasonal snow. Even with regard to the spatial and temporal relevance of snow ecosystems, microbial activity in such an extreme habitat represents a relatively small proportion in the carbon flux of the global ecosystem and even of the glacial ecosystems specifically. On the other hand, it represents a remarkable piece of mosaic of the microbial activity in glacial ecosystems because the snow pack represents the first contact between the atmosphere and cryosphere. This topic also embodies vital crossovers to biogeochemistry and ecotoxicology, offering a quantitative view of utilization of various substrates relevant for downstream ecosystems. Here we present our study of the dynamics of both solvents and cells suspended in meltwater of the melting snowpack on a high arctic glacier to demonstrate the spatio-temporal constraint of interaction between solvent and bacterial cells in this environment. Method We used 6 lysimeters inserted into the bottom of the snowpack to collect replicated samples of melt water before it comes into contact with basal ice or slush layer at the base of the snow pack. The sampling site was chosen at Midre Lovénbreen (Svalbard, Kongsfjorden, MLB stake 6) where the snow pack showed melting on the surface but the basal ice was still dry. Sampling was conducted in June 2010 for a period of 10 days once per day and the snow profile was sampled according to distinguished layers in the profile at the beginning of the field mission and as bulk at its end. The height of snow above the lysimeters dropped from the initial 74 cm

  16. Arctic microbial community dynamics influenced by elevated CO2 levels

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brussaard, C. P. D.; Noordeloos, A. A. M.; Witte, H.; Collenteur, M. C. J.; Schulz, K.; Ludwig, A.; Riebesell, U.

    2012-09-01

    The Arctic Ocean ecosystem is particular vulnerable for ocean acidification (OA) related alterations due to the relatively high CO2 solubility and low carbonate saturation states of its cold surface waters. Thus far, however, there is only little known about the consequences of OA on the base of the food web. In a mesocosm CO2-enrichment experiment (overall CO2 levels ranged from ∼180 to 1100 μatm) in the Kongsfjord off Svalbard, we studied the consequences of OA on a natural pelagic microbial community. The most prominent finding of our study is the profound effect of OA on the composition and growth of the Arctic phytoplankton community, i.e. the picoeukaryotic photoautotrophs and to a lesser extent the nanophytoplankton prospered. A shift towards the smallest phytoplankton as a result of OA will have direct consequences for the structure and functioning of the pelagic food web and thus for the biogeochemical cycles. Furthermore, the dominant pico- and nanophytoplankton groups were found prone to viral lysis, thereby shunting the carbon accumulation in living organisms into the dissolved pools of organic carbon and subsequently affecting the efficiency of the biological pump in these Arctic waters.

  17. Arctic microbial community dynamics influenced by elevated CO2 levels

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brussaard, C. P. D.; Noordeloos, A. A. M.; Witte, H.; Collenteur, M. C. J.; Schulz, K.; Ludwig, A.; Riebesell, U.

    2013-02-01

    The Arctic Ocean ecosystem is particularly vulnerable to ocean acidification (OA) related alterations due to the relatively high CO2 solubility and low carbonate saturation states of its cold surface waters. Thus far, however, there is only little known about the consequences of OA on the base of the food web. In a mesocosm CO2-enrichment experiment (overall CO2 levels ranged from ~ 180 to 1100 μatm) in Kongsfjorden off Svalbard, we studied the consequences of OA on a natural pelagic microbial community. OA distinctly affected the composition and growth of the Arctic phytoplankton community, i.e. the picoeukaryotic photoautotrophs and to a lesser extent the nanophytoplankton thrived. A shift towards the smallest phytoplankton as a result of OA will have direct consequences for the structure and functioning of the pelagic food web and thus for the biogeochemical cycles. Besides being grazed, the dominant pico- and nanophytoplankton groups were found prone to viral lysis, thereby shunting the carbon accumulation in living organisms into the dissolved pools of organic carbon and subsequently affecting the efficiency of the biological pump in these Arctic waters.

  18. Biocomplexity of Arctic Patterned-Ground Ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Walker, D. A.; Daanen, R.; Epstein, H.; Gould, W.; Gonzalez, G.; Kade, A.; Kelley, A.; Krantz, W.; Kuss, P.; Michaelson, G.; Munger, C.; Nickolsky, D.; Peterson, R.; Ping, C.; Raynolds, M.; Romanovsky, V.; Tarnocai, C.; Vonlanthan, C.

    2006-12-01

    ecosystems. Using a model (WIT3D/ArcVeg) that includes interactions between geophysical and biological processes, we were able to replicate common patterned ground forms involving differential frost heave. So far, the models have replicated the patterns in the Low Arctic where differential frost heave is the dominant process. Contraction cracking is the dominant process in the High Arctic and new models will be needed to elucidate this process. The presence of non- sorted circles affects active-layer depths, carbon storage and flux rates, and is likely to affect the rate at which Arctic systems will adjust to climate change. Analysis of a 14-yr record of greening near Toolik Lake, Alaska indicate that areas with abundant non-sorted circles experience more rapid change than stable areas without circles, suggesting that landscapes with a significant amount of disturbance, whether caused by natural or anthropogenic forces, will change most rapidly under a warming climate.

  19. Microbial diversity drives multifunctionality in terrestrial ecosystems

    PubMed Central

    Delgado-Baquerizo, Manuel; Maestre, Fernando T.; Reich, Peter B.; Jeffries, Thomas C.; Gaitan, Juan J.; Encinar, Daniel; Berdugo, Miguel; Campbell, Colin D.; Singh, Brajesh K.

    2016-01-01

    Despite the importance of microbial communities for ecosystem services and human welfare, the relationship between microbial diversity and multiple ecosystem functions and services (that is, multifunctionality) at the global scale has yet to be evaluated. Here we use two independent, large-scale databases with contrasting geographic coverage (from 78 global drylands and from 179 locations across Scotland, respectively), and report that soil microbial diversity positively relates to multifunctionality in terrestrial ecosystems. The direct positive effects of microbial diversity were maintained even when accounting simultaneously for multiple multifunctionality drivers (climate, soil abiotic factors and spatial predictors). Our findings provide empirical evidence that any loss in microbial diversity will likely reduce multifunctionality, negatively impacting the provision of services such as climate regulation, soil fertility and food and fibre production by terrestrial ecosystems. PMID:26817514

  20. Microbial diversity drives multifunctionality in terrestrial ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Delgado-Baquerizo, Manuel; Maestre, Fernando T; Reich, Peter B; Jeffries, Thomas C; Gaitan, Juan J; Encinar, Daniel; Berdugo, Miguel; Campbell, Colin D; Singh, Brajesh K

    2016-01-28

    Despite the importance of microbial communities for ecosystem services and human welfare, the relationship between microbial diversity and multiple ecosystem functions and services (that is, multifunctionality) at the global scale has yet to be evaluated. Here we use two independent, large-scale databases with contrasting geographic coverage (from 78 global drylands and from 179 locations across Scotland, respectively), and report that soil microbial diversity positively relates to multifunctionality in terrestrial ecosystems. The direct positive effects of microbial diversity were maintained even when accounting simultaneously for multiple multifunctionality drivers (climate, soil abiotic factors and spatial predictors). Our findings provide empirical evidence that any loss in microbial diversity will likely reduce multifunctionality, negatively impacting the provision of services such as climate regulation, soil fertility and food and fibre production by terrestrial ecosystems.

  1. Microbial diversity drives multifunctionality in terrestrial ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Delgado-Baquerizo, Manuel; Maestre, Fernando T; Reich, Peter B; Jeffries, Thomas C; Gaitan, Juan J; Encinar, Daniel; Berdugo, Miguel; Campbell, Colin D; Singh, Brajesh K

    2016-01-01

    Despite the importance of microbial communities for ecosystem services and human welfare, the relationship between microbial diversity and multiple ecosystem functions and services (that is, multifunctionality) at the global scale has yet to be evaluated. Here we use two independent, large-scale databases with contrasting geographic coverage (from 78 global drylands and from 179 locations across Scotland, respectively), and report that soil microbial diversity positively relates to multifunctionality in terrestrial ecosystems. The direct positive effects of microbial diversity were maintained even when accounting simultaneously for multiple multifunctionality drivers (climate, soil abiotic factors and spatial predictors). Our findings provide empirical evidence that any loss in microbial diversity will likely reduce multifunctionality, negatively impacting the provision of services such as climate regulation, soil fertility and food and fibre production by terrestrial ecosystems. PMID:26817514

  2. Toward Understanding, Managing, and Protecting Microbial Ecosystems

    PubMed Central

    Bodelier, Paul L. E.

    2011-01-01

    Microbial communities are at the very basis of life on earth, catalyzing biogeochemical reactions driving global nutrient cycles. However, unlike for plants and animals, microbial diversity is not on the biodiversity–conservation agenda. The latter, however, would imply that microbial diversity is not under any threat by anthropogenic disturbance or climate change. This maybe a misconception caused by the rudimentary knowledge we have concerning microbial diversity and its role in ecosystem functioning. This perspective paper identifies major areas with knowledge gaps within the field of environmental microbiology that preclude a comprehension of microbial ecosystems on the level we have for plants and animals. Opportunities and challenges are pointed out to open the microbial black box and to go from descriptive to predictive microbial ecology. PMID:21747797

  3. The Dynamic Arctic Snow Pack: An Unexplored Environment for Microbial Diversity and Activity

    PubMed Central

    Larose, Catherine; Dommergue, Aurélien; Vogel, Timothy M.

    2013-01-01

    The Arctic environment is undergoing changes due to climate shifts, receiving contaminants from distant sources and experiencing increased human activity. Climate change may alter microbial functioning by increasing growth rates and substrate use due to increased temperature. This may lead to changes of process rates and shifts in the structure of microbial communities. Biodiversity may increase as the Arctic warms and population shifts occur as psychrophilic/psychrotolerant species disappear in favor of more mesophylic ones. In order to predict how ecological processes will evolve as a function of global change, it is essential to identify which populations participate in each process, how they vary physiologically, and how the relative abundance, activity and community structure will change under altered environmental conditions. This review covers aspects of the importance and implication of snowpack in microbial ecology emphasizing the diversity and activity of these critical members of cold zone ecosystems. PMID:24832663

  4. Feedbacks Between Microenvironment and Plant Functional Type and Implications for CO2 Flux in Arctic Ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Squires, E.; Rodenheizer, H.; Natali, S.; Mann, P.

    2013-12-01

    Future climate models predict a warmer, drier Arctic, with resultant shifts in vegetative composition and implications for ecosystem carbon budgets. The impact of vegetation change, however, may depend on which plant functional groups are favored in a warming Arctic. Physiological and functional differences between plant groups influence both the local microenvironment and, on a broader scale, whole-ecosystem CO2 flux. We examined the interactions between plants and their microenvironment, and analyzed the effect of these interactions on both soil microbial communities and CO2 flux across different functional groups. Physical and biological aspects of the microenvironment differed between plant functional groups. Lichen patches were characterized by deeper thaw depths, lower soil moisture, greater thermal conductivity, and a thinner organic layer than mosses. To better understand the development of these plant-environment interactions, we conducted a reciprocal transplant experiment, switching multiple lichen and moss patches. Temporal changes in environmental parameters at these sites will demonstrate how different plants modify their environment and will help identify associated implications for soil microbial communities and CO2 flux. We measured CO2 flux and used Biolog assays to examine soil microbial communities in undisturbed patches of mosses, lichens, and shrubs. Patches of birch shrubs had more negative net ecosystem exchange, signifying a carbon sink. Soils from alder shrubs and mosses hosted more active microbial communities than soils under birch shrubs and lichens. These results suggest a strong link between environment, plant functional type, and C cycling. Understanding how this relationship differs among plant functional types is an important part of predicting ecosystem carbon budgets as Arctic vegetation composition shifts in response to climate change.

  5. Integrating microbial traits into ecosystem models

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Allison, S. D.

    2012-12-01

    Diverse bacterial and fungal communities control the decomposition of complex organic material, thereby driving important ecosystem functions such as CO2 production and nutrient regeneration. Predicting these functions is challenging because microbial communities and the chemical substrates they metabolize are complex. To address this challenge, I developed a theoretical model of microbial decomposition based on microbial traits involved in substrate degradation, uptake, and growth. The model represents a large number of microbial taxa, each of which possesses a set of trait values drawn at random from empirically-based distributions. The model also includes a large number of chemical substrates that can be degraded by microbial extracellular enzymes and taken up by membrane transporters. Microbes with different trait values for enzyme production and uptake capacity compete for chemical substrates and vary in abundance during model runs. I used the model to predict rates of plant litter decomposition and determine which traits were associated with high microbial abundance under different environmental conditions. The model predicted that optimal traits depend on the level of enzyme production in the whole community, which determines resource availability and decomposition rates. There is also evidence for facilitation and competition among microbial taxa that co-occur on decomposing litter, suggesting that microbial interactions may play a role in determining ecosystem function. These interactions vary with community investment in extracellular enzyme production and the magnitude of tradeoffs affecting biochemical traits such as enzyme kinetic parameters. The model accounted for 69% of the variation in decomposition rates and up to 26% of the variation in enzyme activities in an empirical dataset with 15 types of Hawaiian plant litter. By explicitly representing microbial diversity, trait-based models can predict ecosystem processes based on functional trait

  6. A new way to study the changing Arctic ecosystem

    ScienceCinema

    Hubbard, Susan

    2016-07-12

    Berkeley Lab scientists Susan Hubbard and Margaret Torn discuss the proposed Next Generation Ecosystem Experiment, which is designed to answer one of the most urgent questions facing researchers today: How will a changing climate impact the Arctic, and how will this in turn impact the planet's climate? More info: http://newscenter.lbl.gov/feature-stories/2011/09/14/alaska-climate-change/

  7. A new way to study the changing Arctic ecosystem

    SciTech Connect

    Hubbard, Susan

    2011-01-01

    Berkeley Lab scientists Susan Hubbard and Margaret Torn discuss the proposed Next Generation Ecosystem Experiment, which is designed to answer one of the most urgent questions facing researchers today: How will a changing climate impact the Arctic, and how will this in turn impact the planet's climate? More info: http://newscenter.lbl.gov/feature-stories/2011/09/14/alaska-climate-change/

  8. Communicating Climate and Ecosystem Change in the Arctic

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Soreide, N. N.; Overland, J. E.; Calder, J. A.; Rodionov, S.

    2005-12-01

    There is an explosion of interest in Northern Hemisphere climate, highlighting the importance of recent changes in the Arctic on mid-latitude climate and its impact on marine and terrestrial ecosystems. Traditional sea ice and tundra dominated arctic ecosystems are being reorganizing into warmer sub-arctic ecosystem types. Over the previous two years we have developed a comprehensive, near real-time arctic change detection protocol to track physical and biological changes for presentation on the web: http://www.arctic.noaa.gov/detect. The effort provides a continuous update to the Arctic Climate Impact Assessment (ACIA) Report, released in November 2004. Principles for the protocol include an accessible narrative style, scientifically credible and objective indicators, notes multiple uses for the information, acknowledges uncertainties, and balances having too many indicators-which leads to information overload-and too few-which does not capture the complexity of the system. Screening criteria include concreteness, public awareness, being understandable, availability of historical time series, and sensitivity. The site provides sufficient information for an individual to make their own assessment regarding the balance of the evidence for tracking change. The product provides an overview, recent news, links to many arctic websites, and highlights climate, global impacts, land and marine ecosystems, and human consequences. Since its inception a year ago, it has averaged about 9000 hits an day on the web, and is a major information source as determined by Google search. The future direction focuses on understanding the causes for change. In spring 2005 we also presented a near real-time ecological and climatic surveillance website for the Bering Sea: www.beringclimate.noaa.gov. The site provides up-to-date information which ties northward shifts of fish, invertebrate and marine mammal populations to physical changes in the Arctic. This site is more technical than the

  9. Relevance of antarctic microbial ecosystems to exobiology

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mckay, Christopher P.

    1993-01-01

    Antarctic microbial ecosystems which provide biological and physical analogs that can be used in exobiology are studied. Since the access to extraterrestrial habitats is extremely difficult, terrestrial analogs represent the best opportunity for both formulation and preliminary testing of hypothesis about life. Antarctica, as one of few suitable environments on earth is considered to be a major locus of progress in exobiology.

  10. Delayed responses of an Arctic ecosystem to an extreme summer: impacts on net ecosystem exchange and vegetation functioning

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zona, D.; Lipson, D. A.; Richards, J. H.; Phoenix, G. K.; Liljedahl, A. K.; Ueyama, M.; Sturtevant, C. S.; Oechel, W. C.

    2014-10-01

    The importance and consequences of extreme events on the global carbon budget are inadequately understood. This includes the differential impact of extreme events on various ecosystem components, lag effects, recovery times, and compensatory processes. In the summer of 2007 in Barrow, Arctic Alaska, there were unusually high air temperatures (the fifth warmest summer over a 65-year period) and record low precipitation (the lowest over a 65-year period). These abnormal conditions were associated with substantial desiccation of the Sphagnum layer and a reduced net Sphagnum CO2 sink but did not affect net ecosystem exchange (NEE) from this wet-sedge arctic tundra ecosystem. Microbial biomass, NH4+ availability, gross primary production (GPP), and ecosystem respiration (Reco) were generally greater during this extreme summer. The cumulative ecosystem CO2 sink in 2007 was similar to the previous summers, suggesting that vascular plants were able to compensate for Sphagnum CO2 uptake, despite the impact on other functions and structure such as desiccation of the Sphagnum layer. Surprisingly, the lowest ecosystem CO2 sink over a five summer record (2005-2009) was observed during the 2008 summer (~70% lower), directly following the unusually warm and dry summer, rather than during the extreme summer. This sink reduction cannot solely be attributed to the potential damage to mosses, which typically contribute ~40% of the entire ecosystem CO2 sink. Importantly, the return to a substantial cumulative CO2 sink occurred two summers after the extreme event, which suggests a substantial resilience of this tundra ecosystem to at least an isolated extreme event. Overall, these results show a complex response of the CO2 sink and its sub-components to atypically warm and dry conditions. The impact of multiple extreme events requires further investigation.

  11. Methane-derived carbon flow through microbial communities in arctic lake sediments.

    PubMed

    He, Ruo; Wooller, Matthew J; Pohlman, John W; Tiedje, James M; Leigh, Mary Beth

    2015-09-01

    Aerobic methane (CH4 ) oxidation mitigates CH4 release and is a significant pathway for carbon and energy flow into aquatic food webs. Arctic lakes are responsible for an increasing proportion of global CH4 emissions, but CH4 assimilation into the aquatic food web in arctic lakes is poorly understood. Using stable isotope probing (SIP) based on phospholipid fatty acids (PLFA-SIP) and DNA (DNA-SIP), we tracked carbon flow quantitatively from CH4 into sediment microorganisms from an arctic lake with an active CH4 seepage. When 0.025 mmol CH4 g(-1) wet sediment was oxidized, approximately 15.8-32.8% of the CH4 -derived carbon had been incorporated into microorganisms. This CH4 -derived carbon equated to up to 5.7% of total primary production estimates for Alaskan arctic lakes. Type I methanotrophs, including Methylomonas, Methylobacter and unclassified Methylococcaceae, were most active at CH4 oxidation in this arctic lake. With increasing distance from the active CH4 seepage, a greater diversity of bacteria incorporated CH4 -derived carbon. Actinomycetes were the most quantitatively important microorganisms involved in secondary feeding on CH4 -derived carbon. These results showed that CH4 flows through methanotrophs into the broader microbial community and that type I methanotrophs, methylotrophs and actinomycetes are important organisms involved in using CH4 -derived carbon in arctic freshwater ecosystems.

  12. Isotopic and Geochemical Fingerprinting of a Polygonal Arctic Ecosystem

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Throckmorton, H.; Heikoop, J. M.; Newman, B. D.; Wilson, C. J.; Wullschleger, S. D.

    2015-12-01

    Arctic tundra contain large C stocks and may be an important source of CO2 and CH4 over the next century due to a rapidly changing climate, degrading permafrost, and redistribution of water across high latitude landscapes. This presentation synthesizes geochemical and isotopic data and examines vertical and lateral factors and processes critical to predicting the C, N, and water balance of tundra ecosystems. Stable water isotope analyses (delta 2H and delta 18O) indicate that summer rain is the dominant source for active layer groundwater, with melting seasonal ice contributing to deeper pore waters in late summer. Microtopography and water table effects on geochemistry were apparent from a comprehensive spatial examination of active layer biogeochemistry, showing a number of significant differences in the concentrations of cations and anions for high- vs. low-centered polygons, microtopographic features (polygonal centers vs. troughs), and with depth. Results have implications for future nutrient availability with projected permafrost degradation and landscape evolution, suggesting greater availability of limiting nutrients (sulfate, phosphate, and nitrate) where polygons undergo a shift from low- to high-centered. Nitrate isotopes (delta 15N and delta 18O) indicated a predominantly microbial source for nitrate in high centered polygons active layers. However, atmospheric nitrate was preserved in permafrost, and may serve as a potential indicator of permafrost degradation. Additionally, results suggest that older, deeper C sources may be promoting a shift in methanogenic pathway, from predominantly acetoclastic to hydrogenotrophic. This mechanistic shift is attributed to the source and quality of available organic substrate. Overall, results showed substantial lateral and vertical variability in biogeochemical, biogeophysical, and hydrological processes across microtopographic- to landscape scales that needs to be accounted for in fine and intermediate scale

  13. Seasonal Changes in Diversity and Metabolic Potential of Freshwater Microbial Communities in an Arctic Lake

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nalven, S.; Crump, B. C.; Kling, G. W.

    2015-12-01

    Ecologists have studied the diversity of microbial communities worldwide, largely motivated by the hypothesis that diversity is an important determinant of ecosystem function. However, direct links between microbial diversity and ecosystem function are difficult to demonstrate. Here we use a combination of 16S amplicon sequencing and metagenomic sequencing to determine whether seasonal shifts in microbial diversity correspond to similar shifts in functional potential in Toolik Lake, a deep kettle lake in the Alaskan Arctic. We found that microbial diversity displays a repeating annual cycle set to the date of the spring snowmelt, with the most dramatic shifts in diversity occurring each year during the ten weeks following the onset of snowmelt. Similarly, the functional character of these communities appears to repeat annually, with season a better predictor of gene abundance than year among several gene families. Further, during the ten-week period after spring snowmelt, abundances of several gene families changed substantially. For example, while genes involved in photosynthesis were more abundant in summer than in winter, genes involved in the degradation of aromatic compounds were more abundant in winter than in summer. This pairing of shifts in diversity and metagenomic data suggests that microbial diversity is related to ecosystem function in a predictable way. Seasonally shifting environmental conditions likely drive transitions in both diversity and functional potential of Toolik Lake microbial communities, suggesting that both diversity and function will change in response to long-term shifts in environmental conditions such as those brought on by climate change.

  14. Hydrolytic microbial communities in terrestrial ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Manucharova, Natalia; Chernov, Timofey; Kolcova, Ekaterina; Zelezova, Alena; Lukacheva, Euhenia; Zenova, Galina

    2014-05-01

    Hydrolytic microbial communities in terrestrial ecosystems Manucharova N.A., Chernov T.I., Kolcova E.M., Zelezova A.D., Lukacheva E.G. Lomonosov Moscow State University, Russia Vertical differentiation of terrestrial biogeocenoses is conditioned by the formation of vertical tiers that differ considerably in the composition and structure of microbial communities. All the three tiers, phylloplane, litter and soil, are united by a single flow of organic matter, and are spatially separated successional stages of decomposition of organic substances. Decomposition of organic matter is mainly due to the activity of microorganisms producing enzymes - hydrolase and lyase - which destroy complex organic compounds. Application of molecular biological techniques (FISH) in environmental studies provides a more complete information concerning the taxonomic diversity and potential hydrolytic activity of microbial complexes of terrestrial ecosystems that exist in a wide range of environmental factors (moisture, temperature, redox potential, organic matter). The combination of two molecular biological techniques (FISH and DGGE-analysis of fragments of gene 16S rRNA total amplificate) enables an informative assessment of the differences in the structure of dominant and minor components of hydrolytic complexes formed in different tiers of terrestrial ecosystems. The functional activity of hydrolytic microbial complexes of terrestrial ecosystems is determined by the activity of dominant and minor components, which also have a high gross enzymatic activity. Degradation of biopolymers in the phylloplane is mainly due to the representatives of the Proteobacteria phylogenetic group (classes alpha and beta). In mineral soil horizons, the role of hydrolytic representatives of Firmicutes and Actinobacteria increases. Among the key environmental parameters that determine the functional activity of the hydrolytic (chitinolytic) complex of soil layer (moisture, nutrient supply, successional

  15. Microbial Functional Potential and Community Composition in Permafrost-Affected Soils of the NW Canadian Arctic

    PubMed Central

    Frank-Fahle, Béatrice A.; Yergeau, Étienne; Greer, Charles W.; Lantuit, Hugues; Wagner, Dirk

    2014-01-01

    Permafrost-affected soils are among the most obvious ecosystems in which current microbial controls on organic matter decomposition are changing as a result of global warming. Warmer conditions in polygonal tundra will lead to a deepening of the seasonal active layer, provoking changes in microbial processes and possibly resulting in exacerbated carbon degradation under increasing anoxic conditions. To identify current microbial assemblages in carbon rich, water saturated permafrost environments, four polygonal tundra sites were investigated on Herschel Island and the Yukon Coast, Western Canadian Arctic. Ion Torrent sequencing of bacterial and archaeal 16S rRNA amplicons revealed the presence of all major microbial soil groups and indicated a local, vertical heterogeneity of the polygonal tundra soil community with increasing depth. Microbial diversity was found to be highest in the surface layers, decreasing towards the permafrost table. Quantitative PCR analysis of functional genes involved in carbon and nitrogen-cycling revealed a high functional potential in the surface layers, decreasing with increasing active layer depth. We observed that soil properties driving microbial diversity and functional potential varied in each study site. These results highlight the small-scale heterogeneity of geomorphologically comparable sites, greatly restricting generalizations about the fate of permafrost-affected environments in a warming Arctic. PMID:24416279

  16. Microbial functional potential and community composition in permafrost-affected soils of the NW Canadian Arctic.

    PubMed

    Frank-Fahle, Béatrice A; Yergeau, Etienne; Greer, Charles W; Lantuit, Hugues; Wagner, Dirk

    2014-01-01

    Permafrost-affected soils are among the most obvious ecosystems in which current microbial controls on organic matter decomposition are changing as a result of global warming. Warmer conditions in polygonal tundra will lead to a deepening of the seasonal active layer, provoking changes in microbial processes and possibly resulting in exacerbated carbon degradation under increasing anoxic conditions. To identify current microbial assemblages in carbon rich, water saturated permafrost environments, four polygonal tundra sites were investigated on Herschel Island and the Yukon Coast, Western Canadian Arctic. Ion Torrent sequencing of bacterial and archaeal 16S rRNA amplicons revealed the presence of all major microbial soil groups and indicated a local, vertical heterogeneity of the polygonal tundra soil community with increasing depth. Microbial diversity was found to be highest in the surface layers, decreasing towards the permafrost table. Quantitative PCR analysis of functional genes involved in carbon and nitrogen-cycling revealed a high functional potential in the surface layers, decreasing with increasing active layer depth. We observed that soil properties driving microbial diversity and functional potential varied in each study site. These results highlight the small-scale heterogeneity of geomorphologically comparable sites, greatly restricting generalizations about the fate of permafrost-affected environments in a warming Arctic.

  17. Energy flow in an arctic aquatic ecosystem

    SciTech Connect

    Schell, D.M.

    1993-05-01

    This project has been using natural isotope abundances to trace major pathways of energy flow to consumers in Imnavait Creek and the tundra ecosystem of the R4D watershed with comparative work in the coastal tundra. We are processing samples collected at the R4D intensive site over the past three years and are comparing these data with similar samples collected from the coastal plain. Our approach is to determine if carbon is accumulating in upland and coastal tundra; to determine the role of eroded peat carbon in the aquatic ecosystem; and to determine the distribution of carbon and nitrogen isotopes in the tundra-pond ecosystem to establish the feasibility of using natural differences as tracers.

  18. Energy flow in an arctic aquatic ecosystem

    SciTech Connect

    Schell, D.M.

    1993-01-01

    This project has been using natural isotope abundances to trace major pathways of energy flow to consumers in Imnavait Creek and the tundra ecosystem of the R4D watershed with comparative work in the coastal tundra. We are processing samples collected at the R4D intensive site over the past three years and are comparing these data with similar samples collected from the coastal plain. Our approach is to determine if carbon is accumulating in upland and coastal tundra; to determine the role of eroded peat carbon in the aquatic ecosystem; and to determine the distribution of carbon and nitrogen isotopes in the tundra-pond ecosystem to establish the feasibility of using natural differences as tracers.

  19. Lithoautotrophic microbial ecosystems in deep basalt aquifers

    SciTech Connect

    Stevens, T.O.; McKinley, J.P.

    1995-10-20

    Bacterial communities were detected in deep crystalline rock aquifers within the Columbia River Basalt Group (CRB). CRB ground waters contained up to 60 {mu}M dissolved H{sub 2} and autotrophic microorganisms outnumbered heterotrophs. Stable carbon isotope measurements implied that autotrophic methanogenesis dominated this ecosystem and was coupled to the depletion of dissolved inorganic carbon. In laboratory experiments, H{sub 2} a potential energy source for bacteria, was produced by reactions between crushed basalt and anaerobic water. Microcosms containing only crushed basalt and ground water supported microbial growth. These results suggest that the CRB contains a lithoautotrophic microbial ecosystem that is independent of photosynthetic primary production. 38 refs., 4 figs., 3 tabs.

  20. Energy flow in an arctic aquatic ecosystem

    SciTech Connect

    Schell, D.M.

    1988-01-01

    Natural isotope abundances to trace major pathways of energy flow to consumers in Imnavait Creek and the tundra ecosystem of the R4D watershed with comparative work in the coastal tundra. Our overall goals are to a determine if carbon is accumulating in upland and coastal tundra; determine the role of eroded peat carbon in the aquatic ecosystem; and to determine the distribution of carbon and nitrogen isotopes in the tundra-pond ecosystem to establish the feasibility of using natural differences as tracers. Past work on fishes, birds, and the prey species of insects and aquatic crustaceans has shown that peat carbon is very important in the energy supply supporting the food webs over the course of the year. Obligate freshwater fishes from the coastal lakes and Colville River have been shown to contain up to 60 percent peat carbon at the end of the winter season. In contrast, migratory shorebirds and passerines contained much smaller radiocarbon abundances in summer, indicating a major shift to recent in situ primary production in pond and stream ecosystems in summer months. For the past two years, we have narrowed our focus to the processes supplying carbon to the beaded stream system at MS-117 and have concentrated on determining the transfer and accumulation rates of carbon in the watershed.

  1. Energy flow in an arctic aquatic ecosystem

    SciTech Connect

    Schell, D.M.

    1988-12-31

    Natural isotope abundances to trace major pathways of energy flow to consumers in Imnavait Creek and the tundra ecosystem of the R4D watershed with comparative work in the coastal tundra. Our overall goals are to a determine if carbon is accumulating in upland and coastal tundra; determine the role of eroded peat carbon in the aquatic ecosystem; and to determine the distribution of carbon and nitrogen isotopes in the tundra-pond ecosystem to establish the feasibility of using natural differences as tracers. Past work on fishes, birds, and the prey species of insects and aquatic crustaceans has shown that peat carbon is very important in the energy supply supporting the food webs over the course of the year. Obligate freshwater fishes from the coastal lakes and Colville River have been shown to contain up to 60 percent peat carbon at the end of the winter season. In contrast, migratory shorebirds and passerines contained much smaller radiocarbon abundances in summer, indicating a major shift to recent in situ primary production in pond and stream ecosystems in summer months. For the past two years, we have narrowed our focus to the processes supplying carbon to the beaded stream system at MS-117 and have concentrated on determining the transfer and accumulation rates of carbon in the watershed.

  2. Arctic ecosystem functional zones: identification and quantification using an above and below ground monitoring strategy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hubbard, Susan S.; Ajo-Franklin, Jonathan B.; Dafflon, Baptiste; Dou, Shan; Kneafsey, Tim J.; Peterson, John E.; Tas, Neslihan; Torn, Margaret S.; Phuong Tran, Anh; Ulrich, Craig; Wainwright, Haruko; Wu, Yuxin; Wullschleger, Stan

    2015-04-01

    Although accurate prediction of ecosystem feedbacks to climate requires characterization of the properties that influence terrestrial carbon cycling, performing such characterization is challenging due to the disparity of scales involved. This is particularly true in vulnerable Arctic ecosystems, where microbial activities leading to the production of greenhouse gasses are a function of small-scale hydrological, geochemical, and thermal conditions influenced by geomorphology and seasonal dynamics. As part of the DOE Next-Generation Ecosystem Experiment (NGEE-Arctic), we are advancing two approaches to improve the characterization of complex Arctic ecosystems, with an initial application to an ice-wedge polygon dominated tundra site near Barrow, AK, USA. The first advance focuses on developing a new strategy to jointly monitor above- and below- ground properties critical for carbon cycling in the tundra. The strategy includes co-characterization of properties within the three critical ecosystem compartments: land surface (vegetation, water inundation, snow thickness, and geomorphology); active layer (peat thickness, soil moisture, soil texture, hydraulic conductivity, soil temperature, and geochemistry); and permafrost (mineral soil and ice content, nature, and distribution). Using a nested sampling strategy, a wide range of measurements have been collected at the study site over the past three years, including: above-ground imagery (LiDAR, visible, near infrared, NDVI) from various platforms, surface geophysical datasets (electrical, electromagnetic, ground penetrating radar, seismic), and point measurements (such as CO2 and methane fluxes, soil properties, microbial community composition). A subset of the coincident datasets is autonomously collected daily. Laboratory experiments and new inversion approaches are used to improve interpretation of the field geophysical datasets in terms of ecosystem properties. The new strategy has significantly advanced our ability

  3. Environments that Induce Synthetic Microbial Ecosystems

    PubMed Central

    Klitgord, Niels; Segrè, Daniel

    2010-01-01

    Interactions between microbial species are sometimes mediated by the exchange of small molecules, secreted by one species and metabolized by another. Both one-way (commensal) and two-way (mutualistic) interactions may contribute to complex networks of interdependencies. Understanding these interactions constitutes an open challenge in microbial ecology, with applications ranging from the human microbiome to environmental sustainability. In parallel to natural communities, it is possible to explore interactions in artificial microbial ecosystems, e.g. pairs of genetically engineered mutualistic strains. Here we computationally generate artificial microbial ecosystems without re-engineering the microbes themselves, but rather by predicting their growth on appropriately designed media. We use genome-scale stoichiometric models of metabolism to identify media that can sustain growth for a pair of species, but fail to do so for one or both individual species, thereby inducing putative symbiotic interactions. We first tested our approach on two previously studied mutualistic pairs, and on a pair of highly curated model organisms, showing that our algorithms successfully recapitulate known interactions, robustly predict new ones, and provide novel insight on exchanged molecules. We then applied our method to all possible pairs of seven microbial species, and found that it is always possible to identify putative media that induce commensalism or mutualism. Our analysis also suggests that symbiotic interactions may arise more readily through environmental fluctuations than genetic modifications. We envision that our approach will help generate microbe-microbe interaction maps useful for understanding microbial consortia dynamics and evolution, and for exploring the full potential of natural metabolic pathways for metabolic engineering applications. PMID:21124952

  4. Past changes in Arctic terrestrial ecosystems, climate and UV radiation.

    PubMed

    Callaghan, Terry V; Björn, Lars Olof; Chernov, Yuri; Chapin, Terry; Christensen, Torben R; Huntley, Brian; Ims, Rolf A; Johansson, Margareta; Jolly, Dyanna; Jonasson, Sven; Matveyeva, Nadya; Panikov, Nicolai; Oechel, Walter; Shaver, Gus

    2004-11-01

    At the last glacial maximum, vast ice sheets covered many continental areas. The beds of some shallow seas were exposed thereby connecting previously separated landmasses. Although some areas were ice-free and supported a flora and fauna, mean annual temperatures were 10-13 degrees C colder than during the Holocene. Within a few millennia of the glacial maximum, deglaciation started, characterized by a series of climatic fluctuations between about 18,000 and 11,400 years ago. Following the general thermal maximum in the Holocene, there has been a modest overall cooling trend, superimposed upon which have been a series of millennial and centennial fluctuations in climate such as the "Little Ice Age spanning approximately the late 13th to early 19th centuries. Throughout the climatic fluctuations of the last 150,000 years, Arctic ecosystems and biota have been close to their minimum extent within the most recent 10,000 years. They suffered loss of diversity as a result of extinctions during the most recent large-magnitude rapid global warming at the end of the last glacial stage. Consequently, Arctic ecosystems and biota such as large vertebrates are already under pressure and are particularly vulnerable to current and projected future global warming. Evidence from the past indicates that the treeline will very probably advance, perhaps rapidly, into tundra areas, as it did during the early Holocene, reducing the extent of tundra and increasing the risk of species extinction. Species will very probably extend their ranges northwards, displacing Arctic species as in the past. However, unlike the early Holocene, when lower relative sea level allowed a belt of tundra to persist around at least some parts of the Arctic basin when treelines advanced to the present coast, sea level is very likely to rise in future, further restricting the area of tundra and other treeless Arctic ecosystems. The negative response of current Arctic ecosystems to global climatic conditions

  5. Past changes in Arctic terrestrial ecosystems, climate and UV radiation.

    PubMed

    Callaghan, Terry V; Björn, Lars Olof; Chernov, Yuri; Chapin, Terry; Christensen, Torben R; Huntley, Brian; Ims, Rolf A; Johansson, Margareta; Jolly, Dyanna; Jonasson, Sven; Matveyeva, Nadya; Panikov, Nicolai; Oechel, Walter; Shaver, Gus

    2004-11-01

    At the last glacial maximum, vast ice sheets covered many continental areas. The beds of some shallow seas were exposed thereby connecting previously separated landmasses. Although some areas were ice-free and supported a flora and fauna, mean annual temperatures were 10-13 degrees C colder than during the Holocene. Within a few millennia of the glacial maximum, deglaciation started, characterized by a series of climatic fluctuations between about 18,000 and 11,400 years ago. Following the general thermal maximum in the Holocene, there has been a modest overall cooling trend, superimposed upon which have been a series of millennial and centennial fluctuations in climate such as the "Little Ice Age spanning approximately the late 13th to early 19th centuries. Throughout the climatic fluctuations of the last 150,000 years, Arctic ecosystems and biota have been close to their minimum extent within the most recent 10,000 years. They suffered loss of diversity as a result of extinctions during the most recent large-magnitude rapid global warming at the end of the last glacial stage. Consequently, Arctic ecosystems and biota such as large vertebrates are already under pressure and are particularly vulnerable to current and projected future global warming. Evidence from the past indicates that the treeline will very probably advance, perhaps rapidly, into tundra areas, as it did during the early Holocene, reducing the extent of tundra and increasing the risk of species extinction. Species will very probably extend their ranges northwards, displacing Arctic species as in the past. However, unlike the early Holocene, when lower relative sea level allowed a belt of tundra to persist around at least some parts of the Arctic basin when treelines advanced to the present coast, sea level is very likely to rise in future, further restricting the area of tundra and other treeless Arctic ecosystems. The negative response of current Arctic ecosystems to global climatic conditions

  6. Wildfire, thermokarst and vegetation change: integrating diverse controls over carbon cycling in arctic and boreal ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mack, M. C.; Alexander, H. D.; DeMarco, J.; Melvin, A.

    2012-12-01

    Climate is warming more rapidly in the tundra and forests of high northern latitudes than any other place on earth. Large, globally-important stocks of carbon (C) reside in these ecosystems. Characterized by cold, moist climate and frozen soils, these ecosystems have historically acted as a net sink for atmospheric C: they remove more C from the atmosphere on an annual basis than they release, resulting in the accumulation of large stocks in soils and plants. With warming climate comes the potential for fundamental changes in ecological controls over C cycling. Plant growth is limited by both low temperature and the slow regeneration of nutrients such as nitrogen (N). If warming stimulates plant growth by alleviating these limitations, than C uptake may increase. Indeed, satellite indices of greening as well as observations of shrub expansion and northern migration of the arctic treeline point towards increased plant productivity concurrent with climate warming. But as soils warm, microbial decomposition and release of C to the atmosphere, as well as disturbances such as wildfire or thermal erosion (thermokarst), are likely to increase, and it is unclear whether increased C loss may balance or even outweigh increased production, at least on the time-scale of decades to centuries. Understanding the net outcome of these two processes is important because it determines the sign of the feedback between the arctic/boreal C cycle and climate. A positive feedback, where warming increases C losses more than uptake, would amplify anthropogenic changes in climate, accelerating warming and destabilizing feedbacks between ecosystems and the atmosphere. A negative feedback, by contrast, where warming increases C uptake more than losses, would dampen the anthropogenic signal and stabilize climate. This presentation will focus on three general areas of ecological control over net ecosystem C balance in arctic and boreal ecosystems: nutrient availability, changing disturbance

  7. Pan-Arctic patterns of planktonic heterotrophic microbial abundance and processes: Controlling factors and potential impacts of warming

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Maranger, Roxane; Vaqué, Dolors; Nguyen, Dan; Hébert, Marie-Pier; Lara, Elena

    2015-12-01

    The Arctic Ocean is rapidly changing where increasing water temperatures and rapid loss of summer sea-ice will likely influence the structure and functioning of the entire ecosystem. The aim of this study was to synthesize the current state of knowledge on microbial abundances and processes from a regional Pan-Arctic perspective, characterize regulating factors and attempt to predict how patterns may change under a warming scenario. Here we identify some generalized patterns of different microbial variables between the Pacific-fed and the Atlantic-fed sectors of the Arctic Ocean. Bacterial production (BP), abundance and grazing rates by protists (GT) were all higher in the Atlantic-fed region. Bacterial loss by viral lyses (VL) was proportionally more important in the Pacific-fed sector, suggesting a reduced C transfer efficiency within the microbial loop of that region. Using a cross-comparative approach and all available data to build Arrhenius plots, we found a differential response to warming temperatures among various microbial processes. BP and GT responded similarly and more strongly to increases in temperature than VL did, suggesting a shift in the overall influence of viral mortality under a warming scenario. However, together with temperature, resource-related factors also exerted an influence in regulating these rates. We identified large information gaps for more classically studied microbial variable from several Arctic seas. Furthermore, there is limited information on less conventional pathways such as grazing by mixotrophic species, which may be playing a significant role in Arctic microbial trophodynamics. Although generalized patterns could be elucidated, more information is needed to predict and understand how a changing Arctic will alter microbial C pathways and major biogeochemical cycles on regional and seasonal scales.

  8. Microbial dynamics in a High Arctic glacier forefield: a combined field, laboratory, and modelling approach

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bradley, James A.; Arndt, Sandra; Šabacká, Marie; Benning, Liane G.; Barker, Gary L.; Blacker, Joshua J.; Yallop, Marian L.; Wright, Katherine E.; Bellas, Christopher M.; Telling, Jonathan; Tranter, Martyn; Anesio, Alexandre M.

    2016-10-01

    Modelling the development of soils in glacier forefields is necessary in order to assess how microbial and geochemical processes interact and shape soil development in response to glacier retreat. Furthermore, such models can help us predict microbial growth and the fate of Arctic soils in an increasingly ice-free future. Here, for the first time, we combined field sampling with laboratory analyses and numerical modelling to investigate microbial community dynamics in oligotrophic proglacial soils in Svalbard. We measured low bacterial growth rates and growth efficiencies (relative to estimates from Alpine glacier forefields) and high sensitivity of bacterial growth rates to soil temperature (relative to temperate soils). We used these laboratory measurements to inform parameter values in a new numerical model and significantly refined predictions of microbial and biogeochemical dynamics of soil development over a period of roughly 120 years. The model predicted the observed accumulation of autotrophic and heterotrophic biomass. Genomic data indicated that initial microbial communities were dominated by bacteria derived from the glacial environment, whereas older soils hosted a mixed community of autotrophic and heterotrophic bacteria. This finding was simulated by the numerical model, which showed that active microbial communities play key roles in fixing and recycling carbon and nutrients. We also demonstrated the role of allochthonous carbon and microbial necromass in sustaining a pool of organic material, despite high heterotrophic activity in older soils. This combined field, laboratory, and modelling approach demonstrates the value of integrated model-data studies to understand and quantify the functioning of the microbial community in an emerging High Arctic soil ecosystem.

  9. Satellite Monitoring of Disturbances in Arctic Ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Prieto-Blanco, A.; Disney, M.; Lewis, P.

    2008-12-01

    We explored the capability of satellite remote sensing to detect temporal changes in northern Fennoscandian regions through the application of a temporal model of surface bidirectional reflectance. Remote sensing offers the potential to monitor changes over large areas and at hard to access locations. Specifically in remote Arctic locations, where ground surveys and aircraft observations are constrained by weather conditions and logistics, remote sensing provides a unique capability for repetitive and frequent sampling. A major disturbance in mountain birch forests typical of northern Sweden and Finland is caused by outbreaks of defoliating insects such as the autumn moth (Epirrita autumnata) and the winter moth (Operophtera brumata). These outbreaks occur more or less cyclically every 9-10 years and attack mainly birch (Betula spp.) leaving a mosaic of open woodland within the forest. It is expected that global warming will affect the incidence and the intensity of this outbreaks. The ecological and economical consequences can be severe hence the importance of close monitoring of shifts in the distribution of events. Defoliated areas of up to 6000 to 7000 ha of birch forest have been reported. Severely affected areas could potentially be detected by satellite providing valuable data to understand the behavior, estimate the damage and predict the development of forest pests. Quantification of the impact of such outbreaks will also permit far more accurate estimation of the terrestrial carbon budget of such regions. Here we applied a generic algorithm to detect sudden changes on land surface cover to daily 500m MODIS surface reflectance data over the Fennoscandian area. Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectraradiometer (MODIS) sensors on board the polar orbiting satellites Terra and Aqua provide an overpass at least once a day over the area of interest. Unfortunately, frequent cloud cover limits the acquisition of satellite imagery and persistent cloud cover may

  10. Changing seasonality of Arctic hydrology disrupts key biotic linkages in Arctic aquatic ecosystems.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Deegan, L.; MacKenzie, C.; Peterson, B. J.; Fishscape Project

    2011-12-01

    Arctic grayling (Thymallus arcticus) is an important circumpolar species that provide a model system for understanding the impacts of changing seasonality on arctic ecosystem function. Grayling serve as food for other biota, including lake trout, birds and humans, and act as top-down controls in stream ecosystems. In Arctic tundra streams, grayling spend their summers in streams but are obligated to move back into deep overwintering lakes in the fall. Climatic change that affects the seasonality of river hydrology could have a significant impact on grayling populations: grayling may leave overwintering lakes sooner in the spring and return later in the fall due to a longer open water season, but the migration could be disrupted by drought due to increased variability in discharge. In turn, a shorter overwintering season may impact lake trout dynamics in the lakes, which may rely on the seasonal inputs of stream nutrients in the form of migrating grayling into these oligotrophic lakes. To assess how shifting seasonality of Arctic river hydrology may disrupt key trophic linkages within and between lake and stream components of watersheds on the North Slope of the Brooks Mountain Range, Alaska, we have undertaken new work on grayling and lake trout population and food web dynamics. We use Passive Integrated Transponder (PIT) tags coupled with stream-width antenna units to monitor grayling movement across Arctic tundra watersheds during the summer, and into overwintering habitat in the fall. Results indicate that day length may prime grayling migration readiness, but that flooding events are likely the cue grayling use to initiate migration in to overwintering lakes. Many fish used high discharge events in the stream as an opportunity to move into lakes. Stream and lake derived stable isotopes also indicate that lake trout rely on these seasonally transported inputs of stream nutrients for growth. Thus, changes in the seasonality of river hydrology may have broader

  11. Arctic epishelf lakes as sentinel ecosystems: Past, present and future

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Veillette, Julie; Mueller, Derek R.; Antoniades, Dermot; Vincent, Warwick F.

    2008-12-01

    Ice shelves are a prominent but diminishing feature of the northern coastline of Ellesmere Island in the Canadian High Arctic (latitude 82-83°N). By blocking embayments and fiords, this thick coastal ice can create epishelf lakes, which are characterized by a perennially ice-capped water column of freshwater overlying seawater. The goal of this study was to synthesize new, archived, and published data on Arctic epishelf lakes in the context of climate change. Long-term changes along this coastline were evaluated using historical reports, cartographic analysis, RADARSAT imagery, and field measurements. These data, including salinity-temperature profiling records from Disraeli Fiord spanning 54 years, show the rapid decline and near disappearance of this lake type in the Arctic. Salinity-temperature profiling of Milne Fiord, currently blocked by the Milne Ice Shelf, confirmed that it contained an epishelf lake composed of a 16-m thick freshwater layer overlying seawater. A profiling survey along the coast showed that there was a continuum of ice-dammed lakes from shallow systems dammed by multiyear landfast sea ice to deep epishelf lakes behind ice shelves. The climate warming recently observed in this region likely contributed to the decline of epishelf lakes over the last century, and the air temperature trend predicted for the Arctic over the next several decades implies the imminent loss of this ecosystem type. Our results underscore the distinctive properties of coastal ice-dammed lakes and their value as sentinel ecosystems for the monitoring of regional and global climate change.

  12. The Northern Bering Sea: An Arctic Ecosystem in Change

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Grebmeier, J. M.; Cooper, L. W.

    2004-12-01

    Arctic systems can be rich and diverse habitats for marine life in spite of the extreme cold environment. Benthic faunal populations and associated biogeochemical cycling processes are influenced by sea-ice extent, seawater hydrography (nutrients, salinity, temperature, currents), and water column production. Benthic organisms on the Arctic shelves and margins are long-term integrators of overlying water column processes. Because these organisms have adapted to living at cold extremes, it is reasonable to expect that these communities will be among the most susceptible to climate warming. Recent observations show that Arctic sea ice in the North American Arctic is melting and retreating northward earlier in the season and the timing of these events can have dramatic impacts on the biological system. Changes in overlying primary production, pelagic-benthic coupling, and benthic production and community structure can have cascading effects to higher trophic levels, particularly benthic feeders such as walruses, gray whales, and diving seaducks. Recent indicators of contemporary Arctic change in the northern Bering Sea include seawater warming and reduction in ice extent that coincide with our time-series studies of benthic clam population declines in the shallow northern Bering shelf in the 1990's. In addition, declines in benthic amphipod populations have also likely influenced the movement of feeding gray whales to areas north of Bering Strait during this same time period. Finally a potential consequence of seawater warming and reduced ice extent in the northern Bering Sea could be the northward movement of bottom feeding fish currently in the southern Bering Sea that prey on benthic fauna. This would increase the feeding pressure on the benthic prey base and enhance competition for this food source for benthic-feeding marine mammals and seabirds. This presentation will outline recent biological changes observed in the northern Bering Sea ecosystem as documented in

  13. Microbial community composition and endolith colonization at an Arctic thermal spring are driven by calcite precipitation

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Starke, Verena; Kirshtein, Julie; Fogel, Marilyn L.; Steele, Andrew

    2013-01-01

    Environmental conditions shape community composition. Arctic thermal springs provide an opportunity to study how environmental gradients can impose strong selective pressures on microbial communities and provide a continuum of niche opportunities. We use microscopic and molecular methods to conduct a survey of microbial community composition at Troll Springs on Svalbard, Norway, in the high Arctic. Microorganisms there exist under a wide range of environmental conditions: in warm water as periphyton, in moist granular materials, and in cold, dry rock as endoliths. Troll Springs has two distinct ecosystems, aquatic and terrestrial, together in close proximity, with different underlying environmental factors shaping each microbial community. Periphyton are entrapped during precipitation of calcium carbonate from the spring's waters, providing microbial populations that serve as precursors for the development of endolithic communities. This process differs from most endolith colonization, in which the rock predates the communities that colonize it. Community composition is modulated as environmental conditions change within the springs. At Troll, the aquatic environments show a small number of dominant operational taxonomic units (OTUs) that are specific to each sample. The terrestrial environments show a more even distribution of OTUs common to multiple samples.

  14. Microbial community composition and endolith colonization at an Arctic thermal spring are driven by calcite precipitation.

    PubMed

    Starke, Verena; Kirshtein, Julie; Fogel, Marilyn L; Steele, Andrew

    2013-10-01

    Environmental conditions shape community composition. Arctic thermal springs provide an opportunity to study how environmental gradients can impose strong selective pressures on microbial communities and provide a continuum of niche opportunities. We use microscopic and molecular methods to conduct a survey of microbial community composition at Troll Springs on Svalbard, Norway, in the high Arctic. Microorganisms there exist under a wide range of environmental conditions: in warm water as periphyton, in moist granular materials, and in cold, dry rock as endoliths. Troll Springs has two distinct ecosystems, aquatic and terrestrial, together in close proximity, with different underlying environmental factors shaping each microbial community. Periphyton are entrapped during precipitation of calcium carbonate from the spring's waters, providing microbial populations that serve as precursors for the development of endolithic communities. This process differs from most endolith colonization, in which the rock predates the communities that colonize it. Community composition is modulated as environmental conditions change within the springs. At Troll, the aquatic environments show a small number of dominant operational taxonomic units (OTUs) that are specific to each sample. The terrestrial environments show a more even distribution of OTUs common to multiple samples. PMID:24115614

  15. International conference on physiological process studies in the Arctic: (Implications for ecosystems response to climate change)

    SciTech Connect

    Chapin, F.S. II.

    1991-01-01

    The conference on physiological process studies in the Arctic was held in Toronto, Canada, to summarize the current understanding of plant physiological processes in the Arctic. Participants reviewed the current understanding of arctic ecophysiology and discussed the role of physiology in controlling ecosystem processes such as productivity and nutrient cycling. Emphasis was placed on ways in which ecophysiological studies might provide insight into possible responses of arctic ecosystems to global climatic change. The major conclusions of the workshop were that, although we know a great deal about the adaptations of arctic plants to their physical environment, the biotic interactions among plants and between plants and other organisms are more important in governing the distribution of plants in the Arctic. Future research in arctic physiological ecology should emphasize biotic interactions, feedbacks and time lags that modify plant response to environment, and the roles that plants play as regulators of ecosystem processes.

  16. Late Archean rise of aerobic microbial ecosystems

    PubMed Central

    Eigenbrode, Jennifer L.; Freeman, Katherine H.

    2006-01-01

    We report the 13C content of preserved organic carbon for a 150 million-year section of late Archean shallow and deepwater sediments of the Hamersley Province in Western Australia. We find a 13C enrichment of ≈10‰ in organic carbon of post-2.7-billion-year-old shallow-water carbonate rocks relative to deepwater sediments. The shallow-water organic-carbon 13C content has a 29‰ range in values (−57 to −28‰), and it contrasts with the less variable but strongly 13C-depleted (−40 to −45‰) organic carbon in deepwater sediments. The 13C enrichment likely represents microbial habitats not as strongly influenced by assimilation of methane or other 13C-depleted substrates. We propose that continued oxidation of shallow settings favored the expansion of aerobic ecosystems and respiring organisms, and, as a result, isotopic signatures of preserved organic carbon in shallow settings approached that of photosynthetic biomass. Facies analysis of published carbon-isotopic records indicates that the Hamersley shallow-water signal may be representative of a late Archean global signature and that it preceded a similar, but delayed, 13C enrichment of deepwater deposits. The data suggest that a global-scale expansion of oxygenated habitats accompanied the progression away from anaerobic ecosystems toward respiring microbial communities fueled by oxygenic photosynthesis before the oxygenation of the atmosphere after 2.45 billion years ago. PMID:17043234

  17. Microbial activity and biogeochemical cycling in first-order Russian Arctic streams

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rhoades, R. E.; Lynch, L. M.; Ortega, J. C.; Holmes, R. M.; Mann, P. J.; Vonk, J. E.; Schade, J. D.

    2011-12-01

    Global climate change is strongly impacting Arctic ecosystems and is predicted to lead to thawing of permafrost soils. These soils are rich in organic matter and other nutrients and influence biogeochemical cycling in terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems. Small arctic streams are likely to be the first aquatic ecosystems to receive materials exported as soils warm. These first-order streams are characterized by strong interactions between the water column and stream bottom and have the potential to affect nutrient flux. Previous studies suggest that phosphorous availability limits biological productivity in many first-order arctic streams, however, they remain understudied, particularly in the Russian Arctic. Our objective was to assess microbial activity and biogeochemical cycling among arctic streams. We used three approaches to meet our objectives, including a survey of 9 streams, intensive longitudinal sampling in 5 streams, and nutrient pulse addition experiments in 4 streams, designed to assess the potential for limitation by N or P. We measured pH, temperature, dissolved oxygen, NH4, SRP, DOC, and TDN at all sampling sites. We also conducted biological oxygen demand (BOD) incubations designed to assess DOC lability, and correlated these measurements with background nutrient concentrations. We found a strong positive linear correlation between BOD and phosphate concentration, suggesting P limitation of production and/or consumption of labile DOC. To complement ambient stream measurements, we conducted whole stream nutrient addition experiments to calculate N and P uptake lengths, which we then used to infer whether N or P is more likely to limit biological processes, and the degree of coupling between N and P cycling. Results from the nutrient addition experiments suggest both N and P limitation among streams depending on stream location and characteristics. In addition, these experiments suggest a significant, but complex interaction between N and P cycles

  18. Nitrogen accumulation and partitioning in a High Arctic tundra ecosystem from extreme atmospheric N deposition events.

    PubMed

    Choudhary, Sonal; Blaud, Aimeric; Osborn, A Mark; Press, Malcolm C; Phoenix, Gareth K

    2016-06-01

    Arctic ecosystems are threatened by pollution from recently detected extreme atmospheric nitrogen (N) deposition events in which up to 90% of the annual N deposition can occur in just a few days. We undertook the first assessment of the fate of N from extreme deposition in High Arctic tundra and are presenting the results from the whole ecosystem (15)N labelling experiment. In 2010, we simulated N depositions at rates of 0, 0.04, 0.4 and 1.2 g Nm(-2)yr(-1), applied as (15)NH4(15)NO3 in Svalbard (79(°)N), during the summer. Separate applications of (15)NO3(-) and (15)NH4(+) were also made to determine the importance of N form in their retention. More than 95% of the total (15)N applied was recovered after one growing season (~90% after two), demonstrating a considerable capacity of Arctic tundra to retain N from these deposition events. Important sinks for the deposited N, regardless of its application rate or form, were non-vascular plants>vascular plants>organic soil>litter>mineral soil, suggesting that non-vascular plants could be the primary component of this ecosystem to undergo measurable changes due to N enrichment from extreme deposition events. Substantial retention of N by soil microbial biomass (70% and 39% of (15)N in organic and mineral horizon, respectively) during the initial partitioning demonstrated their capacity to act as effective buffers for N leaching. Between the two N forms, vascular plants (Salix polaris) in particular showed difference in their N recovery, incorporating four times greater (15)NO3(-) than (15)NH4(+), suggesting deposition rich in nitrate will impact them more. Overall, these findings show that despite the deposition rates being extreme in statistical terms, biologically they do not exceed the capacity of tundra to sequester pollutant N during the growing season. Therefore, current and future extreme events may represent a major source of eutrophication. PMID:26956177

  19. Nitrogen accumulation and partitioning in a High Arctic tundra ecosystem from extreme atmospheric N deposition events.

    PubMed

    Choudhary, Sonal; Blaud, Aimeric; Osborn, A Mark; Press, Malcolm C; Phoenix, Gareth K

    2016-06-01

    Arctic ecosystems are threatened by pollution from recently detected extreme atmospheric nitrogen (N) deposition events in which up to 90% of the annual N deposition can occur in just a few days. We undertook the first assessment of the fate of N from extreme deposition in High Arctic tundra and are presenting the results from the whole ecosystem (15)N labelling experiment. In 2010, we simulated N depositions at rates of 0, 0.04, 0.4 and 1.2 g Nm(-2)yr(-1), applied as (15)NH4(15)NO3 in Svalbard (79(°)N), during the summer. Separate applications of (15)NO3(-) and (15)NH4(+) were also made to determine the importance of N form in their retention. More than 95% of the total (15)N applied was recovered after one growing season (~90% after two), demonstrating a considerable capacity of Arctic tundra to retain N from these deposition events. Important sinks for the deposited N, regardless of its application rate or form, were non-vascular plants>vascular plants>organic soil>litter>mineral soil, suggesting that non-vascular plants could be the primary component of this ecosystem to undergo measurable changes due to N enrichment from extreme deposition events. Substantial retention of N by soil microbial biomass (70% and 39% of (15)N in organic and mineral horizon, respectively) during the initial partitioning demonstrated their capacity to act as effective buffers for N leaching. Between the two N forms, vascular plants (Salix polaris) in particular showed difference in their N recovery, incorporating four times greater (15)NO3(-) than (15)NH4(+), suggesting deposition rich in nitrate will impact them more. Overall, these findings show that despite the deposition rates being extreme in statistical terms, biologically they do not exceed the capacity of tundra to sequester pollutant N during the growing season. Therefore, current and future extreme events may represent a major source of eutrophication.

  20. Trace elements in freshwater ecosystems in the Canadian Arctic

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Borg, H.

    2003-05-01

    The expedition Tundra North West 99 visited 17 sites across the Canadian Arctic in order to sample freshwater, sediments, soil and biotic compartments of the ecosystems. Trace metal concentrations were determined using ICP-MS. Dating of sediment profiles using ^137Cs showed a very low sedimentation rate in these lakes (<1 mm/yr). The lake waters were mostly well buffered with high pH and hardness, with the exception of lakes on Ellef Ringnes Island and Baffin Island. Trace metal concentrations in lake waters were generally low, but with some locally elevated concentrations. Trace metal profiles in sediments showed influence of catchment geology, indicated by elevated concentrations at some sites, e.g. NW Yukon. Increased concentrations of Cd, Hg, Zn, Pb, Tl and some other elements, found in recent sediment layers may indicate long-range airbome pollution. The elevated concentrations of e.g. Cd and Cu in the sediments and water at the Yukon site were also reflected in fish. Cd-concentrations in Arctic char liver were about 10 times higher than in other areas in the Arctic and in northern Sweden. Cd-concentrations in char liver were otherwise low with slightly elevated values in the more soft water lake at Baffin Island. Mercury concentrations in sediment at the Yukon site were 20 40 times higher than in the other lakes, whereas the concentration in fish muscle were still not elevated, which may be explained by the also elevated Se concentrations in the lake. The variations in Hgconcentrations in Arctic char were otherwise small, with the highest values at Ungava Peninsula and Ellesmere Island.

  1. Pleistocene graminoid-dominated ecosystems in the Arctic

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Blinnikov, Mikhail S.; Gaglioti, Benjamin V.; Walker, Donald A.; Wooller, Matthew J.; Zazula, Grant D.

    2011-10-01

    We review evidence obtained from analyses of multiple proxies (floristics, mammal remains, paleoinsects, pollen, macrofossils, plant cuticles, phytoliths, stable isotopes, and modeling) that elucidate the composition and character of the graminoid-dominated ecosystems of the Pleistocene Arctic. The past thirty years have seen a renewed interest in this now-extinct biome, sometimes referred to as "tundra-steppe" (steppe-tundra in North American sources). While many questions remain, converging evidence from many new terrestrial records and proxies coupled with better understanding of paleoclimate dynamics point to the predominance of xeric and cold adapted grassland as the key former vegetation type in the Arctic confirming earlier conjectures completed in the 1960s-1980s. A variety of still existing species of grasses and forbs played key roles in the species assemblages of the time, but their mixtures were not analogous to the tundras of today. Local mosaics based on topography, proximity to the ice sheets and coasts, soil heterogeneity, animal disturbance, and fire regimes were undoubtedly present. However, inadequate coverage of terrestrial proxies exist to resolve this spatial heterogeneity. These past ecosystems were maintained by a combination of dry and cold climate and grazing pressure/disturbance by large (e.g., mammoth and horse) and small (e.g., ground squirrels) mammals. Some recent studies from Eastern Beringia (Alaska) suggest that more progress will be possible when analyses of many proxies are combined at local scales.

  2. Variation in peak growing season net ecosystem production across the Canadian Arctic.

    PubMed

    Lafleur, Peter M; Humphreys, Elyn R; St Louis, Vincent L; Myklebust, May C; Papakyriakou, Tim; Poissant, Laurier; Barker, Joel D; Pilote, Martin; Swystun, Kyle A

    2012-08-01

    Tundra ecosystems store vast amounts of soil organic carbon, which may be sensitive to climatic change. Net ecosystem production, NEP, is the net exchange of carbon dioxide (CO(2)) between landscapes and the atmosphere, and represents the balance between CO(2) uptake by photosynthesis and release by decomposition and autotrophic respiration. Here we examine CO(2) exchange across seven sites in the Canadian low and high Arctic during the peak growing season (July) in summer 2008. All sites were net sinks for atmospheric CO(2) (NEP ranged from 5 to 67 g C m(-2)), with low Arctic sites being substantially larger CO(2) sinks. The spatial difference in NEP between low and high Arctic sites was determined more by CO(2) uptake via gross ecosystem production than by CO(2) release via ecosystem respiration. Maximum gross ecosystem production at the low Arctic sites (average 8.6 μmol m(-2) s(-1)) was about 4 times larger than for high Arctic sites (average 2.4 μmol m(-2) s(-1)). NEP decreased with increasing temperature at all low Arctic sites, driven largely by the ecosystem respiration response. No consistent temperature response was found for the high Arctic sites. The results of this study clearly indicate there are large differences in tundra CO(2) exchange between high and low Arctic environments and this difference should be a central consideration in studies of Arctic carbon balance and climate change.

  3. Long-term warming alters the composition of Arctic soil microbial communities.

    PubMed

    Deslippe, Julie R; Hartmann, Martin; Simard, Suzanne W; Mohn, William W

    2012-11-01

    Despite the importance of Arctic soils in the global carbon cycle, we know very little of the impacts of warming on the soil microbial communities that drive carbon and nutrient cycling in these ecosystems. Over a 2-year period, we monitored the structure of soil fungal and bacterial communities in organic and mineral soil horizons in plots warmed by greenhouses for 18 years and in control plots. We found that microbial communities were stable over time but strongly structured by warming. Warming led to significant reductions in the evenness of bacterial communities, while the evenness of fungal communities increased significantly. These patterns were strongest in the organic horizon, where temperature change was greatest and were associated with a significant increase in the dominance of the Actinobacteria and significant reductions in the Gemmatimonadaceae and the Proteobacteria. Greater evenness of the fungal community with warming was associated with significant increases in the ectomycorrhizal fungi, Russula spp., Cortinarius spp., and members of the Helotiales suggesting that increased growth of the shrub Betula nana was an important mechanism driving this change. The shifts in soil microbial community structure appear sufficient to account for warming-induced changes in nutrient cycling in Arctic tundra as climate warms.

  4. Arctic Gypsum Endoliths: a biogeochemical characterization of a viable and active microbial community

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ziolkowski, L. A.; Mykytczuk, N. C. S.; Omelon, C. R.; Johnson, H.; Whyte, L. G.; Slater, G. F.

    2013-02-01

    Extreme environmental conditions such as those found in the polar regions on Earth are thought to test the limits of life. Microorganisms living in these environments often seek protection from environmental stresses such as high UV exposure, desiccation and rapid temperature fluctuations, with one protective habitat found within rocks. Such endolithic microbial communities, which often consist of bacteria, fungi, algae and lichens, are small-scale ecosystems comprised of both producers and consumers. However, the harsh environmental conditions experienced by polar endolithic communities are thought to limit microbial diversity and the rate at which they cycle carbon. In this study, we characterized the microbial community diversity, turnover, and microbe-mineral interactions of a gypsum-based endolithic community in the polar desert of the Canadian high Arctic. 16S/18S rRNA pyrotag sequencing demonstrated the presence of a diverse community of phototrophic and heterotrophic bacteria, algae and fungi. Stable carbon isotope analysis of the viable microbial membranes, as phospholipid fatty acids and glycolipid fatty acids, confirmed the diversity observed by molecular techniques and indicated that atmospheric carbon is assimilated into the microbial community biomass. Uptake of radiocarbon from atmospheric radioweapons testing during the 1960s into microbial lipids was used as a pulse label to determine that the microbial community turns over carbon on the order of 10 yr, equivalent to 4.4 g C m-2 yr-1 gross primary productivity. SEM micrographs indicated that mechanical weathering of gypsum by freeze-thaw cycles leads to increased porosity, which ultimately increases the habitability of the rock. In addition, while bacteria were adhered to these mineral surfaces there was little evidence for microbial alteration of minerals, which contrasts with other gypsum endolithic habitats. While it is possible that these communities turn over carbon quickly and leave little

  5. Climate change on arctic environment, ecosystem services and society (CLICHE)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Weckström, J.; Korhola, A.; Väliranta, M.; Seppä, H.; Luoto, M.; Tuittila, E.-S.; Leppäranta, M.; Kahilainen, K.; Saarinen, J.; Heikkinen, H.

    2012-04-01

    The predicted climate warming has raised many questions and concerns about its impacts on the environment and society. As a respond to the need of holistic studies comprising both of these areas, The Academy of Finland launched The Finnish Research Programme on Climate Change (FICCA 2011-2014) in spring 2010 with the main aim to focus on the interaction between the environment and society. Ultimately 11 national consortium projects were funded (total budget 12 million EUR). Here we shortly present the main objectives of the largest consortium project "Climate change on arctic environment, ecosystem services and society" (CLICHE). The CLICHE consortium comprises eight interrelated work packages (treeline, diversity, peatlands, snow, lakes, fish, tourism, and traditional livelihoods), each led by a prominent research group and a team leader. The research consortium has three main overall objectives: 1) Investigate, map and model the past, present and future climate change-induced changes in central ecosystems of the European Arctic with unprecedented precision 2) Deepen our understanding of the basic principles of ecosystem and social resilience and dynamics; identify key taxa, structures or processes that clearly indicate impending or realised global change through their loss, occurrence or behaviour, using analogues from the past (e.g. Holocene Thermal Maximum, Medieval Warm Period), experiments, observations and models 3) Develop adaptation and mitigation strategies to minimize the adverse effects of climate change on local communities, traditional livelihoods, fisheries, and tourism industry, and promote sustainable development of local community structures and enhance the quality of life of local human populations. As the project has started only recently no final results are available yet. However, the fieldwork as well as the co-operation between the research teams has thus far been very successful. Thus, the expectations for the final outcome of the project

  6. Microbial Communities in a High Arctic Polar Desert Landscape

    PubMed Central

    McCann, Clare M.; Wade, Matthew J.; Gray, Neil D.; Roberts, Jennifer A.; Hubert, Casey R. J.; Graham, David W.

    2016-01-01

    The High Arctic is dominated by polar desert habitats whose microbial communities are poorly understood. In this study, we used next generation sequencing to describe the α- and β-diversity of microbial communities in polar desert soils from the Kongsfjorden region of Svalbard. Ten phyla dominated the soils and accounted for 95% of all sequences, with the Proteobacteria, Actinobacteria, and Chloroflexi being the major lineages. In contrast to previous investigations of Arctic soils, relative Acidobacterial abundances were found to be very low as were the Archaea throughout the Kongsfjorden polar desert landscape. Lower Acidobacterial abundances were attributed to characteristic circumneutral soil pHs in this region, which has resulted from the weathering of underlying carbonate bedrock. In addition, we compared previously measured geochemical conditions as possible controls on soil microbial communities. Phosphorus, pH, nitrogen, and calcium levels all significantly correlated with β-diversity, indicating landscape-scale lithological control of available nutrients, which in turn, significantly influenced soil community composition. In addition, soil phosphorus and pH significantly correlated with α-diversity, particularly with the Shannon diversity and Chao 1 richness indices. PMID:27065980

  7. Climate impacts on arctic freshwater ecosystems and fisheries: background, rationale and approach of the Arctic Climate Impact Assessment (ACIA).

    PubMed

    Wrona, Frederick J; Prowse, Terry D; Reist, James D; Hobbie, John E; Lévesque, Lucie M J; Vincent, Warwick F

    2006-11-01

    Changes in climate and ultraviolet radiation levels in the Arctic will have far-reaching impacts, affecting aquatic species at various trophic levels, the physical and chemical environment that makes up their habitat, and the processes that act on and within freshwater ecosystems. Interactions of climatic variables, such as temperature and precipitation, with freshwater ecosystems are highly complex and can propagate through the ecosystem in ways that are difficult to project. This is partly due to a poor understanding of arctic freshwater systems and their basic interrelationships with climate and other environmental variables, and partly due to a paucity of long-term freshwater monitoring sites and integrated hydro-ecological research programs in the Arctic. The papers in this special issue are an abstraction of the analyses performed by 25 international experts and their associated networks on Arctic freshwater hydrology and related aquatic ecosystems that was initially published by the Arctic Climate Impact Assessment (ACIA) in 2005 as "Chapter 8--Freshwater Ecosystems and Fisheries". The papers provide a broad overview of the general hydrological and ecological features of the various freshwater ecosystems in the Arctic, including descriptions of each ACIA region, followed by a review of historical changes in freshwater systems during the Holocene. This is followed by an assessment of the effects of climate change on broad-scale hydro-ecology; aquatic biota and ecosystem structure and function; and arctic fish and fisheries. Potential synergistic and cumulative effects are also discussed, as are the roles of ultraviolet radiation and contaminants. The nature and complexity of many of the effects are illustrated using case studies from around the circumpolar north, together with a discussion of important threshold responses (i.e., those that produce stepwise and/or nonlinear effects). The issue concludes with summary the key findings, a list of gaps in

  8. Seasonal shift in factors controlling net ecosystem production in a high Arctic terrestrial ecosystem.

    PubMed

    Uchida, Masaki; Kishimoto, Ayaka; Muraoka, Hiroyuki; Nakatsubo, Takayuki; Kanda, Hiroshi; Koizumi, Hiroshi

    2010-01-01

    We examined factors controlling temporal changes in net ecosystem production (NEP) in a high Arctic polar semi-desert ecosystem in the snow-free season. We examined the relationships between NEP and biotic and abiotic factors in a dominant plant community (Salix polaris-moss) in the Norwegian high Arctic. Just after snowmelt in early July, the ecosystem released CO(2) into the atmosphere. A few days after snowmelt, however, the ecosystem became a CO(2) sink as the leaves of S. polaris developed. Diurnal changes in NEP mirrored changes in light incidence (photosynthetic photon flux density, PPFD) in summer. NEP was significantly correlated with PPFD when S. polaris had fully developed leaves, i.e., high photosynthetic activity. In autumn, NEP values decreased as S. polaris underwent senescence. During this time, CO(2) was sometimes released into the atmosphere. In wet conditions, moss made a larger contribution to NEP. In fact, the water content of the moss regulated NEP during autumn. Our results indicate that the main factors controlling NEP in summer are coverage and growth of S. polaris, PPFD, and precipitation. In autumn, the main factor controlling NEP is moss water content.

  9. Arctic gypsum endoliths: a biogeochemical characterization of a viable and active microbial community

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ziolkowski, L. A.; Mykytczuk, N. C. S.; Omelon, C. R.; Johnson, H.; Whyte, L. G.; Slater, G. F.

    2013-11-01

    Extreme environmental conditions such as those found in the polar regions on Earth are thought to test the limits of life. Microorganisms living in these environments often seek protection from environmental stresses such as high UV exposure, desiccation and rapid temperature fluctuations, with one protective habitat found within rocks. Such endolithic microbial communities, which often consist of bacteria, fungi, algae and lichens, are small-scale ecosystems comprised of both producers and consumers. However, the harsh environmental conditions experienced by polar endolithic communities are thought to limit microbial diversity and therefore the rate at which they cycle carbon. In this study, we characterized the microbial community diversity, turnover rate and microbe-mineral interactions of a gypsum-based endolithic community in the polar desert of the Canadian high Arctic. 16S/18S/23S rRNA pyrotag sequencing demonstrated the presence of a diverse community of phototrophic and heterotrophic bacteria, archaea, algae and fungi. Stable carbon isotope analysis of the viable microbial membranes, as phospholipid fatty acids and glycolipid fatty acids, confirmed the diversity observed by molecular techniques and indicated that present-day atmospheric carbon is assimilated into the microbial community biomass. Uptake of radiocarbon from atmospheric nuclear weapons testing during the 1960s into microbial lipids was used as a pulse label to determine that the microbial community turns over carbon on the order of 10 yr, equivalent to 4.4 g C m-2 yr-1 gross primary productivity. Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) micrographs indicated that mechanical weathering of gypsum by freeze-thaw cycles leads to increased porosity, which ultimately increases the habitability of the rock. In addition, while bacteria were adhered to these mineral surfaces, chemical analysis by micro-X-ray fluorescence (μ-XRF) spectroscopy suggests little evidence for microbial alteration of minerals

  10. Changing Arctic ecosystems: resilience of caribou to climatic shifts in the Arctic

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Gustine, David; Adams, Layne; Whalen, Mary; Pearce, John

    2014-01-01

    The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Changing Arctic Ecosystems (CAE) initiative strives to inform key resource management decisions for Arctic Alaska by providing scientific information and forecasts for current and future ecosystem response to a warming climate. Over the past 5 years, a focal area for the USGS CAE initiative has been the North Slope of Alaska. This region has experienced a warming trend over the past 60 years, yet the rate of change has been varied across the North Slope, leading scientists to question the future response and resilience of wildlife populations, such as caribou (Rangifer tarandus), that rely on tundra habitats for forage. Future changes in temperature and precipitation to coastal wet sedge and upland low shrub tundra are expected, with unknown consequences for caribou that rely on these plant communities for food. Understanding how future environmental change may affect caribou migration, nutrition, and reproduction is a focal question being addressed by the USGS CAE research. Results will inform management agencies in Alaska and people that rely on caribou for food.

  11. Hydrological and geochemical response and recovery in disturbed Arctic ecosystems

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1992-01-01

    This progress report is a funding, extension request to continue the database work for the Hydrological and Geochemical Response and Recovery in Disturbed Arctic Ecosystems Program. Throughout the period from 1985 to 1992 the Department of Energy supported research on the hydrology and geochemistry of the headwater basin of Imnavait Creek has focused on the quantification of the input from atmospheric sources of biologically significant and other related chemical variables; the transport of these variables in surface and subsurface flow and their efflux from the basin; and the development of geochemical budgets. The acquisition of multi-year data sets (the longest and most detailed sets in the Arctic) have made it possible to define seasonal ranges and amplitudes; determine spatial and temporal relationships within the different flow compartments; to begin to model the pathways and rates of movement through and across different landscape units. The length of record has also made it possible to examine the quantity and influence of local and extra-regional additions.

  12. Response of soil microbial respiration to varying temperature and moisture in three soils from the Siberian Arctic

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dunn, S.; Bunn, A. G.; Schade, J. D.; Polaris Project

    2011-12-01

    The climate of the Arctic is warming at a disproportionately higher rate as compared to the lower latitudes. Temperature and, by association, soil moisture are two of the most important variables that affect the respiration of soil microbial communities. The long-term storage of carbon in terrestrial systems relies upon low rates of soil microbial respiration at high latitudes, and an increase in temperature is thought to increase these rates. However, different ecosystems should respond uniquely to changes in temperature and moisture because of their historic microbial communities. Using mason jars in the laboratory, I experimentally manipulated the temperature and moisture of soils from three distinct arctic ecosystem types (tundra, taiga, and grazed floodplain). The goal of this experimental manipulation was to see if there are differences between these systems in their response to changes in their environment. I found that temperature significantly impacts microbial respiration (μg CO2 gOM-1 min-1) at all sites (p<0.001). In addition, there is a significant interaction between temperature and moisture at each site (p<0.001). However, the tundra site showed a stronger response in respiration with changes to temperature than the other two sites, as well as the strongest interaction between temperature and moisture (βtemperature= 1.5E10 -3; βinteraction= 1.9E10 -3). These findings are consistent with other observations that the soil microbial communities of the tundra grassland might be especially sensitive to warming.

  13. Effects of Conversion from Boreal Forest to Arctic Steppe on Soil Communities and Ecosystem Carbon Pools

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Han, P. D.; Natali, S.; Schade, J. D.; Zimov, N.; Zimov, S. A.

    2014-12-01

    The end of the Pleistocene marked the extinction of a great variety of arctic megafauna, which, in part, led to the conversion of arctic grasslands to modern Siberian larch forest. This shift may have increased the vulnerability of permafrost to thawing because of changes driven by the vegetation shift; the higher albedo of grassland and low insulation of snow trampled by animals may have decreased soil temperatures and reduced ground thaw in the grassland ecosystem, resulting in protection of organic carbon in thawed soil and permafrost. To test these hypothesized impacts of arctic megafauna, we examined an experimental reintroduction of large mammals in northeast Siberia, initiated in 1988. Pleistocene Park now contains 23 horses, three musk ox, one bison, and several moose in addition to the native fauna. The park is 16 square km with a smaller enclosure (< 1 km) where animals spend most of their time and our study was focused. We measured carbon-pools in forested sites (where scat surveys showed low animal use), and grassy sites (which showed higher use), within the park boundaries. We also measured thaw depth and documented the soil invertebrate communities in each ecosystem. There was a substantial difference in number of invertebrates per kg of organic soil between the forest (600 ± 250) and grassland (300 ± 250), though these differences were not statistically significant they suggest faster nutrient turnover in the forest or a greater proportion of decomposition by invertebrates than other decomposers. While thaw depth was deeper in the grassland (60 ± 4 cm) than in the forest (40 ± 6 cm), we did not detect differences in organic layer depth or percent organic matter between grassland and forest. However, soil in the grassland had higher bulk density, and higher carbon stocks in the organic and mineral soil layers. Although deeper thaw depth in the grassland suggests that more carbon is available to microbial decomposers, ongoing temperature monitoring

  14. Sources of inorganic and monomethyl mercury to high and sub Arctic marine ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kirk, Jane Liza

    Monomethyl mercury (MMHg), a toxic and bioaccumulative form of Hg, is present in some Canadian high and sub Arctic marine mammals at concentrations high enough to pose health risks to Northern peoples using these animals as food. To quantify potentially large sources of Hg to Arctic marine ecosystems, we examined several aspects of Hg cycling in the Canadian Arctic Archipelago (CAA) and Hudson Bay. Firstly, we quantified net Hg inputs to Hudson Bay from atmospheric Hg depletion events (AMDEs). During AMDEs, gaseous elemental Hg(0) (GEM), which is present in the Arctic atmosphere at global background concentrations, is oxidized to inorganic Hg(II) species that deposit to snowpacks. By simultaneously monitoring Hg in the atmosphere and in snowpacks of western Hudson Bay, we demonstrated that most of the Hg(II) deposited during AMDEs is rapidly (photo)reduced and emitted to the atmosphere. Secondly, we examined Hg speciation in marine waters of the CAA and Hudson Bay. We found high concentrations of MMHg and dimethyl Hg (DMHg; a toxic, gaseous form of Hg) in deep marine waters, where they are likely produced from Hg(II). Arctic marine waters were also found to be a substantial source of DMHg and GEM to the atmosphere. Thirdly, we quantified Hg exports to Hudson Bay from two major rivers, the Nelson and the Churchill, which have been altered for hydroelectric power production. When landscapes are inundated during river diversion or reservoir creation, microbial production of MMHg is stimulated in flooded soils. Newly produced MMHg can then be exported to downstream waterbodies. We found that annual inputs of total Hg (THg; includes both Hg(II) and MMHg) to Hudson Bay from combined Nelson and Churchill River discharge were comparable to inputs from AMDEs. MMHg inputs from river discharge are, however, ˜13 times greater than those from annual snowmelt of Hudson Bay snowpacks. Finally, although combined river and AMDE Hg inputs may account for a large portion of the THg

  15. Contrasting response to nutrient manipulation in Arctic mesocosms are reproduced by a minimum microbial food web model

    PubMed Central

    Larsen, Aud; Egge, Jorun K; Nejstgaard, Jens C; Di Capua, Iole; Thyrhaug, Runar; Bratbak, Gunnar; Thingstad, T Frede

    2015-01-01

    A minimum mathematical model of the marine pelagic microbial food web has previously shown to be able to reproduce central aspects of observed system response to different bottom-up manipulations in a mesocosm experiment Microbial Ecosystem Dynamics (MEDEA) in Danish waters. In this study, we apply this model to two mesocosm experiments (Polar Aquatic Microbial Ecology (PAME)-I and PAME-II) conducted at the Arctic location Kongsfjorden, Svalbard. The different responses of the microbial community to similar nutrient manipulation in the three mesocosm experiments may be described as diatom-dominated (MEDEA), bacteria-dominated (PAME-I), and flagellated-dominated (PAME-II). When allowing ciliates to be able to feed on small diatoms, the model describing the diatom-dominated MEDEA experiment give a bacteria-dominated response as observed in PAME I in which the diatom community comprised almost exclusively small-sized cells. Introducing a high initial mesozooplankton stock as observed in PAME-II, the model gives a flagellate-dominated response in accordance with the observed response also of this experiment. The ability of the model originally developed for temperate waters to reproduce population dynamics in a 10°C colder Arctic fjord, does not support the existence of important shifts in population balances over this temperature range. Rather, it suggests a quite resilient microbial food web when adapted to in situ temperature. The sensitivity of the model response to its mesozooplankton component suggests, however, that the seasonal vertical migration of Arctic copepods may be a strong forcing factor on Arctic microbial food webs. PMID:26074626

  16. Monitoring ecosystem dynamics in an Arctic tundra ecosystem using hyperspectral reflectance and a robotic tram system

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Goswami, Santonu

    Global change, which includes climate change and the impacts of human disturbance, is altering the provision and sustainability of ecosystem goods and services. These changes have the capacity to initiate cascading affects and complex feedbacks through physical, biological and human subsystems and interactions between them. Understanding the future state of the earth system requires improved knowledge of ecosystem dynamics and long term observations of how these are being impacted by global change. Improving remote sensing methods is essential for such advancement because satellite remote sensing is the only means by which landscape to continental-scale change can be observed. The Arctic appears to be impacted by climate change more than any other region on Earth. Arctic terrestrial ecosystems comprise only 6% of the land surface area on Earth yet contain an estimated 25% of global soil organic carbon, most of which is stored in permafrost. If projected increases in plant productivity do not offset forecast losses of soil carbon to the atmosphere as greenhouse gases, regional to global greenhouse warming could be enhanced. Soil moisture is an important control of land-atmosphere carbon exchange in arctic terrestrial ecosystems. However, few studies to date have examined using remote sensing, or developed remote sensing methods for observing the complex interplay between soil moisture and plant phenology and productivity in arctic landscapes. This study was motivated by this knowledge gap and addressed the following questions as a contribution to a large scale, multi investigator flooding and draining experiment funded by the National Science Foundation near Barrow, Alaska (71°17'01" N, 156°35'48" W): (1) How can optical remote sensing be used to monitor the surface hydrology of arctic landscapes? (2) What are the spatio-temporal dynamics of land-surface phenology (NDVI) in the study area and do hydrological treatment has any effect on inter-annual patterns? (3

  17. Microtopographic controls on ecosystem functioning in the Arctic Coastal Plain

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zona, D.; Lipson, D. A.; Zulueta, R. C.; Oberbauer, S. F.; Oechel, W. C.

    2011-12-01

    The investigation of the microtopographic controls on thermal and hydrologic conditions of the soil and consequently the carbon dynamics from Arctic regions is of major importance. Ecosystem respiration (ER) between microsites of the same tundra type could differ more than ER in different tundra types even at different latitudes. In this study we investigated the microtopographic effect on soil temperature, thaw depth, pH, oxidation reduction potential (ORP), electrical conductivity (EC), dissolved CO2, vegetation types, and ER rates from different features forming the low-center polygon structure. Most of these environmental variables significantly differ particularly between areas with higher elevation (polygon rims) and with lower elevation (low-center polygons). Polygon rims presented the lowest water table and showed the lowest thaw depth and the highest ER (a seasonal average of 1 μmol CO2 m-2 s-1), almost double than the ER in the low-center polygons (a seasonal average of 0.6 μmol CO2 m-2 s-1). The microtopographic gradient from polygon rims to low-centers led to a very consistent pattern in pH, EC, ORP and dissolved CO2, with low-centers presenting the highest pH, the highest EC, the highest dissolved CO2, and the lowest ORP. Based on vegetation measurements, we also showed that microtopography controls the lateral flow of organic matter, and that vascular plant material accumulates as litter in the lower elevation areas, possibly contributing to the higher dissolved CO2 in the low-center polygons. Microtopography, and the ramifications discussed here, should be considered when evaluating landscape scale environmental controls on carbon dynamics in the Arctic.

  18. Recreating Microbial Ecosystems of the Late Archean

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Juarez Rivera, M.; Sumner, D. Y.

    2016-05-01

    Microbialites are important deposits for studying early microbial life. Cuspate and plumose microbialites of the Gamohaan Formation provide evidence for multiple microbial communities that grew contemporaneously with different growth rates.

  19. Coupled cryoconite ecosystem structure-function relationships are revealed by comparing bacterial communities in alpine and Arctic glaciers.

    PubMed

    Edwards, Arwyn; Mur, Luis A J; Girdwood, Susan E; Anesio, Alexandre M; Stibal, Marek; Rassner, Sara M E; Hell, Katherina; Pachebat, Justin A; Post, Barbara; Bussell, Jennifer S; Cameron, Simon J S; Griffith, Gareth Wyn; Hodson, Andrew J; Sattler, Birgit

    2014-08-01

    Cryoconite holes are known as foci of microbial diversity and activity on polar glacier surfaces, but are virtually unexplored microbial habitats in alpine regions. In addition, whether cryoconite community structure reflects ecosystem functionality is poorly understood. Terminal restriction fragment length polymorphism and Fourier transform infrared metabolite fingerprinting of cryoconite from glaciers in Austria, Greenland and Svalbard demonstrated cryoconite bacterial communities are closely correlated with cognate metabolite fingerprints. The influence of bacterial-associated fatty acids and polysaccharides was inferred, underlining the importance of bacterial community structure in the properties of cryoconite. Thus, combined application of T-RFLP and FT-IR metabolite fingerprinting promises high throughput, and hence, rapid assessment of community structure-function relationships. Pyrosequencing revealed Proteobacteria were particularly abundant, with Cyanobacteria likely acting as ecosystem engineers in both alpine and Arctic cryoconite communities. However, despite these generalities, significant differences in bacterial community structures, compositions and metabolomes are found between alpine and Arctic cryoconite habitats, reflecting the impact of local and regional conditions on the challenges of thriving in glacial ecosystems.

  20. Water table height and microtopography control biogeochemical cycling in an Arctic coastal tundra ecosystem

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lipson, D. A.; Zona, D.; Raab, T. K.; Bozzolo, F.; Mauritz, M.; Oechel, W. C.

    2011-07-01

    Drained thaw lake basins (DTLB) are the dominant land form of the Arctic coastal plain in northern Alaska. The presence of continuous permafrost prevents drainage and so water tables generally remain close to the soil surface, creating saturated, suboxic soil conditions. However, ice wedge polygons produce microtopographic variation in these landscapes, with raised areas such as polygon rims creating more oxic microenvironments. The peat soils in this ecosystem store large amounts of organic carbon which is vulnerable to loss as arctic regions continue to rapidly warm, and so there is great motivation to understand the controls over microbial activity in these complex landscapes. Here we report the effects of experimental flooding, along with seasonal and spatial variation in soil chemistry and microbial activity in a DTLB. The flooding treatment generally mirrored the effects of natural landscape variation in water table height due to microtopography. Areas in the flooded areas had lower dissolved oxygen, lower oxidation-reduction potential (ORP) and higher pH, as did lower elevation areas of the landscape. Similarly, soil pore water concentrations of dissolved ferric iron (Fe III), organic carbon, and aromatic compounds were higher in flooded and low elevation areas. Dissolved carbon dioxide (CO2) and methane (CH4) concentrations were higher in low elevation areas. In anaerobic laboratory incubations, more CH4 was produced by soils from low and flooded areas, whereas anaerobic CO2 production only responded to flooding in high elevation areas. Seasonal changes in the oxidation state of solid phase Fe minerals showed that significant dissimilatory Fe reduction occurred, especially in topographically low areas. This suite of results can all be attributed to the effect of water table on oxygen availability: flooded conditions promote anoxia, stimulating anaerobic processes, methanogenesis and Fe(III) reduction. Flooding also increased soil temperature, which might

  1. Biogeochemistry and nitrogen cycling in an Arctic, volcanic ecosystem

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fogel, M. L.; Benning, L.; Conrad, P. G.; Eigenbrode, J.; Starke, V.

    2007-12-01

    As part of a study on Mars Analogue environments, the biogeochemistry of Sverrefjellet Volcano, Bocfjorden, Svalbard, was conducted and compared to surrounding glacial, thermal spring, and sedimentary environments. An understanding of how nitrogen might be distributed in a landscape that had extinct or very cold adapted, slow- growing extant organisms should be useful for detecting unknown life forms. From high elevations (900 m) to the base of the volcano (sea level), soil and rock ammonium concentrations were uniformly low, typically less than 1- 3 micrograms per gm of rock or soil. In weathered volcanic soils, reduced nitrogen concentrations were higher, and oxidized nitrogen concentrations lower. The opposite was found in a weathered Devonian sedimentary soil. Plants and lichens growing on volcanic soils have an unusually wide range in N isotopic compositions from -5 to +12‰, a range rarely measured in temperate ecosystems. Nitrogen contents and isotopic compositions of volcanic soils and rocks were strongly influenced by the presence or absence of terrestrial herbivores or marine avifauna with higher concentrations of N and elevated N isotopic compositions occurring as patches in areas immediately influenced by reindeer, Arctic fox ( Alopex lagopus), and marine birds. Because of the extreme conditions in this area, ephemeral deposition of herbivore feces results in a direct and immediate N pulses into the ecosystem. The lateral extent and distribution of marine- derived nitrogen was measured on a landscape scale surrounding an active fox den. Nitrogen was tracked from the bones of marine birds to soil to vegetation. Because of extreme cold, slow biological rates and nitrogen cycling, a mosaic of N patterns develops on the landscape scale.

  2. Exploratory hydrocarbon drilling impacts to Arctic lake ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Thienpont, Joshua R; Kokelj, Steven V; Korosi, Jennifer B; Cheng, Elisa S; Desjardins, Cyndy; Kimpe, Linda E; Blais, Jules M; Pisaric, Michael F J; Smol, John P

    2013-01-01

    potential for these industrial wastes to impact sensitive Arctic ecosystems. PMID:24223170

  3. Exploratory hydrocarbon drilling impacts to Arctic lake ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Thienpont, Joshua R; Kokelj, Steven V; Korosi, Jennifer B; Cheng, Elisa S; Desjardins, Cyndy; Kimpe, Linda E; Blais, Jules M; Pisaric, Michael F J; Smol, John P

    2013-01-01

    potential for these industrial wastes to impact sensitive Arctic ecosystems.

  4. Exploratory Hydrocarbon Drilling Impacts to Arctic Lake Ecosystems

    PubMed Central

    Thienpont, Joshua R.; Kokelj, Steven V.; Korosi, Jennifer B.; Cheng, Elisa S.; Desjardins, Cyndy; Kimpe, Linda E.; Blais, Jules M.; Pisaric, Michael FJ.; Smol, John P.

    2013-01-01

    potential for these industrial wastes to impact sensitive Arctic ecosystems. PMID:24223170

  5. Impacts of Human Activity on the Microbial Communities of Devon Island, Canadian High Arctic

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bywaters, K. B.; Burton, A. S.; Wallace, S. L.; Glass, B. J.

    2016-09-01

    The impacts of human activities on microbial communities in arctic environments are poorly understood. This project compares the distribution of microbes at the HMP Mars analog site prior to and after human settlement.

  6. Metagenomics Reveals Microbial Community Composition And Function With Depth In Arctic Permafrost Cores

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jansson, J.; Tas, N.; Wu, Y.; Ulrich, C.; Kneafsey, T. J.; Torn, M. S.; Hubbard, S. S.; Chakraborty, R.; Graham, D. E.; Wullschleger, S. D.

    2013-12-01

    The Arctic is one of the most climatically sensitive regions on Earth and current surveys show that permafrost degradation is widespread in arctic soils. Biogeochemical feedbacks of permafrost thaw are expected to be dominated by the release of currently stored carbon back into the atmosphere as CO2 and CH4. Understanding the dynamics of C release from permafrost requires assessment of microbial functions from different soil compartments. To this end, as part of the Next Generation Ecosystem Experiment in the Arctic, we collected two replicate permafrost cores (1m and 3m deep) from a transitional polygon near Barrow, AK. At this location, permafrost starts from 0.5m in depth and is characterized by variable ice content and higher pH than surface soils. Prior to sectioning, the cores were CT-scanned to determine the physical heterogeneity throughout the cores. In addition to detailed geochemical characterization, we used Illumina MiSeq technology to sequence 16SrRNA genes throughout the depths of the cores at 1 cm intervals. Selected depths were also chosen for metagenome sequencing of total DNA (including phylogenetic and functional genes) using the Illumina HiSeq platform. The 16S rRNA gene sequence data revealed that the microbial community composition and diversity changed dramatically with depth. The microbial diversity decreased sharply below the first few centimeters of the permafrost and then gradually increased in deeper layers. Based on the metagenome sequence data, the permafrost microbial communities were found to contain members with a large metabolic potential for carbon processing, including pathways for fermentation and methanogenesis. The surface active layers had more representatives of Verrucomicrobia (potential methane oxidizers) whereas the deep permafrost layers were dominated by several different species of Actinobacteria. The latter are known to have a diverse metabolic capability and are able to adapt to stress by entering a dormant yet

  7. Changing Arctic ecosystems--the role of ecosystem changes across the Boreal-Arctic transition zone on the distribution and abundance of wildlife populations

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    McNew, Lance; Handel, Colleen; Pearce, John; DeGange, Anthony R.; Holland-Bartels, Leslie; Whalen, Mary

    2013-01-01

    Arctic and boreal ecosystems provide important breeding habitat for more than half of North America’s migratory birds as well as many resident species. Northern landscapes are projected to experience more pronounced climate-related changes in habitat than most other regions. These changes include increases in shrub growth, conversion of tundra to forest, alteration of wetlands, shifts in species’ composition, and changes in the frequency and scale of fires and insect outbreaks. Changing habitat conditions, in turn, may have significant effects on the distribution and abundance of wildlife in these critical northern ecosystems. The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) is conducting studies in the Boreal–Arctic transition zone of Alaska, an environment of accelerated change in this sensitive margin between Arctic tundra and boreal forest.

  8. Predicted responses of arctic and alpine ecosystems to altered seasonality under climate change.

    PubMed

    Ernakovich, Jessica G; Hopping, Kelly A; Berdanier, Aaron B; Simpson, Rodney T; Kachergis, Emily J; Steltzer, Heidi; Wallenstein, Matthew D

    2014-10-01

    Global climate change is already having significant impacts on arctic and alpine ecosystems, and ongoing increases in temperature and altered precipitation patterns will affect the strong seasonal patterns that characterize these temperature-limited systems. The length of the potential growing season in these tundra environments is increasing due to warmer temperatures and earlier spring snow melt. Here, we compare current and projected climate and ecological data from 20 Northern Hemisphere sites to identify how seasonal changes in the physical environment due to climate change will alter the seasonality of arctic and alpine ecosystems. We find that although arctic and alpine ecosystems appear similar under historical climate conditions, climate change will lead to divergent responses, particularly in the spring and fall shoulder seasons. As seasonality changes in the Arctic, plants will advance the timing of spring phenological events, which could increase plant nutrient uptake, production, and ecosystem carbon (C) gain. In alpine regions, photoperiod will constrain spring plant phenology, limiting the extent to which the growing season can lengthen, especially if decreased water availability from earlier snow melt and warmer summer temperatures lead to earlier senescence. The result could be a shorter growing season with decreased production and increased nutrient loss. These contrasting alpine and arctic ecosystem responses will have cascading effects on ecosystems, affecting community structure, biotic interactions, and biogeochemistry.

  9. Influence of the Tussock Growth Form on Arctic Ecosystem Carbon Stocks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Curasi, S.; Rocha, A. V.; Sonnentag, O.; Wullschleger, S. D.; Myers-Smith, I. H.; Fetcher, N.; Mack, M. C.; Natali, S.; Loranty, M. M.; Parker, T.

    2015-12-01

    The influence of plant growth forms on ecosystem carbon (C) cycling has been under appreciated. In arctic tundra, environmental factors and plant traits of the sedge Eriophorum vaginatum cause the formation of mounds that are dense amalgamations of belowground C called tussocks. Tussocks have important implications for arctic ecosystem biogeochemistry and C stocks, but the environmental and biological factors controlling their size and distribution across the landscape are poorly understood. In order to better understand how landscape variation in tussock size and density impact ecosystem C stocks, we formed the Carbon in Arctic Tussock Tundra (CATT) network and recruited an international team to sample locations across the arctic. The CATT network provided a latitudinal and longitudinal gradient along which to improve our understanding of tussocks' influence on ecosystem structure and function. CATT data revealed important insights into tussock formation across the arctic. Tussock density generally declined with latitude, and tussock size exhibited substantial variation across sites. The relationship between height and diameter was similar across CATT sites indicating that both biological and environmental factors control tussock formation. At some sites, C in tussocks comprised a substantial percentage of ecosystem C stocks that may be vulnerable to climate change. It is concluded that the loss of this growth form would offset C gains from projected plant functional shifts from graminoid to shrub tundra. This work highlights the role of plant growth forms on the magnitude and retention of ecosystem C stocks.

  10. Critical review of mercury fates and contamination in the Arctic tundra ecosystem.

    PubMed

    Poissant, Laurier; Zhang, Hong H; Canário, João; Constant, Philippe

    2008-08-01

    Mercury (Hg) contamination in tundra region has raised substantial concerns, especially since the first report of atmospheric mercury depletion events (AMDEs) in the Polar Regions. During the past decade, steady progress has been made in the research of Hg cycling in the Polar Regions. This has generated a unique opportunity to survey the whole Arctic in respect to Hg issue and to find out new discoveries. However, there are still considerable knowledge gaps and debates on the fate of Hg in the Arctic and Antarctica, especially regarding the importance and significance of AMDEs vs. net Hg loadings and other processes that burden Hg in the Arctic. Some studies argued that climate warming since the last century has exerted profound effects on the limnology of High Arctic lakes, including substantial increases in autochthonous primary productivity which increased in sedimentary Hg, whereas some others pointed out the importance of the formation and postdeposition crystallographic history of the snow and ice crystals in determining the fate and concentration of mercury in the cryosphere in addition to AMDEs. Is mercury re-emitted back to the atmosphere after AMDEs? Is Hg methylation effective in the Arctic tundra? Where the sources of MeHg are? What is its fate? Is this stimulated by human made? This paper presents a critical review about the fate of Hg in the Arctic tundra, such as pathways and process of Hg delivery into the Arctic ecosystem; Hg concentrations in freshwater and marine ecosystems; Hg concentrations in terrestrial biota; trophic transfer of Hg and bioaccumulation of Hg through food chain. This critical review of mercury fates and contamination in the Arctic tundra ecosystem is assessing the impacts and potential risks of Hg contamination on the health of Arctic people and the global northern environment by highlighting and "perspectiving" the various mercury processes and concentrations found in the Arctic tundra.

  11. Aboveground and belowground responses to nutrient additions and herbivore exclusion in Arctic tundra ecosystems in northern Alaska

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Moore, J. C.; Gough, L.; Simpson, R.; Johnson, D. R.

    2011-12-01

    The Arctic has experienced significant increased regional warming over the past 30 years. Warming generally increases tundra soil nutrient availability by creating a more favorable environment for plant growth, decomposition and nutrient mineralization. Aboveground there has been a "greening" of the Arctic with increased net primary productivity (NPP), and an increase in woody vegetation. Concurrent with the changes aboveground has been an increase in root growth at lower depths and a loss of soil organic C (40 -100 g C m-2 yr-1). Given that arctic soils contain 14% of the global soil C pool, understanding the mechanisms behind shifts of this magnitude that are changing arctic soils from a net sink to a net source of atmospheric C is critical. We took an integrated multi-trophic level approach to examine how altering soil nutrients and mammalian herbivore activity affects vegetation, soil fauna, and microbial communities as well as soil physical characteristics in moist acidic (MAT) and dry heath (DH) tundra. Our work was conducted at the Arctic LTER site in northern Alaska. We sampled the nutrient (controls and annual N+P additions) and herbivore (controls and exclosures) manipulations established in 1996 after 10 years of treatment. Models that incorporated the biomass estimates from the field were used to characterize the trophic structure of the belowground food web and to estimate carbon flux among soil organisms and C-mineralization rates. Both MAT and DH exhibited significant increases in NPP and root growth and changes in vegetation structure with transitions from a mixed community to deciduous shrubs in MAT and from lichens to grasses and shrubs in DH, with nutrient additions and herbivore exclosures. Belowground responses to the treatments were dependent on ecosystem type, but exposed alterations in trophic structure that included changes in microbial biomass, the establishment of microbivorous enchytreaids, increases in root-feeding nematodes, and

  12. Ecosystem function decays by fungal outbreaks in Antarctic microbial mats

    PubMed Central

    Velázquez, David; López-Bueno, Alberto; Aguirre de Cárcer, Daniel; de los Ríos, Asunción; Alcamí, Antonio; Quesada, Antonio

    2016-01-01

    Antarctica harbours a remarkably diverse range of freshwater bodies and terrestrial ecosystems, where microbial mats are considered the most important systems in terms of biomass and metabolic capabilities. We describe the presence of lysis plaque-like macroscopic blighted patches within the predominant microbial mats on Livingston Island (Antarctic Peninsula). Those blighting circles are associated with decay in physiological traits as well as nitrogen depletion and changes in the spatial microstructure; these alterations were likely related to disruption of the biogeochemical gradients within the microbial ecosystem caused by an unusually high fungal abundance and consequent physical alterations. This phenomenon has been evidenced at a time of unprecedented rates of local warming in the Antarctic Peninsula area, and decay of these ecosystems is potentially stimulated by warmer temperatures. PMID:26972923

  13. Microbial diversity — exploration of natural ecosystems and microbiomes

    PubMed Central

    Gibbons, Sean M; Gilbert, Jack A

    2016-01-01

    Microorganisms are the pillars of life on Earth. Over billions of years, they have evolved into every conceivable niche on the planet. Microbes reshaped the oceans and atmosphere and gave rise to conditions conducive to multicellular organisms. Only in the past decade have we started to peer deeply into the microbial cosmos, and what we have found is amazing. Microbial ecosystems behave, in many ways, like large-scale ecosystems, although there are important exceptions. We review recent advances in our understanding of how microbial diversity is distributed across environments, how microbes influence the ecosystems in which they live, and how these nanomachines might be harnessed to advance our understanding of the natural world. PMID:26598941

  14. Ecosystem function decays by fungal outbreaks in Antarctic microbial mats.

    PubMed

    Velázquez, David; López-Bueno, Alberto; Aguirre de Cárcer, Daniel; de los Ríos, Asunción; Alcamí, Antonio; Quesada, Antonio

    2016-03-14

    Antarctica harbours a remarkably diverse range of freshwater bodies and terrestrial ecosystems, where microbial mats are considered the most important systems in terms of biomass and metabolic capabilities. We describe the presence of lysis plaque-like macroscopic blighted patches within the predominant microbial mats on Livingston Island (Antarctic Peninsula). Those blighting circles are associated with decay in physiological traits as well as nitrogen depletion and changes in the spatial microstructure; these alterations were likely related to disruption of the biogeochemical gradients within the microbial ecosystem caused by an unusually high fungal abundance and consequent physical alterations. This phenomenon has been evidenced at a time of unprecedented rates of local warming in the Antarctic Peninsula area, and decay of these ecosystems is potentially stimulated by warmer temperatures.

  15. Changing Arctic ecosystems: sea ice decline, permafrost thaw, and benefits for geese

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Flint, Paul; Whalen, Mary; Pearce, John M.

    2014-01-01

    Through the Changing Arctic Ecosystems (CAE) initiative, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) strives to inform resource management decisions for Arctic Alaska by providing scientific information on current and future ecosystem response to a warming climate. A key area for the USGS CAE initiative has been the Arctic Coastal Plain of northern Alaska. This region has experienced a warming trend over the past 30 years, leading to reductions in sea ice and thawing of permafrost. Loss of sea ice has increased ocean wave action, leading to erosion and salt water inundation of coastal habitats. Saltwater tolerant plants are now thriving in these areas and this appears to be a positive outcome for geese in the Arctic. This finding is contrary to the deleterious effects that declining sea ice is having on habitats of ice-dependent animals, such as polar bear and walrus.

  16. Arctic Ocean microbial community structure before and after the 2007 record sea ice minimum.

    PubMed

    Comeau, André M; Li, William K W; Tremblay, Jean-Éric; Carmack, Eddy C; Lovejoy, Connie

    2011-01-01

    Increasing global temperatures are having a profound impact in the Arctic, including the dramatic loss of multiyear sea ice in 2007 that has continued to the present. The majority of life in the Arctic is microbial and the consequences of climate-mediated changes on microbial marine food webs, which are responsible for biogeochemical cycling and support higher trophic levels, are unknown. We examined microbial communities over time by using high-throughput sequencing of microbial DNA collected between 2003 and 2010 from the subsurface chlorophyll maximum (SCM) layer of the Beaufort Sea (Canadian Arctic). We found that overall this layer has freshened and concentrations of nitrate, the limiting nutrient for photosynthetic production in Arctic seas, have decreased. We compared microbial communities from before and after the record September 2007 sea ice minimum and detected significant differences in communities from all three domains of life. In particular, there were significant changes in species composition of Eukarya, with ciliates becoming more common and heterotrophic marine stramenopiles (MASTs) accounting for a smaller proportion of sequences retrieved after 2007. Within the Archaea, Marine Group I Thaumarchaeota, which earlier represented up to 60% of the Archaea sequences in this layer, have declined to <10%. Bacterial communities overall were less diverse after 2007, with a significant decrease of the Bacteroidetes. These significant shifts suggest that the microbial food webs are sensitive to physical oceanographic changes such as those occurring in the Canadian Arctic over the past decade.

  17. Arctic Ocean Microbial Community Structure before and after the 2007 Record Sea Ice Minimum

    PubMed Central

    Comeau, André M.; Li, William K. W.; Tremblay, Jean-Éric; Carmack, Eddy C.; Lovejoy, Connie

    2011-01-01

    Increasing global temperatures are having a profound impact in the Arctic, including the dramatic loss of multiyear sea ice in 2007 that has continued to the present. The majority of life in the Arctic is microbial and the consequences of climate-mediated changes on microbial marine food webs, which are responsible for biogeochemical cycling and support higher trophic levels, are unknown. We examined microbial communities over time by using high-throughput sequencing of microbial DNA collected between 2003 and 2010 from the subsurface chlorophyll maximum (SCM) layer of the Beaufort Sea (Canadian Arctic). We found that overall this layer has freshened and concentrations of nitrate, the limiting nutrient for photosynthetic production in Arctic seas, have decreased. We compared microbial communities from before and after the record September 2007 sea ice minimum and detected significant differences in communities from all three domains of life. In particular, there were significant changes in species composition of Eukarya, with ciliates becoming more common and heterotrophic marine stramenopiles (MASTs) accounting for a smaller proportion of sequences retrieved after 2007. Within the Archaea, Marine Group I Thaumarchaeota, which earlier represented up to 60% of the Archaea sequences in this layer, have declined to <10%. Bacterial communities overall were less diverse after 2007, with a significant decrease of the Bacteroidetes. These significant shifts suggest that the microbial food webs are sensitive to physical oceanographic changes such as those occurring in the Canadian Arctic over the past decade. PMID:22096583

  18. Rough-Legged Buzzards, Arctic Foxes and Red Foxes in a Tundra Ecosystem without Rodents

    PubMed Central

    Pokrovsky, Ivan; Ehrich, Dorothée; Ims, Rolf A.; Kondratyev, Alexander V.; Kruckenberg, Helmut; Kulikova, Olga; Mihnevich, Julia; Pokrovskaya, Liya; Shienok, Alexander

    2015-01-01

    Small rodents with multi-annual population cycles strongly influence the dynamics of food webs, and in particular predator-prey interactions, across most of the tundra biome. Rodents are however absent from some arctic islands, and studies on performance of arctic predators under such circumstances may be very instructive since rodent cycles have been predicted to collapse in a warming Arctic. Here we document for the first time how three normally rodent-dependent predator species—rough-legged buzzard, arctic fox and red fox – perform in a low-arctic ecosystem with no rodents. During six years (in 2006-2008 and 2011-2013) we studied diet and breeding performance of these predators in the rodent-free Kolguev Island in Arctic Russia. The rough-legged buzzards, previously known to be a small rodent specialist, have only during the last two decades become established on Kolguev Island. The buzzards successfully breed on the island at stable low density, but with high productivity based on goslings and willow ptarmigan as their main prey – altogether representing a novel ecological situation for this species. Breeding density of arctic fox varied from year to year, but with stable productivity based on mainly geese as prey. The density dynamic of the arctic fox appeared to be correlated with the date of spring arrival of the geese. Red foxes breed regularly on the island but in very low numbers that appear to have been unchanged over a long period – a situation that resemble what has been recently documented from Arctic America. Our study suggests that the three predators found breeding on Kolguev Island possess capacities for shifting to changing circumstances in low-arctic ecosystem as long as other small - medium sized terrestrial herbivores are present in good numbers. PMID:25692786

  19. Rough-legged buzzards, Arctic foxes and red foxes in a tundra ecosystem without rodents.

    PubMed

    Pokrovsky, Ivan; Ehrich, Dorothée; Ims, Rolf A; Kondratyev, Alexander V; Kruckenberg, Helmut; Kulikova, Olga; Mihnevich, Julia; Pokrovskaya, Liya; Shienok, Alexander

    2015-01-01

    Small rodents with multi-annual population cycles strongly influence the dynamics of food webs, and in particular predator-prey interactions, across most of the tundra biome. Rodents are however absent from some arctic islands, and studies on performance of arctic predators under such circumstances may be very instructive since rodent cycles have been predicted to collapse in a warming Arctic. Here we document for the first time how three normally rodent-dependent predator species-rough-legged buzzard, arctic fox and red fox - perform in a low-arctic ecosystem with no rodents. During six years (in 2006-2008 and 2011-2013) we studied diet and breeding performance of these predators in the rodent-free Kolguev Island in Arctic Russia. The rough-legged buzzards, previously known to be a small rodent specialist, have only during the last two decades become established on Kolguev Island. The buzzards successfully breed on the island at stable low density, but with high productivity based on goslings and willow ptarmigan as their main prey - altogether representing a novel ecological situation for this species. Breeding density of arctic fox varied from year to year, but with stable productivity based on mainly geese as prey. The density dynamic of the arctic fox appeared to be correlated with the date of spring arrival of the geese. Red foxes breed regularly on the island but in very low numbers that appear to have been unchanged over a long period - a situation that resemble what has been recently documented from Arctic America. Our study suggests that the three predators found breeding on Kolguev Island possess capacities for shifting to changing circumstances in low-arctic ecosystem as long as other small - medium sized terrestrial herbivores are present in good numbers.

  20. Rough-legged buzzards, Arctic foxes and red foxes in a tundra ecosystem without rodents.

    PubMed

    Pokrovsky, Ivan; Ehrich, Dorothée; Ims, Rolf A; Kondratyev, Alexander V; Kruckenberg, Helmut; Kulikova, Olga; Mihnevich, Julia; Pokrovskaya, Liya; Shienok, Alexander

    2015-01-01

    Small rodents with multi-annual population cycles strongly influence the dynamics of food webs, and in particular predator-prey interactions, across most of the tundra biome. Rodents are however absent from some arctic islands, and studies on performance of arctic predators under such circumstances may be very instructive since rodent cycles have been predicted to collapse in a warming Arctic. Here we document for the first time how three normally rodent-dependent predator species-rough-legged buzzard, arctic fox and red fox - perform in a low-arctic ecosystem with no rodents. During six years (in 2006-2008 and 2011-2013) we studied diet and breeding performance of these predators in the rodent-free Kolguev Island in Arctic Russia. The rough-legged buzzards, previously known to be a small rodent specialist, have only during the last two decades become established on Kolguev Island. The buzzards successfully breed on the island at stable low density, but with high productivity based on goslings and willow ptarmigan as their main prey - altogether representing a novel ecological situation for this species. Breeding density of arctic fox varied from year to year, but with stable productivity based on mainly geese as prey. The density dynamic of the arctic fox appeared to be correlated with the date of spring arrival of the geese. Red foxes breed regularly on the island but in very low numbers that appear to have been unchanged over a long period - a situation that resemble what has been recently documented from Arctic America. Our study suggests that the three predators found breeding on Kolguev Island possess capacities for shifting to changing circumstances in low-arctic ecosystem as long as other small - medium sized terrestrial herbivores are present in good numbers. PMID:25692786

  1. The Changing Seasonality of Tundra Nutrient Cycling: Implications for Arctic Ecosystem Function

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Weintraub, M. N.; Steltzer, H.; Sullivan, P.; Schimel, J.; Wallenstein, M. D.; Darrouzet-Nardi, A.; Segal, A. D.

    2011-12-01

    Arctic soils contain large stores of carbon (C) and may act as a significant CO2 source with warming. However, the key to understanding tundra soil processes is nitrogen (N), as both plant growth and decomposition are N limited. However, current models of tundra ecosystems assume that while N limits plant growth, C limits decomposition. In addition, N availability is strongly seasonal with relatively high concentrations early in the growing season followed by a pronounced crash. We need to understand the controls on this seasonality to predict responses to climate change, but there are multiple questions that need answers: 1) What causes the seasonality in N? 2) Does microbial activity switch seasonally between C and N limitation? 3) How will a lengthening of the growing season alter overall ecosystem C and N dynamics, as a result of differential extension of the periods before and after the nutrient crash? We hypothesized that microbial activity is C limited early in the growing season, when N availability is higher and root exudate C is unavailable, and that microbial activity becomes N limited in response to plant N uptake and immobilization stimulated by root C. To address these questions we are conducting an accelerated snow-melt X warming field experiment in an Alaskan moist acidic arctic tundra community, and following plant and soil dynamics. Changes in the timing of C and N interactions in the different treatments will enable us to develop an enhanced mechanistic understanding of why the nutrient crash occurs and what the implications are for a lengthening of the arctic growing season. In 2010 we successfully accelerated snowmelt by 4 days. Both earlier snowmelt and warming accelerated early season plant life history events, with a few exceptions. However, responses to the combined treatment could not always be predicted from single factor effects. End of season life history events occurred later in response to the treatments, again with a few exceptions

  2. Ecology of the rare microbial biosphere of the Arctic Ocean.

    PubMed

    Galand, Pierre E; Casamayor, Emilio O; Kirchman, David L; Lovejoy, Connie

    2009-12-29

    Understanding the role of microbes in the oceans has focused on taxa that occur in high abundance; yet most of the marine microbial diversity is largely determined by a long tail of low-abundance taxa. This rare biosphere may have a cosmopolitan distribution because of high dispersal and low loss rates, and possibly represents a source of phylotypes that become abundant when environmental conditions change. However, the true ecological role of rare marine microorganisms is still not known. Here, we use pyrosequencing to describe the structure and composition of the rare biosphere and to test whether it represents cosmopolitan taxa or whether, similar to abundant phylotypes, the rare community has a biogeography. Our examination of 740,353 16S rRNA gene sequences from 32 bacterial and archaeal communities from various locations of the Arctic Ocean showed that rare phylotypes did not have a cosmopolitan distribution but, rather, followed patterns similar to those of the most abundant members of the community and of the entire community. The abundance distributions of rare and abundant phylotypes were different, following a log-series and log-normal model, respectively, and the taxonomic composition of the rare biosphere was similar to the composition of the abundant phylotypes. We conclude that the rare biosphere has a biogeography and that its tremendous diversity is most likely subjected to ecological processes such as selection, speciation, and extinction.

  3. Ecology of the rare microbial biosphere of the Arctic Ocean

    PubMed Central

    Galand, Pierre E.; Casamayor, Emilio O.; Kirchman, David L.; Lovejoy, Connie

    2009-01-01

    Understanding the role of microbes in the oceans has focused on taxa that occur in high abundance; yet most of the marine microbial diversity is largely determined by a long tail of low-abundance taxa. This rare biosphere may have a cosmopolitan distribution because of high dispersal and low loss rates, and possibly represents a source of phylotypes that become abundant when environmental conditions change. However, the true ecological role of rare marine microorganisms is still not known. Here, we use pyrosequencing to describe the structure and composition of the rare biosphere and to test whether it represents cosmopolitan taxa or whether, similar to abundant phylotypes, the rare community has a biogeography. Our examination of 740,353 16S rRNA gene sequences from 32 bacterial and archaeal communities from various locations of the Arctic Ocean showed that rare phylotypes did not have a cosmopolitan distribution but, rather, followed patterns similar to those of the most abundant members of the community and of the entire community. The abundance distributions of rare and abundant phylotypes were different, following a log-series and log-normal model, respectively, and the taxonomic composition of the rare biosphere was similar to the composition of the abundant phylotypes. We conclude that the rare biosphere has a biogeography and that its tremendous diversity is most likely subjected to ecological processes such as selection, speciation, and extinction. PMID:20018741

  4. Representation of Dormant and Active Microbial Dynamics for Ecosystem Modeling

    SciTech Connect

    Wang, Gangsheng; Mayes, Melanie; Gu, Lianhong; Schadt, Christopher Warren

    2014-01-01

    Dormancy is an essential strategy for microorganisms to cope with environmental stress. However, global ecosystem models typically ignore microbial dormancy, resulting in notable model uncertainties. To facilitate the consideration of dormancy in these large-scale models, we propose a new microbial physiology component that works for a wide range of substrate availabilities. This new model is based on microbial physiological states and the major parameters are the maximum specific growth and maintenance rates of active microbes and the ratio of dormant to active maintenance rates. A major improvement of our model over extant models is that it can explain the low active microbial fractions commonly observed in undisturbed soils. Our new model shows that the exponentially-increasing respiration from substrate-induced respiration experiments can only be used to determine the maximum specific growth rate and initial active microbial biomass, while the respiration data representing both exponentially-increasing and non-exponentially-increasing phases can robustly determine a range of key parameters including the initial total live biomass, initial active fraction, the maximum specific growth and maintenance rates, and the half-saturation constant. Our new model can be incorporated into existing ecosystem models to account for dormancy in microbially-driven processes and to provide improved estimates of microbial activities.

  5. Effects on the function of Arctic ecosystems in the short- and long-term perspectives.

    PubMed

    Callaghan, Terry V; Björn, Lars Olof; Chernov, Yuri; Chapin, Terry; Christensen, Torben R; Huntley, Brian; Ims, Rolf A; Johansson, Margareta; Jolly, Dyanna; Jonasson, Sven; Matveyeva, Nadya; Panikov, Nicolai; Oechel, Walter; Shaver, Gus

    2004-11-01

    Historically, the function of Arctic ecosystems in terms of cycles of nutrients and carbon has led to low levels of primary production and exchanges of energy, water and greenhouse gases have led to low local and regional cooling. Sequestration of carbon from atmospheric CO2, in extensive, cold organic soils and the high albedo from low, snow-covered vegetation have had impacts on regional climate. However, many aspects of the functioning of Arctic ecosystems are sensitive to changes in climate and its impacts on biodiversity. The current Arctic climate results in slow rates of organic matter decomposition. Arctic ecosystems therefore tend to accumulate organic matter and elements despite low inputs. As a result, soil-available elements like nitrogen and phosphorus are key limitations to increases in carbon fixation and further biomass and organic matter accumulation. Climate warming is expected to increase carbon and element turnover, particularly in soils, which may lead to initial losses of elements but eventual, slow recovery. Individual species and species diversity have clear impacts on element inputs and retention in Arctic ecosystems. Effects of increased CO2 and UV-B on whole ecosystems, on the other hand, are likely to be small although effects on plant tissue chemisty, decomposition and nitrogen fixation may become important in the long-term. Cycling of carbon in trace gas form is mainly as CO2 and CH4. Most carbon loss is in the form of CO2, produced by both plants and soil biota. Carbon emissions as methane from wet and moist tundra ecosystems are about 5% of emissions as CO2 and are responsive to warming in the absence of any other changes. Winter processes and vegetation type also affect CH4 emissions as well as exchanges of energy between biosphere and atmosphere. Arctic ecosystems exhibit the largest seasonal changes in energy exchange of any terrestrial ecosystem because of the large changes in albedo from late winter, when snow reflects most

  6. Phylogenetic composition of Rocky Mountain endolithic microbial ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Walker, Jeffrey J; Pace, Norman R

    2007-06-01

    The endolithic environment, the pore space in rocks, is a ubiquitous microbial habitat. Photosynthesis-based endolithic communities inhabit the outer few millimeters to centimeters of rocks exposed to the surface. Such endolithic ecosystems have been proposed as simple, tractable models for understanding basic principles in microbial ecology. In order to test previously conceived hypotheses about endolithic ecosystems, we studied selected endolithic communities in the Rocky Mountain region of the United States with culture-independent molecular methods. Community compositions were determined by determining rRNA gene sequence contents, and communities were compared using statistical phylogenetic methods. The results indicate that endolithic ecosystems are seeded from a select, global metacommunity and form true ecological communities that are among the simplest microbial ecosystems known. Statistical analysis showed that biogeographical characteristics that control community composition, such as rock type, are more complex than predicted. Collectively, results of this study support the idea that patterns of microbial diversity found in endolithic communities are governed by principles similar to those observed in macroecological systems. PMID:17416689

  7. Nitrogen transformations in stratified aquatic microbial ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Revsbech, Niels Peter; Risgaard-Petersen, Nils; Schramm, Andreas; Nielsen, Lars Peter

    2006-11-01

    New analytical methods such as advanced molecular techniques and microsensors have resulted in new insights about how nitrogen transformations in stratified microbial systems such as sediments and biofilms are regulated at a microm-mm scale. A large and ever-expanding knowledge base about nitrogen fixation, nitrification, denitrification, and dissimilatory reduction of nitrate to ammonium, and about the microorganisms performing the processes, has been produced by use of these techniques. During the last decade the discovery of anammmox bacteria and migrating, nitrate accumulating bacteria performing dissimilatory reduction of nitrate to ammonium have given new dimensions to the understanding of nitrogen cycling in nature, and the occurrence of these organisms and processes in stratified microbial communities will be described in detail.

  8. Counterintuitive carbon-to-nutrient coupling in an Arctic pelagic ecosystem.

    PubMed

    Thingstad, T F; Bellerby, R G J; Bratbak, G; Børsheim, K Y; Egge, J K; Heldal, M; Larsen, A; Neill, C; Nejstgaard, J; Norland, S; Sandaa, R-A; Skjoldal, E F; Tanaka, T; Thyrhaug, R; Töpper, B

    2008-09-18

    Predicting the ocean's role in the global carbon cycle requires an understanding of the stoichiometric coupling between carbon and growth-limiting elements in biogeochemical processes. A recent addition to such knowledge is that the carbon/nitrogen ratio of inorganic consumption and release of dissolved organic matter may increase in a high-CO(2) world. This will, however, yield a negative feedback on atmospheric CO(2) only if the extra organic material escapes mineralization within the photic zone. Here we show, in the context of an Arctic pelagic ecosystem, how the fate and effects of added degradable organic carbon depend critically on the state of the microbial food web. When bacterial growth rate was limited by mineral nutrients, extra organic carbon accumulated in the system. When bacteria were limited by organic carbon, however, addition of labile dissolved organic carbon reduced phytoplankton biomass and activity and also the rate at which total organic carbon accumulated, explained as the result of stimulated bacterial competition for mineral nutrients. This counterintuitive 'more organic carbon gives less organic carbon' effect was particularly pronounced in diatom-dominated systems where the carbon/mineral nutrient ratio in phytoplankton production was high. Our results highlight how descriptions of present and future states of the oceanic carbon cycle require detailed understanding of the stoichiometric coupling between carbon and growth-limiting mineral nutrients in both autotrophic and heterotrophic processes.

  9. Microbial Dysbiosis: Rethinking Disease in Marine Ecosystems

    PubMed Central

    Egan, Suhelen; Gardiner, Melissa

    2016-01-01

    With growing environmental pressures placed on our marine habitats there is concern that the prevalence and severity of diseases affecting marine organisms will increase. Yet relative to terrestrial systems, we know little about the underlying causes of many of these diseases. Moreover, factors such as saprophytic colonizers and a lack of baseline data on healthy individuals make it difficult to accurately assess the role of specific microbial pathogens in disease states. Emerging evidence in the field of medicine suggests that a growing number of human diseases result from a microbiome imbalance (or dysbiosis), questioning the traditional view of a singular pathogenic agent. Here we discuss the possibility that many diseases seen in marine systems are, similarly, the result of microbial dysbiosis and the rise of opportunistic or polymicrobial infections. Thus, understanding and managing disease in the future will require us to also rethink definitions of disease and pathogenesis for marine systems. We suggest that a targeted, multidisciplinary approach that addresses the questions of microbial symbiosis in both healthy and diseased states, and at that the level of the holobiont, will be key to progress in this area. PMID:27446031

  10. Biogeography of serpentinite-hosted microbial ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brazelton, W.; Cardace, D.; Fruh-Green, G.; Lang, S. Q.; Lilley, M. D.; Morrill, P. L.; Szponar, N.; Twing, K. I.; Schrenk, M. O.

    2012-12-01

    Ultramafic rocks in the Earth's mantle represent a tremendous reservoir of carbon and reducing power. Upon tectonic uplift and exposure to fluid flow, serpentinization of these materials generates copious energy, sustains abiogenic synthesis of organic molecules, and releases hydrogen gas (H2). To date, however, the "serpentinite microbiome" is poorly constrained- almost nothing is known about the microbial diversity endemic to rocks actively undergoing serpentinization. Through the Census of Deep Life, we have obtained 16S rRNA gene pyrotag sequences from fluids and rocks from serpentinizing ophiolites in California, Canada, and Italy. The samples include high pH serpentinite springs, presumably representative of deeper environments within the ophiolite complex, wells which directly access subsurface aquifers, and rocks obtained from drill cores into serpentinites. These data represent a unique opportunity to examine biogeographic patterns among a restricted set of microbial taxa that are adapted to similar environmental conditions and are inhabiting sites with related geological histories. In general, our results point to potentially H2-utilizing Betaproteobacteria thriving in shallow, oxic-anoxic transition zones and anaerobic Clostridia thriving in anoxic, deep subsurface habitats. These general taxonomic and biogeochemical trends were also observed in seafloor Lost City hydrothermal chimneys, indicating that we are beginning to identify a core serpentinite microbial community that spans marine and continental settings.

  11. Microbial Dysbiosis: Rethinking Disease in Marine Ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Egan, Suhelen; Gardiner, Melissa

    2016-01-01

    With growing environmental pressures placed on our marine habitats there is concern that the prevalence and severity of diseases affecting marine organisms will increase. Yet relative to terrestrial systems, we know little about the underlying causes of many of these diseases. Moreover, factors such as saprophytic colonizers and a lack of baseline data on healthy individuals make it difficult to accurately assess the role of specific microbial pathogens in disease states. Emerging evidence in the field of medicine suggests that a growing number of human diseases result from a microbiome imbalance (or dysbiosis), questioning the traditional view of a singular pathogenic agent. Here we discuss the possibility that many diseases seen in marine systems are, similarly, the result of microbial dysbiosis and the rise of opportunistic or polymicrobial infections. Thus, understanding and managing disease in the future will require us to also rethink definitions of disease and pathogenesis for marine systems. We suggest that a targeted, multidisciplinary approach that addresses the questions of microbial symbiosis in both healthy and diseased states, and at that the level of the holobiont, will be key to progress in this area. PMID:27446031

  12. Fire Effects on Microbial Enzyme Activities in Larch Forests of the Siberian Arctic

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ludwig, S.; Alexander, H. D.; Bulygina, E. B.; Mann, P. J.; Natali, S.

    2012-12-01

    Arctic forest ecosystems are warming at an accelerated rate relative to lower latitudes, with global implications for C cycling within these regions. As climate continues to warm and dry, wildfire frequency and severity are predicted to increase, creating a positive feedback to climate warming. Increased fire activity will also influence the microenvironment experienced by soil microbes in disturbed soils. Because soil microbes regulate carbon (C) and nitrogen (N) cycling between terrestrial ecosystems and the atmosphere, it is important to understand microbial response to fires, particularly in the understudied larch forests in the Siberian Arctic. In this project, we created experimental burn plots in a mature larch forest in the Kolyma River watershed of Northeastern Siberia. Plots were burned at several treatments: control (no burn), low, moderate, and severe. After, 1 and 8 d post-fire, we measured soil organic layer depth, soil organic matter (SOM) content, soil moisture, and CO2 flux from the plots. Additionally, we leached soils and measured dissolved organic carbon (DOC), total dissolved nitrogen (TDN), NH4, NO3, soluble reactive phosphorus (SRP), and chromophoric dissolved organic matter (CDOM). Furthermore, we measured extracellular activity of four enzymes involved in soil C and nutrient cycling (leucine aminopeptidase (LAP), β-glucosidase, phosphatase, and phenol oxidase). One day post-fire, LAP activity was similarly low in all treatments, but by 8 d post-fire, LAP activity was lower in burned plots compared to control plots, likely due to increased nitrogen content with increasing burn severity. Phosphatase activity decreased with burn severity 1 d post-fire, but after 8 d, moderate and severe burn plots exhibited increased phosphatase activity. Coupled with trends in LAP activity, this suggests a switch in nutrient limitation from N to phosphorus that is more pronounced with burn severity. β-glucosidase activity similarly decreased with burn

  13. Delayed responses of an Arctic ecosystem to an extremely dry summer: impacts on net ecosystem exchange and vegetation functioning

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zona, D.; Lipson, D. A.; Richards, J. H.; Phoenix, G. K.; Liljedahl, A. K.; Ueyama, M.; Sturtevant, C. S.; Oechel, W. C.

    2013-12-01

    The importance and mode of action of extreme events on the global carbon budget are inadequately understood. This includes the differential impact of extreme events on various ecosystem components, lag effects, recovery times, and compensatory processes. Summer 2007 in Barrow, Arctic Alaska, experienced unusually high air temperatures (fifth warmest over a 65 yr period) and record low precipitation (lowest over a 65 yr period). These abnormal conditions resulted in strongly reduced net Sphagnum CO2 uptake, but no effect neither on vascular plant development nor on net ecosystem exchange (NEE) from this arctic tundra ecosystem. Gross primary production (GPP) and ecosystem respiration (Reco) were both generally greater during most of this extreme summer. Cumulative ecosystem C uptake in 2007 was similar to the previous summers, showing the capacity of the ecosystem to compensate in its net ecosystem exchange (NEE) despite the impact on other functions and structure such as substantial necrosis of the Sphagnum layer. Surprisingly, the lowest ecosystem C uptake (2005-2009) was observed during the 2008 summer, i.e the year directly following the extremely summer. In 2008, cumulative C uptake was ∼70% lower than prior years. This reduction cannot solely be attributed to mosses, which typically contribute with ∼40% - of the entire ecosystem C uptake. The minimum summer cumulative C uptake in 2008 suggests that the entire ecosystem experienced difficulty readjusting to more typical weather after experiencing exceptionally warm and dry conditions. Importantly, the return to a substantial cumulative C uptake occurred two summers after the extreme event, which suggest a high resilience of this tundra ecosystem. Overall, these results show a highly complex response of the C uptake and its sub-components to atypically dry conditions. The impact of multiple extreme events still awaits further investigation.

  14. Antarctic cryptoendolithic microbial ecosystem research, 1986-1987

    PubMed

    Friedmann, E I; Meyer, M A

    1987-01-01

    The apparent lifelessness of the Ross Desert is in marked contrast to the diversity of cryptoendolithic microorganisms inhabiting the interstices of sandstone rocks. The endolithic habitat provides a protective niche for lichens, bacteria, algae, and fungi, enabling them to exist in an extremely dry and cold climate. Composed solely of microorganisms living under the surface of rocks and totally lacking animals and protozoa, this ecosystem is controlled by measurable physical variables and well suited for ecosystem study and modeling. The work of the antarctic cryptoendolithic microbial ecosystem research group has involved physical measurements of nanoclimate (microbial environment inside rocks) (Friedmann, McKay, and Nienow 1987), taxonomy (Darling, Friedmann, and Broady 1987; Hale 1987), microdistribution, organism-substrate interactions including the ongoing process of fossilization (Friedmann and Weed 1987), physiological ecology, and quantification of the nitrogen economy.

  15. Population-reaction model and microbial experimental ecosystems for understanding hierarchical dynamics of ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Hosoda, Kazufumi; Tsuda, Soichiro; Kadowaki, Kohmei; Nakamura, Yutaka; Nakano, Tadashi; Ishii, Kojiro

    2016-02-01

    Understanding ecosystem dynamics is crucial as contemporary human societies face ecosystem degradation. One of the challenges that needs to be recognized is the complex hierarchical dynamics. Conventional dynamic models in ecology often represent only the population level and have yet to include the dynamics of the sub-organism level, which makes an ecosystem a complex adaptive system that shows characteristic behaviors such as resilience and regime shifts. The neglect of the sub-organism level in the conventional dynamic models would be because integrating multiple hierarchical levels makes the models unnecessarily complex unless supporting experimental data are present. Now that large amounts of molecular and ecological data are increasingly accessible in microbial experimental ecosystems, it is worthwhile to tackle the questions of their complex hierarchical dynamics. Here, we propose an approach that combines microbial experimental ecosystems and a hierarchical dynamic model named population-reaction model. We present a simple microbial experimental ecosystem as an example and show how the system can be analyzed by a population-reaction model. We also show that population-reaction models can be applied to various ecological concepts, such as predator-prey interactions, climate change, evolution, and stability of diversity. Our approach will reveal a path to the general understanding of various ecosystems and organisms. PMID:26747638

  16. Community history affects the predictability of microbial ecosystem development

    PubMed Central

    Pagaling, Eulyn; Strathdee, Fiona; Spears, Bryan M; Cates, Michael E; Allen, Rosalind J; Free, Andrew

    2014-01-01

    Microbial communities mediate crucial biogeochemical, biomedical and biotechnological processes, yet our understanding of their assembly, and our ability to control its outcome, remain poor. Existing evidence presents conflicting views on whether microbial ecosystem assembly is predictable, or inherently unpredictable. We address this issue using a well-controlled laboratory model system, in which source microbial communities colonize a pristine environment to form complex, nutrient-cycling ecosystems. When the source communities colonize a novel environment, final community composition and function (as measured by redox potential) are unpredictable, although a signature of the community's previous history is maintained. However, when the source communities are pre-conditioned to their new habitat, community development is more reproducible. This situation contrasts with some studies of communities of macro-organisms, where strong selection under novel environmental conditions leads to reproducible community structure, whereas communities under weaker selection show more variability. Our results suggest that the microbial rare biosphere may have an important role in the predictability of microbial community development, and that pre-conditioning may help to reduce unpredictability in the design of microbial communities for biotechnological applications. PMID:23985743

  17. The Impact of Climate Change on Microbial Communities and Carbon Cycling in High Arctic Permafrost Soil from Spitsbergen, Northern Norway

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    de Leon, K. C.; Schwery, D.; Yoshikawa, K.; Christiansen, H. H.; Pearce, D.

    2014-12-01

    Permafrost-affected soils are among the most fragile ecosystems in which current microbial controls on organic matter decomposition are changing as a result of climate change. Warmer conditions in the high Arctic will lead to a deepening of the seasonal active layer of permafrost, provoking changes in microbial processes and possibly resulting in exacerbated carbon degradation under increasing anoxic conditions. The viable and non-viable fractions of the microbial community in a permafrost soil from Adventdalen, Spitsbergen, Norway were subjected to a comprehensive investigation using culture-dependent and culture-independent methods. Molecular analyses using FISH (with CTC-DAPI) and amplified rDNA restriction analysis (ARDRA) on a 257cm deep core, revealed the presence of all major microbial soil groups, with the active layer having more viable cells, and a higher microbial community diversity. Carbon dioxide (CO2) and methane (CH4) flux measurements were performed to show the amount of C stored in the sample. We demonstrated that the microbial community composition from the soil in the center of the core was most likely influenced by small scale variations in environmental conditions. Community structure showed distinct shift of presence of bacterial groups along the vertical temperature gradient profile and microbial counts and diversity was found to be highest in the surface layers, decreasing with depth. It was observed that soil properties driving microbial diversity and functional potential varied across the permafrost table. Data on the variability of CO2 and CH4 distribution described in peat structure heterogeneity are important for modeling emissions on a larger scale. Furthermore, linking microbial biomass to gas distribution may elucidate the cause of peak CO2 and CH4 and their changes in relation to environmental change and peat composition.

  18. Pan-Arctic modelling of net ecosystem exchange of CO2

    PubMed Central

    Shaver, G. R.; Rastetter, E. B.; Salmon, V.; Street, L. E.; van de Weg, M. J.; Rocha, A.; van Wijk, M. T.; Williams, M.

    2013-01-01

    Net ecosystem exchange (NEE) of C varies greatly among Arctic ecosystems. Here, we show that approximately 75 per cent of this variation can be accounted for in a single regression model that predicts NEE as a function of leaf area index (LAI), air temperature and photosynthetically active radiation (PAR). The model was developed in concert with a survey of the light response of NEE in Arctic and subarctic tundras in Alaska, Greenland, Svalbard and Sweden. Model parametrizations based on data collected in one part of the Arctic can be used to predict NEE in other parts of the Arctic with accuracy similar to that of predictions based on data collected in the same site where NEE is predicted. The principal requirement for the dataset is that it should contain a sufficiently wide range of measurements of NEE at both high and low values of LAI, air temperature and PAR, to properly constrain the estimates of model parameters. Canopy N content can also be substituted for leaf area in predicting NEE, with equal or greater accuracy, but substitution of soil temperature for air temperature does not improve predictions. Overall, the results suggest a remarkable convergence in regulation of NEE in diverse ecosystem types throughout the Arctic. PMID:23836790

  19. Arctic foxes as ecosystem engineers: increased soil nutrients lead to increased plant productivity on fox dens

    PubMed Central

    Gharajehdaghipour, Tazarve; Roth, James D.; Fafard, Paul M.; Markham, John H.

    2016-01-01

    Top predators can provide fundamental ecosystem services such as nutrient cycling, and their impact can be even greater in environments with low nutrients and productivity, such as Arctic tundra. We estimated the effects of Arctic fox (Vulpes lagopus) denning on soil nutrient dynamics and vegetation production near Churchill, Manitoba in June and August 2014. Soils from fox dens contained higher nutrient levels in June (71% more inorganic nitrogen, 1195% more extractable phosphorous) and in August (242% more inorganic nitrogen, 191% more extractable phosphorous) than adjacent control sites. Inorganic nitrogen levels decreased from June to August on both dens and controls, whereas extractable phosphorous increased. Pup production the previous year, which should enhance nutrient deposition (from urine, feces, and decomposing prey), did not affect soil nutrient concentrations, suggesting the impact of Arctic foxes persists >1 year. Dens supported 2.8 times greater vegetation biomass in August, but δ15N values in sea lyme grass (Leymus mollis) were unaffected by denning. By concentrating nutrients on dens Arctic foxes enhance nutrient cycling as an ecosystem service and thus engineer Arctic ecosystems on local scales. The enhanced productivity in patches on the landscape could subsequently affect plant diversity and the dispersion of herbivores on the tundra. PMID:27045973

  20. Growing season and spatial variations of carbon fluxes of Arctic and boreal ecosystems in Alaska (USA).

    PubMed

    Ueyama, Masahito; Iwata, Hiroki; Harazono, Yoshinobu; Euskirchen, Eugénie S; Oechel, Walter C; Zona, Donatella

    2013-12-01

    To better understand the spatial and temporal dynamics of CO2 exchange between Arctic ecosystems and the atmosphere, we synthesized CO2 flux data, measured in eight Arctic tundra and five boreal ecosystems across Alaska (USA) and identified growing season and spatial variations of the fluxes and environmental controlling factors. For the period examined, all of the boreal and seven of the eight Arctic tundra ecosystems acted as CO2 sinks during the growing season. Seasonal patterns of the CO2 fluxes were mostly determined by air temperature, except ecosystem respiration (RE) of tundra. For the tundra ecosystems, the spatial variation of gross primary productivity (GPP) and net CO2 sink strength were explained by growing season length, whereas RE increased with growing degree days. For boreal ecosystems, the spatial variation of net CO2 sink strength was mostly determined by recovery of GPP from fire disturbance. Satellite-derived leaf area index (LAI) was a better index to explain the spatial variations of GPP and NEE of the ecosystems in Alaska than were the normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) and enhanced vegetation index (EVI). Multiple regression models using growing degree days, growing season length, and satellite-derived LAI explained much of the spatial variation in GPP and net CO2 exchange among the tundra and boreal ecosystems. The high sensitivity of the sink strength to growing season length indicated that the tundra ecosystem could increase CO2 sink strength under expected future warming, whereas ecosystem compositions associated with fire disturbance could play a major role in carbon release from boreal ecosystems.

  1. Economic Valuation of Ecosystem Goods and Services in a Melting Arctic

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    O'Garra, T.

    2014-12-01

    The Arctic region is composed of unique ecosystems that provide a range of goods and services to local and global populations. However, Arctic sea-ice is melting at an unprecedented rate, threatening many of these ecosystems and the services they provide. Yet as the ice melts and certain goods and services are lost, other resources such as oil and minerals will become accessible. The question is: how do the losses compare with the opportunities? And how are the losses and potential gains likely to be distributed? To address these questions, this study provides a preliminary assessment of the quantity, distribution and economic value of the ecosystem services (ES) provided by Arctic ecosystems, both now and in the future given a scenario of sure climate change. Using biophysical and economic data from existing studies (and some primary data), preliminary estimates indicate that the Arctic currently provides 357m/yr (in 2014 US) in subsistence hunting value to local communities, of which reindeer/caribou comprise 83%. Reindeer herding provides 110m/yr to Arctic communities. Interestingly, 'non-use (existence/cultural) values' associated with Arctic species are very high at 11bn/yr to members of Arctic states. The Arctic also provides ES that accrue to the global community: oil resources (North Slope; 5bn profits in 2013), commercial fisheries ( 515mn/yr) and most importantly, climate regulation services. Recent models (Whiteman; Euskirchen) estimate that the loss of climate regulation services provided by Arctic ice will cost 200 - 500bn/yr, a value which dwarfs all others. Assuming no change in atmospheric temperature compared to 2014, the net present value of the Arctic by 2050 (1.4% discount rate) comes to over $9 trillion. However, given Wang and Overland (2009) predictions of ice-free summers by 2037, we expect many of these benefits will be lost. For example, it is fairly well-established that endemic species, such as polar bears, will decline with sea-ice melt

  2. Mercury in Arctic marine ecosystems: sources, pathways and exposure.

    PubMed

    Kirk, Jane L; Lehnherr, Igor; Andersson, Maria; Braune, Birgit M; Chan, Laurie; Dastoor, Ashu P; Durnford, Dorothy; Gleason, Amber L; Loseto, Lisa L; Steffen, Alexandra; St Louis, Vincent L

    2012-11-01

    Mercury in the Arctic is an important environmental and human health issue. The reliance of Northern Peoples on traditional foods, such as marine mammals, for subsistence means that they are particularly at risk from mercury exposure. The cycling of mercury in Arctic marine systems is reviewed here, with emphasis placed on the key sources, pathways and processes which regulate mercury levels in marine food webs and ultimately the exposure of human populations to this contaminant. While many knowledge gaps exist limiting our ability to make strong conclusions, it appears that the long-range transport of mercury from Asian emissions is an important source of atmospheric Hg to the Arctic and that mercury methylation resulting in monomethylmercury production (an organic form of mercury which is both toxic and bioaccumulated) in Arctic marine waters is the principal source of mercury incorporated into food webs. Mercury concentrations in biological organisms have increased since the onset of the industrial age and are controlled by a combination of abiotic factors (e.g., monomethylmercury supply), food web dynamics and structure, and animal behavior (e.g., habitat selection and feeding behavior). Finally, although some Northern Peoples have high mercury concentrations of mercury in their blood and hair, harvesting and consuming traditional foods have many nutritional, social, cultural and physical health benefits which must be considered in risk management and communication. PMID:23102902

  3. Mercury in Arctic Marine Ecosystems: Sources, Pathways, and Exposure

    PubMed Central

    Kirk, Jane L.; Lehnherr, Igor; Andersson, Maria; Braune, Birgit M.; Chan, Laurie; Dastoor, Ashu P.; Durnford, Dorothy; Gleason, Amber L.; Loseto, Lisa L.; Steffen, Alexandra; St. Louis, Vincent L.

    2014-01-01

    Mercury in the Arctic is an important environmental and human health issue. The reliance of Northern Peoples on traditional foods, such as marine mammals, for subsistence means that they are particularly at risk from mercury exposure. The cycling of mercury in Arctic marine systems is reviewed here, with emphasis placed on the key sources, pathways and processes which regulate mercury levels in marine food webs and ultimately the exposure of human populations to this contaminant. While many knowledge gaps exist limiting our ability to make strong conclusions, it appears that the long range transport of mercury from Asian emissions is an important source of atmospheric Hg to the Arctic and that mercury methylation resulting in monomethylmercury production (an organic form of mercury which is both toxic and bioaccumulated) in Arctic marine waters is the principal source of mercury incorporated into food webs. Mercury concentrations in biological organisms have increased since the onset of the industrial age and are controlled by a combination of abiotic factors (e.g., monomethylmercury supply), food web dynamics and structure, and animal behavior (e.g., habitat selection and feeding behavior). Finally, although some Northern Peoples have high mercury concentrations of mercury in their blood and hair, harvesting and consuming traditional foods has many nutritional, social, cultural and physical health benefits which must be considered in risk management and communication. PMID:23102902

  4. Factors Driving Potential Ammonia Oxidation in Canadian Arctic Ecosystems: Does Spatial Scale Matter?

    PubMed Central

    Banerjee, Samiran

    2012-01-01

    Ammonia oxidation is a major process in nitrogen cycling, and it plays a key role in nitrogen limited soil ecosystems such as those in the arctic. Although mm-scale spatial dependency of ammonia oxidizers has been investigated, little is known about the field-scale spatial dependency of aerobic ammonia oxidation processes and ammonia-oxidizing archaeal and bacterial communities, particularly in arctic soils. The purpose of this study was to explore the drivers of ammonia oxidation at the field scale in cryosols (soils with permafrost within 1 m of the surface). We measured aerobic ammonia oxidation potential (both autotrophic and heterotrophic) and functional gene abundance (bacterial amoA and archaeal amoA) in 279 soil samples collected from three arctic ecosystems. The variability associated with quantifying genes was substantially less than the spatial variability observed in these soils, suggesting that molecular methods can be used reliably evaluate spatial dependency in arctic ecosystems. Ammonia-oxidizing archaeal and bacterial communities and aerobic ammonia oxidation were spatially autocorrelated. Gene abundances were spatially structured within 4 m, whereas biochemical processes were structured within 40 m. Ammonia oxidation was driven at small scales (<1m) by moisture and total organic carbon, whereas gene abundance and other edaphic factors drove ammonia oxidation at medium (1 to 10 m) and large (10 to 100 m) scales. In these arctic soils heterotrophs contributed between 29 and 47% of total ammonia oxidation potential. The spatial scale for aerobic ammonia oxidation genes differed from potential ammonia oxidation, suggesting that in arctic ecosystems edaphic, rather than genetic, factors are an important control on ammonia oxidation. PMID:22081570

  5. Assembly-Driven Community Genomics of a Hypersaline Microbial Ecosystem

    PubMed Central

    Podell, Sheila; Ugalde, Juan A.; Narasingarao, Priya; Banfield, Jillian F.; Heidelberg, Karla B.; Allen, Eric E.

    2013-01-01

    Microbial populations inhabiting a natural hypersaline lake ecosystem in Lake Tyrrell, Victoria, Australia, have been characterized using deep metagenomic sampling, iterative de novo assembly, and multidimensional phylogenetic binning. Composite genomes representing habitat-specific microbial populations were reconstructed for eleven different archaea and one bacterium, comprising between 0.6 and 14.1% of the planktonic community. Eight of the eleven archaeal genomes were from microbial species without previously cultured representatives. These new genomes provide habitat-specific reference sequences enabling detailed, lineage-specific compartmentalization of predicted functional capabilities and cellular properties associated with both dominant and less abundant community members, including organisms previously known only by their 16S rRNA sequences. Together, these data provide a comprehensive, culture-independent genomic blueprint for ecosystem-wide analysis of protein functions, population structure, and lifestyles of co-existing, co-evolving microbial groups within the same natural habitat. The “assembly-driven” community genomic approach demonstrated in this study advances our ability to push beyond single gene investigations, and promotes genome-scale reconstructions as a tangible goal in the quest to define the metabolic, ecological, and evolutionary dynamics that underpin environmental microbial diversity. PMID:23637883

  6. Landscape Characterization of Arctic Ecosystems Using Data Mining Algorithms and Large Geospatial Datasets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Langford, Z. L.; Kumar, J.; Hoffman, F. M.

    2015-12-01

    Observations indicate that over the past several decades, landscape processes in the Arctic have been changing or intensifying. A dynamic Arctic landscape has the potential to alter ecosystems across a broad range of scales. Accurate characterization is useful to understand the properties and organization of the landscape, optimal sampling network design, measurement and process upscaling and to establish a landscape-based framework for multi-scale modeling of ecosystem processes. This study seeks to delineate the landscape at Seward Peninsula of Alaska into ecoregions using large volumes (terabytes) of high spatial resolution satellite remote-sensing data. Defining high-resolution ecoregion boundaries is difficult because many ecosystem processes in Arctic ecosystems occur at small local to regional scales, which are often resolved in by coarse resolution satellites (e.g., MODIS). We seek to use data-fusion techniques and data analytics algorithms applied to Phased Array type L-band Synthetic Aperture Radar (PALSAR), Interferometric Synthetic Aperture Radar (IFSAR), Satellite for Observation of Earth (SPOT), WorldView-2, WorldView-3, and QuickBird-2 to develop high-resolution (˜5m) ecoregion maps for multiple time periods. Traditional analysis methods and algorithms are insufficient for analyzing and synthesizing such large geospatial data sets, and those algorithms rarely scale out onto large distributed- memory parallel computer systems. We seek to develop computationally efficient algorithms and techniques using high-performance computing for characterization of Arctic landscapes. We will apply a variety of data analytics algorithms, such as cluster analysis, complex object-based image analysis (COBIA), and neural networks. We also propose to use representativeness analysis within the Seward Peninsula domain to determine optimal sampling locations for fine-scale measurements. This methodology should provide an initial framework for analyzing dynamic landscape

  7. Comparative studies of land-atmosphere energy exchange in high and low Arctic tundra ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stiegler, Christian; Lindroth, Anders; Lund, Magnus; Tamstorf, Mikkel P.

    2013-04-01

    The energy balance of arctic terrestrial ecosystems is of crucial importance to understand future climate change in high northern latitudes. Despite a growing interest in the Arctic local measurements and observations of climate characteristics are still scarce. Therefore, we present first results of comparative short- and long-term eddy covariance and energy balance measurements of high and low Arctic terrestrial ecosystems in Greenland. The study area covers high Arctic tundra heath and fen ecosystems in Zackenberg (Northeast Greenland National Park, 74°30'N, 21°00'W) and low Arctic terrestrial ecosystems in the Kobbefjord area close to the city of Nuuk (West Greenland, 64°07'N, 51°21'W). By using a mobile eddy covariance and energy balance tower we collected data during late winter (April 2012), early summer (June/July 2012) and late summer (August 2012). Mobile eddy covariance and energy balance measurements during late winter in Zackenberg focus on the energy balance of undisturbed snow covered surfaces with variable snow depth and snow layer structure. Data collection on thin snow layers with disturbed surfaces and exposed vegetation also show the impact of Muskox cratering on the surface energy balance. Measurements during early summer in the Kobbefjord area were conducted on characteristic bare soils with scattered cushion plants, on grasslands with sedge vegetation and on shrub vegetation up to 100 cm in height. Late summer measurements of energy balance and eddy covariance in the Zackenberg valley focus on transect measurements of energy balance components and active layer thickness of adjacent high arctic fen and heath ecosystems. In addition to the short-term mobile measurements we use and analyse data sets from permanent stations monitoring eddy covariance and energy balance on heath and fen sites in both high and low Arctic environments. Long-term measurements provide continuous data since early April 2012 and in this study we compare our mobile

  8. Crossing the Threshold - Reviewed Evidence for Regime Shifts in Arctic Terrestrial Ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mård Karlsson, J.; Destouni, G.; Peterson, G.; Gordon, L.

    2009-12-01

    The Arctic is rapidly changing, and the Arctic terrestrial ecosystems may respond to changing conditions in different ways. We review the evidence of regime shifts (ecosystem change from one set of mutually reinforcing feedbacks to another) in Arctic terrestrial ecosystems in relation to the hydrological cycle, as part of a larger interdisciplinary research project on Pan-Arctic ice-water-biogeochemical system responses and social-ecological resilience effects in a warming climate, which has in turn been part of the International Polar Year project Arctic-HYDRA. Such regime shifts may have implications for the Earth system as a whole, through changes in water flows and energy balance that yield feedbacks to hydrology and the local and global climate. Because the presence or absence of permafrost is a main control on local hydrological processes in the Arctic, we use the ecological response to permafrost warming to define three types of regime shifts: 1) Conversion of aquatic to terrestrial ecosystems due to draining of lakes and wetlands caused by permafrost degradation and thermokarst processes, which may have a large impact on local people and animals that depend on these ecosystems for food, domestic needs, and habitat, and on climate as the water conditions influence the direction of CO2 exchange. 2) Conversion of terrestrial to aquatic ecosystems as forests are being replaced by wet sedge meadows, bogs, and thermokarst ponds that favor aquatic birds and mammals, as thawing permafrost atop continuous permafrost undermines and destroys the root zone, leading to collapse and death of the trees. 3) Shifts in terrestrial ecosystems due to transition from tundra to shrubland and/or forest, caused by warming of air and soil, resulting in increased surface energy exchanges and albedo, which may in turn feed back to enhanced warming at the local-regional scale. We compare the impact, scale and key processes for each of these regime shifts, and assess the degree to

  9. Oceanic periglacial in the evolution of the Arctic marine ecosystem

    SciTech Connect

    Matishov, G.G.

    1996-12-31

    A study of the Arctic marine and land environment and biota is connected with the analysis of the global climatic changes and the general history of Arctic and subarctic ecological systems. Ancient glaciation not only influenced the geomorphology of landscapes, physical and chemical properties of the ocean and its seas, but also caused the global change of the morphoclimatic zonality in the ocean as a whole. Submarine and subaqual hydrological, geomorphological and biological processes on the shelves of polar and temperate latitudes had intensified especially during the melting of continental glaciers. The study of the periglacial problem consists, as a whole, in the research of the geological and biological phenomena which take place in the pelagial and the benthal outside the ice sheets and are connected with them by causal, spatial and temporal relations.

  10. Microbial nutrient limitation in Arctic lakes in a permafrost landscape of southwest Greenland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Burpee, B.; Saros, J. E.; Northington, R. M.; Simon, K. S.

    2016-01-01

    Permafrost is degrading across regions of the Arctic, which can lead to increases in nutrient concentrations in surface freshwaters. The oligotrophic state of many Arctic lakes suggests that enhanced nutrient inputs may have important effects on these systems, but little is known about microbial nutrient limitation patterns in these lakes. We investigated microbial extracellular enzyme activities (EEAs) to infer seasonal nutrient dynamics and limitation across 24 lakes in southwest Greenland during summer (June and July). From early to late summer, enzyme activities that indicate microbial carbon (C), nitrogen (N), and phosphorus (P) demand increased in both the epilimnia and hypolimnia by 74 % on average. Microbial investment in P acquisition was generally higher than that for N. Interactions among EEAs indicated that microbes were primarily P-limited. Dissolved organic matter (DOM, measured as dissolved organic carbon) was strongly and positively correlated with microbial P demand (R2 = 0.84 in July), while there were no relationships between DOM and microbial N demand. Microbial P limitation in June epilimnia (R2 = 0.67) and July hypolimnia (R2 = 0.57) increased with DOM concentration. The consistency of microbial P limitation from June to July was related to the amount of DOM present, with some low-DOM lakes becoming N-limited in July. Our results suggest that future changes in P or DOM inputs to these lakes are likely to alter microbial nutrient limitation patterns.

  11. Microbial nutrient limitation in arctic lakes in a permafrost landscape of southwest Greenland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Burpee, B.; Saros, J. E.; Northington, R. M.; Simon, K. S.

    2015-07-01

    Permafrost is degrading across regions of the Arctic, which can lead to increases in nutrient concentrations in surface freshwaters. The oligotrophic state of many arctic lakes suggests that enhanced nutrient inputs may have important effects on these systems, but little is known about microbial nutrient limitation patterns in these lakes. We investigated microbial extracellular enzyme activities (EEAs) to infer seasonal nutrient dynamics and limitation across 24 lakes in southwest Greenland during summer (June and July). From early to late summer, enzyme activities that indicate microbial carbon (C), nitrogen (N), and phosphorus (P) demand increased in both the epilimnia and hypolimnia by 74 % on average. Microbial investment in P acquisition was generally higher than that for N. Interactions among EEAs indicated that bacteria were primarily P limited. Dissolved organic matter (DOM, measured as dissolved organic carbon) was strongly and positively correlated with microbial P demand (R2 = 0.84 in July), while there were no relationships between DOM and microbial N demand. Microbial P limitation in June epilimnia (R2 = 0.67) and July hypolimnia (R2 = 0.57) increased with DOM concentration. The consistency of microbial P limitation from June to July was related to the amount of DOM present, with some low DOM lakes becoming N-limited in July. Our results suggest that future changes in P or DOM inputs to these lakes are likely to alter microbial nutrient limitation patterns.

  12. Water-table height and microtopography control biogeochemical cycling in an Arctic coastal tundra ecosystem

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lipson, D. A.; Zona, D.; Raab, T. K.; Bozzolo, F.; Mauritz, M.; Oechel, W. C.

    2012-01-01

    Drained thaw lake basins (DTLB's) are the dominant land form of the Arctic Coastal Plain in northern Alaska. The presence of continuous permafrost prevents drainage and so water tables generally remain close to the soil surface, creating saturated, suboxic soil conditions. However, ice wedge polygons produce microtopographic variation in these landscapes, with raised areas such as polygon rims creating more oxic microenvironments. The peat soils in this ecosystem store large amounts of organic carbon which is vulnerable to loss as arctic regions continue to rapidly warm, and so there is great motivation to understand the controls over microbial activity in these complex landscapes. Here we report the effects of experimental flooding, along with seasonal and spatial variation in soil chemistry and microbial activity in a DTLB. The flooding treatment generally mirrored the effects of natural landscape variation in water-table height due to microtopography. The flooded portion of the basin had lower dissolved oxygen, lower oxidation-reduction potential (ORP) and higher pH, as did lower elevation areas throughout the entire basin. Similarly, soil pore water concentrations of organic carbon and aromatic compounds were higher in flooded and low elevation areas. Dissolved ferric iron (Fe(III)) concentrations were higher in low elevation areas and responded to the flooding treatment in low areas, only. The high concentrations of soluble Fe(III) in soil pore water were explained by the presence of siderophores, which were much more concentrated in low elevation areas. All the aforementioned variables were correlated, showing that Fe(III) is solubilized in response to anoxic conditions. Dissolved carbon dioxide (CO2) and methane (CH4) concentrations were higher in low elevation areas, but showed only subtle and/or seasonally dependent effects of flooding. In anaerobic laboratory incubations, more CH4 was produced by soils from low and flooded areas, whereas anaerobic CO2

  13. Microbial ecosystem and methanogenesis in ruminants.

    PubMed

    Morgavi, D P; Forano, E; Martin, C; Newbold, C J

    2010-07-01

    Ruminant production is under increased public scrutiny in terms of the importance of cattle and other ruminants as major producers of the greenhouse gas methane. Methanogenesis is performed by methanogenic archaea, a specialised group of microbes present in several anaerobic environments including the rumen. In the rumen, methanogens utilise predominantly H2 and CO2 as substrates to produce methane, filling an important functional niche in the ecosystem. However, in addition to methanogens, other microbes also have an influence on methane production either because they are involved in hydrogen (H2) metabolism or because they affect the numbers of methanogens or other members of the microbiota. This study explores the relationship between some of these microbes and methanogenesis and highlights some functional groups that could play a role in decreasing methane emissions. Dihydrogen ('H2' from this point on) is the key element that drives methane production in the rumen. Among H2 producers, protozoa have a prominent position, which is strengthened by their close physical association with methanogens, which favours H2 transfer from one to the other. A strong positive interaction was found between protozoal numbers and methane emissions, and because this group is possibly not essential for rumen function, protozoa might be a target for methane mitigation. An important function that is associated with production of H2 is the degradation of fibrous plant material. However, not all members of the rumen fibrolytic community produce H2. Increasing the proportion of non-H2 producing fibrolytic microorganisms might decrease methane production without affecting forage degradability. Alternative pathways that use electron acceptors other than CO2 to oxidise H2 also exist in the rumen. Bacteria with this type of metabolism normally occupy a distinct ecological niche and are not dominant members of the microbiota; however, their numbers can increase if the right potential

  14. Does earlier snowmelt lead to greater CO2 sequestration in two low Arctic tundra ecosystems?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Humphreys, Elyn R.; Lafleur, Peter M.

    2011-05-01

    Some studies have reported that spring warming and earlier snowmelt leads to increased CO2 sequestration in Arctic terrestrial ecosystems. We measured tundra-atmosphere CO2 exchange via eddy covariance at two low Arctic sites (mixed upland tundra and sedge fen) in central Canada over multiple snow-free periods to assess this hypothesis. Both sites were net sinks for atmospheric CO2 in all years (2004-2010), but with high interannual variability. Despite a large range in snowmelt date (30 days), we did not find a statistically significant correlation between seasonal accumulated net ecosystem production (NEP) and snowmelt for either site. Although many factors can influence seasonal total NEP, our analysis shows that annual variations in photosynthetic capacity, likely driven by changes in leaf area, is a dominating control at these Arctic sites. At the upland tundra site, protection of overwintering buds by a longer duration of deep snow appears to be linked to greater photosynthetic capacity and NEP. Whereas at the fen site, sedge growth benefits from earlier snowmelt resulting in a strong correlation with early season NEP and an increase in total study period NEP with increasing growing degree days. These results highlight the complexity of interannual variation in ecosystem CO2 exchange in Arctic tundra and suggest that snowmelt date alone cannot predict seasonal, or annual, NEP.

  15. The microbial carbon pump: from genes to ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Jiao, Nianzhi; Zheng, Qiang

    2011-11-01

    The majority of marine dissolved organic carbon (DOC) is resistant to biological degradation and thus can remain in the water column for thousands of years, constituting carbon sequestration in the ocean. To date the origin of such recalcitrant DOC (RDOC) is unclear. A recently proposed conceptual framework, the microbial carbon pump (MCP), emphasizes the microbial transformation of organic carbon from labile to recalcitrant states. The MCP is concerned with both microbial uptakes and outputs of DOC compounds, covering a wide range from gene to ecosystem levels. In this minireview, the ATP binding cassette (ABC) transporter is used as an example for the microbial processing of DOC at the genetic level. The compositions of the ABC transporter genes of the two major marine bacterial clades Roseobacter and SAR11 demonstrate that they have distinct patterns in DOC utilization: Roseobacter strains have the advantage of taking up carbohydrate DOC, while SAR11 bacteria prefer nitrogen-containing DOC. At the ecosystem level, bacterially derived RDOC based on d-amino acid biomarkers is reported to be responsible for about a quarter of the total marine RDOC pool. Under future global warming scenarios, partitioning of primary production into DOC could be enhanced, and thus the MCP could play an even more important role in carbon sequestration by the ocean. Joint efforts to study the MCP from multiple disciplines are required to obtain a better understanding of ocean carbon cycle and its coupling with global change.

  16. Cryoconite and Ice-bubble Microbial Ecosystems in Antarctica

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hoover, Richard B.; Rose, M. Franklin (Technical Monitor)

    2000-01-01

    During the Antarctica 2000 Expedition samples of rocks and ice bubbles entrained in ice were collected from the blue ice fields near the Moulton Escarpment of the Thiel Mountains (85S, 94W) and the Morris Moraine of the Patriot Hills (80S, 8 1 W) Ellsworth Mountains of Antarctica. Investigation of the microbiota of these cryoconite and ice bubble ecosystems are now being conducted to help refine chemical and morphological biomarkers of potential significance to Astrobiology. The Antarctica 2000 Expedition will be discussed and the preliminary results of the studies of the ice bubble and cryoconite microbial ecosystems discussed. Recent ESEM images of the Antarctic microbiota will be presented a the relevance of ice ecosystems to Astrobiology will be discussed.

  17. Symptoms of change in multi-scale observations of arctic ecosystem carbon cycling

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stoy, P. C.; Williams, M. D.; Hartley, I. P.; Street, L.; Hill, T. C.; Prieto-Blanco, A.; Wayolle, A.; Disney, M.; Evans, J.; Fletcher, B.; Poyatos, R.; Wookey, P.; Merbold, L.; Wade, T. J.; Moncrieff, J.

    2009-12-01

    Arctic ecosystems are responding rapidly to observed climate change. Quantifying the magnitude of these changes, and their implications for the climate system, requires observations of their current structure and function, as well as extrapolation and modelling (i.e. ‘upscaling’) across time and space. Here, we describe the major results of the International Polar Year (IPY) ABACUS project, a multi-scale investigation across arctic Fennoscandia that couples plant and soil process studies, isotope analyses, flux and micrometeorological measurements, process modelling, and aircraft and satellite observations to improve predictions of the response of the arctic terrestrial biosphere to global change. We begin with a synthesis of eddy covariance observations from the global FLUXNET database. We demonstrate that a simple model parameterized using pan-arctic chamber measurements explains over 80% of the variance of half-hourly CO2 fluxes during the growing season across most arctic and montane tundra ecosystems given accurate measurements of leaf area index (LAI), which agrees with the recently proposed ‘functional convergence’ paradigm for tundra vegetation. The ability of MODIS to deliver accurate LAI estimates is briefly discussed and an adjusted algorithm is presented and validated using direct observations. We argue for an Information Theory-based framework for upscaling in Earth science by conceptualizing multi-scale research as a transfer of information across scales. We then demonstrate how error in upscaled arctic C flux estimates can be reduced to less than 4% from their high-resolution counterpart by formally preserving the information content of high spatial and spectral resolution aircraft and satellite imagery. Jaynes’ classic Maximum Entropy (MaxEnt) principle is employed to incorporate logical, biological and physical constraints to reduce error in downscaled flux estimates. Errors are further reduced by assimilating flux, biological and remote

  18. Using digital photos and models to analyze episodic winter snowmelt events in low-Arctic ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pedersen, S. H.; Tamstorf, M. P.; Westergaard-Nielsen, A.; Liston, G. E.; Schmidt, N. M.

    2013-12-01

    Terrestrial snow cover is a key parameter controlling both abiotic and biotic ecosystem processes in the Arctic. Yet knowledge and observations of snow cover in Greenland are limited. However, one exception is Kobbefjord (64°07'N, 51°21'W) in West Greenland. Since 2007, Nuuk Ecological Research Operations (NERO), led by Greenland Ecosystem Monitoring, have run an ecosystem baseline monitoring program responsible for collecting extensive snow observation datasets using manual, automated, and remotely-sensed methods. The available snow datasets provide a unique opportunity to describe and analyze the spatial and temporal distribution of snow-cover features and interactions in a low-Arctic setting where snow-dependent ecosystem components and processes are also observed. The aim of this study is to understand the temporal and spatial snow evolution in a low-Arctic ecosystem where a range of validation data is available, with a particular emphasis on infrequent winter snowmelt events. Extreme winter melt events associated with air temperatures rising abruptly to above 0.0 °C and with wind speeds greater than 20 m/s have been observed. We identified these melt events and quantified their effect on the snowpack and water balance to address possible consequences for a range of biological parameters. Finally, we compared the inter-annual air temperature variation during the last five years (2007-2013) with a 119-year climate record to place these recent variations within a long-term climate perspective. We implemented a spatially distributed snow-evolution modeling system (SnowModel) to provide temporal and spatial descriptions of snow within the study area from 2007 through 2013. SnowModel was driven by climate data collected by NERO. The available snow observations enabled validation of the modeled snow depth through 1) independent manual and automated snow depth measurements, and 2) a spatial validation of the modeled snow cover depletion through snow classification

  19. Anthropogenic litter in urban freshwater ecosystems: distribution and microbial interactions.

    PubMed

    Hoellein, Timothy; Rojas, Miguel; Pink, Adam; Gasior, Joseph; Kelly, John

    2014-01-01

    Accumulation of anthropogenic litter (i.e. garbage; AL) and its ecosystem effects in marine environments are well documented. Rivers receive AL from terrestrial habitats and represent a major source of AL to marine environments, but AL is rarely studied within freshwater ecosystems. Our objectives were to 1) quantify AL density in urban freshwaters, 2) compare AL abundance among freshwater, terrestrial, and marine ecosystems, and 3) characterize the activity and composition of AL biofilms in freshwater habitats. We quantified AL from the Chicago River and Chicago's Lake Michigan shoreline, and found that AL abundance in Chicago freshwater ecosystems was comparable to previously reported data for marine and terrestrial ecosystems, although AL density and composition differed among habitats. To assess microbial interactions with AL, we incubated AL and natural substrates in 3 freshwater ecosystems, quantified biofilm metabolism as gross primary production (GPP) and community respiration (CR), and characterized biofilm bacterial community composition via high-throughput sequencing of 16S rRNA genes. The main driver of biofilm community composition was incubation location (e.g., river vs pond), but there were some significant differences in biofilm composition and metabolism among substrates. For example, biofilms on organic substrates (cardboard and leaves) had lower GPP than hard substrates (glass, plastic, aluminum and tiles). In addition, bacterial communities on organic substrates were distinct in composition from those on hard substrates, with higher relative abundances of bacteria associated with cellulose decomposition. Finally, we used our results to develop a conceptual diagram designed to unite the study of AL in terrestrial and freshwater environments with the well-established field of marine debris research. We suggest this broad perspective will be useful for future studies which synthesize AL sources, ecosystem effects, and fate across multiple ecosystem

  20. Anthropogenic Litter in Urban Freshwater Ecosystems: Distribution and Microbial Interactions

    PubMed Central

    Hoellein, Timothy; Rojas, Miguel; Pink, Adam; Gasior, Joseph; Kelly, John

    2014-01-01

    Accumulation of anthropogenic litter (i.e. garbage; AL) and its ecosystem effects in marine environments are well documented. Rivers receive AL from terrestrial habitats and represent a major source of AL to marine environments, but AL is rarely studied within freshwater ecosystems. Our objectives were to 1) quantify AL density in urban freshwaters, 2) compare AL abundance among freshwater, terrestrial, and marine ecosystems, and 3) characterize the activity and composition of AL biofilms in freshwater habitats. We quantified AL from the Chicago River and Chicago's Lake Michigan shoreline, and found that AL abundance in Chicago freshwater ecosystems was comparable to previously reported data for marine and terrestrial ecosystems, although AL density and composition differed among habitats. To assess microbial interactions with AL, we incubated AL and natural substrates in 3 freshwater ecosystems, quantified biofilm metabolism as gross primary production (GPP) and community respiration (CR), and characterized biofilm bacterial community composition via high-throughput sequencing of 16S rRNA genes. The main driver of biofilm community composition was incubation location (e.g., river vs pond), but there were some significant differences in biofilm composition and metabolism among substrates. For example, biofilms on organic substrates (cardboard and leaves) had lower GPP than hard substrates (glass, plastic, aluminum and tiles). In addition, bacterial communities on organic substrates were distinct in composition from those on hard substrates, with higher relative abundances of bacteria associated with cellulose decomposition. Finally, we used our results to develop a conceptual diagram designed to unite the study of AL in terrestrial and freshwater environments with the well-established field of marine debris research. We suggest this broad perspective will be useful for future studies which synthesize AL sources, ecosystem effects, and fate across multiple ecosystem

  1. Anthropogenic litter in urban freshwater ecosystems: distribution and microbial interactions.

    PubMed

    Hoellein, Timothy; Rojas, Miguel; Pink, Adam; Gasior, Joseph; Kelly, John

    2014-01-01

    Accumulation of anthropogenic litter (i.e. garbage; AL) and its ecosystem effects in marine environments are well documented. Rivers receive AL from terrestrial habitats and represent a major source of AL to marine environments, but AL is rarely studied within freshwater ecosystems. Our objectives were to 1) quantify AL density in urban freshwaters, 2) compare AL abundance among freshwater, terrestrial, and marine ecosystems, and 3) characterize the activity and composition of AL biofilms in freshwater habitats. We quantified AL from the Chicago River and Chicago's Lake Michigan shoreline, and found that AL abundance in Chicago freshwater ecosystems was comparable to previously reported data for marine and terrestrial ecosystems, although AL density and composition differed among habitats. To assess microbial interactions with AL, we incubated AL and natural substrates in 3 freshwater ecosystems, quantified biofilm metabolism as gross primary production (GPP) and community respiration (CR), and characterized biofilm bacterial community composition via high-throughput sequencing of 16S rRNA genes. The main driver of biofilm community composition was incubation location (e.g., river vs pond), but there were some significant differences in biofilm composition and metabolism among substrates. For example, biofilms on organic substrates (cardboard and leaves) had lower GPP than hard substrates (glass, plastic, aluminum and tiles). In addition, bacterial communities on organic substrates were distinct in composition from those on hard substrates, with higher relative abundances of bacteria associated with cellulose decomposition. Finally, we used our results to develop a conceptual diagram designed to unite the study of AL in terrestrial and freshwater environments with the well-established field of marine debris research. We suggest this broad perspective will be useful for future studies which synthesize AL sources, ecosystem effects, and fate across multiple ecosystem

  2. Ecosystem-Vegetation Dynamics in sub-arctic Stordalen Mire, Sweden

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mugnani, M. P.; Varner, R. K.; Steele, K.; Frey, S. D.; Crill, P. M.

    2012-12-01

    Increased global temperatures have contributed to the thaw of permafrost and a subsequent atmospheric release of stored methane (CH4) from sub-arctic ecosystems. Palsas, small frost uplifted mounds that support specialized dry-tolerant vegetation species, degrade when permafrost thaws, allowing other species such a Sphagnum and Eriophorum to encroach on the microhabitats and outcompete other species, altering the carbon feedback into the thin arctic soil. Other climate change-related events including increased precipitation, seasonal temperature abnormalities and changes in humidity and nutrient availability may alter vegetation dynamics in terms of diversity and abundance in sub-arctic regions. During July 2012, measurements of vegetation composition and species abundance estimates were made in Stordalen Mire (68° 21' N, 19° 03' E), Abisko Sweden, two hundred kilometers north of the Arctic Circle. The mire is an area of discontinuous permafrost populated by micro-ecosystems that vary in vegetation species and abundance depending on growth conditions. All ecosystems provide beneficial services to support a range of life forms including rodents, birds, insects and reindeer. Five representative ecosystems of the mire were chosen to conduct studies on vegetation diversity and percent cover-based abundance: palsa, Eriophorum-dominated fen, Sphagnum-dominated peatland, lakeshore edge and lakeside heath. In each ecosystem vegetation species were recorded in six transects with quadrats along with a corresponding percent cover estimation and scale number based on the Braun-Blanquet percent cover method. To determine nutrient dynamics between ecosystems, soil peat samples were also taken at random from all ecosystem transects. These were analyzed for carbon and inorganic nitrogen as well as ammonium and nitrate. In the vegetation data analysis, the Shannon-Wiener Diversity Index showed that the lakeside heath ecosystem was the most diverse and even in species distribution

  3. Overarching perspectives of contemporary and future ecosystems in the Arctic Ocean

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wassmann, Paul

    2015-12-01

    The Arctic region has a number of specific characteristics that provide the region an exceptional global position. It comprises 5% of the earth surface, 1% of world ocean volume, 3% of world ocean area, 25% of world continental shelf, 35% of world coastline, 11% of global river runoff and 20 of worlds 100 longest rivers. The Arctic region encompasses only 0.05% of the global population, but 22% undiscovered petroleum, 15% of global petroleum production, many metals and non-metals resources and support major global fisheries (60 and 80°N). In times of increasing resource demand and limitation the world focuses increasingly onto the Arctic Ocean (AO) and adjacent regions. This development is emphasised by the recent awareness of rapid climate change in the AO, the most significant on the globe, and has resulted in increased attention to the oceanography of the high north. The loss of Arctic sea ice has emerged as a leading signal of global warming. It is taking place at a rate 2-3 times faster than global rates and sea-ice cover has decreased more than 10% per decade, while sea-ice volume may have been reduced by minimum 40% over the last 30 years (Meier et al., 2014). The reduction of ice cover and thickness makes the region available for commercial interest. The region drives also critical effects on the biophysical, political and economic system of the Northern Hemisphere (e.g., Grambling, 2015). These striking changes in physical forcing have left marine ecological footprints of climate change in the Arctic ecosystem (Wassmann et al., 2011). However, predicting the future of the pan-Arctic ecosystem remains a challenge not only because of the ever-accelerating nature of both physical and biological alterations, but also because of lack of marine ecological knowledge, that is staggering for the majority of regions (except the Barents, Chukchi and Beaufort seas).

  4. Effects of freeze-thaw cycles on anaerobic microbial processes in an Arctic intertidal mud flat.

    PubMed

    Sawicka, Joanna E; Robador, Alberto; Hubert, Casey; Jørgensen, Bo Barker; Brüchert, Volker

    2010-04-01

    Insight into the effects of repeated freezing and thawing on microbial processes in sediments and soils is important for understanding sediment carbon cycling at high latitudes acutely affected by global warming. Microbial responses to repeated freeze-thaw conditions were studied in three complementary experiments using arctic sediment collected from an intertidal flat that is exposed to seasonal freeze-thaw conditions (Ymerbukta, Svalbard, Arctic Ocean). The sediment was subjected to oscillating freeze-thaw incubations, either gradual, from -5 to 4 degrees C, or abrupt, from -20 to 10 degrees C. Concentrations of low-molecular weight carboxylic acids (volatile fatty acids) were measured and sulfate reduction was assessed by measuring (35)S sulfate reduction rates (SRRs). Gradual freeze-thaw incubation decreased microbial activity in the frozen state to 0.25 % of initial levels at 4 degrees C, but activity resumed rapidly reaching >60 % of initial activity in the thawed state. Exposure of sediments to successive large temperature changes (-20 versus 10 degrees C) decreased SRR by 80% of the initial activity, suggesting that a fraction of the bacterial community recovered rapidly from extreme temperature fluctuations. This is supported by 16S rRNA gene-based denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis profiles that revealed persistence of the dominant microbial taxa under repeated freeze-thaw cycles. The fast recovery of the SRRs suggests that carbon mineralization in thawing arctic sediment can resume without delay or substantial growth of microbial populations.

  5. A microbial ecosystem beneath the West Antarctic ice sheet.

    PubMed

    Christner, Brent C; Priscu, John C; Achberger, Amanda M; Barbante, Carlo; Carter, Sasha P; Christianson, Knut; Michaud, Alexander B; Mikucki, Jill A; Mitchell, Andrew C; Skidmore, Mark L; Vick-Majors, Trista J

    2014-08-21

    Liquid water has been known to occur beneath the Antarctic ice sheet for more than 40 years, but only recently have these subglacial aqueous environments been recognized as microbial ecosystems that may influence biogeochemical transformations on a global scale. Here we present the first geomicrobiological description of water and surficial sediments obtained from direct sampling of a subglacial Antarctic lake. Subglacial Lake Whillans (SLW) lies beneath approximately 800 m of ice on the lower portion of the Whillans Ice Stream (WIS) in West Antarctica and is part of an extensive and evolving subglacial drainage network. The water column of SLW contained metabolically active microorganisms and was derived primarily from glacial ice melt with solute sources from lithogenic weathering and a minor seawater component. Heterotrophic and autotrophic production data together with small subunit ribosomal RNA gene sequencing and biogeochemical data indicate that SLW is a chemosynthetically driven ecosystem inhabited by a diverse assemblage of bacteria and archaea. Our results confirm that aquatic environments beneath the Antarctic ice sheet support viable microbial ecosystems, corroborating previous reports suggesting that they contain globally relevant pools of carbon and microbes that can mobilize elements from the lithosphere and influence Southern Ocean geochemical and biological systems.

  6. Ecosystem model intercomparison of under-ice and total primary production in the Arctic Ocean

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jin, Meibing; Popova, Ekaterina E.; Zhang, Jinlun; Ji, Rubao; Pendleton, Daniel; Varpe, Øystein; Yool, Andrew; Lee, Younjoo J.

    2016-01-01

    Previous observational studies have found increasing primary production (PP) in response to declining sea ice cover in the Arctic Ocean. In this study, under-ice PP was assessed based on three coupled ice-ocean-ecosystem models participating in the Forum for Arctic Modeling and Observational Synthesis (FAMOS) project. All models showed good agreement with under-ice measurements of surface chlorophyll-a concentration and vertically integrated PP rates during the main under-ice production period, from mid-May to September. Further, modeled 30-year (1980-2009) mean values and spatial patterns of sea ice concentration compared well with remote sensing data. Under-ice PP was higher in the Arctic shelf seas than in the Arctic Basin, but ratios of under-ice PP over total PP were spatially correlated with annual mean sea ice concentration, with higher ratios in higher ice concentration regions. Decreases in sea ice from 1980 to 2009 were correlated significantly with increases in total PP and decreases in the under-ice PP/total PP ratio for most of the Arctic, but nonsignificantly related to under-ice PP, especially in marginal ice zones. Total PP within the Arctic Circle increased at an annual rate of between 3.2 and 8.0 Tg C/yr from 1980 to 2009. This increase in total PP was due mainly to a PP increase in open water, including increases in both open water area and PP rate per unit area, and therefore much stronger than the changes in under-ice PP. All models suggested that, on a pan-Arctic scale, the fraction of under-ice PP declined with declining sea ice cover over the last three decades.

  7. Soil Microbial Activity Provides Insight to Carbon Cycling in Shrub Ecotones of Sub-Arctic Sweden

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Marek, E.; Kashi, N. N.; Chen, J.; Hobbie, E. A.; Schwan, M. R.; Varner, R. K.

    2015-12-01

    Shrubs are expanding in Arctic and sub-Arctic regions due to rising atmospheric temperatures. Microbial activity increases as growing temperatures cause permafrost warming and subsequent thaw, leading to a greater resource of soil nutrients enabling shrub growth. Increased carbon inputs from shrubs is predicted to result in faster carbon turnover by microbial decomposition. Further understanding of microbial activity underneath shrubs could uncover how microbes and soil processes interact to promote shrub expansion and carbon cycling. To address how higher soil carbon input from shrubs influences decomposition, soil samples were taken across a heath, shrub, and forest ecotone gradient at two sites near Abikso, Sweden. Samples were analyzed for soluble carbon and nitrogen, microbial abundance, and microbial activity of chitinase, glucosidase, and phosphatase to reflect organic matter decomposition and availability of nitrogen, carbon, and phosphate respectively. Chitinase activity positively correlated with shrub cover, suggesting microbial demands for nitrogen increase with higher shrub cover. Glucosidase activity negatively correlated with shrub cover and soluble carbon, suggesting decreased microbial demand for carbon as shrub cover and carbon stores increase. Lower glucosidase activity in areas with high carbon input from shrubs implies that microbes are decomposing carbon less readily than carbon is being put into the soil. Increasing soil carbon stores in shrub covered areas can lead to shrubs becoming a net carbon sink and a negative feedback to changing climate.

  8. Seasonal variations of net CO2 exchange in European Arctic ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Laurila, T.; Soegaard, H.; Lloyd, C. R.; Aurela, M.; Tuovinen, J.-P.; Nordstroem, C.

    The carbon dioxide exchange in arctic and subarctic terrestrial ecosystems has been measured using the eddy-covariance method at sites representing the latitudinal and longitudinal extremes of the European Arctic sea areas as part of the Land Arctic Physical Processes (LAPP) project. The sites include two fen (Kaamanen and Kevo) and one mountain birch ecosystems in subarctic northern Finland (69°N) fen, heathland, and snowbed willow ecosystems in northeastern Greenland (74°N) and a polar semidesert site in Svalbard (79°N). The measurement results, which are given as weekly average diurnal cycles, show the striking seasonal development of the net CO2 fluxes. The seasonal periods important for the net CO2 fluxes, i.e. winter, thaw, pre-leaf, summer, and autumn can be identified from measurements of the physical environment, such as temperature, albedo, and greenness. During the late winter period continuous efflux is observed at the permafrost-free Kaamanen site. At the permafrost sites, efflux begins during the thaw period, which lasts about 3-5 weeks, in contrast to the Kaamanen site where efflux continues at the same rate as during the winter. Seasonal efflux maximum is during the pre-leaf period, which lasts about 2-5 weeks. The summer period lasts 6 weeks in NE Greenland but 10-14 weeks in northern Finland. During a high summer week, the mountain birch ecosystem had the highest gross photosynthetic capacity, GPmax, followed by the fen ecosystems. The polar semidesert ecosystem had the lowest GPmax. By the middle of August, noon uptake fluxes start to decrease as the solar elevation angle decreases and senescence begins within the vascular plants. At the end of the autumn period, which lasts 2-5 weeks, topsoil begins to freeze at the end of August in Svalbard; at the end of September at sites in eastern Greenland; and one month later at sites in northern Finland.

  9. Diverging Plant and Ecosystem Strategies in Response to Climate Change in the High Arctic

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Maseyk, K. S.; Welker, J. M.; Czimczik, C. I.; Lupascu, M.; Lett, C.; Seibt, U. H.

    2014-12-01

    Increasing summer precipitation means Arctic growing seasons are becoming wetter as well as warmer, but the effect of these coupled changes on tundra ecosystem functioning remains largely unknown. We have determined how warmer and wetter summers affect coupled carbon-water cycling in a High Arctic polar semi-desert ecosystem in NW Greenland. Measurements of ecosystem CO2 and water fluxes throughout the growing season and leaf ecophysiological traits (gas exchange, morphology, leaf chemistry) were made at a long-term climate change experiment. After 9 years of exposure to warmer (+ 4°C) and / or wetter (+ 50% precipitation) treatments, we found diverging plant strategies between the responses to warming with or without an increase in summer precipitation. Warming alone resulted in an increase in leaf nitrogen, mesophyll conductance and leaf-mass per area and higher rates of leaf-level photosynthesis, but with warming and wetting combined leaf traits remain largely unchanged. However, total leaf area increased with warming plus wetting but was unchanged with warming alone. The combined effect of these leaf trait and canopy adjustments is a decrease in ecosystem water-use efficiency (the ratio of net productivity to evapotranspiration) with warming only, but a substantial increase with combined warming and wetting. We conclude that increasing summer precipitation will alter tundra ecohydrological responses to warming; that leaf-level changes in ecophysiological traits have an upward cascading consequence for ecosystem and land surface-climate interactions; and the current relative resistance of High Arctic ecosystems to warming may mask biochemical and carbon cycling changes already underway.

  10. Measurement-based upscaling of Pan Arctic Net Ecosystem Exchange: the PANEEx project

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Njuabe Mbufong, Herbert; Kusbach, Antonin; Lund, Magnus; Persson, Andreas; Christensen, Torben R.; Tamstorf, Mikkel P.; Connolly, John

    2016-04-01

    The high variability in Arctic tundra net ecosystem exchange (NEE) of carbon (C) can be attributed to the high spatial heterogeneity of Arctic tundra due to the complex topography. Current models of C exchange handle the Arctic as either a single or few ecosystems, responding to environmental change in the same manner. In this study, we developed and tested a simple pan Arctic NEE (PANEEx) model using the Misterlich light response curve (LRC) function with photosynthetic photon flux density (PPFD) as the main driving variable. Model calibration was carried out with eddy covariance carbon dioxide (CO2) data from 12 Arctic tundra sites. The model input parameters (Fcsat, Rd and α) were estimated as a function of air temperature (AirT) and leaf area index (LAI) and represent specific characteristics of the NEE-PPFD relationship, including the saturation flux, dark respiration and initial light use efficiency, respectively. LAI and air temperature were respectively estimated from empirical relationships with remotely sensed normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) and land surface temperature (LST). These are available as MODIS Terra product MOD13Q1 and MOD11A1 respectively. Therefore, no specific knowledge of the vegetation type is required. The PANEEx model captures the spatial heterogeneity of the Arctic tundra and was effective in simulating 77% of the measured fluxes (r2 = 0.72, p < 0.001) at the 12 sites used in the calibration of the model. Further, the model effectively estimates NEE in three disparate Alaskan ecosystems (heath, tussock and fen) with an estimation ranging between 10 - 36% of the measured fluxes. We suggest that the poor agreement between the measured and modeled NEE may result from the disparity between ground-based measured LAI (used in model calibration) and remotely sensed LAI (estimated from NDVI and used in NEE estimation). Moreover, our results suggests that using simple linear regressions may be inadequate as parameters estimated

  11. Changing snow cover in tundra ecosystems tips the Arctic carbon balance

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zona, D.; Hufkens, K.; Gioli, B.; Kalhori, A. A. M.; Oechel, W. C.

    2014-12-01

    The Arctic environment has witnessed important changes due to global warming, resulting in increased surface air temperatures and rain events which both exacerbate snow cover deterioration (Semmens et al, 2013; Rennert et al, 2009; White et al, 2007; Min et al, 2008; Sharp et al, 2013; Schaeffer et al, 2013). Snow cover duration is declining by almost 20% per decade, a far higher rate than model estimates (Derksen and Brown, 2012). Concomitant with increasing temperatures and decreasing snow cover duration, the length of the arctic growing season is reported to have increased by 1.1 - 4.9 days per decade since 1951 (Menzel et al, 2006), and, plant productivity and CO2 uptake from arctic vegetation are strongly influenced by changes in growing season length (Myneni et al., 1997; Schaefer et al., 2005; Euskirchen et al., 2006). Based on more than a decade of eddy flux measurements in Arctic tundra ecosystems across the North slope of Alaska, and remotely sensed snow cover data, we show that earlier snow melt in the spring increase C uptake while an extended snow free period in autumn is associated with a higher C loss. Here we present the impacts of changes in snow cover dynamics between spring and autumn in arctic tundra ecosystems on the carbon dynamics and net C balance of the Alaskan Arctic. ReferencesDerksen, C., Brown R. (2012) Geophys. Res. Lett., doi:10.1029/2012GL053387 Euskirchen, E.S., et al. (2006) Glob. Change Biol., 12, 731-750. Menzel, A., et al. 2006. Glob. Change Biol., 12, 1969-1976. Min SK, Zhang X, Zweirs F (2008) Science 320: 518-520. Rennert K J, Roe G, Putkonen J and Bitz C M (2009) J. Clim. 22 2302-15. Schaefer, K., Denning A.S., Leonard O. (2005) Global Biogeochem. Cycles, 19, GB3017. Schaeffer, S. M., Sharp, E., Schimel, J. P. & Welker, J. M. (2013). Soil- plant N processes in a High Arctic ecosystem, NW Greenland are altered by long-term experimental warming and higher rainfall. Glob. Change Biol., 11, 3529-39. doi: 10.1111/gcb.12318

  12. Soil microbial respiration from various microhabitats in Arctic landscape: impact of soil type, environmental conditions and soil age

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Biasi, Christina; Jokinen, Simo; Marushchak, Maija; Trubnikova, Tatiana; Hämäläinen, Kai; Oinonen, Markku; Martikainen, Pertti

    2014-05-01

    Soil respiration is the second largest C flux between atmosphere and terrestrial ecosystems after gross primary production. Carbon dioxide released from soils is thus a major contributor to the atmospheric CO2 concentration. Despite the global importance, soil respiration and its components (heterotrophic and autotrophic respiration) remain poorly understood and not well constrained fluxes of the terrestrial C cycle. This is particularly true for the Arctic, where huge amounts of the Earth's soil carbon is stored. Here, we report on heterotrophic soil respiration rates from various Arctic tundra microhabitats measured in situ. The study site was Seida (67°07'N, 62°57'E, 100 m a.s.l.) which is characterized by typical sub-arctic permafrost landscape which comprises raised, vegetated permafrost peat plateaus, interspersed with spots of bare peat surfaces (peat circles), and upland mineral soils. We used isotope partitioning approach based on differences in natural abundance of 14C between soil and plants to separate sources of soil-respired CO2. In addition, the tradition trenching approach was employed. Complementary laboratory incubations with homogenized soil were conducted to assess primary decomposability of the soils and to identify age of the CO2 released and thus get more information on the nature of the sources of respiration. The major aim was to link SMR rates with of soil type, land cover class, soil physic-chemical properties (e.g. water content), soil C stocks and age of soil. Results show that, despite profound differences in soil characteristics and primary decomposability of organic matter, surface CO2 fluxes derived from soil microbial respiration rates were rather similar between microhabitats. The only factor which influenced, at least to some extent, the respiration rates was total soil C (and N) stocks in surface soils. There was some evidence for reduced soil-related CO2 emissions from peatlands, though results were not consistent between the

  13. Transitions in Arctic ecosystems: Ecological implications of a changing hydrological regime

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wrona, Frederick J.; Johansson, Margareta; Culp, Joseph M.; Jenkins, Alan; Mârd, Johanna; Myers-Smith, Isla H.; Prowse, Terry D.; Vincent, Warwick F.; Wookey, Philip A.

    2016-03-01

    Numerous international scientific assessments and related articles have, during the last decade, described the observed and potential impacts of climate change as well as other related environmental stressors on Arctic ecosystems. There is increasing recognition that observed and projected changes in freshwater sources, fluxes, and storage will have profound implications for the physical, biogeochemical, biological, and ecological processes and properties of Arctic terrestrial and freshwater ecosystems. However, a significant level of uncertainty remains in relation to forecasting the impacts of an intensified hydrological regime and related cryospheric change on ecosystem structure and function. As the terrestrial and freshwater ecology component of the Arctic Freshwater Synthesis, we review these uncertainties and recommend enhanced coordinated circumpolar research and monitoring efforts to improve quantification and prediction of how an altered hydrological regime influences local, regional, and circumpolar-level responses in terrestrial and freshwater systems. Specifically, we evaluate (i) changes in ecosystem productivity; (ii) alterations in ecosystem-level biogeochemical cycling and chemical transport; (iii) altered landscapes, successional trajectories, and creation of new habitats; (iv) altered seasonality and phenological mismatches; and (v) gains or losses of species and associated trophic interactions. We emphasize the need for developing a process-based understanding of interecosystem interactions, along with improved predictive models. We recommend enhanced use of the catchment scale as an integrated unit of study, thereby more explicitly considering the physical, chemical, and ecological processes and fluxes across a full freshwater continuum in a geographic region and spatial range of hydroecological units (e.g., stream-pond-lake-river-near shore marine environments).

  14. Response of Rates and Sources of Ecosystem CO2 Efflux to Increasing Levels of Winter Snow Depth in the High Arctic of Northwest Greenland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Thomas, J. S.; Lupascu, M.; Xu, X.; Maseyk, K. S.; Welker, J. M.; Czimczik, C. I.

    2011-12-01

    Arctic soils contain vast amounts of organic carbon (C) that range in age from modern to ancient. These soil C pools may be especially vulnerable to changes in conditions; especially increases in winter snowfall, as deeper snow will insulate soils in winter, and add moisture in summer. While, snowfall is increasing in many parts of the Arctic, how increases in winter precipitation affect C cycling in the High Arctic is largely unknown. In this project, we used a long-term snowpack manipulation to develop a better understanding of current and future soil C cycling under conditions of deep winter snow pack and the associated feedbacks to future atmospheric CO2 levels. We examined the effects of three levels of winter snowpack (ambient (0.25 m), ×2, ×4) on the timing, magnitude and sources of ecosystem CO2 efflux and soil microclimate in prostrate dwarf-shrub tundra on patterned ground in the High Arctic of NW Greenland. From June to August 2010 and 2011 we monitored ecosystem CO2 efflux and soil CO2 concentrations (LI-COR 800 & 840) together with soil temperature and moisture daily and the radiocarbon (14C) content of CO2 monthly. The 14C content of CO2 can be used to infer the dominant source of CO2 (plant vs. microbially-respired) as well as the age of microbially-respired CO2. Initial results indicate that during the 2010 sampling period (Jun 28 - Aug 16), daily CO2 emissions from vegetated areas were higher under ×4 ambient snowpack relative to ambient snowpack (84.9 vs. 53.1 mmol m-2 d-1), but lower under ×2 ambient snowpack (56.7 mmol m-2 d-1). CO2 emissions from bare areas increased with snowpack depth from ambient (8.6 mmol m-2 d-1) to ×2 ambient snowpack (16.5 mmol m-2 d-1) to x4 ambient snowpack (18.9 mmol m-2 d-1). Midsummer ecosystem CO2 emissions were dominated by modern C; additional 14C measurements are in progress. Our findings indicate that increases in snowpack may stimulate C loss from this high arctic ecosystem - probably facilitated by

  15. An eddy covariance derived annual carbon budget for an arctic terrestrial ecosystem (Disko, Greenland)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McConnell, Alistair; Lund, Magnus; Friborg, Thomas

    2016-04-01

    Ecosystems with underlying permafrost cover nearly 25% of the ice-free land area in the northern hemisphere and store almost half of the global soil carbon. Future climate changes are predicted to have the most pronounced effect in northern latitudes. These Arctic ecosystems are therefore subject to dramatic changes following thawing of permafrost, glacial retreat, and coastal erosion. The most dramatic effect of permafrost thawing is the accelerated decomposition and potential mobilization of organic matter stored in the permafrost. This will impact global climate through the mobilization of carbon and nitrogen accompanied by release of greenhouses gases, including carbon dioxide. This study presents the initial findings and first full annual carbon (CO2) budget, derived from eddy covariance measurements, for an Arctic landscape in West Greenland. The study site, a terrestrial Arctic maritime climate, is located at Østerlien, near Qeqertarsuaq, on the southern coast of Disko Island in central West Greenland (69° 15' N, 53° 34' W) within the transition zone from continuous to discontinuous permafrost. The mean annual air temperature is -5 C and the annual precipitation as rain is 150-200 mm. Arctic ecosystem feedback mechanisms and processes interact on micro, local and regional scales. This is further complicated by several potential feedback mechanisms likely to occur in permafrost-affected ecosystems, involving the interactions of microorganisms, vegetation and soil. The eddy covariance method allows us to interrogate the processes and drivers of land-atmosphere carbon exchange at extremely high temporary frequency (10 Hz), providing landscape-scale measurements of CO2, H2O and heat fluxes for the site, which are processed to derive daily, monthly and now, annual carbon fluxes. We discuss the scientific methodology, challenges, and analysis, as well as the practical and logistic challenges of working in the Arctic, and present an annual carbon budget

  16. Fire Effects on Microbial Dynamics and C, N, and P Cycling in Larch Forests of the Siberian Arctic

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ludwig, S.; Alexander, H. D.; Mann, P. J.; Natali, S.; Schade, J. D.

    2013-12-01

    Arctic forest ecosystems are warming at an accelerated rate relative to lower latitudes, with global implications for C cycling within these regions. As climate continues to warm and dry, wildfire frequency and severity are predicted to increase, creating a positive feedback to climate warming. Because soil microbes regulate carbon (C) and nitrogen (N) cycling between terrestrial ecosystems and the atmosphere, it is important to understand microbial response to fires, particularly in the understudied larch forests in the Siberian Arctic. In this project, we created experimental burn plots in a mature larch forest in the Kolyma River watershed of Northeastern Siberia. Plots were burned at several treatments: control (no burn), low, moderate, and severe. After 1 day, 8 days and 1 year post-fire, we measured CO2 flux from the plots, and measured dissolved organic carbon (DOC), total dissolved nitrogen (TDN), NH4, NO3, PO4, and chromophoric dissolved organic matter (CDOM) from soil leachates. Furthermore, we measured extracellular activity of four enzymes involved in soil C and nutrient cycling (leucine aminopeptidase (LAP), β-glucosidase, phosphatase, and phenol oxidase). Both 1 day and 8 days post-fire DOC, TDN, NH4, and PO4 all increased with burn severity, but by 1 year they were similar to control plots. The aromaticity and molecular weight of DOM decreased with fire severity. One day post-fire we observed a spike in phenol oxidase activity in the severe burns only, and a decline in β-glucosidase and phosphatase activity. By 8 days post-fire all enzyme activities were at the level of the control plots. 1 year post-fire LAP, β-glucosidase, and phosphatase all decreased with fire severity, parallel to a decrease in CO2 flux by fire severity. Ratios of enzymatic activity 1 year post-fire reflect a switch of resource allocation from P acquiring to N acquiring activities in more severe fires. Our results show an immediate microbial response to the short-term effects

  17. Soil microbial responses to nitrogen addition in arid ecosystems

    SciTech Connect

    Sinsabaugh, Robert L.; Belnap, Jayne; Rudgers, Jennifer; Kuske, Cheryl R.; Martinez, Noelle; Sandquist, Darren

    2015-08-14

    The N cycle of arid ecosystems is influenced by low soil organic matter, high soil pH, and extremes in water potential and temperature that lead to open canopies and development of biological soil crusts (biocrusts). We investigated the effects of N amendment on soil microbial dynamics in a Larrea tridentata-Ambrosia dumosa shrubland site in southern Nevada USA. Sites were fertilized with a NO3-NH4 mix at 0, 7, and 15 kg N ha-1 y-1 from March 2012 to March 2013. In March 2013, biocrust (0–0.5 cm) and bulk soils (0–10 cm) were collected beneath Ambrosia canopies and in the interspaces between plants. Biomass responses were assessed as bacterial and fungal SSU rRNA gene copy number and chlorophyll a concentration. Metabolic responses were measured by five ecoenzyme activities and rates of N transformation. With most measures, nutrient availability, microbial biomass, and process rates were greater in soils beneath the shrub canopy compared to the interspace between plants, and greater in the surface biocrust horizon compared to the deeper 10 cm soil profile. Most measures responded positively to experimental N addition. Effect sizes were generally greater for bulk soil than biocrust. Results were incorporated into a meta-analysis of arid ecosystem responses to N amendment that included data from 14 other studies. Effect sizes were calculated for biomass and metabolic responses. Regressions of effect sizes, calculated for biomass, and metabolic responses, showed similar trends in relation to N application rate and N load (rate × duration). The critical points separating positive from negative treatment effects were 88 kg ha-1 y-1 and 159 kg ha-1, respectively, for biomass, and 70 kg ha-1 y-1 and 114 kg ha-1, respectively, for metabolism. These critical values are comparable to those for microbial biomass, decomposition rates and respiration

  18. Soil microbial responses to nitrogen addition in arid ecosystems

    DOE PAGES

    Sinsabaugh, Robert L.; Belnap, Jayne; Rudgers, Jennifer; Kuske, Cheryl R.; Martinez, Noelle; Sandquist, Darren

    2015-08-14

    The N cycle of arid ecosystems is influenced by low soil organic matter, high soil pH, and extremes in water potential and temperature that lead to open canopies and development of biological soil crusts (biocrusts). We investigated the effects of N amendment on soil microbial dynamics in a Larrea tridentata-Ambrosia dumosa shrubland site in southern Nevada USA. Sites were fertilized with a NO3-NH4 mix at 0, 7, and 15 kg N ha-1 y-1 from March 2012 to March 2013. In March 2013, biocrust (0–0.5 cm) and bulk soils (0–10 cm) were collected beneath Ambrosia canopies and in the interspaces betweenmore » plants. Biomass responses were assessed as bacterial and fungal SSU rRNA gene copy number and chlorophyll a concentration. Metabolic responses were measured by five ecoenzyme activities and rates of N transformation. With most measures, nutrient availability, microbial biomass, and process rates were greater in soils beneath the shrub canopy compared to the interspace between plants, and greater in the surface biocrust horizon compared to the deeper 10 cm soil profile. Most measures responded positively to experimental N addition. Effect sizes were generally greater for bulk soil than biocrust. Results were incorporated into a meta-analysis of arid ecosystem responses to N amendment that included data from 14 other studies. Effect sizes were calculated for biomass and metabolic responses. Regressions of effect sizes, calculated for biomass, and metabolic responses, showed similar trends in relation to N application rate and N load (rate × duration). The critical points separating positive from negative treatment effects were 88 kg ha-1 y-1 and 159 kg ha-1, respectively, for biomass, and 70 kg ha-1 y-1 and 114 kg ha-1, respectively, for metabolism. These critical values are comparable to those for microbial biomass, decomposition rates and respiration reported in broader meta-analyses of N amendment effects in mesic ecosystems. The large effect sizes at low N

  19. Soil microbial responses to nitrogen addition in arid ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Sinsabaugh, Robert L; Belnap, Jayne; Rudgers, Jennifer; Kuske, Cheryl R; Martinez, Noelle; Sandquist, Darren

    2015-01-01

    The N cycle of arid ecosystems is influenced by low soil organic matter, high soil pH, and extremes in water potential and temperature that lead to open canopies and development of biological soil crusts (biocrusts). We investigated the effects of N amendment on soil microbial dynamics in a Larrea tridentata-Ambrosia dumosa shrubland site in southern Nevada USA. Sites were fertilized with a NO3-NH4 mix at 0, 7, and 15 kg N ha(-1) y(-1) from March 2012 to March 2013. In March 2013, biocrust (0-0.5 cm) and bulk soils (0-10 cm) were collected beneath Ambrosia canopies and in the interspaces between plants. Biomass responses were assessed as bacterial and fungal SSU rRNA gene copy number and chlorophyll a concentration. Metabolic responses were measured by five ecoenzyme activities and rates of N transformation. By most measures, nutrient availability, microbial biomass, and process rates were greater in soils beneath the shrub canopy compared to the interspace between plants, and greater in the surface biocrust horizon compared to the deeper 10 cm soil profile. Most measures responded positively to experimental N addition. Effect sizes were generally greater for bulk soil than biocrust. Results were incorporated into a meta-analysis of arid ecosystem responses to N amendment that included data from 14 other studies. Effect sizes were calculated for biomass and metabolic responses. Regressions of effect sizes, calculated for biomass, and metabolic responses, showed similar trends in relation to N application rate and N load (rate × duration). The critical points separating positive from negative treatment effects were 88 kg ha(-1) y(-1) and 159 kg ha(-1), respectively, for biomass, and 70 kg ha(-1) y(-1) and 114 kg ha(-1), respectively, for metabolism. These critical values are comparable to those for microbial biomass, decomposition rates and respiration reported in broader meta-analyses of N amendment effects in mesic ecosystems. However, large effect sizes at low N

  20. Soil microbial responses to nitrogen addition in arid ecosystems

    PubMed Central

    Sinsabaugh, Robert L.; Belnap, Jayne; Rudgers, Jennifer; Kuske, Cheryl R.; Martinez, Noelle; Sandquist, Darren

    2015-01-01

    The N cycle of arid ecosystems is influenced by low soil organic matter, high soil pH, and extremes in water potential and temperature that lead to open canopies and development of biological soil crusts (biocrusts). We investigated the effects of N amendment on soil microbial dynamics in a Larrea tridentata-Ambrosia dumosa shrubland site in southern Nevada USA. Sites were fertilized with a NO3-NH4 mix at 0, 7, and 15 kg N ha-1 y-1 from March 2012 to March 2013. In March 2013, biocrust (0–0.5 cm) and bulk soils (0–10 cm) were collected beneath Ambrosia canopies and in the interspaces between plants. Biomass responses were assessed as bacterial and fungal SSU rRNA gene copy number and chlorophyll a concentration. Metabolic responses were measured by five ecoenzyme activities and rates of N transformation. By most measures, nutrient availability, microbial biomass, and process rates were greater in soils beneath the shrub canopy compared to the interspace between plants, and greater in the surface biocrust horizon compared to the deeper 10 cm soil profile. Most measures responded positively to experimental N addition. Effect sizes were generally greater for bulk soil than biocrust. Results were incorporated into a meta-analysis of arid ecosystem responses to N amendment that included data from 14 other studies. Effect sizes were calculated for biomass and metabolic responses. Regressions of effect sizes, calculated for biomass, and metabolic responses, showed similar trends in relation to N application rate and N load (rate × duration). The critical points separating positive from negative treatment effects were 88 kg ha-1 y-1 and 159 kg ha-1, respectively, for biomass, and 70 kg ha-1 y-1 and 114 kg ha-1, respectively, for metabolism. These critical values are comparable to those for microbial biomass, decomposition rates and respiration reported in broader meta-analyses of N amendment effects in mesic ecosystems. However, large effect sizes at low N addition

  1. In the dark: A review of ecosystem processes during the Arctic polar night

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Berge, Jørgen; Renaud, Paul E.; Darnis, Gerald; Cottier, Finlo; Last, Kim; Gabrielsen, Tove M.; Johnsen, Geir; Seuthe, Lena; Weslawski, Jan Marcin; Leu, Eva; Moline, Mark; Nahrgang, Jasmine; Søreide, Janne E.; Varpe, Øystein; Lønne, Ole Jørgen; Daase, Malin; Falk-Petersen, Stig

    2015-12-01

    Several recent lines of evidence indicate that the polar night is key to understanding Arctic marine ecosystems. First, the polar night is not a period void of biological activity even though primary production is close to zero, but is rather characterized by a number of processes and interactions yet to be fully understood, including unanticipated high levels of feeding and reproduction in a wide range of taxa and habitats. Second, as more knowledge emerges, it is evident that a coupled physical and biological perspective of the ecosystem will redefine seasonality beyond the "calendar perspective". Third, it appears that many organisms may exhibit endogenous rhythms that trigger fitness-maximizing activities in the absence of light-based cues. Indeed a common adaptation appears to be the ability to utilize the dark season for reproduction. This and other processes are most likely adaptations to current environmental conditions and community and trophic structures of the ecosystem, and may have implications for how Arctic ecosystems can change under continued climatic warming.

  2. Effects of long-term nutrient additions on Arctic tundra, stream, and lake ecosystems: beyond NPP.

    PubMed

    Gough, Laura; Bettez, Neil D; Slavik, Karie A; Bowden, William B; Giblin, Anne E; Kling, George W; Laundre, James A; Shaver, Gaius R

    2016-11-01

    Primary producers form the base of food webs but also affect other ecosystem characteristics, such as habitat structure, light availability, and microclimate. Here, we examine changes caused by 5-30+ years of nutrient addition and resulting increases in net primary productivity (NPP) in tundra, streams, and lakes in northern Alaska. The Arctic provides an important opportunity to examine how ecosystems characterized by low diversity and low productivity respond to release from nutrient limitation. We review how responses of algae and plants affect light availability, perennial biotic structures available for consumers, oxygen levels, and temperature. Sometimes, responses were similar across all three ecosystems; e.g., increased NPP significantly reduced light to the substrate following fertilization. Perennial biotic structures increased in tundra and streams but not in lakes, and provided important new habitat niches for consumers as well as other producers. Oxygen and temperature responses also differed. Life history traits (e.g., longevity) of the primary producers along with the fate of detritus drove the responses and recovery. As global change persists and nutrients become more available in the Arctic and elsewhere, incorporating these factors as response variables will enable better prediction of ecosystem changes and feedbacks in this biome and others.

  3. Net Ecosystem Production of Polar Desert and Wetland Landscapes in the Rapidly Changing Canadian High Arctic

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Emmerton, C. A.; St Louis, V. L.; Humphreys, E.; Barker, J. D.; Gamon, J. A.; Pastorello, G.

    2014-12-01

    A rapidly warming and wetting Arctic climate is changing the net ecosystem production (NEP) of northern landscapes and subsequent exchange of carbon dioxide (CO2) with the atmosphere. Assessments of northern terrestrial NEP have focused mostly on the rich peatland landscapes of the low Arctic, with far fewer studies from expansive, but sparse, high Arctic polar landscapes. Consequently, how these ecosystems may respond to a warming and wetting climate is still a key gap in our understanding of global carbon feedbacks. We used multi-season eddy covariance measurements to quantify growing season (June to September) NEP on contrasting polar desert and meadow wetland landscapes near Lake Hazen on northern Ellesmere Island (81ºN), in Canada's high Arctic. We also used variation in contemporary NEP and weather to improve our understanding of potential future carbon cycling in a warmer and wetter high Arctic climate. During a typical growing season, we found that a dry polar desert landscape accumulated only 6.6±1.2 g C m-2 similar to other high Arctic sites and consistent with cold, barren soils with weak plant growth. Desert NEP coincided strongest with landscape moisture, rather than heating, with increased NEP occurring during drier conditions when soil heterotrophic rates were lowest. With a nearly constant but varying supply of water, the productive meadow wetland accumulated 13 times more carbon (86.1±16.9 g C m-2) than the desert during the growing season. NEP at the wetland was similar to comparable landscapes much further south, owing to continuous 24-hour daylight and typically clear-skies surrounding Lake Hazen. Wetland soils showed a consistent strong burst of CO2 to the atmosphere each spring (min. NEP: -2.5 µmol CO2 s-1 m-2) and a well-defined peak in July productivity (3.9-4.4 µmol CO2 s-1 m-2). Wetland NEP associated positively and strongly with both landscape heating and moisture, suggesting that autotrophic limitations other than water or heat

  4. Diversity and Distribution of Marine Microbial Eukaryotes in the Arctic Ocean and Adjacent Seas†‡

    PubMed Central

    Lovejoy, C.; Massana, R.; Pedrós-Alió, C.

    2006-01-01

    We analyzed microbial eukaryote diversity in perennially cold arctic marine waters by using 18S rRNA gene clone libraries. Samples were collected during concurrent oceanographic missions to opposite sides of the Arctic Ocean Basin and encompassed five distinct water masses. Two deep water Arctic Ocean sites and the convergence of the Greenland, Norwegian, and Barents Seas were sampled from 28 August to 2 September 2002. An additional sample was obtained from the Beaufort Sea (Canada) in early October 2002. The ribotypes were diverse, with different communities among sites and between the upper mixed layer and just below the halocline. Eukaryotes from the remote Canada Basin contained new phylotypes belonging to the radiolarian orders Acantharea, Polycystinea, and Taxopodida. A novel group within the photosynthetic stramenopiles was also identified. One sample closest to the interior of the Canada Basin yielded only four major taxa, and all but two of the sequences recovered belonged to the polar diatom Fragilariopsis and a radiolarian. Overall, 42% of the sequences were <98% similar to any sequences in GenBank. Moreover, 15% of these were <95% similar to previously recovered sequences, which is indicative of endemic or undersampled taxa in the North Polar environment. The cold, stable Arctic Ocean is a threatened environment, and climate change could result in significant loss of global microbial biodiversity. PMID:16672445

  5. Diversity and distribution of marine microbial eukaryotes in the Arctic Ocean and adjacent seas.

    PubMed

    Lovejoy, C; Massana, R; Pedrós-Alió, C

    2006-05-01

    We analyzed microbial eukaryote diversity in perennially cold arctic marine waters by using 18S rRNA gene clone libraries. Samples were collected during concurrent oceanographic missions to opposite sides of the Arctic Ocean Basin and encompassed five distinct water masses. Two deep water Arctic Ocean sites and the convergence of the Greenland, Norwegian, and Barents Seas were sampled from 28 August to 2 September 2002. An additional sample was obtained from the Beaufort Sea (Canada) in early October 2002. The ribotypes were diverse, with different communities among sites and between the upper mixed layer and just below the halocline. Eukaryotes from the remote Canada Basin contained new phylotypes belonging to the radiolarian orders Acantharea, Polycystinea, and Taxopodida. A novel group within the photosynthetic stramenopiles was also identified. One sample closest to the interior of the Canada Basin yielded only four major taxa, and all but two of the sequences recovered belonged to the polar diatom Fragilariopsis and a radiolarian. Overall, 42% of the sequences were <98% similar to any sequences in GenBank. Moreover, 15% of these were <95% similar to previously recovered sequences, which is indicative of endemic or undersampled taxa in the North Polar environment. The cold, stable Arctic Ocean is a threatened environment, and climate change could result in significant loss of global microbial biodiversity. PMID:16672445

  6. Carbon and nitrogen isotope studies in an arctic aquatic ecosystem

    SciTech Connect

    Schell, D.M.

    1989-01-01

    The Phase II studies of the R4D Program on stream and watershed ecology reflect the accomplishments and accumulation of baseline information obtained during the past studies. Although our rough estimates indicate that nitrogen inputs to the watershed ba lance losses, the carbon fluxes suggest that they are not in equilibrium and that there is a net loss of carbon from the tundra ecosystem through respiration and transport out of the watershed via the stream system. Radiocarbon profiles of soil sections coupled with mass transport calculations revealed that peat accumulation has essentially ceased in the R4D watershed and appears to be in ablative loss. Thus the carbon flux measurements provide validation tests for the PLANTGRO and GAS-HYDRO models of the PHASE II studies. These findings are also important in the context of global CO[sub 2] increases from positive feedback mechanisms in peatlands associated with climatic warming in the subarctic regions.

  7. Carbon and nitrogen isotope studies in an arctic ecosystem

    SciTech Connect

    Schell, D.M.

    1989-01-01

    This proposal requests funding for the completion of our current ecological studies at the MS-117 research site at Toolik Lake, Alaska. We have been using a mix of stable and radioisotope techniques to assess the fluxes of carbon and nitrogen within the ecosystem and the implications for long-term carbon storage or loss from the tundra. Several tentative conclusions have emerged from our study including: Tundra in the foothills is no longer accumulating carbon. Surficial radiocarbon abundances show little or no accumulation since 1000--2500 yrs BP. Coastal plain tundra is still accumulating carbon, but the rate of accumulation has dropped in the last few thousand years. Carbon export from watersheds in the Kuparuk and Imnavait Creek drainages are in excess of that expected from estimated primary productivity; and Nitrogen isotope abundances vary between species of plants and along hydrologic gradients.

  8. Carbon and nitrogen isotope studies in an arctic ecosystem

    SciTech Connect

    Schell, D.M.

    1989-12-31

    This proposal requests funding for the completion of our current ecological studies at the MS-117 research site at Toolik Lake, Alaska. We have been using a mix of stable and radioisotope techniques to assess the fluxes of carbon and nitrogen within the ecosystem and the implications for long-term carbon storage or loss from the tundra. Several tentative conclusions have emerged from our study including: Tundra in the foothills is no longer accumulating carbon. Surficial radiocarbon abundances show little or no accumulation since 1000--2500 yrs BP. Coastal plain tundra is still accumulating carbon, but the rate of accumulation has dropped in the last few thousand years. Carbon export from watersheds in the Kuparuk and Imnavait Creek drainages are in excess of that expected from estimated primary productivity; and Nitrogen isotope abundances vary between species of plants and along hydrologic gradients.

  9. Carbon and nitrogen isotope studies in an arctic aquatic ecosystem

    SciTech Connect

    Schell, D.M.

    1989-12-31

    The Phase II studies of the R4D Program on stream and watershed ecology reflect the accomplishments and accumulation of baseline information obtained during the past studies. Although our rough estimates indicate that nitrogen inputs to the watershed ba lance losses, the carbon fluxes suggest that they are not in equilibrium and that there is a net loss of carbon from the tundra ecosystem through respiration and transport out of the watershed via the stream system. Radiocarbon profiles of soil sections coupled with mass transport calculations revealed that peat accumulation has essentially ceased in the R4D watershed and appears to be in ablative loss. Thus the carbon flux measurements provide validation tests for the PLANTGRO and GAS-HYDRO models of the PHASE II studies. These findings are also important in the context of global CO{sub 2} increases from positive feedback mechanisms in peatlands associated with climatic warming in the subarctic regions.

  10. Photodemethylation of Methylmercury in Eastern Canadian Arctic Thaw Pond and Lake Ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Girard, Catherine; Leclerc, Maxime; Amyot, Marc

    2016-04-01

    Permafrost thaw ponds of the warming Eastern Canadian Arctic are major landscape constituents and often display high levels of methylmercury (MeHg). We examined photodegradation potentials in high-dissolved organic matter (DOC) thaw ponds on Bylot Island (BYL) and a low-DOC oligotrophic lake on Cornwallis Island (Char Lake). In BYL, the ambient MeHg photodemethylation (PD) rate over 48 h of solar exposure was 6.1 × 10(-3) m(2) E(-1), and the rate in MeHg amended samples was 9.3 × 10(-3) m(2) E(-1). In contrast, in low-DOC Char Lake, PD was only observed in the first 12 h, which suggests that PD may not be an important loss process in polar desert lakes. Thioglycolic acid addition slowed PD, while glutathione and chlorides did not impact northern PD rates. During an ecosystem-wide experiment conducted in a covered BYL pond, there was neither net MeHg increase in the dark nor loss attributable to PD following re-exposure to sunlight. We propose that high-DOC Arctic thaw ponds are more prone to MeHg PD than nearby oligotrophic lakes, likely through photoproduction of reactive species rather than via thiol complexation. However, at the ecosystem level, these ponds, which are widespread through the Arctic, remain likely sources of MeHg for neighboring systems. PMID:26938195

  11. Interactions between Snow Chemistry, Mercury Inputs and Microbial Population Dynamics in an Arctic Snowpack

    PubMed Central

    Larose, Catherine; Prestat, Emmanuel; Cecillon, Sébastien; Berger, Sibel; Malandain, Cédric; Lyon, Delina; Ferrari, Christophe; Schneider, Dominique; Dommergue, Aurélien; Vogel, Timothy M.

    2013-01-01

    We investigated the interactions between snowpack chemistry, mercury (Hg) contamination and microbial community structure and function in Arctic snow. Snowpack chemistry (inorganic and organic ions) including mercury (Hg) speciation was studied in samples collected during a two-month field study in a high Arctic site, Svalbard, Norway (79°N). Shifts in microbial community structure were determined by using a 16S rRNA gene phylogenetic microarray. We linked snowpack and meltwater chemistry to changes in microbial community structure by using co-inertia analyses (CIA) and explored changes in community function due to Hg contamination by q-PCR quantification of Hg-resistance genes in metagenomic samples. Based on the CIA, chemical and microbial data were linked (p = 0.006) with bioavailable Hg (BioHg) and methylmercury (MeHg) contributing significantly to the ordination of samples. Mercury was shown to influence community function with increases in merA gene copy numbers at low BioHg levels. Our results show that snowpacks can be considered as dynamic habitats with microbial and chemical components responding rapidly to environmental changes. PMID:24282515

  12. Microbial adaptation to temperature increases the vulnerability of carbon stocks in Arctic and Boreal soils to climate change

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Karhu, Kristiina; Auffret, Marc; Dungait, Jennifer; Fraser, Fiona; Hopkins, David; Prosser, James; Singh, Brajesh; Subke, Jens-Arne; Wookey, Philip; Ågren, Göran; Hartley, Iain

    2013-04-01

    There are concerns that global warming may stimulate decomposition rates in soils, leading to a substantial release of CO2 to the atmosphere, and thus accelerating rates of 21st century climate change. However, there is growing recognition that adaptation of soil microbial communities to changes in their prevailing thermal regime may alter the potential rate of carbon release. Critically, recent studies have produced conflicting results in terms of whether adaptation of soil microbial communities to temperature reduces (thermal acclimation) or enhances (enhancement) the direct effects of temperature changes on decomposition rates. This lack of understanding adds considerably to uncertainty in predictions of the magnitude and direction of carbon-cycle feedbacks to climate change. Investigating the impacts of adaptation to temperature is currently only possible in controlled laboratory experiments, in which fluctuations in substrate availability can be minimised. We developed a approach which involves incubating soils at 3°C above mean annual temperature (MAT), until respiration rates stabilise, then cooling by 6°C (MAT -3 °C) and determining the potential for respiration rates to recover during extended exposure to lower temperatures. Our approach avoids the issues associated with substrate depletion in warming studies, but still tests whether adaptation enhances or reduces the direct impact of temperature on microbial activity. In contrast to many other studies, our initial research clearly demonstrated enhancement in Arctic soils. Here we present results from a new project which has extended the approach to soils sampled from contrasting Arctic, Boreal, temperate, Mediterranean and tropical ecosystems. This study represents one of the most extensive investigations undertaken into the potential for thermal acclimation, and/or enhancement, under contrasting environmental conditions. We also attempted to disentangle the mechanisms underlying the observed responses

  13. Differential methane oxidation activity and microbial community composition at cold seeps in the Arctic off western Svalbard

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gründger, Friederike; Svenning, Mette M.; Niemann, Helge; Silyakova, Anna; Serov, Pavel; Li Hong, Wei; Wegener, Gunter; Panieri, Giuliana; Carroll, JoLynn

    2016-04-01

    Most models considering climate change related bottom water warming suggest that gas hydrates may become destabilized, leading to the mobilization of methane into seabed and water column ecosystems, and, eventually, into the atmosphere. However, the capacity of methanotrophic microbes retaining methane in sediments and the hydrosphere is not well constrained. Here, we investigate the microbial utilization of methane in sediments and the water column, focusing on cold seeps discovered at the arctic continental margin of western Svalbard. We measured ex situ rates of methane oxidation and sulfate reduction in two active gas flare sites with different geological settings at the Vestnesa Ridge (1204 m water depth) and within a pingolike feature area southwest off Svalbard (PLF; 380 m water depth). Our results show contrarily situations at our two sampling sites: At Vestnesa Ridge we find high methane oxidation rates with values up to 2055 nmol cm-3 d-1 at the sediment surface where the sediments are oversaturated with methane. Whereas, methane concentration and oxidation rates are low in the overlying water column (2 pmol cm-3 d-1). In contrast, at the sediment surface at PLF methane concentration and oxidation rates are considerably lower (up to 1.8 nmol cm-3 d-1). While the overlying bottom water contains high concentration of methane and shows oxidation rates with values of up to 3.8 nmol cm-3 d-1. The data on methane oxidation and sulfate reduction activity are compared to the sediment geochemistry and to data from metagenomic analysis identifying the methanotrophic community composition. These results provide unique insight into the dynamic responses of the seabed biological filter at cold seeps in the Arctic off western Svalbard. This study is part of the Centre for Arctic Gas Hydrate, Environment and Climate and was supported by the Research Council of Norway through its Centres of Excellence funding scheme grant No. 223259.

  14. Impact of active layer detachments on carbon exchange in a high-Arctic ecosystem, Cape Bounty, Nunavut, Canada

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Scott, N. A.; Beamish, A.; Neil, A.; Wagner, I.

    2011-12-01

    moisture continue to increase and lead to an increase in disturbance frequency. Not only could these disturbances become net C sources, but they could also liberate older C previously unavailable for microbial activity. Quantifying the impact of active layer detachments is crucial to furthering our understanding of interactions between terrestrial ecosystems in the arctic and the climate system.

  15. Arctic ecosystem structure and functioning shaped by climate and herbivore body size

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Legagneux, P.; Gauthier, G.; Lecomte, N.; Schmidt, N. M.; Reid, D.; Cadieux, M.-C.; Berteaux, D.; Bêty, J.; Krebs, C. J.; Ims, R. A.; Yoccoz, N. G.; Morrison, R. I. G.; Leroux, S. J.; Loreau, M.; Gravel, D.

    2014-05-01

    Significant progress has been made in our understanding of species-level responses to climate change, but upscaling to entire ecosystems remains a challenge. This task is particularly urgent in the Arctic, where global warming is most pronounced. Here we report the results of an international collaboration on the direct and indirect effects of climate on the functioning of Arctic terrestrial ecosystems. Our data from seven terrestrial food webs spread along a wide range of latitudes (~1,500 km) and climates (Δ mean July temperature = 8.5 °C) across the circumpolar world show the effects of climate on tundra primary production, food-web structure and species interaction strength. The intensity of predation on lower trophic levels increased significantly with temperature, at approximately 4.5% per °C. Temperature also affected trophic interactions through an indirect effect on food-web structure (that is, diversity and number of interactions). Herbivore body size was a major determinant of predator-prey interactions, as interaction strength was positively related to the predator-prey size ratio, with large herbivores mostly escaping predation. There is potential for climate warming to cause a switch from bottom-up to top-down regulation of herbivores. These results are critical to resolving the debate on the regulation of tundra and other terrestrial ecosystems exposed to global change.

  16. Potential drivers of microbial community structure and function in Arctic spring snow.

    PubMed

    Maccario, Lorrie; Vogel, Timothy M; Larose, Catherine

    2014-01-01

    The Arctic seasonal snowpack can extend at times over a third of the Earth's land surface. This chemically dynamic environment interacts constantly with different environmental compartments such as atmosphere, soil and meltwater, and thus, strongly influences the entire biosphere. However, the microbial community associated with this habitat remains poorly understood. Our objective was to investigate the functional capacities, diversity and dynamics of the microorganisms in snow and to test the hypothesis that their functional signature reflects the snow environment. We applied a metagenomic approach to nine snow samples taken over 2 months during the spring season. Fungi, Bacteroidetes, and Proteobacteria were predominant in metagenomic datasets and changes in community structure were apparent throughout the field season. Functional data that strongly correlated with chemical parameters like mercury or nitrogen species supported that this variation could be explained by fluctuations in environmental conditions. Through inter-environmental comparisons we examined potential drivers of snowpack microbial community functioning. Known cold adaptations were detected in all compared environments without any apparent differences in their relative abundance, implying that adaptive mechanisms related to environmental factors other than temperature may play a role in defining the snow microbial community. Photochemical reactions and oxidative stress seem to be decisive parameters in structuring microbial communities inside Arctic snowpacks.

  17. Potential drivers of microbial community structure and function in Arctic spring snow

    PubMed Central

    Maccario, Lorrie; Vogel, Timothy M.; Larose, Catherine

    2014-01-01

    The Arctic seasonal snowpack can extend at times over a third of the Earth’s land surface. This chemically dynamic environment interacts constantly with different environmental compartments such as atmosphere, soil and meltwater, and thus, strongly influences the entire biosphere. However, the microbial community associated with this habitat remains poorly understood. Our objective was to investigate the functional capacities, diversity and dynamics of the microorganisms in snow and to test the hypothesis that their functional signature reflects the snow environment. We applied a metagenomic approach to nine snow samples taken over 2 months during the spring season. Fungi, Bacteroidetes, and Proteobacteria were predominant in metagenomic datasets and changes in community structure were apparent throughout the field season. Functional data that strongly correlated with chemical parameters like mercury or nitrogen species supported that this variation could be explained by fluctuations in environmental conditions. Through inter-environmental comparisons we examined potential drivers of snowpack microbial community functioning. Known cold adaptations were detected in all compared environments without any apparent differences in their relative abundance, implying that adaptive mechanisms related to environmental factors other than temperature may play a role in defining the snow microbial community. Photochemical reactions and oxidative stress seem to be decisive parameters in structuring microbial communities inside Arctic snowpacks. PMID:25147550

  18. Does microbial biomass affect pelagic ecosystem efficiency? An experimental study.

    PubMed

    Wehr, J D; Le, J; Campbell, L

    1994-01-01

    Bacteria and other microorganisms in the pelagic zone participate in the recycling of organic matter and nutrients within the water column. The microbial loop is thought to enhance ecosystem efficiency through rapid recycling and reduced sinking rates, thus reducing the loss of nutrients contained in organisms remaining within the photic zone. We conducted experiments with lake communities in 5400-liter mesocosms, and measured the flux of materials and nutrients out of the water column. A factorial design manipulated 8 nutrient treatments: 4 phosphorus levels × 2 nitrogen levels. Total sedimentation rates were greatest in high-N mesocosms; within N-surplus communities, [Symbol: see text]1 µM P resulted in 50% increase in total particulate losses. P additions without added N had small effects on nutrient losses from the photic zone; +2 µM P tanks received 334 mg P per tank, yet after 14 days lost only 69 mg more particulate-P than did control communities. Nutrient treatments resulted in marked differences in phytoplankton biomass (twofold N effect, fivefold P effect in +N mesocosms only), bacterioplankton densities (twofold N-effect, twofold P effects in -N and +N mesocosms), and the relative importance of autotrophic picoplankton (maximum in high NY mesocosms). Multiple regression analysis found that of 8 plankton and water chemistry variables, the ratio of autotrophic picoplankton to total phytoplankton (measured as chlorophyll α) explained the largest portion of the total variation in sedimentation loss rates (65% of P-flux, 57% of N-flux, 26% of total flux). In each case, systems with greater relative importance of autotrophic picoplankton had significantly reduced loss rates. In contrast, greater numbers of planktonic bacteria were associated with increased sedimentation rates and lower system efficiency. We suggest that different microbial components may have contrasting effects on the presumed enhanced efficiency provided by the microbial loop.

  19. Soil-plant N processes in a High Arctic ecosystem, NW Greenland are altered by long-term experimental warming and higher rainfall.

    PubMed

    Schaeffer, Sean M; Sharp, Elizabeth; Schimel, Joshua P; Welker, Jeffery M

    2013-11-01

    Rapid temperature and precipitation changes in High Arctic tundra ecosystems are altering the biogeochemical cycles of carbon (C) and nitrogen (N), but in ways that are difficult to predict. The challenge grows from the uncertainty of N cycle responses and the extent to which shifts in soil N are coupled with the C cycle and productivity of tundra systems. We used a long-term (since 2003) experiment of summer warming and supplemental summer water additions to a High Arctic ecosystem in NW Greenland, and applied a combination of discrete sampling and in situ soil core incubations to measure C and N pools and seasonal microbial processes that might control plant-available N. We hypothesized that elevated temperature and increased precipitation would stimulate microbial activity and net inorganic N mineralization, thereby increasing plant N-availability through the growing season. While we did find increased N mineralization rates under both global change scenarios, water addition also significantly increased net nitrification rates, loss of NO3 (-) -N via leaching, and lowered rates of labile organic N production. We also expected the chronic warming and watering would lead to long-term changes in soil N-cycling that would be reflected in soil δ(15) N values. We found that soil δ(15) N decreased under the different climate change scenarios. Our results suggest that temperature accelerates biological processes and existing C and N transformations, but moisture increases soil hydraulic connectivity and so alters the pathways, and changes the fate of the products of C and N transformations. In addition, our findings indicate that warmer, wetter High Arctic tundra will be cycling N and C in ways that may transform these landscapes in part leading to greater C sequestration, but simultaneously, N losses from the upper soil profile that may be transported to depth dissolved in water and or transported off site in lateral flow.

  20. Some New Windows into Terrestrial Deep Subsurface Microbial Ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Moser, D. P.

    2011-12-01

    Over the past several years, our group has surveyed the microbial ecology and biogeochemistry of a range of fracture rock subsurface ecosystems via deep mine boreholes in South Africa, the United States, and Canada; and boreholes from surface or deeply-sourced natural springs of the U.S. Great Basin. Collectively, these mostly unexplored habitats represent a wide range of geologic provinces, host rock types, aquatic chemistries, and the vast potential for biogeographic isolation. Thus, patterns of microbial diversity are of interest from the perspective of filling a fundamental knowledge gap; and while not necessarily expected, the detection of closely related microorganisms from geographically isolated settings would be noteworthy. Across these sample sets, microbial communities were invariably very low in biomass (e.g. 10e3 - 10e4 cells per mL) and dominated by deeply-branching bacterial lineages, particularly from the phyla Firmicutes and Nitrospira. In several cases, the Firmicutes have shown very close phylogenetic affiliations to lineages detected at divergent locations. For example, one abundant lineage from a new artesian well drilled into the Furnace Creek Fault of Death Valley, CA bears a very close phylogenetic relatedness to environmental DNA sequences (SSU rRNA gene) detected in one of the world's deepest mines (Tau Tona of South Africa) and what was North America's deepest gold mine (Homestake of South Dakota). Several radioactive wells from the Nevada National Security Site have produced rRNA gene sequences very close (e.g. greater than 99% identity) to that of Desulforudis audaxviator, a rarely detected microorganism thought to subsist as a single species ecosystem on the products of radiochemical reactions in deep crustal rocks from the South African Witwatersrand Basin. These sequences, along with more distantly related sequences from the marine subsurface (ridge flank basalt and mud volcanoes) and groundwater in Europe, hint at a role in certain

  1. Bacterial production and microbial food web structure in a large arctic river and the coastal Arctic Ocean

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vallières, Catherine; Retamal, Leira; Ramlal, Patricia; Osburn, Christopher L.; Vincent, Warwick F.

    2008-12-01

    Globally significant quantities of organic carbon are stored in northern permafrost soils, but little is known about how this carbon is processed by microbial communities once it enters rivers and is transported to the coastal Arctic Ocean. As part of the Arctic River-Delta Experiment (ARDEX), we measured environmental and microbiological variables along a 300 km transect in the Mackenzie River and coastal Beaufort Sea, in July-August 2004. Surface bacterial concentrations averaged 6.7 × 10 5 cells mL - 1 with no significant differences between sampling zones. Picocyanobacteria were abundant in the river, and mostly observed as cell colonies. Their concentrations in the surface waters decreased across the salinity gradient, dropping from 51,000 (river) to 30 (sea) cells mL - 1 . There were accompanying shifts in protist community structure, from diatoms, cryptophytes, heterotrophic protists and chrysophytes in the river, to dinoflagellates, prymnesiophytes, chrysophytes, prasinophytes, diatoms and heterotrophic protists in the Beaufort Sea. Size-fractionated bacterial production, as measured by 3H-leucine uptake, varied from 76 to 416 ng C L - 1 h - 1 . The contribution of particle-attached bacteria (> 3 µm fraction) to total bacterial production decreased from > 90% at the Mackenzie River stations to < 20% at an offshore marine site, and the relative importance of this particle-based fraction was inversely correlated with salinity and positively correlated with particulate organic carbon concentrations. Glucose enrichment experiments indicated that bacterial metabolism was carbon limited in the Mackenzie River but not in the coastal ocean. Prior exposure of water samples to full sunlight increased the biolability of dissolved organic carbon (DOC) in the Mackenzie River but decreased it in the Beaufort Sea. Estimated depth-integrated bacterial respiration rates in the Mackenzie River were higher than depth-integrated primary production rates, while at the marine

  2. The response of microbial communities to diverse organic matter sources in the Arctic Ocean

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dyda, Rachael Y.; Suzuki, Marcelino T.; Yoshinaga, Marcos Y.; Rodger Harvey, H.

    2009-08-01

    The response of Arctic microbial communities to a variety of natural organic matter substrates, including peat, ice algae and ice-rafted debris was examined using bacterial regrowth experiments and compared to unamended controls. Bacterial growth and production were followed together with the phylogenetic composition using length-heterogeneity polymerase chain reaction (LH-PCR), and 16S rRNA gene cloning and sequencing. Intact phospholipids (IPLs) and fatty acids evaluated the relationship between lipids and bacterial community structure and the impact of varied organic substrates on microbial lipid synthesis. Differential responses to organic matter sources were observed, with ice algae supporting both higher bacterial growth and production than terrestrial-derived peat. In spite of disparate growth kinetics, the community composition remained similar in all amended incubations as was confirmed by automated ribosomal intergenic spacer analysis (ARISA). Gammaproteobacteria dominated the initial incubations, whereas in extended incubations with terrestrial peat Alphaproteobacteria dominated; in particular Sulfitobacter phylotypes closely related (>99%) to an Arctic sea-ice-associated member of the Roseobacter clade (ARK10278). Arctic bacterioplankton preferentially synthesized two phospholipids, phosphatidylethanolamine (PE) and phosphatidylglygerol (PG), with 18:0n, 18:1Δ11, 16:0n and 16:1Δ9 as the primary fatty acids. Overall, results show that organic matter source plays an important role in structuring bacterioplankton community composition, with similar IPL and fatty acid lipid distributions observed among phylogenetically distinct bacteria.

  3. Ciliate biogeography in Antarctic and Arctic freshwater ecosystems: endemism or global distribution of species?

    PubMed

    Petz, Wolfgang; Valbonesi, Alessandro; Schiftner, Uwe; Quesada, Antonio; Cynan Ellis-Evans, J

    2007-02-01

    Ciliate diversity was investigated in situ in freshwater ecosystems of the maritime (South Shetland Islands, mainly Livingston Island, 63 degrees S) and continental Antarctic (Victoria Land, 75 degrees S), and the High Arctic (Svalbard, 79 degrees N). In total, 334 species from 117 genera were identified in both polar regions, i.e. 210 spp. (98 genera) in the Arctic, 120 spp. (73 genera) in the maritime and 59 spp. (41 genera) in the continental Antarctic. Forty-four species (13% of all species) were common to both Arctic and Antarctic freshwater bodies and 19 spp. to both Antarctic areas (12% of all species). Many taxa are cosmopolitans but some, e.g. Stentor and Metopus spp., are not, and over 20% of the taxa found in any one of the three areas are new to science. Cluster analysis revealed that species similarity between different biotopes (soil, moss) within a study area was higher than between similar biotopes in different regions. Distinct differences in the species composition of freshwater and terrestrial communities indicate that most limnetic ciliates are not ubiquitously distributed. These observations and the low congruence in species composition between both polar areas, within Antarctica and between high- and temperate-latitude water bodies, respectively, suggest that long-distance dispersal of limnetic ciliates is restricted and that some species have a limited geographical distribution. PMID:17313584

  4. Spatial and temporal trends of contaminants in Canadian Arctic freshwater and terrestrial ecosystems: a review.

    PubMed

    Braune, B; Muir, D; DeMarch, B; Gamberg, M; Poole, K; Currie, R; Dodd, M; Duschenko, W; Eamer, J; Elkin, B; Evans, M; Grundy, S; Hebert, C; Johnstone, R; Kidd, K; Koenig, B; Lockhart, L; Marshall, H; Reimer, K; Sanderson, J; Shutt, L

    1999-06-01

    The state of knowledge of contaminants in Canadian Arctic biota of the freshwater and terrestrial ecosystems has advanced enormously since the publication of the first major reviews by Lockhart et al. and Thomas et al. in The Science of the Total Environment in 1992. The most significant gains are new knowledge of spatial trends of organochlorines and heavy metal contaminants in terrestrial animals, such as caribou and mink, and in waterfowl, where no information was previously available. Spatial trends in freshwater fish have been broadened, especially in the Yukon, where contaminant measurements of, for example, organochlorines were previously non-existent. A review of contaminants data for fish from the Northwest Territories, Yukon and northern Quebec showed mercury as the one contaminant which consistently exceeds guideline limits for subsistence consumption or commercial sale. Lake trout and northern pike in the Canadian Shield lakes of the Northwest Territories and northern Quebec generally had the most elevated levels. Levels of other heavy metals were generally not elevated in fish. Toxaphene was the major organochlorine contaminant in all fish analyzed. The concentrations of organochlorine contaminants in fish appear to be a function not only of trophic level but of other aspects of the lake ecosystem. Among Arctic terrestrial mammals, PCBs and cadmium were the most prominent contaminants in the species analyzed. Relatively high levels (10-60 micrograms g-1) of cadmium were observed in kidney and liver of caribou from the Yukon, the Northwest Territories and northern Quebec, with concentrations in western herds being higher than in those from the east. For the organochlorine contaminants, a west to east increase in zigma PCBs, HCB and zigma HCH was found in caribou, probably as a result of the predominant west to east/north-east atmospheric circulation pattern which delivers these contaminants from industrialized regions of central and eastern North

  5. Spatial and temporal trends of contaminants in Canadian Arctic freshwater and terrestrial ecosystems: a review.

    PubMed

    Braune, B; Muir, D; DeMarch, B; Gamberg, M; Poole, K; Currie, R; Dodd, M; Duschenko, W; Eamer, J; Elkin, B; Evans, M; Grundy, S; Hebert, C; Johnstone, R; Kidd, K; Koenig, B; Lockhart, L; Marshall, H; Reimer, K; Sanderson, J; Shutt, L

    1999-06-01

    The state of knowledge of contaminants in Canadian Arctic biota of the freshwater and terrestrial ecosystems has advanced enormously since the publication of the first major reviews by Lockhart et al. and Thomas et al. in The Science of the Total Environment in 1992. The most significant gains are new knowledge of spatial trends of organochlorines and heavy metal contaminants in terrestrial animals, such as caribou and mink, and in waterfowl, where no information was previously available. Spatial trends in freshwater fish have been broadened, especially in the Yukon, where contaminant measurements of, for example, organochlorines were previously non-existent. A review of contaminants data for fish from the Northwest Territories, Yukon and northern Quebec showed mercury as the one contaminant which consistently exceeds guideline limits for subsistence consumption or commercial sale. Lake trout and northern pike in the Canadian Shield lakes of the Northwest Territories and northern Quebec generally had the most elevated levels. Levels of other heavy metals were generally not elevated in fish. Toxaphene was the major organochlorine contaminant in all fish analyzed. The concentrations of organochlorine contaminants in fish appear to be a function not only of trophic level but of other aspects of the lake ecosystem. Among Arctic terrestrial mammals, PCBs and cadmium were the most prominent contaminants in the species analyzed. Relatively high levels (10-60 micrograms g-1) of cadmium were observed in kidney and liver of caribou from the Yukon, the Northwest Territories and northern Quebec, with concentrations in western herds being higher than in those from the east. For the organochlorine contaminants, a west to east increase in zigma PCBs, HCB and zigma HCH was found in caribou, probably as a result of the predominant west to east/north-east atmospheric circulation pattern which delivers these contaminants from industrialized regions of central and eastern North

  6. Energy landscapes shape microbial communities in hydrothermal systems on the Arctic Mid-Ocean Ridge.

    PubMed

    Dahle, Håkon; Økland, Ingeborg; Thorseth, Ingunn H; Pederesen, Rolf B; Steen, Ida H

    2015-07-01

    Methods developed in geochemical modelling combined with recent advances in molecular microbial ecology provide new opportunities to explore how microbial communities are shaped by their chemical surroundings. Here, we present a framework for analyses of how chemical energy availability shape chemotrophic microbial communities in hydrothermal systems through an investigation of two geochemically different basalt-hosted hydrothermal systems on the Arctic Mid-Ocean Ridge: the Soria Moria Vent field (SMVF) and the Loki's Castle Vent Field (LCVF). Chemical energy landscapes were evaluated through modelling of the Gibbs energy from selected redox reactions under different mixing ratios between seawater and hydrothermal fluids. Our models indicate that the sediment-influenced LCVF has a much higher potential for both anaerobic and aerobic methane oxidation, as well as aerobic ammonium and hydrogen oxidation, than the SMVF. The modelled energy landscapes were used to develop microbial community composition models, which were compared with community compositions in environmental samples inside or on the exterior of hydrothermal chimneys, as assessed by pyrosequencing of partial 16S rRNA genes. We show that modelled microbial communities based solely on thermodynamic considerations can have a high predictive power and provide a framework for analyses of the link between energy availability and microbial community composition. PMID:25575309

  7. Energy landscapes shape microbial communities in hydrothermal systems on the Arctic Mid-Ocean Ridge

    PubMed Central

    Dahle, Håkon; Økland, Ingeborg; Thorseth, Ingunn H; Pederesen, Rolf B; Steen, Ida H

    2015-01-01

    Methods developed in geochemical modelling combined with recent advances in molecular microbial ecology provide new opportunities to explore how microbial communities are shaped by their chemical surroundings. Here, we present a framework for analyses of how chemical energy availability shape chemotrophic microbial communities in hydrothermal systems through an investigation of two geochemically different basalt-hosted hydrothermal systems on the Arctic Mid-Ocean Ridge: the Soria Moria Vent field (SMVF) and the Loki's Castle Vent Field (LCVF). Chemical energy landscapes were evaluated through modelling of the Gibbs energy from selected redox reactions under different mixing ratios between seawater and hydrothermal fluids. Our models indicate that the sediment-influenced LCVF has a much higher potential for both anaerobic and aerobic methane oxidation, as well as aerobic ammonium and hydrogen oxidation, than the SMVF. The modelled energy landscapes were used to develop microbial community composition models, which were compared with community compositions in environmental samples inside or on the exterior of hydrothermal chimneys, as assessed by pyrosequencing of partial 16S rRNA genes. We show that modelled microbial communities based solely on thermodynamic considerations can have a high predictive power and provide a framework for analyses of the link between energy availability and microbial community composition. PMID:25575309

  8. Energy landscapes shape microbial communities in hydrothermal systems on the Arctic Mid-Ocean Ridge.

    PubMed

    Dahle, Håkon; Økland, Ingeborg; Thorseth, Ingunn H; Pederesen, Rolf B; Steen, Ida H

    2015-07-01

    Methods developed in geochemical modelling combined with recent advances in molecular microbial ecology provide new opportunities to explore how microbial communities are shaped by their chemical surroundings. Here, we present a framework for analyses of how chemical energy availability shape chemotrophic microbial communities in hydrothermal systems through an investigation of two geochemically different basalt-hosted hydrothermal systems on the Arctic Mid-Ocean Ridge: the Soria Moria Vent field (SMVF) and the Loki's Castle Vent Field (LCVF). Chemical energy landscapes were evaluated through modelling of the Gibbs energy from selected redox reactions under different mixing ratios between seawater and hydrothermal fluids. Our models indicate that the sediment-influenced LCVF has a much higher potential for both anaerobic and aerobic methane oxidation, as well as aerobic ammonium and hydrogen oxidation, than the SMVF. The modelled energy landscapes were used to develop microbial community composition models, which were compared with community compositions in environmental samples inside or on the exterior of hydrothermal chimneys, as assessed by pyrosequencing of partial 16S rRNA genes. We show that modelled microbial communities based solely on thermodynamic considerations can have a high predictive power and provide a framework for analyses of the link between energy availability and microbial community composition.

  9. Conceptual data modeling of wildlife response indicators to ecosystem change in the Arctic

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Walworth, Dennis; Pearce, John M.

    2015-08-06

    Large research studies are often challenged to effectively expose and document the types of information being collected and the reasons for data collection across what are often a diverse cadre of investigators of differing disciplines. We applied concepts from the field of information or data modeling to the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Changing Arctic Ecosystems (CAE) initiative to prototype an application of information modeling. The USGS CAE initiative is collecting information from marine and terrestrial environments in Alaska to identify and understand the links between rapid physical changes in the Arctic and response of wildlife populations to these ecosystem changes. An associated need is to understand how data collection strategies are informing the overall science initiative and facilitating communication of those strategies to a wide audience. We explored the use of conceptual data modeling to provide a method by which to document, describe, and visually communicate both enterprise and study level data; provide a simple means to analyze commonalities and differences in data acquisition strategies between studies; and provide a tool for discussing those strategies among researchers and managers.

  10. Seabird guano is an efficient conveyer of persistent organic pollutants (POPs) to Arctic lake ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Evenset, A; Carroll, J; Christensen, G N; Kallenborn, R; Gregor, D; Gabrielsen, G W

    2007-02-15

    Migratory seabirds have been linked to localized "hotspots" of contamination in remote Arctic lakes. One of these lakes is Lake Ellasjøen on Bjørnøya in the Barents Sea. Here we provide quantitative evidence demonstrating that even relatively small populations of certain seabird species can lead to major impacts for ecosystems. In the present example, seabird guano accounts for approximately 14% of the contaminant inventory of the Lake Ellasjøen catchment area, approximately 80% of the contaminant inventory of the lake itself, and is approximately thirty times more efficient as a contaminant transport pathway compared to atmospheric long-range transport. We have further shown that this biological transport mechanism is an important contaminant exposure route for ecosystems, responsible for POPs levels in freshwater fish that are an order of magnitude higher than those in Arctic top predators. Given the worldwide presence of seabird colonies in coastal marine areas where resources are also harvested by humans, this biological transport pathway may be a greater source of dietary contamination than is currently recognized with consequent risks for human health. PMID:17593715

  11. Unanticipated Geochemical and Microbial Community Structure under Seasonal Ice Cover in a Dilute, Dimictic Arctic Lake.

    PubMed

    Schütte, Ursel M E; Cadieux, Sarah B; Hemmerich, Chris; Pratt, Lisa M; White, Jeffrey R

    2016-01-01

    Despite most lakes in the Arctic being perennially or seasonally frozen for at least 40% of the year, little is known about microbial communities and nutrient cycling under ice cover. We assessed the vertical microbial community distribution and geochemical composition in early spring under ice in a seasonally ice-covered lake in southwest Greenland using amplicon-based sequencing that targeted 16S rRNA genes and using a combination of field and laboratory aqueous geochemical methods. Microbial communities changed consistently with changes in geochemistry. Composition of the abundant members responded strongly to redox conditions, shifting downward from a predominantly heterotrophic aerobic community in the suboxic waters to a heterotrophic anaerobic community in the anoxic waters. Operational taxonomic units (OTUs) of Sporichthyaceae, Comamonadaceae, and the SAR11 Clade had higher relative abundances above the oxycline and OTUs within the genus Methylobacter, the phylum Lentisphaerae, and purple sulfur bacteria (PSB) below the oxycline. Notably, a 13-fold increase in sulfide at the oxycline was reflected in an increase and change in community composition of potential sulfur oxidizers. Purple non-sulfur bacteria were present above the oxycline and green sulfur bacteria and PSB coexisted below the oxycline, however, PSB were most abundant. For the first time we show the importance of PSB as potential sulfur oxidizers in an Arctic dimictic lake. PMID:27458438

  12. Unanticipated Geochemical and Microbial Community Structure under Seasonal Ice Cover in a Dilute, Dimictic Arctic Lake.

    PubMed

    Schütte, Ursel M E; Cadieux, Sarah B; Hemmerich, Chris; Pratt, Lisa M; White, Jeffrey R

    2016-01-01

    Despite most lakes in the Arctic being perennially or seasonally frozen for at least 40% of the year, little is known about microbial communities and nutrient cycling under ice cover. We assessed the vertical microbial community distribution and geochemical composition in early spring under ice in a seasonally ice-covered lake in southwest Greenland using amplicon-based sequencing that targeted 16S rRNA genes and using a combination of field and laboratory aqueous geochemical methods. Microbial communities changed consistently with changes in geochemistry. Composition of the abundant members responded strongly to redox conditions, shifting downward from a predominantly heterotrophic aerobic community in the suboxic waters to a heterotrophic anaerobic community in the anoxic waters. Operational taxonomic units (OTUs) of Sporichthyaceae, Comamonadaceae, and the SAR11 Clade had higher relative abundances above the oxycline and OTUs within the genus Methylobacter, the phylum Lentisphaerae, and purple sulfur bacteria (PSB) below the oxycline. Notably, a 13-fold increase in sulfide at the oxycline was reflected in an increase and change in community composition of potential sulfur oxidizers. Purple non-sulfur bacteria were present above the oxycline and green sulfur bacteria and PSB coexisted below the oxycline, however, PSB were most abundant. For the first time we show the importance of PSB as potential sulfur oxidizers in an Arctic dimictic lake.

  13. Unanticipated Geochemical and Microbial Community Structure under Seasonal Ice Cover in a Dilute, Dimictic Arctic Lake

    PubMed Central

    Schütte, Ursel M. E.; Cadieux, Sarah B.; Hemmerich, Chris; Pratt, Lisa M.; White, Jeffrey R.

    2016-01-01

    Despite most lakes in the Arctic being perennially or seasonally frozen for at least 40% of the year, little is known about microbial communities and nutrient cycling under ice cover. We assessed the vertical microbial community distribution and geochemical composition in early spring under ice in a seasonally ice-covered lake in southwest Greenland using amplicon-based sequencing that targeted 16S rRNA genes and using a combination of field and laboratory aqueous geochemical methods. Microbial communities changed consistently with changes in geochemistry. Composition of the abundant members responded strongly to redox conditions, shifting downward from a predominantly heterotrophic aerobic community in the suboxic waters to a heterotrophic anaerobic community in the anoxic waters. Operational taxonomic units (OTUs) of Sporichthyaceae, Comamonadaceae, and the SAR11 Clade had higher relative abundances above the oxycline and OTUs within the genus Methylobacter, the phylum Lentisphaerae, and purple sulfur bacteria (PSB) below the oxycline. Notably, a 13-fold increase in sulfide at the oxycline was reflected in an increase and change in community composition of potential sulfur oxidizers. Purple non-sulfur bacteria were present above the oxycline and green sulfur bacteria and PSB coexisted below the oxycline, however, PSB were most abundant. For the first time we show the importance of PSB as potential sulfur oxidizers in an Arctic dimictic lake. PMID:27458438

  14. Ecosystem Metabolism and Air-Water Fluxes of Greenhouse Gases in High Arctic Wetland Ponds

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lehnherr, I.; Venkiteswaran, J.; St. Louis, V. L.; Emmerton, C.; Schiff, S. L.

    2012-12-01

    Freshwater lakes and wetlands can be very productive systems on the Arctic landscape compared to terrestrial tundra ecosystems and provide valuable resources to many organisms, including waterfowl, fish and humans. Rates of ecosystem productivity dictate how much energy flows through food webs, impacting the abundance of higher-level organisms (e.g., fish), as well as the net carbon balance, which determines whether a particular ecosystem is a source or sink of carbon. Climate change is predicted to result in warmer temperatures, increased precipitation and permafrost melting in the Arctic and is already altering northern ecosystems at unprecedented rates; however, it is not known how freshwater systems are responding to these changes. To predict how freshwater systems will respond to complex environmental changes, it is necessary to understand the key processes, such as primary production and ecosystem respiration, that are driving these systems. We sampled wetland ponds (n=8) and lakes (n=2) on northern Ellesmere Island (81° N, Nunavut, Canada) during the open water season for a suite of biogeochemical parameters, including concentrations of dissolved gases (O2, CO2, CH4, N2O) as well as stable-isotope ratios of dissolved inorganic carbon (δ13C-DIC), dissolved oxygen (δ18O-DO), and water (δ18O-H2O). We will present rates of primary production and ecosystem respiration, modeled from the concentration and stable isotope ratios of DIC and DO, as well as air-water gas exchange of greenhouse gases in these high Arctic ponds and lakes. Preliminary results demonstrate that ecosystem metabolism in these ponds was high enough to result in significant deviations in the isotope ratios of DIC and DO from atmospheric equilibrium conditions. In other words ecosystem rates of primary production and respiration were faster than gas exchange even in these small, shallow, well-mixed ponds. Furthermore, primary production was elevated enough at all sites except Lake Hazen, a

  15. Insights into the Processing of Carbon by Early Microbial Ecosystems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    DesMarais, D.; Bebout, B.; Carpenter, S.; Discipulo, S.; Londry, K.; Habicht, K.; Turk, K.

    2003-01-01

    Interactions between Earth and the biosphere that were crucial for early biological evolution also influenced substantially the processes that circulate C between its reservoirs in the atmosphere, ocean, crust and mantle. The C-13 C-12 values of crustal carbonates and organics have recorded changes both in biological discrimination and in the relative rates of burial of organics and carbonates. A full interpretation of these patterns needs further isotopic studies of microbial ecosystems and individual anaerobes. Thus we measured carbon isotope discrimination during autotrophic and heterotrophic growth of pure cultures of sulfate-reducing bacteria and archaea (SRB and SRA). Discrimination during CO2 assimilation is significantly larger than during heterotrophic growth on lactate or acetate. SRB grown lithoautotrophically consumed less than 3% of available CO2 and exhibited substantial discrimination, as follows: Desulfobacterium autotrophicum (alpha 1.0100 to 1.0123), Desulfobacter hydrogenophilus (alpha = 0.0138), and Desulfotomuculum acetoxidans (alpha = 1.0310). Mixotrophic growth of Desulfovibrio desulfuricans on acetate and CO2 resulted in biomass with delta C-13 composition intermediate to that of the substrates. We have recently extended these experiments to include the thermophilic SRA Archeoglobus spp. Ecological forces also influence isotopic discrimination. Accordingly, we quantified the flow of C and other constituents in modern marine cyanobacterial mats, whose ancestry extends back billions of years. Such ecosystem processes shaped the biosignatures that entered sediments and atmospheres. At Guerrero Negro, BCS, Mexico, we examined mats dominated by Microcoleus (subtidal) and Lyngbya (intertidal to supratidal) cyanobacteria. During 24 hour cycles, we observed the exchange of O2 and dissolved inorganic C (DIC) between mats and the overlying water. Microcoleus mats assimilated near-equal amounts of DIC during the day as they released at night, but

  16. How is climate warming altering the carbon cycle of a tundra ecosystem in the Siberian Arctic?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Belelli Marchesini, Luca; (Ko) van Huissteden, Jacobus; van der Molen, Michiel; Parmentier, Frans-Jan W.; Maximov, Trofim; Budishchev, Artem; Gallagher, Angela; (Han) Dolman, Albertus J.

    2015-04-01

    Climate has been warming over the the Arctic region with the strongest anomalies taking place in autumn and winter for the period 2000-2010, particularly in northern Eurasia. The quantification of the impact on climate warming on the degradation of permafrost and the associated potential release to the atmosphere of carbon stocked in the soil under the form of greenhouse gases, thus further increasing the radiative forcing of the atmosphere, is currently a matter of scientific debate. The positive trend in primary productivity in the last decades inferred by vegetation indexes (NDVI) and confirmed by observations on the enhanced growth of shrub vegetation represents indeed a contrasting process that, if prevalent could offset GHG emissions or even strengthen the carbon sink over the Arctic tundra. At the site of Kytalyk, in north-eastern Siberia, net fluxes of CO2 at ecosystem scale (NEE) have been monitored by eddy covariance technique since 2003. While presenting the results of the seasonal (snow free period) and inter-annual variability of NEE, conceived as the interplay between meteorological drivers and ecosystem responses, we test the role of climate as the main source of NEE variability in the last decade using a data oriented statistical approach. The impact of the timing and duration of the snow free period on the seasonal carbon budget is also considered. Finally, by including the results of continuous micrometeorological observations of methane fluxes taken during summer 2012, corroborated with seasonal CH4 budgets from two previous shorter campaigns (2008, 2009), as well as an experimentally determined estimate of dissolved organic carbon (DOC) flux, we provide an assessment of the carbon budget and its stability over time. The examined tundra ecosystem was found to sequester CO2 during the snow free season with relatively small inter-annual variability (-97.9±12.1gC m-2) during the last decade and without any evident trend despite the carbon uptake

  17. Microbial methane consumption in the oligotrophic surface waters of the East Siberian Arctic Shelf

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Joye, S. B.

    2011-12-01

    The East Siberian Arctic Shelf (ESAS) accounts for ten percent of the world ocean shelf area and is the shallowest shelf (average depth < 50m). This area is home to a tremendous stock of hydrocarbons, mostly as methane associated with shallow, permafrost-associated hydrates. Thus, the ESAS represents an enormous potential atmospheric methane source that could result from global warming-triggered permafrost destabilization; such a massive methane infusion to the atmosphere from the Arctic could exacerbate and/or accelerate global warming. Increased methane fluxes could occur as numerous weak seeps or strong bubble plumes over large areas. Due to the shallow, well-mixed nature of the ESAS and its oligotrophic waters, the majority of methane entering ESAS water may avoids microbial oxidation and escape to the atmosphere. As part of an international research effort that aims to describe the patterns and controls methane dynamics within the ESAS, we documented methane concentrations and methane oxidation rates and examined environmental and microbiological factors that could regulate methane oxidation activity. Methane concentrations varied spatially and temporally and surface water concentrations were substantially super-saturated at most sites. The highest methane concentrations observed were hundreds of nanomolar. Despite the relatively methane concentrations, methane oxidation rates, determined with tritium-labeled methane tracer, were low, ranging from 10's of picomoles per liter per day to 3 nanomoles per liter per day. By and large, the turnover time for the methane pool was hundreds to thousands of days, which means that methane would be vented to the atmosphere before it was microbially oxidized. The exception to this pattern was in fresh water near the mouth of a river, where methane oxidation rates were high such that the pool turnover time was roughly 4 days. Available data suggest that nutrient availability limits accumulation of methanotroph biomass and

  18. Alaskan Arctic Soils: Relationship between Microbial Carbon Usage and Soil Composition

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Li, H.; Ziolkowski, L. A.

    2015-12-01

    Carbon stored in Arctic permafrost carbon is sensitive to climate change. Microbes are known to degrade Arctic soil organic carbon (OC) and potentially release vast quantitates of CO2 and CH4. Previously, it has been shown that warming of Arctic soils leads to microbes respiring older carbon. To examine this process, we studied the microbial carbon usage and its relationship to the soil OC composition in active layer soils at five locations along a latitudinal transect on the North Slope of Alaska using the compound specific radiocarbon signatures of the viable microbial community using phospholipid fatty acids (PLFA). Additional geochemical parameters (C/N, 13C, 15N and 14C) of bulk soils were measured. Overall there was a greater change with depth than location. Organic rich surface soils are rich in vegetation and have high PLFA based cell densities, while deeper in the active layer geochemical parameters indicated soil OC was degraded and cell densities decreased. As expected, PLFA indicative of Fungi and Protozoa species dominated in surface soils, methyl-branched PLFAs, indicative of bacterial origin, increased in deeper in the active layer. A group of previously unreported PLFAs, believed to correlate to anaerobic microbes, increased at the transition between the surface and deep microbial communities. Cluster analysis based on individual PLFAs of samples confirmed compositional differences as a function of depth dominated with no site to site differences. Radiocarbon data of soil OC and PLFA show the preferential consumption of younger soil OC by microbes at all sites and older OC being eaten in deep soils. However, in deeper soil, where the C/N ratio suggests lower bioavailability, less soil OC was incorporated into the microbes as indicating by greater differences between bulk and PLFA radiocarbon ages.

  19. Contributions of biological domains to nitrogen biogeochemical cycling in a High Arctic glacial ecosystem during summer melt

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ansari, A. H.; Hodson, A.; Heaton, T. H.; Marca-Bell, A.

    2010-12-01

    In this study coupled investigations of solute chemistry and isotopic tracers (δ15N, δ18O-NO3 and δ18O-H2O) of snow and streams are used to reveal the competitive and diverse nature of biological process within a High Arctic glacial ecosystem (Midtre Lovénbreen, Svalbard). This includes potential mineralisation and nitrification of dissolved organic nitrogen (DON) and ammonia within subglacial flow paths and denitrification in hyporheic zone of proglacial streams. During the initial melt phase (up to mid July), most of nitrate in the proglacial streams was directly derived from snow. But as the hyporheic zone gradually became more active after mid July and its relative contribution of nitrate to the proglacial streams water increased downstream. This was evident with a considerable downstream loss of nitrate and an increase in δ15N-NO3 (-7.82 to 14.91‰) values in the proglacial meltwater streams. At the same time non-snowpack nitrate was detected in subglacial runoff indicating as significant presence of metabolically active heterotrophic microbial consortia beneath the glacier. The observed snow packs δ18O-NO3 values (76 to 80‰) were strongly diagnostic of an atmospheric origin. However with the initiation of melt, this provided subglacial and proglacial aquatic ecosystems with a major primary source of nitrogen. Therefore nitrogen leaving this glacial watershed in runoff (δ18O-NO3 values 64.44 to 3.78‰) had a markedly different composition.

  20. An open source platform for multi-scale spatially distributed simulations of microbial ecosystems

    SciTech Connect

    Segre, Daniel

    2014-08-14

    The goal of this project was to develop a tool for facilitating simulation, validation and discovery of multiscale dynamical processes in microbial ecosystems. This led to the development of an open-source software platform for Computation Of Microbial Ecosystems in Time and Space (COMETS). COMETS performs spatially distributed time-dependent flux balance based simulations of microbial metabolism. Our plan involved building the software platform itself, calibrating and testing it through comparison with experimental data, and integrating simulations and experiments to address important open questions on the evolution and dynamics of cross-feeding interactions between microbial species.

  1. The resilience and functional role of moss in boreal and arctic ecosystems

    SciTech Connect

    Turetsky, Merritt; Bond-Lamberty, Benjamin; Euskirchen, Eugenie S.; Talbot, Julie; Frolking, Steve; McGuire, A. David; Tuittila, Eeva-Stiina

    2012-08-24

    Mosses in boreal and arctic ecosystems are ubiquitous components of plant communities, represent an important component of plant diversity, and strongly influence the cycling of water, nutrients, energy and carbon. Here we use a literature review and synthesis as well as model simulations to explore the role of moss in ecological stability and resilience. Our literature review of moss community responses to disturbance showed all possible responses (increases, decreases, no change) within most disturbance categories in boreal and arctic regions. Our modeling simulations suggest that loss of moss within northern plant communities will reduce soil carbon accumulation primarily by influencing decomposition rates and soil nitrogen availability. While two models (HPM and STM-TEM) showed a significant effect of moss removal, results from the Biome-BGC and DVM-TEM models suggest that northern, moss-rich ecosystems would need to experience extreme perturbation before mosses were eliminated. We highlight a number of issues that have not been adequately explored in moss communities, such as functional redundancy and singularity, relationships between response and effect traits, phenotypical plasticity in traits, and whether the effects of moss on ecosystem processes scale with local abundance. We also suggest that as more models explore issues related to ecological resilience, issues related to both parameter and conceptual uncertainty should be addressed: are the models more limited by uncertainty in the parameterization of the processes included or by what is not represented in the model at all? It seems clear from our review that mosses need to be incorporated into models as one or more plant functional types, but more empirical work is needed to determine how to best aggregate species.

  2. Microbial diversity of Loki's Castle black smokers at the Arctic Mid-Ocean Ridge.

    PubMed

    Jaeschke, A; Jørgensen, S L; Bernasconi, S M; Pedersen, R B; Thorseth, I H; Früh-Green, G L

    2012-11-01

    Hydrothermal vent systems harbor rich microbial communities ranging from aerobic mesophiles to anaerobic hyperthermophiles. Among these, members of the archaeal domain are prevalent in microbial communities in the most extreme environments, partly because of their temperature-resistant and robust membrane lipids. In this study, we use geochemical and molecular microbiological methods to investigate the microbial diversity in black smoker chimneys from the newly discovered Loki's Castle hydrothermal vent field on the Arctic Mid-Ocean Ridge (AMOR) with vent fluid temperatures of 310-320 °C and pH of 5.5. Archaeal glycerol dialkyl glycerol tetraether lipids (GDGTs) and H-shaped GDGTs with 0-4 cyclopentane moieties were dominant in all sulfide samples and are most likely derived from both (hyper)thermophilic Euryarchaeota and Crenarchaeota. Crenarchaeol has been detected in low abundances in samples derived from the chimney exterior indicating the presence of Thaumarchaeota at lower ambient temperatures. Aquificales and members of the Epsilonproteobacteria were the dominant bacterial groups detected. Our observations based on the analysis of 16S rRNA genes and biomarker lipid analysis provide insight into microbial communities thriving within the porous sulfide structures of active and inactive deep-sea hydrothermal vents. Microbial cycling of sulfur, hydrogen, and methane by archaea in the chimney interior and bacteria in the chimney exterior may be the prevailing biogeochemical processes in this system.

  3. Visualizing microbial dechlorination processes in underground ecosystem by statistical correlation and network analysis approach.

    PubMed

    Yamazawa, Akira; Date, Yasuhiro; Ito, Keijiro; Kikuchi, Jun

    2014-03-01

    Microbial ecosystems are typified by diverse microbial interactions and competition. Consequently, the microbial networks and metabolic dynamics of bioprocesses catalyzed by these ecosystems are highly complex, and their visualization is regarded as essential to bioengineering technology and innovation. Here we describe a means of visualizing the variants in a microbial community and their metabolic profiles. The approach enables previously unidentified bacterial functions in the ecosystems to be elucidated. We investigated the anaerobic bioremediation of chlorinated ethene in a soil column experiment as a case study. Microbial community and dechlorination profiles in the ecosystem were evaluated by denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE) fingerprinting and gas chromatography, respectively. Dechlorination profiles were obtained from changes in dechlorination by microbial community (evaluated by data mining methods). Individual microbes were then associated with their dechlorination profiles by heterogenous correlation analysis. Our correlation-based visualization approach enables deduction of the roles and functions of bacteria in the dechlorination of chlorinated ethenes. Because it estimates functions and relationships between unidentified microbes and metabolites in microbial ecosystems, this approach is proposed as a control-logic tool by which to understand complex microbial processes. PMID:24095212

  4. Transport of microbial biomass through the North Inlet ecosystem.

    PubMed

    Chrzanowski, T H; Stevenson, L H; Spurrier, J D

    1982-10-01

    Tidal fluctuations and transports of total microbial biomass (measured as adenosine triphosphate [ATP]) were investigated at three marsh creeks comprising the major transfer points between the North Inlet marsh and the adjoining aquatic ecosystems. Two creeks, Town Creek and North Jones Creek, form the inlet mouth and are the only marsh-ocean exchange points. The third creek, South Jones Creek, connects to a brackish water embayment. The creeks were simultaneously sampled every 1.5 hours for 50 consecutive hours during neap tides (four tidal cycles) and 50 consecutive hours during spring tides of each season. At the inlet, ATP concentration fluctuated in phase with the tide during winter and fall and out of phase with the tide during the spring. Fluctuation patterns at South Jones Creek were irregular. The highest ATP concentrations were during the spring (mean=2.17 mg of ATP per m(3)) and the lowest concentrations were during the winter (mean=0.65 mg of ATP per m(3)). Net transports of ATP varied from tidal cycle to tidal cycle with regard to direction of transport (import or export) and magnitude. Net transports were small compared to large instantaneous transports and only 4 of 22 determinations of net transport were different from zero transport.

  5. Environmental regulation in a network of simulated microbial ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Williams, Hywel T P; Lenton, Timothy M

    2008-07-29

    The Earth possesses a number of regulatory feedback mechanisms involving life. In the absence of a population of competing biospheres, it has proved hard to find a robust evolutionary mechanism that would generate environmental regulation. It has been suggested that regulation must require altruistic environmental alterations by organisms and, therefore, would be evolutionarily unstable. This need not be the case if organisms alter the environment as a selectively neutral by-product of their metabolism, as in the majority of biogeochemical reactions, but a question then arises: Why should the combined by-product effects of the biota have a stabilizing, rather than destabilizing, influence on the environment? Under certain conditions, selection acting above the level of the individual can be an effective adaptive force. Here we present an evolutionary simulation model in which environmental regulation involving higher-level selection robustly emerges in a network of interconnected microbial ecosystems. Spatial structure creates conditions for a limited form of higher-level selection to act on the collective environment-altering properties of local communities. Local communities that improve their environmental conditions achieve larger populations and are better colonizers of available space, whereas local communities that degrade their environment shrink and become susceptible to invasion. The spread of environment-improving communities alters the global environment toward the optimal conditions for growth and tends to regulate against external perturbations. This work suggests a mechanism for environmental regulation that is consistent with evolutionary theory.

  6. Transport of microbial biomass through the North Inlet ecosystem.

    PubMed

    Chrzanowski, T H; Stevenson, L H; Spurrier, J D

    1982-10-01

    Tidal fluctuations and transports of total microbial biomass (measured as adenosine triphosphate [ATP]) were investigated at three marsh creeks comprising the major transfer points between the North Inlet marsh and the adjoining aquatic ecosystems. Two creeks, Town Creek and North Jones Creek, form the inlet mouth and are the only marsh-ocean exchange points. The third creek, South Jones Creek, connects to a brackish water embayment. The creeks were simultaneously sampled every 1.5 hours for 50 consecutive hours during neap tides (four tidal cycles) and 50 consecutive hours during spring tides of each season. At the inlet, ATP concentration fluctuated in phase with the tide during winter and fall and out of phase with the tide during the spring. Fluctuation patterns at South Jones Creek were irregular. The highest ATP concentrations were during the spring (mean=2.17 mg of ATP per m(3)) and the lowest concentrations were during the winter (mean=0.65 mg of ATP per m(3)). Net transports of ATP varied from tidal cycle to tidal cycle with regard to direction of transport (import or export) and magnitude. Net transports were small compared to large instantaneous transports and only 4 of 22 determinations of net transport were different from zero transport. PMID:24225808

  7. Ecosystem dynamics of the Pacific-influenced Northern Bering and Chukchi Seas in the Amerasian Arctic

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Grebmeier, Jacqueline M.; Cooper, Lee W.; Feder, Howard M.; Sirenko, Boris I.

    2006-10-01

    The shallow continental shelves and slope of the Amerasian Arctic are strongly influenced by nutrient-rich Pacific waters advected over the shelves from the northern Bering Sea into the Arctic Ocean. These high-latitude shelf systems are highly productive both as the ice melts and during the open-water period. The duration and extent of seasonal sea ice, seawater temperature and water mass structure are critical controls on water column production, organic carbon cycling and pelagic-benthic coupling. Short food chains and shallow depths are characteristic of high productivity areas in this region, so changes in lower trophic levels can impact higher trophic organisms rapidly, including pelagic- and benthic-feeding marine mammals and seabirds. Subsistence harvesting of many of these animals is locally important for human consumption. The vulnerability of the ecosystem to environmental change is thought to be high, particularly as sea ice extent declines and seawater warms. In this review, we focus on ecosystem dynamics in the northern Bering and Chukchi Seas, with a more limited discussion of the adjoining Pacific-influenced eastern section of the East Siberian Sea and the western section of the Beaufort Sea. Both primary and secondary production are enhanced in specific regions that we discuss here, with the northern Bering and Chukchi Seas sustaining some of the highest water column production and benthic faunal soft-bottom biomass in the world ocean. In addition, these organic carbon-rich Pacific waters are periodically advected into low productivity regions of the nearshore northern Bering, Chukchi and Beaufort Seas off Alaska and sometimes into the East Siberian Sea, all of which have lower productivity on an annual basis. Thus, these near shore areas are intimately tied to nutrients and advected particulate organic carbon from the Pacific influenced Bering Shelf-Anadyr water. Given the short food chains and dependence of many apex predators on sea ice, recent

  8. Microbial biomass dynamics dominate N cycle responses to warming in a sub-arctic peatland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Weedon, J. T.; Aerts, R.; Kowalchuk, G. K.; van Bodegom, P. M.

    2012-04-01

    The balance of primary production and decomposition in sub-arctic peatlands may shift with climate change. Nitrogen availability will modulate this shift, but little is known about the drivers of soil nitrogen dynamics in these environments, and how they are influenced by rising soil temperatures. We used a long-term open top chamber warming experiment in Abisko, Sweden, to test for the interactive effects of spring warming, summer warming and winter snow addition on soil organic and inorganic nitrogen fluxes, potential activities of carbon and nitrogen cycle enzymes, and the structure of the soil-borne microbial communities. Summer warming increased the flux of soil organic nitrogen over the growing season, while simultaneously causing a seasonal decrease in microbial biomass, suggesting that N flux is driven by large late-season dieback of microbes. This change in N cycle dynamics was not reflected in any of the measured potential enzyme activities. Moreover, the soil microbial community structure was stable across treatments, suggesting non-specific microbial dieback. To further test whether the observed patterns were driven by direct temperature effects or indirect effects (via microbial biomass dynamics), we conducted follow-up controlled experiments in soil mesocosms. Experimental additions of dead microbial cells had stronger effects on N pool sizes and enzyme activities than either plant litter addition or a 5 °C alteration in incubation temperatures. Peat respiration was positively affected by both substrate addition and higher incubation temperatures, but the temperature-only effect was not sufficient to account for the increases in respiration observed in previous field experiments. We conclude that warming effects on peatland N cycling (and to some extent C cycling) are dominated by indirect effects, acting through alterations to the seasonal flux of microbe-derived organic matter. We propose that climate change models of soil carbon and nitrogen

  9. Microbial community diversity in seafloor basalt from the Arctic spreading ridges.

    PubMed

    Lysnes, Kristine; Thorseth, Ingunn H; Steinsbu, Bjørn Olav; Øvreås, Lise; Torsvik, Terje; Pedersen, Rolf B

    2004-11-01

    Microbial communities inhabiting recent (< or =1 million years old; Ma) seafloor basalts from the Arctic spreading ridges were analyzed using traditional enrichment culturing methods in combination with culture-independent molecular phylogenetic techniques. Fragments of 16S rDNA were amplified from the basalt samples by polymerase chain reaction, and fingerprints of the bacterial and archaeal communities were generated using denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis. This analysis indicates a substantial degree of complexity in the samples studied, showing 20-40 dominating bands per profile for the bacterial assemblages. For the archaeal assemblages, a much lower number of bands (6-12) were detected. The phylogenetic affiliations of the predominant electrophoretic bands were inferred by performing a comparative 16S rRNA gene sequence analysis. Sequences obtained from basalts affiliated with eight main phylogenetic groups of Bacteria, but were limited to only one group of the Archaea. The most frequently retrieved bacterial sequences affiliated with the gamma-proteobacteria, alpha-proteobacteria, Chloroflexi, Firmicutes, and Actinobacteria. The archaeal sequences were restricted to the marine Group 1: Crenarchaeota. Our results indicate that the basalt harbors a distinctive microbial community, as the majority of the sequences differed from those retrieved from the surrounding seawater as well as from sequences previously reported from seawater and deep-sea sediments. Most of the sequences did not match precisely any sequences in the database, indicating that the indigenous Arctic ridge basalt microbial community is yet uncharacterized. Results from enrichment cultures showed that autolithotrophic methanogens and iron reducing bacteria were present in the seafloor basalts. We suggest that microbial catalyzed cycling of iron may be important in low-temperature alteration of ocean crust basalt. The phylogenetic and physiological diversity of the seafloor basalt

  10. Microbial community diversity in seafloor basalt from the Arctic spreading ridges.

    PubMed

    Lysnes, Kristine; Thorseth, Ingunn H; Steinsbu, Bjørn Olav; Øvreås, Lise; Torsvik, Terje; Pedersen, Rolf B

    2004-11-01

    Microbial communities inhabiting recent (< or =1 million years old; Ma) seafloor basalts from the Arctic spreading ridges were analyzed using traditional enrichment culturing methods in combination with culture-independent molecular phylogenetic techniques. Fragments of 16S rDNA were amplified from the basalt samples by polymerase chain reaction, and fingerprints of the bacterial and archaeal communities were generated using denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis. This analysis indicates a substantial degree of complexity in the samples studied, showing 20-40 dominating bands per profile for the bacterial assemblages. For the archaeal assemblages, a much lower number of bands (6-12) were detected. The phylogenetic affiliations of the predominant electrophoretic bands were inferred by performing a comparative 16S rRNA gene sequence analysis. Sequences obtained from basalts affiliated with eight main phylogenetic groups of Bacteria, but were limited to only one group of the Archaea. The most frequently retrieved bacterial sequences affiliated with the gamma-proteobacteria, alpha-proteobacteria, Chloroflexi, Firmicutes, and Actinobacteria. The archaeal sequences were restricted to the marine Group 1: Crenarchaeota. Our results indicate that the basalt harbors a distinctive microbial community, as the majority of the sequences differed from those retrieved from the surrounding seawater as well as from sequences previously reported from seawater and deep-sea sediments. Most of the sequences did not match precisely any sequences in the database, indicating that the indigenous Arctic ridge basalt microbial community is yet uncharacterized. Results from enrichment cultures showed that autolithotrophic methanogens and iron reducing bacteria were present in the seafloor basalts. We suggest that microbial catalyzed cycling of iron may be important in low-temperature alteration of ocean crust basalt. The phylogenetic and physiological diversity of the seafloor basalt

  11. Methane turnover and methanotrophic communities in arctic aquatic ecosystems of the Lena Delta, Northeast Siberia.

    PubMed

    Osudar, Roman; Liebner, Susanne; Alawi, Mashal; Yang, Sizhong; Bussmann, Ingeborg; Wagner, Dirk

    2016-08-01

    Large amounts of organic carbon are stored in Arctic permafrost environments, and microbial activity can potentially mineralize this carbon into methane, a potent greenhouse gas. In this study, we assessed the methane budget, the bacterial methane oxidation (MOX) and the underlying environmental controls of arctic lake systems, which represent substantial sources of methane. Five lake systems located on Samoylov Island (Lena Delta, Siberia) and the connected river sites were analyzed using radiotracers to estimate the MOX rates, and molecular biology methods to characterize the abundance and the community composition of methane-oxidizing bacteria (MOB). In contrast to the river, the lake systems had high variation in the methane concentrations, the abundance and composition of the MOB communities, and consequently, the MOX rates. The highest methane concentrations and the highest MOX rates were detected in the lake outlets and in a lake complex in a flood plain area. Though, in all aquatic systems, we detected both, Type I and II MOB, in lake systems, we observed a higher diversity including MOB, typical of the soil environments. The inoculation of soil MOB into the aquatic systems, resulting from permafrost thawing, might be an additional factor controlling the MOB community composition and potentially methanotrophic capacity. PMID:27230921

  12. Mammalian herbivores confer resilience of Arctic shrub-dominated ecosystems to changing climate.

    PubMed

    Kaarlejärvi, Elina; Hoset, Katrine S; Olofsson, Johan

    2015-09-01

    Climate change is resulting in a rapid expansion of shrubs in the Arctic. This expansion has been shown to be reinforced by positive feedbacks, and it could thus set the ecosystem on a trajectory toward an alternate, more productive regime. Herbivores, on the other hand, are known to counteract the effects of simultaneous climate warming on shrub biomass. However, little is known about the impact of herbivores on resilience of these ecosystems, that is, the capacity of a system to absorb disturbance and still remain in the same regime, retaining the same function, structure, and feedbacks. Here, we investigated how herbivores affect resilience of shrub-dominated systems to warming by studying the change of shrub biomass after a cessation of long-term experimental warming in a forest-tundra ecotone. As predicted, warming increased the biomass of shrubs, and in the absence of herbivores, shrub biomass in tundra continued to increase 4 years after cessation of the artificial warming, indicating that positive effects of warming on plant growth may persist even over a subsequent colder period. Herbivores contributed to the resilience of these systems by returning them back to the original low-biomass regime in both forest and tundra habitats. These results support the prediction that higher shrub biomass triggers positive feedbacks on soil processes and microclimate, which enable maintaining the rapid shrub growth even in colder climates. Furthermore, the results show that in our system, herbivores facilitate the resilience of shrub-dominated ecosystems to climate warming.

  13. Mammalian herbivores confer resilience of Arctic shrub-dominated ecosystems to changing climate.

    PubMed

    Kaarlejärvi, Elina; Hoset, Katrine S; Olofsson, Johan

    2015-09-01

    Climate change is resulting in a rapid expansion of shrubs in the Arctic. This expansion has been shown to be reinforced by positive feedbacks, and it could thus set the ecosystem on a trajectory toward an alternate, more productive regime. Herbivores, on the other hand, are known to counteract the effects of simultaneous climate warming on shrub biomass. However, little is known about the impact of herbivores on resilience of these ecosystems, that is, the capacity of a system to absorb disturbance and still remain in the same regime, retaining the same function, structure, and feedbacks. Here, we investigated how herbivores affect resilience of shrub-dominated systems to warming by studying the change of shrub biomass after a cessation of long-term experimental warming in a forest-tundra ecotone. As predicted, warming increased the biomass of shrubs, and in the absence of herbivores, shrub biomass in tundra continued to increase 4 years after cessation of the artificial warming, indicating that positive effects of warming on plant growth may persist even over a subsequent colder period. Herbivores contributed to the resilience of these systems by returning them back to the original low-biomass regime in both forest and tundra habitats. These results support the prediction that higher shrub biomass triggers positive feedbacks on soil processes and microclimate, which enable maintaining the rapid shrub growth even in colder climates. Furthermore, the results show that in our system, herbivores facilitate the resilience of shrub-dominated ecosystems to climate warming. PMID:25967156

  14. Net Ecosystem Exchange of CO2 with Rapidly Changing High Arctic Landscapes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Emmerton, C. A.

    2015-12-01

    High Arctic landscapes are expansive and changing rapidly. However our understanding of their functional responses and potential to mitigate or enhance anthropogenic climate change is limited by few measurements. We collected eddy covariance measurements to quantify the net ecosystem exchange (NEE) of CO2 with polar semidesert and meadow wetland landscapes at the highest-latitude location measured to date (82°N). We coupled these rare data with ground and satellite vegetation production measurements (Normalized Difference Vegetation Index; NDVI) to evaluate the effectiveness of upscaling local to regional NEE. During the growing season, the dry polar semidesert landscape was a near zero sink of atmospheric CO2 (NEE: -0.3±13.5 g C m-2). A nearby meadow wetland accumulated over two magnitudes more carbon (NEE: -79.3±20.0 g C m-2) than the polar semidesert landscape, and was similar to meadow wetland NEE at much more southern latitudes. Polar semidesert NEE was most influenced by moisture, with wetter surface soils resulting in greater soil respiration and CO2 emissions. At the meadow wetland, soil heating enhanced plant growth, which in turn increased CO2 uptake. Our upscaling assessment found that polar semidesert NDVI measured on site was low (mean: 0.120-0.157) and similar to satellite measurements (mean: 0.155-0.163). However, weak plant growth resulted in poor satellite NDVI-NEE relationships and created challenges for remotely-detecting changes in the cycling of carbon on the polar semidesert landscape. The meadow wetland appeared more suitable to assess plant production and NEE via remote-sensing, however high Arctic wetland extent is constrained by topography to small areas that may be difficult to resolve with large satellite pixels. We predict that until summer precipitation and humidity increases substantially, climate-related changes of dry high Arctic landscapes may be restricted by poor soil moisture retention, and therefore have some inertia against

  15. Remote sensing of vegetation and land-cover change in Arctic Tundra Ecosystems

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Stow, D.A.; Hope, A.; McGuire, D.; Verbyla, D.; Gamon, J.; Huemmrich, F.; Houston, S.; Racine, C.; Sturm, M.; Tape, K.; Hinzman, L.; Yoshikawa, K.; Tweedie, C.; Noyle, B.; Silapaswan, C.; Douglas, D.; Griffith, B.; Jia, G.; Epstein, H.; Walker, D.; Daeschner, S.; Petersen, A.; Zhou, L.; Myneni, R.

    2004-01-01

    The objective of this paper is to review research conducted over the past decade on the application of multi-temporal remote sensing for monitoring changes of Arctic tundra lands. Emphasis is placed on results from the National Science Foundation Land-Air-Ice Interactions (LAII) program and on optical remote sensing techniques. Case studies demonstrate that ground-level sensors on stationary or moving track platforms and wide-swath imaging sensors on polar orbiting satellites are particularly useful for capturing optical remote sensing data at sufficient frequency to study tundra vegetation dynamics and changes for the cloud prone Arctic. Less frequent imaging with high spatial resolution instruments on aircraft and lower orbiting satellites enable more detailed analyses of land cover change and calibration/validation of coarser resolution observations. The strongest signals of ecosystem change detected thus far appear to correspond to expansion of tundra shrubs and changes in the amount and extent of thaw lakes and ponds. Changes in shrub cover and extent have been documented by modern repeat imaging that matches archived historical aerial photography. NOAA Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer (AVHRR) time series provide a 20-year record for determining changes in greenness that relates to photosynthetic activity, net primary production, and growing season length. The strong contrast between land materials and surface waters enables changes in lake and pond extent to be readily measured and monitored. ?? 2003 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  16. Remote sensing of vegetation and land-cover change in Arctic tundra ecosystems

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Checkstow, D.A.; Hope, A.; McGuire, D.; Verbyla, D.; Gamon, J.; Huemmrich, F.; Houston, S.; Racine, C.; Sturm, M.; Tape, K.; Hinzman, L.; Yoshikawa, K.; Tweedie, C.

    2004-01-01

    The objective of this paper is to review research conducted over the past decade on the application of multi-temporal remote sensing for monitoring changes of Arctic tundra lands. Emphasis is placed on results from the National Science Foundation Land-Air-Ice Interactions (LAII) program and on optical remote sensing techniques. Case studies demonstrate that ground-level sensors on stationary or moving track platforms and wide-swath imaging sensors on polar orbiting satellites are particularly useful for capturing optical remote sensing data at sufficient frequency to study tundra vegetation dynamics and changes for the cloud prone Arctic. Less frequent imaging with high spatial resolution instruments on aircraft and lower orbiting satellites enable more detailed analyses of land cover change and calibration/validation of coarser resolution observations. The strongest signals of ecosystem change detected thus far appear to correspond to expansion of tundra shrubs and changes in the amount and extent of thaw lakes and ponds. Changes in shrub cover and extent have been documented by modern repeat imaging that matches archived historical aerial photography. NOAA Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer (AVHRR) time series provide a 20-year record for determining changes in greenness that relates to photosynthetic activity, net primary production, and growing season length. The strong contrast between land materials and surface waters enables changes in lake and pond extent to be readily measured and monitored.

  17. Hydrological and geochemical response and recovery in disturbed Arctic ecosystems. Progress report

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1992-07-01

    This progress report is a funding, extension request to continue the database work for the Hydrological and Geochemical Response and Recovery in Disturbed Arctic Ecosystems Program. Throughout the period from 1985 to 1992 the Department of Energy supported research on the hydrology and geochemistry of the headwater basin of Imnavait Creek has focused on the quantification of the input from atmospheric sources of biologically significant and other related chemical variables; the transport of these variables in surface and subsurface flow and their efflux from the basin; and the development of geochemical budgets. The acquisition of multi-year data sets (the longest and most detailed sets in the Arctic) have made it possible to define seasonal ranges and amplitudes; determine spatial and temporal relationships within the different flow compartments; to begin to model the pathways and rates of movement through and across different landscape units. The length of record has also made it possible to examine the quantity and influence of local and extra-regional additions.

  18. The response of aboveground plant productivity to earlier snowmelt and summer warming in an Arctic ecosystem

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Livensperger, C.; Steltzer, H.; Darrouzet-Nardi, A.; Sullivan, P.; Wallenstein, M. D.; Weintraub, M. N.

    2012-12-01

    Plant communities in the Arctic are undergoing changes in structure and function due to shifts in seasonality from changing winters and summer warming. These changes will impact biogeochemical cycling, surface energy balance, and functioning of vertebrate and invertebrate communities. To examine seasonal controls on aboveground net primary production (ANPP) in a moist acidic tundra ecosystem in northern Alaska, we shifted the growing season by accelerating snowmelt (using radiation absorbing shadecloth) and warming air and soil temperature (using 1 m2 open-top chambers), individually and in combination. After three years, we measured ANPP by harvesting up to 16 individual ramets, tillers and rhizomes for each of 7 plant species, including two deciduous shrubs, two graminoids, two evergreen shrubs and one forb during peak season. Our results show that ANPP per stem summed across the 7 species increased when snow melt occurred earlier. However, standing biomass, excluding current year growth, was also greater. The ratio of ANPP/standing biomass decreased in all treatments compared to the control. ANPP per unit standing biomass summed for the four shrub species decreases due to summer warming alone or in combination with early snowmelt; however early snowmelt alone did not lead to lower ANPP for the shrubs. ANPP per tiller or rhizome summed for the three herbaceous species increased in response to summer warming. Understanding the differential response of plants to changing seasonality will inform predictions of future Arctic plant community structure and function.

  19. Metagenomic analysis of stress genes in microbial mat communities from Antarctica and the High Arctic.

    PubMed

    Varin, Thibault; Lovejoy, Connie; Jungblut, Anne D; Vincent, Warwick F; Corbeil, Jacques

    2012-01-01

    Polar and alpine microbial communities experience a variety of environmental stresses, including perennial cold and freezing; however, knowledge of genomic responses to such conditions is still rudimentary. We analyzed the metagenomes of cyanobacterial mats from Arctic and Antarctic ice shelves, using high-throughput pyrosequencing to test the hypotheses that consortia from these extreme polar habitats were similar in terms of major phyla and subphyla and consequently in their potential responses to environmental stresses. Statistical comparisons of the protein-coding genes showed similarities between the mats from the two poles, with the majority of genes derived from Proteobacteria and Cyanobacteria; however, the relative proportions differed, with cyanobacterial genes more prevalent in the Antarctic mat metagenome. Other differences included a higher representation of Actinobacteria and Alphaproteobacteria in the Arctic metagenomes, which may reflect the greater access to diasporas from both adjacent ice-free lands and the open ocean. Genes coding for functional responses to environmental stress (exopolysaccharides, cold shock proteins, and membrane modifications) were found in all of the metagenomes. However, in keeping with the greater exposure of the Arctic to long-range pollutants, sequences assigned to copper homeostasis genes were statistically (30%) more abundant in the Arctic samples. In contrast, more reads matching the sigma B genes were identified in the Antarctic mat, likely reflecting the more severe osmotic stress during freeze-up of the Antarctic ponds. This study underscores the presence of diverse mechanisms of adaptation to cold and other stresses in polar mats, consistent with the proportional representation of major bacterial groups. PMID:22081564

  20. Changes in microbial communities along redox gradients in polygonized Arctic wet tundra soils

    SciTech Connect

    Lipson, David A.; Raab, Theodore K.; Parker, Melanie; Kelley, Scott T.; Brislawn, Colin J.; Jansson, Janet K.

    2015-07-21

    This study investigated how microbial community structure and diversity varied with depth and topography in ice wedge polygons of wet tundra of the Arctic Coastal Plain in northern Alaska, and what soil variables explain these patterns. We observed strong changes in community structure and diversity with depth, and more subtle changes between areas of high and low topography, with the largest differences apparent near the soil surface. These patterns are most strongly correlated with redox gradients (measured using the ratio of reduced Fe to total Fe in acid extracts as a proxy): conditions grew more reducing with depth and were most oxidized in shallow regions of polygon rims. Organic matter and pH also changed with depth and topography, but were less effective predictors of the microbial community structure and relative abundance of specific taxa. Of all other measured variables, lactic acid concentration was the best, in combination with redox, for describing the microbial community. We conclude that redox conditions are the dominant force in shaping microbial communities in this landscape. Oxygen and other electron acceptors allowed for the greatest diversity of microbes: at depth the community was reduced to a simpler core of anaerobes, dominated by fermenters (Bacteroidetes and Firmicutes).

  1. Changes in microbial communities along redox gradients in polygonized Arctic wet tundra soils

    SciTech Connect

    Lipson, David A.; Raab, Theodore K.; Parker, Melanie; Kelley, Scott T.; Brislawn, Colin J.; Jansson, Janet K.

    2015-08-01

    Summary This study investigated how microbial community structure and diversity varied with depth and topography in ice wedge polygons of wet tundra of the Arctic Coastal Plain in northern Alaska and what soil variables explain these patterns. We observed strong changes in community structure and diversity with depth, and more subtle changes between areas of high and low topography, with the largest differences apparent near the soil surface. These patterns are most strongly correlated with redox gradients (measured using the ratio of reduced Fe to total Fe in acid extracts as a proxy): conditions grew more reducing with depth and were most oxidized in shallow regions of polygon rims. Organic matter and pH also changed with depth and topography but were less effective predictors of the microbial community structure and relative abundance of specific taxa. Of all other measured variables, lactic acid concentration was the best, in combination with redox, for describing the microbial community. We conclude that redox conditions are the dominant force in shaping microbial communities in this landscape. Oxygen and other electron acceptors allowed for the greatest diversity of microbes: at depth the community was reduced to a simpler core of anaerobes,

  2. Changes in microbial communities along redox gradients in polygonized Arctic wet tundra soils.

    PubMed

    Lipson, David A; Raab, Theodore K; Parker, Melanie; Kelley, Scott T; Brislawn, Colin J; Jansson, Janet

    2015-08-01

    This study investigated how microbial community structure and diversity varied with depth and topography in ice wedge polygons of wet tundra of the Arctic Coastal Plain in northern Alaska and what soil variables explain these patterns. We observed strong changes in community structure and diversity with depth, and more subtle changes between areas of high and low topography, with the largest differences apparent near the soil surface. These patterns are most strongly correlated with redox gradients (measured using the ratio of reduced Fe to total Fe in acid extracts as a proxy): conditions grew more reducing with depth and were most oxidized in shallow regions of polygon rims. Organic matter and pH also changed with depth and topography but were less effective predictors of the microbial community structure and relative abundance of specific taxa. Of all other measured variables, lactic acid concentration was the best, in combination with redox, for describing the microbial community. We conclude that redox conditions are the dominant force in shaping microbial communities in this landscape. Oxygen and other electron acceptors allowed for the greatest diversity of microbes: at depth the community was reduced to a simpler core of anaerobes, dominated by fermenters (Bacteroidetes and Firmicutes).

  3. Comparison of seasonal soil microbial process in snow-covered temperate ecosystems of northern China.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Xinyue; Wang, Wei; Chen, Weile; Zhang, Naili; Zeng, Hui

    2014-01-01

    More than half of the earth's terrestrial surface currently experiences seasonal snow cover and soil frost. Winter compositional and functional investigations in soil microbial community are frequently conducted in alpine tundra and boreal forest ecosystems. However, little information on winter microbial biogeochemistry is known from seasonally snow-covered temperate ecosystems. As decomposer microbes may differ in their ability/strategy to efficiently use soil organic carbon (SOC) within different phases of the year, understanding seasonal microbial process will increase our knowledge of biogeochemical cycling from the aspect of decomposition rates and corresponding nutrient dynamics. In this study, we measured soil microbial biomass, community composition and potential SOC mineralization rates in winter and summer, from six temperate ecosystems in northern China. Our results showed a clear pattern of increased microbial biomass C to nitrogen (N) ratio in most winter soils. Concurrently, a shift in soil microbial community composition occurred with higher fungal to bacterial biomass ratio and gram negative (G-) to gram positive (G+) bacterial biomass ratio in winter than in summer. Furthermore, potential SOC mineralization rate was higher in winter than in summer. Our study demonstrated a distinct transition of microbial community structure and function from winter to summer in temperate snow-covered ecosystems. Microbial N immobilization in winter may not be the major contributor for plant growth in the following spring.

  4. Biogeochemistry of hypersaline microbial mats illustrates the dynamics of modern microbial ecosystems and the early evolution of the biosphere

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Des Marais, David J.

    2003-01-01

    Photosynthetic microbial mats are remarkably complete self-sustaining ecosystems at the millimeter scale, yet they have substantially affected environmental processes on a planetary scale. These mats may be direct descendents of the most ancient biological communities in which even oxygenic photosynthesis might have developed. Photosynthetic mats are excellent natural laboratories to help us to learn how microbial populations associate to control dynamic biogeochemical gradients.

  5. Climate change and Arctic ecosystems: 2. Modeling, paleodata-model comparisons, and future projections

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kaplan, J. O.; Bigelow, N. H.; Prentice, I. C.; Harrison, S. P.; Bartlein, P. J.; Christensen, T. R.; Cramer, W.; Matveyeva, N. V.; McGuire, A. D.; Murray, D. F.; Razzhivin, V. Y.; Smith, B.; Walker, D. A.; Anderson, P. M.; Andreev, A. A.; Brubaker, L. B.; Edwards, M. E.; Lozhkin, A. V.

    2003-10-01

    Large variations in the composition, structure, and function of Arctic ecosystems are determined by climatic gradients, especially of growing-season warmth, soil moisture, and snow cover. A unified circumpolar classification recognizing five types of tundra was developed. The geographic distributions of vegetation types north of 55°N, including the position of the forest limit and the distributions of the tundra types, could be predicted from climatology using a small set of plant functional types embedded in the biogeochemistry-biogeography model BIOME4. Several palaeoclimate simulations for the last glacial maximum (LGM) and mid-Holocene were used to explore the possibility of simulating past vegetation patterns, which are independently known based on pollen data. The broad outlines of observed changes in vegetation were captured. LGM simulations showed the major reduction of forest, the great extension of graminoid and forb tundra, and the restriction of low- and high-shrub tundra (although not all models produced sufficiently dry conditions to mimic the full observed change). Mid-Holocene simulations reproduced the contrast between northward forest extension in western and central Siberia and stability of the forest limit in Beringia. Projection of the effect of a continued exponential increase in atmospheric CO2 concentration, based on a transient ocean-atmosphere simulation including sulfate aerosol effects, suggests a potential for larger changes in Arctic ecosystems during the 21st century than have occurred between mid-Holocene and present. Simulated physiological effects of the CO2 increase (to >700 ppm) at high latitudes were slight compared with the effects of the change in climate.

  6. Climate change and Arctic ecosystems: 2. Modeling, paleodata-model comparisons, and future projections

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Kaplan, J.O.; Bigelow, N.H.; Prentice, I.C.; Harrison, S.P.; Bartlein, P.J.; Christensen, T.R.; Cramer, W.; Matveyeva, N.V.; McGuire, A.D.; Murray, D.F.; Razzhivin, V.Y.; Smith, B.; Walker, D. A.; Anderson, P.M.; Andreev, A.A.; Brubaker, L.B.; Edwards, M.E.; Lozhkin, A.V.

    2003-01-01

    Large variations in the composition, structure, and function of Arctic ecosystems are determined by climatic gradients, especially of growing-season warmth, soil moisture, and snow cover. A unified circumpolar classification recognizing five types of tundra was developed. The geographic distributions of vegetation types north of 55??N, including the position of the forest limit and the distributions of the tundra types, could be predicted from climatology using a small set of plant functional types embedded in the biogeochemistry-biogeography model BIOME4. Several palaeoclimate simulations for the last glacial maximum (LGM) and mid-Holocene were used to explore the possibility of simulating past vegetation patterns, which are independently known based on pollen data. The broad outlines of observed changes in vegetation were captured. LGM simulations showed the major reduction of forest, the great extension of graminoid and forb tundra, and the restriction of low- and high-shrub tundra (although not all models produced sufficiently dry conditions to mimic the full observed change). Mid-Holocene simulations reproduced the contrast between northward forest extension in western and central Siberia and stability of the forest limit in Beringia. Projection of the effect of a continued exponential increase in atmospheric CO2 concentration, based on a transient ocean-atmosphere simulation including sulfate aerosol effects, suggests a potential for larger changes in Arctic ecosystems during the 21st century than have occurred between mid-Holocene and present. Simulated physiological effects of the CO2 increase (to > 700 ppm) at high latitudes were slight compared with the effects of the change in climate.

  7. Disentangling trophic relationships in a High Arctic tundra ecosystem through food web modeling.

    PubMed

    Legagneux, P; Gauthier, G; Berteaux, D; Bêty, J; Cadieux, M C; Bilodeau, F; Bolduc, E; McKinnon, L; Tarroux, A; Therrien, J F; Morissette, L; Krebs, C J

    2012-07-01

    Determining the manner in which food webs will respond to environmental changes is difficult because the relative importance of top-down vs. bottom-up forces in controlling ecosystems is still debated. This is especially true in the Arctic tundra where, despite relatively simple food webs, it is still unclear which forces dominate in this ecosystem. Our primary goal was to assess the extent to which a tundra food web was dominated by plant-herbivore or predator-prey interactions. Based on a 17-year (1993-2009) study of terrestrial wildlife on Bylot Island, Nunavut, Canada, we developed trophic mass balance models to address this question. Snow Geese were the dominant herbivores in this ecosystem, followed by two sympatric lemming species (brown and collared lemmings). Arctic foxes, weasels, and several species of birds of prey were the dominant predators. Results of our trophic models encompassing 19 functional groups showed that <10% of the annual primary production was consumed by herbivores in most years despite the presence of a large Snow Goose colony, but that 20-100% of the annual herbivore production was consumed by predators. The impact of herbivores on vegetation has also weakened over time, probably due to an increase in primary production. The impact of predators was highest on lemmings, intermediate on passerines, and lowest on geese and shorebirds, but it varied with lemming abundance. Predation of collared lemmings exceeded production in most years and may explain why this species remained at low density. In contrast, the predation rate on brown lemmings varied with prey density and may have contributed to the high-amplitude, periodic fluctuations in the abundance of this species. Our analysis provided little evidence that herbivores are limited by primary production on Bylot Island. In contrast, we measured strong predator-prey interactions, which supports the hypothesis that this food web is primarily controlled by top-down forces. The presence of

  8. Chamber and Diffusive Based Carbon Flux Measurements in an Alaskan Arctic Ecosystem

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wilkman, E.; Oechel, W. C.; Zona, D.

    2013-12-01

    Eric Wilkman, Walter Oechel, Donatella Zona Comprising an area of more than 7 x 106 km2 and containing over 11% of the world's organic matter pool, Arctic terrestrial ecosystems are vitally important components of the global carbon cycle, yet their structure and functioning are sensitive to subtle changes in climate and many of these functional changes can have large effects on the atmosphere and future climate regimes (Callaghan & Maxwell 1995, Chapin et al. 2002). Historically these northern ecosystems have acted as strong C sinks, sequestering large stores of atmospheric C due to photosynthetic dominance in the short summer season and low rates of decomposition throughout the rest of the year as a consequence of cold, nutrient poor, and generally water-logged conditions. Currently, much of this previously stored carbon is at risk of loss to the atmosphere due to accelerated soil organic matter decomposition in warmer future climates (Grogan & Chapin 2000). Although there have been numerous studies on Arctic carbon dynamics, much of the previous soil flux work has been done at limited time intervals, due to both the harshness of the environment and labor and time constraints. Therefore, in June of 2013 an Ultraportable Greenhouse Gas Analyzer (UGGA - Los Gatos Research Inc.) was deployed in concert with the LI-8100A Automated Soil Flux System (LI-COR Biosciences) in Barrow, AK to gather high temporal frequency soil CO2 and CH4 fluxes from a wet sedge tundra ecosystem. An additional UGGA in combination with diffusive probes, installed in the same location, provides year-round soil and snow CO2 and CH4 concentrations. When used in combination with the recently purchased AlphaGUARD portable radon monitor (Saphymo GmbH), continuous soil and snow diffusivities and fluxes of CO2 and CH4 can be calculated (Lehmann & Lehmann 2000). Of particular note, measuring soil gas concentration over a diffusive gradient in this way allows one to separate both net production and

  9. Disentangling trophic relationships in a High Arctic tundra ecosystem through food web modeling.

    PubMed

    Legagneux, P; Gauthier, G; Berteaux, D; Bêty, J; Cadieux, M C; Bilodeau, F; Bolduc, E; McKinnon, L; Tarroux, A; Therrien, J F; Morissette, L; Krebs, C J

    2012-07-01

    Determining the manner in which food webs will respond to environmental changes is difficult because the relative importance of top-down vs. bottom-up forces in controlling ecosystems is still debated. This is especially true in the Arctic tundra where, despite relatively simple food webs, it is still unclear which forces dominate in this ecosystem. Our primary goal was to assess the extent to which a tundra food web was dominated by plant-herbivore or predator-prey interactions. Based on a 17-year (1993-2009) study of terrestrial wildlife on Bylot Island, Nunavut, Canada, we developed trophic mass balance models to address this question. Snow Geese were the dominant herbivores in this ecosystem, followed by two sympatric lemming species (brown and collared lemmings). Arctic foxes, weasels, and several species of birds of prey were the dominant predators. Results of our trophic models encompassing 19 functional groups showed that <10% of the annual primary production was consumed by herbivores in most years despite the presence of a large Snow Goose colony, but that 20-100% of the annual herbivore production was consumed by predators. The impact of herbivores on vegetation has also weakened over time, probably due to an increase in primary production. The impact of predators was highest on lemmings, intermediate on passerines, and lowest on geese and shorebirds, but it varied with lemming abundance. Predation of collared lemmings exceeded production in most years and may explain why this species remained at low density. In contrast, the predation rate on brown lemmings varied with prey density and may have contributed to the high-amplitude, periodic fluctuations in the abundance of this species. Our analysis provided little evidence that herbivores are limited by primary production on Bylot Island. In contrast, we measured strong predator-prey interactions, which supports the hypothesis that this food web is primarily controlled by top-down forces. The presence of

  10. Challenges in Modeling Disturbance Regimes and Their Impacts in Arctic and Boreal Ecosystems (Invited)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McGuire, A. D.; Rupp, T. S.; Kurz, W.

    2013-12-01

    Disturbances in arctic and boreal terrestrial ecosystems influence services provided by these ecosystems to society. In particular, changes in disturbance regimes in northern latitudes have uncertain consequences for the climate system. A major challenge for the scientific community is to develop the capability to predict how the frequency, severity and resultant impacts of disturbance regimes will change in response to future changes in climate projected for northern high latitudes. Here we compare what is known about drivers and impacts of wildfire, phytophagous insect pests, and thermokarst disturbance to illustrate the complexities in predicting future changes in disturbance regimes and their impacts in arctic and boreal regions. Much of the research on predicting fire has relied on the use of drivers related to fire weather. However, changes in vegetation, such as increases in broadleaf species, associated with intensified fire regimes have the potential to influence future fire regimes through negative feedbacks associated with reduced flammability. Phytophagous insect outbreaks have affected substantial portions of the boreal region in the past, but frequently the range of the tree host is larger than the range of the insect. There is evidence that a number of insect species are expanding their range in response to climate change. Major challenges to predicting outbreaks of phytophagous insects include modeling the effects of climate change on insect growth and maturation, winter mortality, plant host health, the synchrony of insect life stages and plant host phenology, and changes in the ranges of insect pests. Moreover, Earth System Models often simplify the representation of vegetation characteristics, e.g. the use of plant functional types, providing insufficient detail to link to insect population models. Thermokarst disturbance occurs when the thawing of ice-rich permafrost results in substantial ground subsidence. In the boreal forest, thermokarst can

  11. Microbial eukaryotic distributions and diversity patterns in a deep-sea methane seep ecosystem.

    PubMed

    Pasulka, Alexis L; Levin, Lisa A; Steele, Josh A; Case, David H; Landry, Michael R; Orphan, Victoria J

    2016-09-01

    Although chemosynthetic ecosystems are known to support diverse assemblages of microorganisms, the ecological and environmental factors that structure microbial eukaryotes (heterotrophic protists and fungi) are poorly characterized. In this study, we examined the geographic, geochemical and ecological factors that influence microbial eukaryotic composition and distribution patterns within Hydrate Ridge, a methane seep ecosystem off the coast of Oregon using a combination of high-throughput 18S rRNA tag sequencing, terminal restriction fragment length polymorphism fingerprinting, and cloning and sequencing of full-length 18S rRNA genes. Microbial eukaryotic composition and diversity varied as a function of substrate (carbonate versus sediment), activity (low activity versus active seep sites), sulfide concentration, and region (North versus South Hydrate Ridge). Sulfide concentration was correlated with changes in microbial eukaryotic composition and richness. This work also revealed the influence of oxygen content in the overlying water column and water depth on microbial eukaryotic composition and diversity, and identified distinct patterns from those previously observed for bacteria, archaea and macrofauna in methane seep ecosystems. Characterizing the structure of microbial eukaryotic communities in response to environmental variability is a key step towards understanding if and how microbial eukaryotes influence seep ecosystem structure and function.

  12. Reviews and Syntheses: Effects of permafrost thaw on arctic aquatic ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vonk, J. E.; Tank, S. E.; Bowden, W. B.; Laurion, I.; Vincent, W. F.; Alekseychik, P.; Amyot, M.; Billet, M. F.; Canário, J.; Cory, R. M.; Deshpande, B. N.; Helbig, M.; Jammet, M.; Karlsson, J.; Larouche, J.; MacMillan, G.; Rautio, M.; Anthony, K. M. Walter; Wickland, K. P.

    2015-07-01

    The Arctic is a water-rich region, with freshwater systems covering 16 % of the northern permafrost landscape. The thawing of this permafrost creates new freshwater ecosystems, while at the same time modifying the existing lakes, streams, and rivers that are impacted by thaw. Here, we describe the current state of knowledge regarding how permafrost thaw affects lentic and lotic systems, exploring the effects of both thermokarst (thawing and collapse of ice-rich permafrost) and deepening of the active layer (the surface soil layer that thaws and refreezes each year). Within thermokarst, we further differentiate between the effects of thermokarst in lowland areas, vs. that on hillslopes. For almost all of the processes that we explore, the effects of thaw vary regionally, and between lake and stream systems. Much of this regional variation is caused by differences in ground ice content, topography, soil type, and permafrost coverage. Together, these modifying variables determine the degree to which permafrost thaw manifests as thermokarst, whether thermokarst leads to slumping or the formation of thermokarst lakes, and the manner in which constituent delivery to freshwater systems is altered by thaw. Differences in thaw-enabled constituent delivery can be considerable, with these modifying variables determining, for example, the balance between delivery of particulate vs. dissolved constituents, and inorganic vs. organic materials. Changes in the composition of thaw-impacted waters, coupled with changes in lake morphology, can strongly affect the physical and optical properties of thermokarst lakes. The ecology of thaw-impacted systems is also likely to change, with thaw-impacted lakes and streams having unique microbiological communities, and showing differences in respiration, primary production, and food web structure that are largely driven by differences in sediment, dissolved organic matter and nutrient delivery. The degree to which thaw enables the delivery of

  13. Reviews and syntheses: Effects of permafrost thaw on Arctic aquatic ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vonk, J. E.; Tank, S. E.; Bowden, W. B.; Laurion, I.; Vincent, W. F.; Alekseychik, P.; Amyot, M.; Billet, M. F.; Canário, J.; Cory, R. M.; Deshpande, B. N.; Helbig, M.; Jammet, M.; Karlsson, J.; Larouche, J.; MacMillan, G.; Rautio, M.; Anthony, K. M. Walter; Wickland, K. P.

    2015-12-01

    The Arctic is a water-rich region, with freshwater systems covering about 16 % of the northern permafrost landscape. Permafrost thaw creates new freshwater ecosystems, while at the same time modifying the existing lakes, streams, and rivers that are impacted by thaw. Here, we describe the current state of knowledge regarding how permafrost thaw affects lentic (still) and lotic (moving) systems, exploring the effects of both thermokarst (thawing and collapse of ice-rich permafrost) and deepening of the active layer (the surface soil layer that thaws and refreezes each year). Within thermokarst, we further differentiate between the effects of thermokarst in lowland areas vs. that on hillslopes. For almost all of the processes that we explore, the effects of thaw vary regionally, and between lake and stream systems. Much of this regional variation is caused by differences in ground ice content, topography, soil type, and permafrost coverage. Together, these modifying factors determine (i) the degree to which permafrost thaw manifests as thermokarst, (ii) whether thermokarst leads to slumping or the formation of thermokarst lakes, and (iii) the manner in which constituent delivery to freshwater systems is altered by thaw. Differences in thaw-enabled constituent delivery can be considerable, with these modifying factors determining, for example, the balance between delivery of particulate vs. dissolved constituents, and inorganic vs. organic materials. Changes in the composition of thaw-impacted waters, coupled with changes in lake morphology, can strongly affect the physical and optical properties of thermokarst lakes. The ecology of thaw-impacted lakes and streams is also likely to change; these systems have unique microbiological communities, and show differences in respiration, primary production, and food web structure that are largely driven by differences in sediment, dissolved organic matter, and nutrient delivery. The degree to which thaw enables the delivery

  14. Development of an advanced regional climate-ecosystem model for Arctic applications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chaudhary, Nitin; Smith, Benjamin; Miller, Paul

    2013-04-01

    Cryospheric processes together with their feedbacks play a crucial role in determining rates and patterns of future warming over high-latitude regions. Cryospheric processes including permafrost as well as peatland and associated vegetation, hydrological and biogeochemical dynamics are not well represented in land surface schemes (LSS) of most climate models. As a step in this direction, we describe a scheme to include the coupled dynamics of vegetation, hydrology and peat accumulation under climate forcing within a detailed vegetation dynamics-biogeochemistry model, LPJ GUESS (Smith et al. 2001; Miller et al., in preparation). In the first step, a one-dimensional (1D) landscape scale peat accumulation and two dimensional (2D) micro-topographical models have been developed. For the parameterisation and validation of these models, good quality datasets are being used which are collected at various locations around the Arctic. Building on these, a three-dimensional (3D) scheme will be incorporated in a version of LPJ-GUESS that already includes patch-scale vegetation dynamics and soil carbon cycling, as well as a one-dimensional hydrology scheme. The patches in the 3D model will be treated as adjacent micro-patches in a grid and depending on underlying micro-topography water will flow from higher to lower patches. The 2D and 3D models will help in simulating hummock and hollow structure which is typical for Northern peatlands based on the cyclic regeneration theory (von Post and Sernander, 1910). The resulting models will be incorporated within the biospheric component of a regional climate-ecosystem model, RCA-GUESS (Smith et al., 2010) and used to investigate feedbacks related to the dynamics of peatlands, permafrost and emissions of the greenhouse gases, mainly CO2 and CH4 across the Arctic region. References- Smith B, Prentice IC, and Skyes MT. 2001. Representation of vegetation dynamics in modelling of European ecosystems: comparison of two contrasting

  15. A case study of high Arctic anthropogenic disturbance to polar desert permafrost and ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Becker, M. S.; Pollard, W. H.

    2013-12-01

    One of the indirect impacts of climate change on Arctic ecosystems is the expected increase of industrial development in high latitudes. The scale of terrestrial impacts cannot be known ahead of time, particularly due to a lack of long-term impact studies in this region. With one of the slowest community recovery rates of any ecosystem, the high Artic biome will be under a considerable threat that is exacerbated by a high susceptibility to change in the permafrost thermal balance. One such area that provides a suitable location for study is an old airstrip near Eureka, Ellesmere Island, Nunavut (80.0175°N, 85.7340°W). While primarily used as an ice-runway for winter transport, the airstrip endured a yearly summer removal of vegetation that continued from 1947 until its abandonment in 1951. Since then, significant vegetative and geomorphic differences between disturbed and undisturbed areas have been noted in the literature throughout the decades (Bruggemann, 1953; Beschel, 1963; Couture and Pollard, 2007), but no system wide assessment of both the ecosystem and near-surface permafrost has been conducted. Key to our study is that the greatest apparent geomorphic and vegetative changes have occurred and persisted in areas where underlying ice-wedges have been disturbed. This suggests that the colonizing communities rapidly filled new available thermokarst niches and have produced an alternative ice-wedge stable state than the surrounding polar desert. We hypothesize that disturbed areas will currently have greater depths of thaw (deeper active layers) and degraded ice-wedges, with decreased vegetation diversity but higher abundance due to a changed hydrological balance. To test this a comprehensive set of near-surface active layer and ecosystem measurements were conducted. Permafrost dynamics were characterized using probing and high-frequency Ground Penetrating Radar (500 MHz) to map the near-surface details of ice-wedges and active layer. Vegetation was measured

  16. Relationships between ecosystem metabolism, benthic macroinvertebrate densities, and environmental variables in a sub-arctic Alaskan river

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Benson, Emily R.; Wipfli, Mark S.; Clapcott, Joanne E.; Hughes, Nicholas F.

    2013-01-01

    Relationships between environmental variables, ecosystem metabolism, and benthos are not well understood in sub-arctic ecosystems. The goal of this study was to investigate environmental drivers of river ecosystem metabolism and macroinvertebrate density in a sub-arctic river. We estimated primary production and respiration rates, sampled benthic macroinvertebrates, and monitored light intensity, discharge rate, and nutrient concentrations in the Chena River, interior Alaska, over two summers. We employed Random Forests models to identify predictor variables for metabolism rates and benthic macroinvertebrate density and biomass, and calculated Spearman correlations between in-stream nutrient levels and metabolism rates. Models indicated that discharge and length of time between high water events were the most important factors measured for predicting metabolism rates. Discharge was the most important variable for predicting benthic macroinvertebrate density and biomass. Primary production rate peaked at intermediate discharge, respiration rate was lowest at the greatest time since last high water event, and benthic macroinvertebrate density was lowest at high discharge rates. The ratio of dissolved inorganic nitrogen to soluble reactive phosphorus ranged from 27:1 to 172:1. We found that discharge plays a key role in regulating stream ecosystem metabolism, but that low phosphorous levels also likely limit primary production in this sub-arctic stream.

  17. Spatial variation in vegetation productivity trends, fire disturbance, and soil carbon across arctic-boreal permafrost ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Loranty, Michael M.; Liberman-Cribbin, Wil; Berner, Logan T.; Natali, Susan M.; Goetz, Scott J.; Alexander, Heather D.; Kholodov, Alexander L.

    2016-09-01

    In arctic tundra and boreal forest ecosystems vegetation structural and functional influences on the surface energy balance can strongly influence permafrost soil temperatures. As such, vegetation changes will likely play an important role in permafrost soil carbon dynamics and associated climate feedbacks. Processes that lead to changes in vegetation, such as wildfire or ecosystem responses to rising temperatures, are of critical importance to understanding the impacts of arctic and boreal ecosystems on future climate. Yet these processes vary within and between ecosystems and this variability has not been systematically characterized across the arctic-boreal region. Here we quantify the distribution of vegetation productivity trends, wildfire, and near-surface soil carbon, by vegetation type, across the zones of continuous and discontinuous permafrost. Siberian larch forests contain more than one quarter of permafrost soil carbon in areas of continuous permafrost. We observe pervasive positive trends in vegetation productivity in areas of continuous permafrost, whereas areas underlain by discontinuous permafrost have proportionally less positive productivity trends and an increase in areas exhibiting negative productivity trends. Fire affects a much smaller proportion of the total area and thus a smaller amount of permafrost soil carbon, with the vast majority occurring in deciduous needleleaf forests. Our results indicate that vegetation productivity trends may be linked to permafrost distribution, fire affects a relatively small proportion of permafrost soil carbon, and Siberian larch forests will play a crucial role in the strength of the permafrost carbon climate feedback.

  18. How plant functional traits cascade to microbial function and ecosystem services in mountain grasslands

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lavorel, S.; Grigulis, K.; Krainer, U.; Legay, N.; Turner, C.; Dumont, M.; Kastl, E.; Arnoldi, C.; Bardgett, R.; Poly, F.; Pommier, T.; Schloter, M.; Tappeiner, U.; Bahn, M.; Clément, J.-C.

    2012-04-01

    1. There is growing evidence that plant functional diversity and microbial communities of soil are tightly coupled, and that this coupling influences a range of ecosystem functions. Moreover, it has been hypothesized that changes in the nature of interactions between plant functional diversity and microbial communities along environmental gradients contributes to variation in the delivery of ecosystem services. Although there is empirical support for such relationships using broad plant and microbial functional classifications, or from studies of plant monocultures, such relationships and their consequences for ecosystem services have not been quantified under complex field conditions with diverse plant communities. 2. We aimed to provide an explicit quantification of how plant and microbial functional properties interplay to determine key ecosystem functions underlying ecosystem services provided by grasslands. At three mountain grassland sites in the French Alps, Austrian Tyrol and northern England, we quantified, along gradients of management intensity, (i) plant functional diversity, (ii) soil microbial community composition and parameters associated with nitrogen cycling, and (iii) key ecosystem processes related to the carbon and nitrogen cycles including aboveground biomass production, standing litter, litter decomposition, soil organic matter and nitrate and ammonium leaching . Considering that plants strongly determine microbial communities, we used a hierarchical approach that considered first direct effects of plant traits and then effects of soil microorganisms on processes, to determine the relative effects of plant and microbial functional parameters on key ecosystem properties. 3. We identified a gradient of relative effects of plant and microbial traits from properties controlled mostly by aboveground processes, such as plant biomass production and standing litter, to properties controlled mostly by microbial processes, such as soil leaching of

  19. DNA-based, culture-independent strategies for evaluating microbial communities in food-associated ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Giraffa, G; Neviani, E

    2001-07-20

    Culture-independent molecular techniques are now available to study microbial ecosystems. They are opening interesting perspectives to problems related to composition and population dynamics of microbial communities in various environmental niches (e.g., soil, water) and foods. In fermented food products, estimates of true microbial diversity is often difficult chiefly on account of the inability to cultivate most of the viable bacteria. The increasing knowledge of gene sequences and the concomitant development of new culture-independent molecular techniques are providing new and effective tools to compare the diversity of microbial communities and to monitor population dynamics in minimally disturbed samples. In this review, recent advances in these techniques are reported. Possible applications to food-associated microbial ecosystems are emphasised. PMID:11482566

  20. Microbial atrazine breakdown in a karst groundwater system and its effect on ecosystem energetics.

    PubMed

    Iker, Brandon C; Kambesis, Pat; Oehrle, Stuart A; Groves, Chris; Barton, Hazel A

    2010-01-01

    In the absence of sunlight energy, microbial community survival in subterranean aquifers depends on integrated mechanisms of energy and nutrient scavenging. Because karst aquifers are particularly sensitive to agricultural land use impacts due to rapid and direct hydrologic connections for pollutants to enter the groundwater, we examined the fate of an exogenous pesticide (atrazine) into such an aquifer and its impact on microbial ecosystem function. Atrazine and its degradation product deethylatrazine (DEA) were detected in a fast-flowing karst aquifer underlying atrazine-impacted agricultural land. By establishing microbial cultures with sediments from a cave conduit within this aquifer, we observed two distinct pathways of microbial atrazine degradation: (i) in cave sediments previously affected by atrazine, apparent surface-derived catabolic genes allowed the microbial communities to rapidly degrade atrazine via hydroxyatrazine, to cyanuric acid, and (ii) in low-impact sediments not previously exposed to this pesticide, atrazine was also degraded by microbial activity at a much slower rate, with DEA as the primary degradation product. In sediments from both locations, atrazine affected nitrogen cycling by altering the abundance of nitrogen dissimulatory species able to use nitrogenous compounds for energy. The sum of these effects was that the presence of atrazine altered the natural microbial processes in these cave sediments, leading to an accumulation of nitrate. Such changes in microbial ecosystem dynamics can alter the ability of DEA to serve as a proxy for atrazine contamination and can negatively affect ecosystem health and water quality in karst aquifers.

  1. Trait-based approaches for understanding microbial biodiversity and ecosystem functioning

    PubMed Central

    Krause, Sascha; Le Roux, Xavier; Niklaus, Pascal A.; Van Bodegom, Peter M.; Lennon, Jay T.; Bertilsson, Stefan; Grossart, Hans-Peter; Philippot, Laurent; Bodelier, Paul L. E.

    2014-01-01

    In ecology, biodiversity-ecosystem functioning (BEF) research has seen a shift in perspective from taxonomy to function in the last two decades, with successful application of trait-based approaches. This shift offers opportunities for a deeper mechanistic understanding of the role of biodiversity in maintaining multiple ecosystem processes and services. In this paper, we highlight studies that have focused on BEF of microbial communities with an emphasis on integrating trait-based approaches to microbial ecology. In doing so, we explore some of the inherent challenges and opportunities of understanding BEF using microbial systems. For example, microbial biologists characterize communities using gene phylogenies that are often unable to resolve functional traits. Additionally, experimental designs of existing microbial BEF studies are often inadequate to unravel BEF relationships. We argue that combining eco-physiological studies with contemporary molecular tools in a trait-based framework can reinforce our ability to link microbial diversity to ecosystem processes. We conclude that such trait-based approaches are a promising framework to increase the understanding of microbial BEF relationships and thus generating systematic principles in microbial ecology and more generally ecology. PMID:24904563

  2. Arctic and boreal ecosystems of western North America as components of the climate system

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Chapin, F. S.; McGuire, A.D.; Randerson, J.; Pielke, R.; Baldocchi, D.; Hobbie, S.E.; Roulet, Nigel; Eugster, W.; Kasischke, E.; Rastetter, E.B.; Zimov, S.A.; Running, S.W.

    2000-01-01

    Synthesis of results from several Arctic and boreal research programmes provides evidence for the strong role of high-latitude ecosystems in the climate system. Average surface air temperature has increased 0.3??C per decade during the twentieth century in the western North American Arctic and boreal forest zones. Precipitation has also increased, but changes in soil moisture are uncertain. Disturbance rates have increased in the boreal forest; for example, there has been a doubling of the area burned in North America in the past 20 years. The disturbance regime in tundra may not have changed. Tundra has a 3-6-fold higher winter albedo than boreal forest, but summer albedo and energy partitioning differ more strongly among ecosystems within either tundra or boreal forest than between these two biomes. This indicates a need to improve our understanding of vegetation dynamics within, as well as between, biomes. If regional surface warming were to continue, changes in albedo and energy absorption would likely act as a positive feedback to regional warming due to earlier melting of snow and, over the long term, the northward movement of treeline. Surface drying and a change in dominance from mosses to vascular plants would also enhance sensible heat flux and regional warming in tundra. In the boreal forest of western North America, deciduous forests have twice the albedo of conifer forests in both winter and summer, 50-80% higher evapotranspiration, and therefore only 30-50% of the sensible heat flux of conifers in summer. Therefore, a warming-induced increase in fire frequency that increased the proportion of deciduous forests in the landscape, would act as a negative feedback to regional warming. Changes in thermokarst and the aerial extent of wetlands, lakes, and ponds would alter high-latitude methane flux. There is currently a wide discrepancy among estimates of the size and direction of CO2 flux between high-latitude ecosystems and the atmosphere. These

  3. Net ecosystem exchange of CO2 with rapidly changing high Arctic landscapes.

    PubMed

    Emmerton, Craig A; St Louis, Vincent L; Humphreys, Elyn R; Gamon, John A; Barker, Joel D; Pastorello, Gilberto Z

    2016-03-01

    High Arctic landscapes are expansive and changing rapidly. However, our understanding of their functional responses and potential to mitigate or enhance anthropogenic climate change is limited by few measurements. We collected eddy covariance measurements to quantify the net ecosystem exchange (NEE) of CO2 with polar semidesert and meadow wetland landscapes at the highest latitude location measured to date (82°N). We coupled these rare data with ground and satellite vegetation production measurements (Normalized Difference Vegetation Index; NDVI) to evaluate the effectiveness of upscaling local to regional NEE. During the growing season, the dry polar semidesert landscape was a near-zero sink of atmospheric CO2 (NEE: -0.3 ± 13.5 g C m(-2) ). A nearby meadow wetland accumulated over 300 times more carbon (NEE: -79.3 ± 20.0 g C m(-2) ) than the polar semidesert landscape, and was similar to meadow wetland NEE at much more southerly latitudes. Polar semidesert NEE was most influenced by moisture, with wetter surface soils resulting in greater soil respiration and CO2 emissions. At the meadow wetland, soil heating enhanced plant growth, which in turn increased CO2 uptake. Our upscaling assessment found that polar semidesert NDVI measured on-site was low (mean: 0.120-0.157) and similar to satellite measurements (mean: 0.155-0.163). However, weak plant growth resulted in poor satellite NDVI-NEE relationships and created challenges for remotely detecting changes in the cycling of carbon on the polar semidesert landscape. The meadow wetland appeared more suitable to assess plant production and NEE via remote sensing; however, high Arctic wetland extent is constrained by topography to small areas that may be difficult to resolve with large satellite pixels. We predict that until summer precipitation and humidity increases enough to offset poor soil moisture retention, climate-related changes to productivity on polar semideserts may be restricted.

  4. Modeling the impacts of warming on the long-term trends in ecosystem productivity in arctic regions of North America

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mekonnen, Zelalem; Grant, Robert

    2014-05-01

    Rises in average air temperatures for the Arctic region in particular have been twice as rapid as the global average during the last century. Despite a general warming in most arctic regions, there is large spatial and temporal variation in this warming that affects the productivity of different ecosystems. In this study, we investigated long-term (1979 - 2010) spatial and temporal trends of air temperature change in northern higher latitudes of North America using climate data from the North American Regional Reanalysis (NARR) with 3-hourly time step at spatial resolution of 0.25 degrees. The NARR climate data were used to drive a comprehensive mathematical ecosystem model ecosys which simulated land-atmosphere energy and carbon exchange. Trend analysis of temperatures in different regions of the arctic shows a contrasting pattern along latitudinal and longitudinal gradients. The highest warming trend was observed in the northeast arctic with a trend of +0.72 0C decade-1, demonstrating amplified warming in the Arctic in the recent decades. Gross primary productivity (GPP), net primary productivity (NPP) and leaf area index (LAI) increased in most parts of the northern ecosystems supporting the hypothesis that higher latitudes and cooler regions tend to have greater gains in carbon attributed to warming over the last three decades. However, negative feedback was also observed in parts of Alaska. In annual scale net carbon uptake was increasing by spatial average of 0.22 gCm-2yr-1. Spatial average active layer depth (ALD) has shown an increase in most part of the region, with an average of 2.3cm decade-1. Further warming could increase the deepening of the ALD that could expose the huge volume of carbon beneath the permafrost and accelerate the rate of carbon losses.

  5. Microbial diversity in Cenozoic sediments recovered from the Lomonosov Ridge in the Central Arctic basin.

    PubMed

    Forschner, Stephanie R; Sheffer, Roberta; Rowley, David C; Smith, David C

    2009-03-01

    The current understanding of microbes inhabiting deeply buried marine sediments is based largely on samples collected from continental shelves in tropical and temperate latitudes. The geographical range of marine subsurface coring was expanded during the Integrated Ocean Drilling Program Arctic Coring Expedition (IODP ACEX). This expedition to the ice-covered central Arctic Ocean successfully cored the entire 428 m sediment stack on the Lomonosov Ridge during August and September 2004. The recovered cores vary from siliciclastic sediment low in organic carbon (< 0.2%) to organic rich ( approximately 3%) black sediments that rapidly accumulated in the early middle Eocene. Three geochemical environments were characterized based on chemical analyses of porewater: an upper ammonium oxidation zone, a carbonate dissolution zone and a deep (> 200 m below sea floor) sulfate reduction zone. The diversity of microbes within each zone was assessed using 16S rRNA phylogenetic markers. Bacterial 16S rRNA genes were successfully amplified from each of the biogeochemical zones, while archaea was only amplified from the deep sulfate reduction zone. The microbial communities at each zone are phylogenetically different and are most closely related to those from other deep subsurface environments.

  6. [Microbial response mechanism for drying and rewetting effect on soil respiration in grassland ecosystem: a review].

    PubMed

    He, Yun-Long; Qi, Yu-Chun; Dong, Yun-She; Peng, Qin; Sun, Liang-Jie; Jia, Jun-Qiang; Guo, Shu-Fang; Yan, Zhong-Qing

    2014-11-01

    As one of the most important and wide distribution community type among terrestrial ecosystems, grassland ecosystem plays a critical role in the global carbon cycles and climate regulation. China has extremely rich grassland resources, which have a huge carbon sequestration potential and are an important part of the global carbon cycle. Drying and rewetting is a common natural phenomenon in soil, which might accelerate soil carbon mineralization process, increase soil respiration and exert profound influence on microbial activity and community structure. Under the background of the global change, the changes in rainfall capacity, strength and frequency would inevitably affect soil drying and wetting cycles, and thus change the microbial activity and community structure as well as soil respiration, and then exert important influence on global carbon budget. In this paper, related references in recent ten years were reviewed. The source of soil released, the trend of soil respiration over time and the relationship between soil respiration and microbial biomass, microbial activity and microbial community structure during the processes of dry-rewetting cycle were analyzed and summarized, in order to better understand the microbial response mechanism for drying and rewetting effecting on soil respiration in grassland ecosystem, and provide a certain theoretical basis for more accurate evaluation and prediction of future global carbon balance of terrestrial ecosystems and climate change.

  7. Gas flux dynamics in high arctic permafrost polygon and ice wedge active layer soil; microbial feedback implications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mykytczuk, N. C.; Stackhouse, B. T.; Bennett, P.; Lamarche-Gagnon, G.; Hettich, R. L.; Phelps, T. J.; Layton, A.; Pfiffner, S. M.; Allan, J.; Vishnivetskaya, T. A.; Chourey, K.; Whyte, L.; Onstott, T. C.

    2011-12-01

    Temperatures in the Arctic may increase 4-8°C over the next 100 years, thereby increasing the depth of the active layer (AL) and thawing the underlying permafrost, with ice wedges in particular acting as an early indicator, a bellwether, for changing permafrost. Although data on CO2 and CH4 fluxes have been studied along with microbial diversity of AL and permafrost environments, the relationship between methanogenic, methanotrophic and heterotrophic in situ activities within the AL and CO2 and CH4 fluxes as a function of temperature has not been delineated. Defining these relationships is critical for accurately modeling the extent and rate of + / - feedback in global climate models. Initial field investigations of diurnal CO2 and CH4 flux from permafrost and ice-wedge AL soils were conducted during July on Axel Heiberg Island in the Canadian high arctic. The AL soils (68-69 cm depth) were completely thawed while ambient air temperatures were between 9 and 27°C. The AL soils above the ice wedges had a higher water content and finer texture than the polygon AL soils. Diurnal patterns using in situ flux chambers and a Picarro C-13 CO2 cavity ring-down spectrometer recorded net outward flux of CO2 (3.2 to 8.8 g/m2/day) and consumption of atmospheric CH4 (-2.2 mg/m2/day) from the AL surfaces. Gas flux from the ice wedge soil surface were in a similar range as the polygon soil surface, having slightly higher maximal flux of CO2 (10.4 g/m2/day) and net efflux of CH4 (-2.2 to 14 mg/m2/day). Using a vertical probe, gas flux below the surface measured higher amounts of CO2 with increasing depth ranging from 10.4 to 21.4 g/m2/day in the polygon soils vs. 10 to 28.5 g/m2/day in the ice wedge soils. Through the same profile, the CH4 concentration decreased from 0.59 ppmv to < 0.1 ppmv within 30 cm of the surface in the ice wedge and from 1.1 to 0.54 ppmv at the base of the polygon AL. The δ13C of the CO2 efflux from the surface were consistent with microbial activity

  8. Microbial dormancy improves development and experimental validation of ecosystem model

    DOE PAGES

    Wang, Gangsheng; Jagadamma, Sindhu; Mayes, Melanie; Schadt, Christopher Warren; Steinweg, Jessica M.; Gu, Lianhong; Post, Wilfred M.

    2014-07-11

    Climate feedbacks from soils can result from environmental change followed by response of plant and microbial communities, and/or associated changes in nutrient cycling. Explicit consideration of microbial life history traits and functions may be necessary to predict climate feedbacks due to changes in the physiology and community composition of microbes and their associated effect on carbon cycling. Here, we enhanced the Microbial-Enzyme-mediated Decomposition (MEND) model by incorporating microbial dormancy and the ability to track multiple isotopes of carbon. We tested two versions of MEND, i.e., MEND with dormancy and MEND without dormancy, against long-term (270 d) lab incubations of fourmore » soils with isotopically-labeled substrates. MEND without dormancy adequately fitted multiple observations (total and 14C respiration, and dissolved organic carbon), but at the cost of significantly underestimating the total microbial biomass. The MEND with dormancy improved estimates of microbial biomass by 20 71% over the MEND without dormancy. We observed large differences for two fitted model parameters, the specific maintenance and growth rates for active microbes, depending on whether dormancy was considered. Together our model extrapolations of the incubation study show that long-term soil incubations with observations in multiple carbon pools are necessary to estimate both decomposition and microbial parameters. These efforts should provide essential support to future field- and global-scale simulations and enable more confident predictions of feedbacks between environmental change and carbon cycling.« less

  9. Microbial dormancy improves development and experimental validation of ecosystem model

    SciTech Connect

    Wang, Gangsheng; Jagadamma, Sindhu; Mayes, Melanie; Schadt, Christopher Warren; Steinweg, Jessica M.; Gu, Lianhong; Post, Wilfred M.

    2014-07-11

    Climate feedbacks from soils can result from environmental change followed by response of plant and microbial communities, and/or associated changes in nutrient cycling. Explicit consideration of microbial life history traits and functions may be necessary to predict climate feedbacks due to changes in the physiology and community composition of microbes and their associated effect on carbon cycling. Here, we enhanced the Microbial-Enzyme-mediated Decomposition (MEND) model by incorporating microbial dormancy and the ability to track multiple isotopes of carbon. We tested two versions of MEND, i.e., MEND with dormancy and MEND without dormancy, against long-term (270 d) lab incubations of four soils with isotopically-labeled substrates. MEND without dormancy adequately fitted multiple observations (total and 14C respiration, and dissolved organic carbon), but at the cost of significantly underestimating the total microbial biomass. The MEND with dormancy improved estimates of microbial biomass by 20 71% over the MEND without dormancy. We observed large differences for two fitted model parameters, the specific maintenance and growth rates for active microbes, depending on whether dormancy was considered. Together our model extrapolations of the incubation study show that long-term soil incubations with observations in multiple carbon pools are necessary to estimate both decomposition and microbial parameters. These efforts should provide essential support to future field- and global-scale simulations and enable more confident predictions of feedbacks between environmental change and carbon cycling.

  10. Linking microbial and ecosystem ecology using ecological stoichiometry: a synthesis of conceptual and empirical approaches

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hall, E.K.; Maixner, F.; Franklin, O.; Daims, H.; Richter, A.; Battin, T.

    2011-01-01

    Currently, one of the biggest challenges in microbial and ecosystem ecology is to develop conceptual models that organize the growing body of information on environmental microbiology into a clear mechanistic framework with a direct link to ecosystem processes. Doing so will enable development of testable hypotheses to better direct future research and increase understanding of key constraints on biogeochemical networks. Although the understanding of phenotypic and genotypic diversity of microorganisms in the environment is rapidly accumulating, how controls on microbial physiology ultimately affect biogeochemical fluxes remains poorly understood. We propose that insight into constraints on biogeochemical cycles can be achieved by a more rigorous evaluation of microbial community biomass composition within the context of ecological stoichiometry. Multiple recent studies have pointed to microbial biomass stoichiometry as an important determinant of when microorganisms retain or recycle mineral nutrients. We identify the relevant cellular components that most likely drive changes in microbial biomass stoichiometry by defining a conceptual model rooted in ecological stoichiometry. More importantly, we show how X-ray microanalysis (XRMA), nanoscale secondary ion mass spectroscopy (NanoSIMS), Raman microspectroscopy, and in situ hybridization techniques (for example, FISH) can be applied in concert to allow for direct empirical evaluation of the proposed conceptual framework. This approach links an important piece of the ecological literature, ecological stoichiometry, with the molecular front of the microbial revolution, in an attempt to provide new insight into how microbial physiology could constrain ecosystem processes.

  11. Tracking Biological and Ecosystem Responses to Changing Environmental Conditions in the Pacific Arctic

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Grebmeier, J. M.; Cooper, L. W.; Frey, K. E.; Moore, S. E.

    2014-12-01

    Changing seasonal sea ice conditions and seawater temperatures strongly influence biological processes and marine ecosystems at high latitudes. In the Pacific Arctic, persistent regions termed "hotspots", are localized areas with high benthic macroinfaunal biomass that have been documented over four decades (see Figure). These regions are now being more formally tracked to relate physical forcing and ecosystem response as an Arctic Distributed Biological Observatory (DBO) supported by the US National Ocean Policy Implementation Plan and international partners. These hotspots are important foraging areas for upper trophic level benthic feeders, such as marine mammals and seabirds. South of St. Lawrence Island (SLI) in the northern Bering Sea, benthic feeding spectacled eiders, bearded seals and walruses are important winter consumers of infauna, such as bivalves and polychaetes. Gray whales have historically been a major summer consumer of benthic amphipods in the Chirikov Basin to the north of SLI, although summertime sightings of gray whales declined in the Chirikov from the 1980s up until at least 2002. The SE Chukchi Sea hotspot, as are the other hotspots, is maintained by export of high chlorophyll a that is produced locally as well as advected by water masses transiting northward through the system. Both walrus and gray whales are known to forage in this hotspot seasonally on high biomass levels of benthic prey. Notably the center of the highest benthic biomass regions has shifted northward in three of the DBO hotspots in recent years. This has coincided with changing sediment grain size, an indicator of current speed, and is also likely a response to changes in primary production in the region. Studies of these broad biological responses to changing physical drivers have been facilitated through development of the DBO cooperative effort by both US and international scientists. The DBO includes a series of coordinated, multi-trophic level observations that

  12. Metabolic and growth characteristics of novel diverse microbes isolated from deep cores collected at the Next Generation Ecosystem Experiment (NGEE)-Arctic site in Barrow, Alaska

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chakraborty, R.; Pettenato, A.; Tas, N.; Hubbard, S. S.; Jansson, J.

    2013-12-01

    The Arctic is characterized by vast amounts of carbon stored in permafrost and is an important focal point for the study of climate change as increasing temperature may accelerate microbially mediated release of Carbon stored in permafrost into the atmosphere as CO2 and CH4. Yet surprisingly, very little is known about the vulnerability of permafrost and response of microorganisms in the permafrost to their changing environment. This deficiency is largely due to the difficulty in study of largely uncultivated and unknown permafrost microbes. As part of the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Next Generation Ecosystem Experiment (NGEE) in the Arctic, we collected permafrost cores in an effort to isolate resident microbes. The cores were from the Barrow Environmental Observatory (BEO), located at the northern most location on the Alaskan Arctic Coastal Plain near Barrow, AK, and up to 3m in depth. In this location, permafrost starts from 0.5m in depth and is characterized by variable water content and higher pH than surface soils. Enrichments for heterotrophic bacteria were initiated at 4°C and 1°C in the dark in several different media types, under both aerobic and anaerobic conditions. Positive enrichments were identified by an increase in optical density and cell counts after incubation period ranging from two to four weeks. After serial transfers into fresh media, individual colonies were obtained on agar surface. Several strains were isolated that include Firmicutes such as Bacillus, Clostridium, Sporosarcina, and Paenibacillus species and Iron-reducing Betaproteobacteria such as Rhodoferax species. In addition, methanogenic enrichments continue to grow and produce methane gas at 2°C. In this study, we present the characterization, carbon substrate utilization, pH, temperature and osmotic tolerance, as well as the effect of increasing climate change parameters on the growth rate and respiratory gas production from these permafrost isolates.

  13. Microbial Biogeography of Arctic Streams: Exploring Influences of Lithology and Habitat

    PubMed Central

    Larouche, Julia R.; Bowden, William B.; Giordano, Rosanna; Flinn, Michael B.; Crump, Byron C.

    2012-01-01

    Terminal restriction fragment length polymorphism and 16S rRNA gene sequencing were used to explore the community composition of bacterial communities in biofilms on sediments (epipssamon) and rocks (epilithon) in stream reaches that drain watersheds with contrasting lithologies in the Noatak National Preserve, Alaska. Bacterial community composition varied primarily by stream habitat and secondarily by lithology. Positive correlations were detected between bacterial community structure and nutrients, base cations, and dissolved organic carbon. Our results showed significant differences at the stream habitat, between epipssamon and epilithon bacterial communities, which we expected. Our results also showed significant differences at the landscape scale that could be related to different lithologies and associated stream biogeochemistry. These results provide insight into the bacterial community composition of little known and pristine arctic stream ecosystems and illustrate how differences in the lithology, soils, and vegetation community of the terrestrial environment interact to influence stream bacterial taxonomic richness and composition. PMID:22936932

  14. Mapping microbial ecosystems and spoilage-gene flow in breweries highlights patterns of contamination and resistance.

    PubMed

    Bokulich, Nicholas A; Bergsveinson, Jordyn; Ziola, Barry; Mills, David A

    2015-01-01

    Distinct microbial ecosystems have evolved to meet the challenges of indoor environments, shaping the microbial communities that interact most with modern human activities. Microbial transmission in food-processing facilities has an enormous impact on the qualities and healthfulness of foods, beneficially or detrimentally interacting with food products. To explore modes of microbial transmission and spoilage-gene frequency in a commercial food-production scenario, we profiled hop-resistance gene frequencies and bacterial and fungal communities in a brewery. We employed a Bayesian approach for predicting routes of contamination, revealing critical control points for microbial management. Physically mapping microbial populations over time illustrates patterns of dispersal and identifies potential contaminant reservoirs within this environment. Habitual exposure to beer is associated with increased abundance of spoilage genes, predicting greater contamination risk. Elucidating the genetic landscapes of indoor environments poses important practical implications for food-production systems and these concepts are translatable to other built environments. PMID:25756611

  15. Marine ecosystem synthesis: From physics to whales in the Pacific Arctic

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sheffield Guy, Lisa; Moore, Sue E.; Stabeno, Phyllis

    2012-11-01

    Synthesis of Arctic Research (SOAR) Workshop; Anchorage, Alaska, 14-16 March 2012 The Synthesis of Arctic Research (SOAR) program brings together a multidisciplinary group of Arctic scientists and Alaskan coastal community residents to explore and integrate marine research information in the Pacific Arctic region. The goal of SOAR is to increase scientific understanding of the relationships among oceanographic conditions (physics, chemistry, sea ice), benthic organisms, lower trophic pelagic species (forage fish and zooplankton), and higher trophic species (i.e., seabirds, walrus, whales) in the Pacific Arctic, with particular emphasis on the Chukchi Sea oil and gas lease sale areas.

  16. Microbial Diversity in Sediment Ecosystems (Evaporites Domes, Microbial Mats, and Crusts) of Hypersaline Laguna Tebenquiche, Salar de Atacama, Chile.

    PubMed

    Fernandez, Ana B; Rasuk, Maria C; Visscher, Pieter T; Contreras, Manuel; Novoa, Fernando; Poire, Daniel G; Patterson, Molly M; Ventosa, Antonio; Farias, Maria E

    2016-01-01

    We combined nucleic acid-based molecular methods, biogeochemical measurements, and physicochemical characteristics to investigate microbial sedimentary ecosystems of Laguna Tebenquiche, Atacama Desert, Chile. Molecular diversity, and biogeochemistry of hypersaline microbial mats, rhizome-associated concretions, and an endoevaporite were compared with: The V4 hypervariable region of the 16S rRNA gene was amplified by pyrosequencing to analyze the total microbial diversity (i.e., bacteria and archaea) in bulk samples, and in addition, in detail on a millimeter scale in one microbial mat and in one evaporite. Archaea were more abundant than bacteria. Euryarchaeota was one of the most abundant phyla in all samples, and particularly dominant (97% of total diversity) in the most lithified ecosystem, the evaporite. Most of the euryarchaeal OTUs could be assigned to the class Halobacteria or anaerobic and methanogenic archaea. Planctomycetes potentially also play a key role in mats and rhizome-associated concretions, notably the aerobic organoheterotroph members of the class Phycisphaerae. In addition to cyanobacteria, members of Chromatiales and possibly the candidate family Chlorotrichaceae contributed to photosynthetic carbon fixation. Other abundant uncultured taxa such as the candidate division MSBL1, the uncultured MBGB, and the phylum Acetothermia potentially play an important metabolic role in these ecosystems. Lithifying microbial mats contained calcium carbonate precipitates, whereas endoevoporites consisted of gypsum, and halite. Biogeochemical measurements revealed that based on depth profiles of O2 and sulfide, metabolic activities were much higher in the non-lithifying mat (peaking in the least lithified systems) than in lithifying mats with the lowest activity in endoevaporites. This trend in decreasing microbial activity reflects the increase in salinity, which may play an important role in the biodiversity. PMID:27597845

  17. Microbial Diversity in Sediment Ecosystems (Evaporites Domes, Microbial Mats, and Crusts) of Hypersaline Laguna Tebenquiche, Salar de Atacama, Chile

    PubMed Central

    Fernandez, Ana B.; Rasuk, Maria C.; Visscher, Pieter T.; Contreras, Manuel; Novoa, Fernando; Poire, Daniel G.; Patterson, Molly M.; Ventosa, Antonio; Farias, Maria E.

    2016-01-01

    We combined nucleic acid-based molecular methods, biogeochemical measurements, and physicochemical characteristics to investigate microbial sedimentary ecosystems of Laguna Tebenquiche, Atacama Desert, Chile. Molecular diversity, and biogeochemistry of hypersaline microbial mats, rhizome-associated concretions, and an endoevaporite were compared with: The V4 hypervariable region of the 16S rRNA gene was amplified by pyrosequencing to analyze the total microbial diversity (i.e., bacteria and archaea) in bulk samples, and in addition, in detail on a millimeter scale in one microbial mat and in one evaporite. Archaea were more abundant than bacteria. Euryarchaeota was one of the most abundant phyla in all samples, and particularly dominant (97% of total diversity) in the most lithified ecosystem, the evaporite. Most of the euryarchaeal OTUs could be assigned to the class Halobacteria or anaerobic and methanogenic archaea. Planctomycetes potentially also play a key role in mats and rhizome-associated concretions, notably the aerobic organoheterotroph members of the class Phycisphaerae. In addition to cyanobacteria, members of Chromatiales and possibly the candidate family Chlorotrichaceae contributed to photosynthetic carbon fixation. Other abundant uncultured taxa such as the candidate division MSBL1, the uncultured MBGB, and the phylum Acetothermia potentially play an important metabolic role in these ecosystems. Lithifying microbial mats contained calcium carbonate precipitates, whereas endoevoporites consisted of gypsum, and halite. Biogeochemical measurements revealed that based on depth profiles of O2 and sulfide, metabolic activities were much higher in the non-lithifying mat (peaking in the least lithified systems) than in lithifying mats with the lowest activity in endoevaporites. This trend in decreasing microbial activity reflects the increase in salinity, which may play an important role in the biodiversity.

  18. Microbial Diversity in Sediment Ecosystems (Evaporites Domes, Microbial Mats, and Crusts) of Hypersaline Laguna Tebenquiche, Salar de Atacama, Chile

    PubMed Central

    Fernandez, Ana B.; Rasuk, Maria C.; Visscher, Pieter T.; Contreras, Manuel; Novoa, Fernando; Poire, Daniel G.; Patterson, Molly M.; Ventosa, Antonio; Farias, Maria E.

    2016-01-01

    We combined nucleic acid-based molecular methods, biogeochemical measurements, and physicochemical characteristics to investigate microbial sedimentary ecosystems of Laguna Tebenquiche, Atacama Desert, Chile. Molecular diversity, and biogeochemistry of hypersaline microbial mats, rhizome-associated concretions, and an endoevaporite were compared with: The V4 hypervariable region of the 16S rRNA gene was amplified by pyrosequencing to analyze the total microbial diversity (i.e., bacteria and archaea) in bulk samples, and in addition, in detail on a millimeter scale in one microbial mat and in one evaporite. Archaea were more abundant than bacteria. Euryarchaeota was one of the most abundant phyla in all samples, and particularly dominant (97% of total diversity) in the most lithified ecosystem, the evaporite. Most of the euryarchaeal OTUs could be assigned to the class Halobacteria or anaerobic and methanogenic archaea. Planctomycetes potentially also play a key role in mats and rhizome-associated concretions, notably the aerobic organoheterotroph members of the class Phycisphaerae. In addition to cyanobacteria, members of Chromatiales and possibly the candidate family Chlorotrichaceae contributed to photosynthetic carbon fixation. Other abundant uncultured taxa such as the candidate division MSBL1, the uncultured MBGB, and the phylum Acetothermia potentially play an important metabolic role in these ecosystems. Lithifying microbial mats contained calcium carbonate precipitates, whereas endoevoporites consisted of gypsum, and halite. Biogeochemical measurements revealed that based on depth profiles of O2 and sulfide, metabolic activities were much higher in the non-lithifying mat (peaking in the least lithified systems) than in lithifying mats with the lowest activity in endoevaporites. This trend in decreasing microbial activity reflects the increase in salinity, which may play an important role in the biodiversity. PMID:27597845

  19. Microbial Diversity in Sediment Ecosystems (Evaporites Domes, Microbial Mats, and Crusts) of Hypersaline Laguna Tebenquiche, Salar de Atacama, Chile.

    PubMed

    Fernandez, Ana B; Rasuk, Maria C; Visscher, Pieter T; Contreras, Manuel; Novoa, Fernando; Poire, Daniel G; Patterson, Molly M; Ventosa, Antonio; Farias, Maria E

    2016-01-01

    We combined nucleic acid-based molecular methods, biogeochemical measurements, and physicochemical characteristics to investigate microbial sedimentary ecosystems of Laguna Tebenquiche, Atacama Desert, Chile. Molecular diversity, and biogeochemistry of hypersaline microbial mats, rhizome-associated concretions, and an endoevaporite were compared with: The V4 hypervariable region of the 16S rRNA gene was amplified by pyrosequencing to analyze the total microbial diversity (i.e., bacteria and archaea) in bulk samples, and in addition, in detail on a millimeter scale in one microbial mat and in one evaporite. Archaea were more abundant than bacteria. Euryarchaeota was one of the most abundant phyla in all samples, and particularly dominant (97% of total diversity) in the most lithified ecosystem, the evaporite. Most of the euryarchaeal OTUs could be assigned to the class Halobacteria or anaerobic and methanogenic archaea. Planctomycetes potentially also play a key role in mats and rhizome-associated concretions, notably the aerobic organoheterotroph members of the class Phycisphaerae. In addition to cyanobacteria, members of Chromatiales and possibly the candidate family Chlorotrichaceae contributed to photosynthetic carbon fixation. Other abundant uncultured taxa such as the candidate division MSBL1, the uncultured MBGB, and the phylum Acetothermia potentially play an important metabolic role in these ecosystems. Lithifying microbial mats contained calcium carbonate precipitates, whereas endoevoporites consisted of gypsum, and halite. Biogeochemical measurements revealed that based on depth profiles of O2 and sulfide, metabolic activities were much higher in the non-lithifying mat (peaking in the least lithified systems) than in lithifying mats with the lowest activity in endoevaporites. This trend in decreasing microbial activity reflects the increase in salinity, which may play an important role in the biodiversity.

  20. Shifts in the distribution of molting Spectacled Eiders (Somateria fischeri) indicate ecosystem change in the Arctic

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Sexson, Matthew; Petersen, Margaret; Greg A. Breed,; Powell, Abby N.

    2016-01-01

    Shifts in the distribution of benthivorous predators provide an indication of underlying environmental changes in benthic-mediated ecosystems. Spectacled Eiders (Somateria fischeri) are benthivorous sea ducks that spend the nonbreeding portion of their annual cycle in the Bering, Chukchi, Beaufort, and East Siberian seas. Sea ducks generally molt in biologically productive areas with abundant prey. If the distribution of eiders at molting areas matches prey abundance, spatial shifts may indicate changes in environmental conditions in the Arctic. We used a randomization procedure to test for shifts in the distribution of satellite telemetry locations received from Spectacled Eiders in the 1990s and 2008–2011 within 4 late-summer, ice-free molting areas: Indigirka–Kolyma, northern Russia; Ledyard Bay, eastern Chukchi Sea; Norton Sound, northeastern Bering Sea; and Mechigmenskiy Gulf, northwestern Bering Sea. We also tested for interannual and interdecadal changes in dive depth required to reach prey, which might affect the energetic costs of foraging during the molting period. Transmitter-marked birds used each molting area in each year, although the distribution of Spectacled Eiders shifted within each area. Interdecadal shifts in Ledyard Bay and Norton Sound decreased dive depth in recent years, although minor differences in depth were biologically negligible in relation to the energetic expense of feather growth. Shifts in Mechigmenskiy Gulf and Indigirka–Kolyma did not occur consistently within or among decades, which suggests greater interannual variability among environmental factors that influence distribution in these areas. Shifts in each molting area suggest dynamic ecosystem processes, with implications for Spectacled Eiders if changes result in novel competition or predation, or in shifting prey regimes.

  1. Foliar Expression of Parent Lithologic Composition in the Sub-Arctic: Examples from Heath Ecosystems of Abisko, Sweden.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Heim, E. W.; Tomczyk, N.; Remiszewski, K.; Bryce, J. G.; Frey, S. D.; Prado, M. F.; Varner, R. K.

    2014-12-01

    Climatic evolution and its effect on ecosystem stability through macronutrient acquisition is of particular interest in the fringe ecosystems of the Arctic and Sub-Arctic, regions predicted to face the most extreme temperature increases in Earth's changing climate. Accordingly enhanced understanding of climate change impacts on nutrient mobilization in recently glaciated terrains will factor importantly into accurate predictive models for future ecosystem health. Lithologic variation can lead to differences in geomorphic processes and thus influence landscape evolution [1]. Heath ecosystems in the region are developed on thin soils which place them close to parent material bedrock. Given the abundance of thin soils mantling bedrock, we assessed how bedrock geochemical content links with foliar composition of key macronutrients. We focused our studies on four sites near Abisko, Sweden (68°21'N 19°02'E) in metamorphosed sedimentary bedrock. In our sites the average annual air temperature has crossed the 0o threshold and has been linked to many cryospheric and ecological impacts [2]. Sites were chosen at the same elevation (700 m absl) and shared similar vegetation coverage. Three dominant species across our sampling sites include Betula nana, Empetrum nigrum, and Salix lapponum. E. Nigrum had consistent concentrations of foliar magnesium (Mg) and phosphorus (P) across the bedrock compositional gradients. B. nana and S. lapponum had consistently higher foliar Mg and P concentrations than E. nigrum across the gradients. Across a soil calcium (Ca) gradient, dominant species had a weak correlation between soil Ca and foliar Ca contents, R2 = 0.106. Soil Mg and P gradients were similarly poorly correlated with foliar abundances, R2 = -0.0228, and R2= -0.034 respectively. Expansion of our work into other lithologies will contribute towards improved predictive biogeochemical models of macronutrient acquisition and ecological evolution across changing Arctic ecosystems.

  2. Hematology of southern Beaufort Sea polar bears (2005-2007): Biomarker for an arctic ecosystem health sentinel

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Kirk, Cassandra M.; Amstrup, S.; Swor, Rhonda; Holcomb, Darce; O'Hara, T. M.

    2010-01-01

    Declines in sea-ice habitats have resulted in declining stature, productivity, and survival of polar bears in some regions. With continuing sea-ice declines, negative population effects are projected to expand throughout the polar bear's range. Precise causes of diminished polar bear life history performance are unknown, however, climate and sea-ice condition change are expected to adversely impact polar bear (Ursus maritimus) health and population dynamics. As apex predators in the Arctic, polar bears integrate the status of lower trophic levels and are therefore sentinels of ecosystem health. Arctic residents feed at the apex of the ecosystem, thus polar bears can serve as indicators of human health in the Arctic. Despite their value as indicators of ecosystem welfare, population-level health data for U.S. polar bears are lacking. We present hematological reference ranges for southern Beaufort Sea polar bears. Hematological parameters in southern Beaufort Sea polar bears varied by age, geographic location, and reproductive status. Total leukocytes, lymphocytes, monocytes, eosinophils, and serum immunoglobulin G were significantly greater in males than females. These measures were greater in nonlactating females ages ???5, than lactating adult females ages ???5, suggesting that females encumbered by young may be less resilient to new immune system challenges that may accompany ongoing climate change. Hematological values established here provide a necessary baseline for anticipated changes in health as arctic temperatures warm and sea-ice declines accelerate. Data suggest that females with dependent young may be most vulnerable to these changes and should therefore be a targeted cohort for monitoring in this sentinel. ?? 2010 International Association for Ecology and Health.

  3. Hematology of southern Beaufort Sea polar bears (2005-2007): biomarker for an Arctic ecosystem health sentinel.

    PubMed

    Kirk, Cassandra M; Amstrup, Steven; Swor, Rhonda; Holcomb, Darce; O'Hara, Todd M

    2010-09-01

    Declines in sea-ice habitats have resulted in declining stature, productivity, and survival of polar bears in some regions. With continuing sea-ice declines, negative population effects are projected to expand throughout the polar bear's range. Precise causes of diminished polar bear life history performance are unknown, however, climate and sea-ice condition change are expected to adversely impact polar bear (Ursus maritimus) health and population dynamics. As apex predators in the Arctic, polar bears integrate the status of lower trophic levels and are therefore sentinels of ecosystem health. Arctic residents feed at the apex of the ecosystem, thus polar bears can serve as indicators of human health in the Arctic. Despite their value as indicators of ecosystem welfare, population-level health data for U.S. polar bears are lacking. We present hematological reference ranges for southern Beaufort Sea polar bears. Hematological parameters in southern Beaufort Sea polar bears varied by age, geographic location, and reproductive status. Total leukocytes, lymphocytes, monocytes, eosinophils, and serum immunoglobulin G were significantly greater in males than females. These measures were greater in nonlactating females ages ≥5, than lactating adult females ages ≥5, suggesting that females encumbered by young may be less resilient to new immune system challenges that may accompany ongoing climate change. Hematological values established here provide a necessary baseline for anticipated changes in health as arctic temperatures warm and sea-ice declines accelerate. Data suggest that females with dependent young may be most vulnerable to these changes and should therefore be a targeted cohort for monitoring in this sentinel.

  4. Long-term experimentally deepened snow decreases growing-season respiration in a low- and high-arctic tundra ecosystem

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Semenchuk, Philipp R.; Christiansen, Casper T.; Grogan, Paul; Elberling, Bo; Cooper, Elisabeth J.

    2016-05-01

    Tundra soils store large amounts of carbon (C) that could be released through enhanced ecosystem respiration (ER) as the arctic warms. Over time, this may change the quantity and quality of available soil C pools, which in-turn may feedback and regulate ER responses to climate warming. Therefore, short-term increases in ER rates due to experimental warming may not be sustained over longer periods, as observed in other studies. One important aspect, which is often overlooked, is how climatic changes affecting ER in one season may carry-over and determine ER in following seasons. Using snow fences, we increased snow depth and thereby winter soil temperatures in a high-arctic site in Svalbard (78°N) and a low-arctic site in the Northwest Territories, Canada (64°N), for 5 and 9 years, respectively. Deepened snow enhanced winter ER while having negligible effect on growing-season soil temperatures and soil moisture. Growing-season ER at the high-arctic site was not affected by the snow treatment after 2 years. However, surprisingly, the deepened snow treatments significantly reduced growing-season ER rates after 5 years at the high-arctic site and after 8-9 years at the low-arctic site. We speculate that the reduction in ER rates, that became apparent only after several years of experimental manipulation, may, at least in part, be due to prolonged depletion of labile C substrate as a result of warmer soils over multiple cold seasons. Long-term changes in winter climate may therefore significantly influence annual net C balance not just because of increased wintertime C loss but also because of "legacy" effects on ER rates during the following growing seasons.

  5. Life at the wedge: the activity and diversity of arctic ice wedge microbial communities.

    PubMed

    Wilhelm, Roland C; Radtke, Kristin J; Mykytczuk, Nadia C S; Greer, Charles W; Whyte, Lyle G

    2012-04-01

    The discovery of polygonal terrain on Mars underlain by ice heightens interest in the possibility that this water-bearing habitat may be, or may have been, a suitable habitat for extant life. The possibility is supported by the recurring detection of terrestrial microorganisms in subsurface ice environments, such as ice wedges found beneath tundra polygon features. A characterization of the microbial community of ice wedges from the high Arctic was performed to determine whether this ice environment can sustain actively respiring microorganisms and to assess the ecology of this extreme niche. We found that ice wedge samples contained a relatively abundant number of culturable cells compared to other ice habitats (∼10(5) CFU·mL(-1)). Respiration assays in which radio-labeled acetate and in situ measurement of CO(2) flux were used suggested low levels of microbial activity, though more sensitive techniques are required to confirm these findings. Based on 16S rRNA gene pyrosequencing, bacterial and archaeal ice wedge communities appeared to reflect surrounding soil communities. Two Pseudomonas sp. were the most abundant taxa in the ice wedge bacterial library (∼50%), while taxa related to ammonia-oxidizing Thaumarchaeota occupied 90% of the archaeal library. The tolerance of a variety of isolates to salinity and temperature revealed characteristics of a psychrotolerant, halotolerant community. Our findings support the hypothesis that ice wedges are capable of sustaining a diverse, plausibly active microbial community. As such, ice wedges, compared to other forms of less habitable ground ice, could serve as a reservoir for life on permanently cold, water-scarce, ice-rich extraterrestrial bodies and are therefore of interest to astrobiologists and ecologists alike. .

  6. Microbial Iron Oxidation in the Arctic Tundra and Its Implications for Biogeochemical Cycling

    PubMed Central

    Scott, Jarrod J.; Benes, Joshua; Bowden, William B.

    2015-01-01

    The role that neutrophilic iron-oxidizing bacteria play in the Arctic tundra is unknown. This study surveyed chemosynthetic iron-oxidizing communities at the North Slope of Alaska near Toolik Field Station (TFS) at Toolik Lake (lat 68.63, long −149.60). Microbial iron mats were common in submerged habitats with stationary or slowly flowing water, and their greatest areal extent is in coating plant stems and sediments in wet sedge meadows. Some Fe-oxidizing bacteria (FeOB) produce easily recognized sheath or stalk morphotypes that were present and dominant in all the mats we observed. The cool water temperatures (9 to 11°C) and reduced pH (5.0 to 6.6) at all sites kinetically favor microbial iron oxidation. A microbial survey of five sites based on 16S rRNA genes found a predominance of Proteobacteria, with Betaproteobacteria and members of the family Comamonadaceae being the most prevalent operational taxonomic units (OTUs). In relative abundance, clades of lithotrophic FeOB composed 5 to 10% of the communities. OTUs related to cyanobacteria and chloroplasts accounted for 3 to 25% of the communities. Oxygen profiles showed evidence for oxygenic photosynthesis at the surface of some mats, indicating the coexistence of photosynthetic and FeOB populations. The relative abundance of OTUs belonging to putative Fe-reducing bacteria (FeRB) averaged around 11% in the sampled iron mats. Mats incubated anaerobically with 10 mM acetate rapidly initiated Fe reduction, indicating that active iron cycling is likely. The prevalence of iron mats on the tundra might impact the carbon cycle through lithoautotrophic chemosynthesis, anaerobic respiration of organic carbon coupled to iron reduction, and the suppression of methanogenesis, and it potentially influences phosphorus dynamics through the adsorption of phosphorus to iron oxides. PMID:26386054

  7. Microbial iron oxidation in the Arctic tundra and its implications for biogeochemical cycling.

    PubMed

    Emerson, David; Scott, Jarrod J; Benes, Joshua; Bowden, William B

    2015-12-01

    The role that neutrophilic iron-oxidizing bacteria play in the Arctic tundra is unknown. This study surveyed chemosynthetic iron-oxidizing communities at the North Slope of Alaska near Toolik Field Station (TFS) at Toolik Lake (lat 68.63, long -149.60). Microbial iron mats were common in submerged habitats with stationary or slowly flowing water, and their greatest areal extent is in coating plant stems and sediments in wet sedge meadows. Some Fe-oxidizing bacteria (FeOB) produce easily recognized sheath or stalk morphotypes that were present and dominant in all the mats we observed. The cool water temperatures (9 to 11°C) and reduced pH (5.0 to 6.6) at all sites kinetically favor microbial iron oxidation. A microbial survey of five sites based on 16S rRNA genes found a predominance of Proteobacteria, with Betaproteobacteria and members of the family Comamonadaceae being the most prevalent operational taxonomic units (OTUs). In relative abundance, clades of lithotrophic FeOB composed 5 to 10% of the communities. OTUs related to cyanobacteria and chloroplasts accounted for 3 to 25% of the communities. Oxygen profiles showed evidence for oxygenic photosynthesis at the surface of some mats, indicating the coexistence of photosynthetic and FeOB populations. The relative abundance of OTUs belonging to putative Fe-reducing bacteria (FeRB) averaged around 11% in the sampled iron mats. Mats incubated anaerobically with 10 mM acetate rapidly initiated Fe reduction, indicating that active iron cycling is likely. The prevalence of iron mats on the tundra might impact the carbon cycle through lithoautotrophic chemosynthesis, anaerobic respiration of organic carbon coupled to iron reduction, and the suppression of methanogenesis, and it potentially influences phosphorus dynamics through the adsorption of phosphorus to iron oxides.

  8. Responses of microbial communities in Arctic sea ice after contamination by crude petroleum oil.

    PubMed

    Brakstad, Odd Gunnar; Nonstad, Ingunn; Faksness, Liv-Guri; Brandvik, Per Johan

    2008-04-01

    Microbial communities associated with Arctic fjord ice polluted with petroleum oils were investigated in this study. A winter field experiment was conducted in the Van Mijen Fjord (Svalbard) from February to June 2004, in which the ice was contaminated with a North Sea paraffinic oil. Holes were drilled in the ice and oil samples frozen into the ice at the start of the experiment. Samples, including cores of both oil-contaminated and clean ice, were collected from the field site 33, 74, and 112 days after oil application. The sampled cores were separated into three sections and processed for microbiological and chemical analyses. In the oil-contaminated cores, enumerations of total prokaryotic cells by fluorescence microscopy and colony-forming units (CFU) counts of heterotrophic prokaryotes both showed stimulation of microbial growth, while concentrations of oil-degrading prokaryotes remained at similar levels in contaminated and clean ice. Analysis of polymerase chain reaction (PCR)-amplified bacterial 16S rRNA gene fragments by denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE) revealed that bacterial communities in oil-contaminated ice generated fewer bands than communities in clean ice, although banding patterns changed both in contaminated and clean ice during the experimental period. Microbial communities in unpolluted ice and in cores contaminated with the paraffinic oil were examined by cloning and sequence analysis. In the contaminated cores, the communities became predominated by Gammaproteobacteria related to the genera Colwellia, Marinomonas, and Glaciecola, while clean ice included more heterogeneous populations. Chemical analysis of the oil-contaminated ice cores with determinations of n-C17/Pristane and naphthalene/phenanthrene ratios indicated slow oil biodegradation in the ice, primarily in the deeper parts of the ice with low hydrocarbon concentrations.

  9. Life at the wedge: the activity and diversity of arctic ice wedge microbial communities.

    PubMed

    Wilhelm, Roland C; Radtke, Kristin J; Mykytczuk, Nadia C S; Greer, Charles W; Whyte, Lyle G

    2012-04-01

    The discovery of polygonal terrain on Mars underlain by ice heightens interest in the possibility that this water-bearing habitat may be, or may have been, a suitable habitat for extant life. The possibility is supported by the recurring detection of terrestrial microorganisms in subsurface ice environments, such as ice wedges found beneath tundra polygon features. A characterization of the microbial community of ice wedges from the high Arctic was performed to determine whether this ice environment can sustain actively respiring microorganisms and to assess the ecology of this extreme niche. We found that ice wedge samples contained a relatively abundant number of culturable cells compared to other ice habitats (∼10(5) CFU·mL(-1)). Respiration assays in which radio-labeled acetate and in situ measurement of CO(2) flux were used suggested low levels of microbial activity, though more sensitive techniques are required to confirm these findings. Based on 16S rRNA gene pyrosequencing, bacterial and archaeal ice wedge communities appeared to reflect surrounding soil communities. Two Pseudomonas sp. were the most abundant taxa in the ice wedge bacterial library (∼50%), while taxa related to ammonia-oxidizing Thaumarchaeota occupied 90% of the archaeal library. The tolerance of a variety of isolates to salinity and temperature revealed characteristics of a psychrotolerant, halotolerant community. Our findings support the hypothesis that ice wedges are capable of sustaining a diverse, plausibly active microbial community. As such, ice wedges, compared to other forms of less habitable ground ice, could serve as a reservoir for life on permanently cold, water-scarce, ice-rich extraterrestrial bodies and are therefore of interest to astrobiologists and ecologists alike. . PMID:22519974

  10. Environmental metabarcoding reveals heterogeneous drivers of microbial eukaryote diversity in contrasting estuarine ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Lallias, Delphine; Hiddink, Jan G; Fonseca, Vera G; Gaspar, John M; Sung, Way; Neill, Simon P; Barnes, Natalie; Ferrero, Tim; Hall, Neil; Lambshead, P John D; Packer, Margaret; Thomas, W Kelley; Creer, Simon

    2015-05-01

    Assessing how natural environmental drivers affect biodiversity underpins our understanding of the relationships between complex biotic and ecological factors in natural ecosystems. Of all ecosystems, anthropogenically important estuaries represent a 'melting pot' of environmental stressors, typified by extreme salinity variations and associated biological complexity. Although existing models attempt to predict macroorganismal diversity over estuarine salinity gradients, attempts to model microbial biodiversity are limited for eukaryotes. Although diatoms commonly feature as bioindicator species, additional microbial eukaryotes represent a huge resource for assessing ecosystem health. Of these, meiofaunal communities may represent the optimal compromise between functional diversity that can be assessed using morphology and phenotype-environment interactions as compared with smaller life fractions. Here, using 454 Roche sequencing of the 18S nSSU barcode we investigate which of the local natural drivers are most strongly associated with microbial metazoan and sampled protist diversity across the full salinity gradient of the estuarine ecosystem. In order to investigate potential variation at the ecosystem scale, we compare two geographically proximate estuaries (Thames and Mersey, UK) with contrasting histories of anthropogenic stress. The data show that although community turnover is likely to be predictable, taxa are likely to respond to different environmental drivers and, in particular, hydrodynamics, salinity range and granulometry, according to varied life-history characteristics. At the ecosystem level, communities exhibited patterns of estuary-specific similarity within different salinity range habitats, highlighting the environmental sequencing biomonitoring potential of meiofauna, dispersal effects or both.

  11. Environmental metabarcoding reveals heterogeneous drivers of microbial eukaryote diversity in contrasting estuarine ecosystems

    PubMed Central

    Lallias, Delphine; Hiddink, Jan G; Fonseca, Vera G; Gaspar, John M; Sung, Way; Neill, Simon P; Barnes, Natalie; Ferrero, Tim; Hall, Neil; Lambshead, P John D; Packer, Margaret; Thomas, W Kelley; Creer, Simon

    2015-01-01

    Assessing how natural environmental drivers affect biodiversity underpins our understanding of the relationships between complex biotic and ecological factors in natural ecosystems. Of all ecosystems, anthropogenically important estuaries represent a ‘melting pot' of environmental stressors, typified by extreme salinity variations and associated biological complexity. Although existing models attempt to predict macroorganismal diversity over estuarine salinity gradients, attempts to model microbial biodiversity are limited for eukaryotes. Although diatoms commonly feature as bioindicator species, additional microbial eukaryotes represent a huge resource for assessing ecosystem health. Of these, meiofaunal communities may represent the optimal compromise between functional diversity that can be assessed using morphology and phenotype–environment interactions as compared with smaller life fractions. Here, using 454 Roche sequencing of the 18S nSSU barcode we investigate which of the local natural drivers are most strongly associated with microbial metazoan and sampled protist diversity across the full salinity gradient of the estuarine ecosystem. In order to investigate potential variation at the ecosystem scale, we compare two geographically proximate estuaries (Thames and Mersey, UK) with contrasting histories of anthropogenic stress. The data show that although community turnover is likely to be predictable, taxa are likely to respond to different environmental drivers and, in particular, hydrodynamics, salinity range and granulometry, according to varied life-history characteristics. At the ecosystem level, communities exhibited patterns of estuary-specific similarity within different salinity range habitats, highlighting the environmental sequencing biomonitoring potential of meiofauna, dispersal effects or both. PMID:25423027

  12. Diversity, Productivity, and Stability of an Industrial Microbial Ecosystem

    PubMed Central

    Tang, Pei-Zhong; Becker, Scott; Hoang, Tony; Bilgin, Damla; Lim, Yan Wei; Peterson, Todd C.; Mayfield, Stephen; Haerizadeh, Farzad; Shurin, Jonathan B.; Bafna, Vineet; McBride, Robert

    2016-01-01

    Managing ecosystems to maintain biodiversity may be one approach to ensuring their dynamic stability, productivity, and delivery of vital services. The applicability of this approach to industrial ecosystems that harness the metabolic activities of microbes has been proposed but has never been tested at relevant scales. We used a tag-sequencing approach with bacterial small subunit rRNA (16S) genes and eukaryotic internal transcribed spacer 2 (ITS2) to measuring the taxonomic composition and diversity of bacteria and eukaryotes in an open pond managed for bioenergy production by microalgae over a year. Periods of high eukaryotic diversity were associated with high and more-stable biomass productivity. In addition, bacterial diversity and eukaryotic diversity were inversely correlated over time, possibly due to their opposite responses to temperature. The results indicate that maintaining diverse communities may be essential to engineering stable and productive bioenergy ecosystems using microorganisms. PMID:26896141

  13. MICROBIAL POPULATION ANALYSIS AS A MEASURE OF ECOSYSTEM RESTORATION

    EPA Science Inventory

    During a controlled oil spill study in a freshwater wetland, four methods were used to track changes in microbial populations in response to in situ remediation treatments, including nutrient amendments and the removal of surface vegetation. Most probable number (MPN) esimates o...

  14. Net ecosystem exchange of CO2 with rapidly changing high Arctic landscapes.

    PubMed

    Emmerton, Craig A; St Louis, Vincent L; Humphreys, Elyn R; Gamon, John A; Barker, Joel D; Pastorello, Gilberto Z

    2016-03-01

    High Arctic landscapes are expansive and changing rapidly. However, our understanding of their functional responses and potential to mitigate or enhance anthropogenic climate change is limited by few measurements. We collected eddy covariance measurements to quantify the net ecosystem exchange (NEE) of CO2 with polar semidesert and meadow wetland landscapes at the highest latitude location measured to date (82°N). We coupled these rare data with ground and satellite vegetation production measurements (Normalized Difference Vegetation Index; NDVI) to evaluate the effectiveness of upscaling local to regional NEE. During the growing season, the dry polar semidesert landscape was a near-zero sink of atmospheric CO2 (NEE: -0.3 ± 13.5 g C m(-2) ). A nearby meadow wetland accumulated over 300 times more carbon (NEE: -79.3 ± 20.0 g C m(-2) ) than the polar semidesert landscape, and was similar to meadow wetland NEE at much more southerly latitudes. Polar semidesert NEE was most influenced by moisture, with wetter surface soils resulting in greater soil respiration and CO2 emissions. At the meadow wetland, soil heating enhanced plant growth, which in turn increased CO2 uptake. Our upscaling assessment found that polar semidesert NDVI measured on-site was low (mean: 0.120-0.157) and similar to satellite measurements (mean: 0.155-0.163). However, weak plant growth resulted in poor satellite NDVI-NEE relationships and created challenges for remotely detecting changes in the cycling of carbon on the polar semidesert landscape. The meadow wetland appeared more suitable to assess plant production and NEE via remote sensing; however, high Arctic wetland extent is constrained by topography to small areas that may be difficult to resolve with large satellite pixels. We predict that until summer precipitation and humidity increases enough to offset poor soil moisture retention, climate-related changes to productivity on polar semideserts may be restricted. PMID:26279166

  15. Possible Cretaceous Arctic terrestrial ecosystem dynamics based on a rich dinosaur record from Alaska

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fiorillo, A. R.; McCarthy, P. J.; Flaig, P. P.

    2010-12-01

    The widespread occurrence of large-bodied herbivores, specifically hadrosaurian and ceratopsian dinosaurs, in the Cretaceous of Alaska presents a proxy for understanding polar terrestrial ecosystem biological productivity in a warm Arctic world. These dinosaurs lived in Alaska at time when this region was at or near current latitudes. Thus these dinosaurs present a paradox. The warmer Cretaceous high-latitude climate, likely related to higher levels of CO2, may have increased plant productivity but the polar light regime fluctuations must have limited the available food during the winter months. The most detailed sedimentological data available regarding the paleoenvironments supporting these dinosaurs are from the Prince Creek Formation of northern Alaska and to a lesser extent the Cantwell Formation of the Alaska Range. The sediments of the Late Cretaceous Prince Creek Formation represent a continental succession deposited on a high-latitude, low-gradient, alluvial/coastal plain. The Prince Creek Formation records numerous paleosols that are consistent with seasonality and successional vegetative cover. Drab colors in fine-grained sediments, abundant carbonaceous plant material, and common siderite nodules and jarosite suggest widespread reducing conditions on poorly-drained floodplains influenced in more distal areas by marine waters. In addition, these rocks contain high levels of organic carbon and charcoal. Carbonaceous root-traces found ubiquitously within all distributary channels and most floodplain facies, along with common Fe-oxide mottles, indicate that the alluvial system likely experienced flashy, seasonal, or ephemeral flow and a fluctuating water table. The flashy nature of the alluvial system may have been driven by recurring episodes of vigorous seasonal snowmelt in the Brooks Range orogenic belt as a consequence of the high paleolatitude of northern Alaska in the Late Cretaceous. The presence of dinosaurian megaherbivores suggests that water was

  16. Late Pleistocene paleoecology of arctic ground squirrel ( Urocitellus parryii) caches and nests from Interior Alaska's mammoth steppe ecosystem, USA

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gaglioti, Benjamin V.; Barnes, Brian M.; Zazula, Grant D.; Beaudoin, Alwynne B.; Wooller, Matthew J.

    2011-11-01

    Botanical analyses of fossil and modern arctic ground squirrel ( Urocitellus parryii) caches and nests have been used to reconstruct the past vegetation from some parts of Beringia, but such archives are understudied in Alaska. Five modern and four fossil samples from arctic ground squirrel caches and nests provide information on late Pleistocene vegetation in Eastern Beringia. Modern arctic ground squirrel caches from Alaska's arctic tundra were dominated by willow and grass leaves and grass seeds and bearberries, which were widespread in the local vegetation as confirmed by vegetation surveys. Late Pleistocene caches from Interior Alaska were primarily composed of steppe and dry tundra graminoid and herb seeds. Graminoid cuticle analysis of fossil leaves identified Calamagrostis canadensis, Koeleria sp. and Carex albonigra as being common in the fossil samples. Stable carbon isotopes analysis of these graminoid specimens indicated that plants using the C 3 photosynthetic pathways were present and functioning with medium to high water-use efficiency. Fossil plant taxa and environments from ground squirrel caches in Alaska are similar to other macrofossil assemblages from the Yukon Territory, which supports the existence of a widespread mammoth steppe ecosystem type in Eastern Beringia that persisted throughout much of the late Pleistocene.

  17. General Model of Microbial Growth and Decomposition in Aquatic Ecosystems

    PubMed Central

    Clesceri, L. S.; Park, R. A.; Bloomfield, J. A.

    1977-01-01

    A model capable of simulating freely suspended and attached decomposers, particulate organic matter, labile and refractory dissolved organic matter, inorganic nitrogen, and phosphate in the open-water portion of lakes is presented. Examples are given showing the utility of the model when coupled to the whole-ecosystem model CLEANER. PMID:16345242

  18. MICROBIAL INDICATORS OF AQUATIC ECOSYSTEM CHANGE: CURRENT APPLICATIONS TO EUTROPHICATION STUDIES. (R828677C001)

    EPA Science Inventory

    Human encroachment on aquatic ecosystems is increasing at an unprecedented rate. The impacts of human pollution and habitat alteration are most evident and of greatest concern at the microbial level, where a bulk of production and nutrient cycling takes place. Aquatic ecosyste...

  19. Microbial functional diversity enhances predictive models linking environmental parameters to ecosystem properties.

    PubMed

    Powell, Jeff R; Welsh, Allana; Hallin, Sara

    2015-07-01

    Microorganisms drive biogeochemical processes, but linking these processes to real changes in microbial communities under field conditions is not trivial. Here, we present a model-based approach to estimate independent contributions of microbial community shifts to ecosystem properties. The approach was tested empirically, using denitrification potential as our model process, in a spatial survey of arable land encompassing a range of edaphic conditions and two agricultural production systems. Soil nitrate was the most important single predictor of denitrification potential (the change in Akaike's information criterion, corrected for sample size, ΔAIC(c) = 20.29); however, the inclusion of biotic variables (particularly the evenness and size of denitrifier communities [ΔAIC(c) = 12.02], and the abundance of one denitrifier genotype [ΔAIC(c) = 18.04]) had a substantial effect on model precision, comparable to the inclusion of abiotic variables (biotic R2 = 0.28, abiotic R2 = 0.50, biotic + abiotic R2 = 0.76). This approach provides a valuable tool for explicitly linking microbial communities to ecosystem functioning. By making this link, we have demonstrated that including aspects of microbial community structure and diversity in biogeochemical models can improve predictions of nutrient cycling in ecosystems and enhance our understanding of ecosystem functionality.

  20. Glacial-interglacial variations of microbial communities in permafrost and lake deposits in the Siberian Arctic

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mangelsdorf, Kai; Bischoff, Juliane; Gattinger, Andreas; Wagner, Dirk

    2013-04-01

    The Artic regions are expected to be very sensitive to the currently observed climate change. When permafrost is thawing, the stored carbon becomes available again for microbial degradation, forming a potential source for the generation of carbon dioxide and methane with their positive feedback effect on the climate warming. For the prediction of future climate evolution it is, therefore, important to improve our knowledge about the microbial-driven greenhouse gas dynamics in the Siberian Arctic and their response to glacial-interglacial changes in the past. Sample material was drilled on Kurungnahk Island (Russian-German LENA expedition) located in the southern part of the Lena delta and in lake El'gygytgyn (ICDP-project) in the eastern part of Siberia. The Kurungnahk samples comprise Late Pleistocene to Holocene deposits, whereas the lake El'gygytgyn samples cover Middle to Late Pleistocene sediments. Samples were investigated applying a combined biogeochemical and microbiological approach. The methane profile of the Kurungnahk core reveals highest methane contents in the warm and wet Holocene and Late Pleistocene (LP) deposits and correlates largly to the organic carbon (TOC) contents. Archaeol concentrations, being a biomarker for past methanogenic archaea, are also high during the warm and wet Holocene and LP intervals and low during the cold and dry LP periods. This indicates that part of the methane might be produced and trapped in the past. However, biomarkers for living microorganisms (bacteria and archaea) and microbial activity measurements of methanogens point, especially, for the Holocene to a viable archaeal community, indicating a possible in-situ methane production. Furthermore, warm/wet-cold/dry climate cycles are recorded in the archaeal diversity as revealed by genetic fingerprint analysis. Although the overlying lake water buffers the temperature effect on the lake sediments, which never became permafrost, the bacterial and archaeal biomarker

  1. Metabolism of mineral-sorbed organic matter and microbial lifestyles in fluvial ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hunter, William Ross; Niederdorfer, Robert; Gernand, Anna; Veuger, Bart; Prommer, Judith; Mooshammer, Maria; Wanek, Wolfgang; Battin, Tom J.

    2016-02-01

    In fluvial ecosystems mineral erosion, carbon (C), and nitrogen (N) fluxes are linked via organomineral complexation, where dissolved organic molecules bind to mineral surfaces. Biofilms and suspended aggregates represent major aquatic microbial lifestyles whose relative importance changes predictably through fluvial networks. We tested how organomineral sorption affects aquatic microbial metabolism, using organomineral particles containing a mix of 13C, 15N-labeled amino acids. We traced 13C and 15N retention within biofilm and suspended aggregate biomass and its mineralization. Organomineral complexation restricted C and N retention within biofilms and aggregates and also their mineralization. This reduced the efficiency with which biofilms mineralize C and N by 30% and 6%. By contrast, organominerals reduced the C and N mineralization efficiency of suspended aggregates by 41% and 93%. Our findings show how organomineral complexation affects microbial C:N stoichiometry, potentially altering the biogeochemical fate of C and N within fluvial ecosystems.

  2. Canopy Spectral Imaging (NDVI) As A Proxy For Shrub Biomass And Ecosystem Carbon Fluxes Across Arctic Tundra Habitats

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Flower, C. E.; Welker, J. M.; Gonzalez-Meler, M. A.

    2015-12-01

    There is widespread consensus that climate change is contributing to rapid vegetation shifts in the ecologically sensitive Arctic tundra. These tussock grass dominated systems are shifting to tussock/woody shrub communities leading to likely alterations in carbon (C) sequestration and ecosystem productivity, which in turn can manifest in "greening" and changes in normalized difference vegetation index values (NDVI). While the expansion of woody vegetation is well established, our understanding of the ecosystem dynamics associated with this new habitat remain largely unknown. To untangle how the Arctic tundra may be impacted by these vegetation shifts we paired vegetation measurements (i.e. shrub biomass, leaf area, and shrub canopy area) and ecosystem C fluxes (e.g. net ecosystem exchange, NEE, and ecosystem respiration) with ground-level measurements of NDVI. Measurements were conducted at the Toolik Field Station in dry heath and moist acidic tundra habitats which are two primary habitat types on the North Slope of Alaska. We found strong positive relationships between shrub leaf area and biomass as well as shrub canopy area and biomass, relationships that were corroborated with NDVI measurements. This lends support for the use of NDVI as a proxy measurement of leaf area and shrub biomass. Additionally, NDVI was negatively correlated with ecosystem respiration across habitats, with respiratory fluxes consistently higher in the moist acidic relative to the dry heath tundra. Finally, we observed a significant positive nonlinear relationship between NEE and NDVI (R2~0.8; P<0.01). Shrub removal revealed that NEE was strongly controlled by woody shrubs. The positive relationship between NDVI and NEE highlights the potential shifts in the C balance of the Arctic tundra associated with woody encroachment. This increased plant productivity may offset greenhouse gas losses from permafrost degradation contributing some resilience to this system otherwise considered a

  3. Novel wildlife in the Arctic: the influence of changing riparian ecosystems and shrub habitat expansion on snowshoe hares.

    PubMed

    Tape, Ken D; Christie, Katie; Carroll, Geoff; O'Donnell, Jonathan A

    2016-01-01

    Warming during the 20th century has changed the arctic landscape, including aspects of the hydrology, vegetation, permafrost, and glaciers, but effects on wildlife have been difficult to detect. The primary aim of this study is to examine the physical and biological processes contributing to the expanded riparian habitat and range of snowshoe hares (Lepus americanus) in northern Alaska. We explore linkages between components of the riparian ecosystem in Arctic Alaska since the 1960s, including seasonality of stream flow, air temperature, floodplain shrub habitat, and snowshoe hare distributions. Our analyses show that the peak discharge during spring snowmelt has occurred on average 3.4 days per decade earlier over the last 30 years and has contributed to a longer growing season in floodplain ecosystems. We use empirical correlations between cumulative summer warmth and riparian shrub height to reconstruct annual changes in shrub height from the 1960s to the present. The effects of longer and warmer growing seasons are estimated to have stimulated a 78% increase in the height of riparian shrubs. Earlier spring discharge and the estimated increase in riparian shrub height are consistent with observed riparian shrub expansion in the region. Our browsing measurements show that snowshoe hares require a mean riparian shrub height of at least 1.24-1.36 m, a threshold which our hindcasting indicates was met between 1964 and 1989. This generally coincides with observational evidence we present suggesting that snowshoe hares became established in 1977 or 1978. Warming and expanded shrub habitat is the most plausible reason for recent snowshoe hare establishment in Arctic Alaska. The establishment of snowshoe hares and other shrub herbivores in the Arctic in response to increasing shrub habitat is a contrasting terrestrial counterpart to the decline in marine mammals reliant on decreasing sea ice.

  4. Novel wildlife in the Arctic: the influence of changing riparian ecosystems and shrub habitat expansion on snowshoe hares.

    PubMed

    Tape, Ken D; Christie, Katie; Carroll, Geoff; O'Donnell, Jonathan A

    2016-01-01

    Warming during the 20th century has changed the arctic landscape, including aspects of the hydrology, vegetation, permafrost, and glaciers, but effects on wildlife have been difficult to detect. The primary aim of this study is to examine the physical and biological processes contributing to the expanded riparian habitat and range of snowshoe hares (Lepus americanus) in northern Alaska. We explore linkages between components of the riparian ecosystem in Arctic Alaska since the 1960s, including seasonality of stream flow, air temperature, floodplain shrub habitat, and snowshoe hare distributions. Our analyses show that the peak discharge during spring snowmelt has occurred on average 3.4 days per decade earlier over the last 30 years and has contributed to a longer growing season in floodplain ecosystems. We use empirical correlations between cumulative summer warmth and riparian shrub height to reconstruct annual changes in shrub height from the 1960s to the present. The effects of longer and warmer growing seasons are estimated to have stimulated a 78% increase in the height of riparian shrubs. Earlier spring discharge and the estimated increase in riparian shrub height are consistent with observed riparian shrub expansion in the region. Our browsing measurements show that snowshoe hares require a mean riparian shrub height of at least 1.24-1.36 m, a threshold which our hindcasting indicates was met between 1964 and 1989. This generally coincides with observational evidence we present suggesting that snowshoe hares became established in 1977 or 1978. Warming and expanded shrub habitat is the most plausible reason for recent snowshoe hare establishment in Arctic Alaska. The establishment of snowshoe hares and other shrub herbivores in the Arctic in response to increasing shrub habitat is a contrasting terrestrial counterpart to the decline in marine mammals reliant on decreasing sea ice. PMID:26527375

  5. Spatial Variations of Soil Microbial Activities in Saline Groundwater-Irrigated Soil Ecosystem

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chen, Li-Juan; Feng, Qi; Li, Chang-Sheng; Song, You-Xi; Liu, Wei; Si, Jian-Hua; Zhang, Bao-Gui

    2016-05-01

    Spatial variations of soil microbial activities and its relationship with environmental factors are very important for estimating regional soil ecosystem function. Based on field samplings in a typical saline groundwater-irrigated region, spatial variations of soil microbial metabolic activities were investigated. Combined with groundwater quality analysis, the relationship between microbial activities and water salinity was also studied. The results demonstrated that moderate spatial heterogeneity of soil microbial activities presented under the total dissolved solids (TDS) of groundwater ranging from 0.23 to 12.24 g L-1. Groundwater salinity and microbial activities had almost opposite distribution characteristics: slight saline water was mainly distributed in west Baqu and south Quanshan, while severe saline and briny water were dominant in east Baqu and west Huqu; however, total AWCD was higher in the east-center and southwest of Baqu and east Huqu, while it was lower in east Baqu and northwest Huqu. The results of correlation analyses demonstrated that high-salinity groundwater irrigation had significantly adverse effects on soil microbial activities. Major ions Ca2+, Mg2+, Cl_, and SO4 2- in groundwater decisively influenced the results. Three carbon sources, carbohydrates, amines, and phenols, which had minor utilization rates in all irrigation districts, were extremely significantly affected by high-salinity groundwater irrigation. The results presented here offer an approach for diagnosing regional soil ecosystem function changes under saline water irrigation.

  6. New monitoring approach for metabolic dynamics in microbial ecosystems using stable-isotope-labeling technologies.

    PubMed

    Date, Yasuhiro; Nakanishi, Yumiko; Fukuda, Shinji; Kato, Tamotsu; Tsuneda, Satoshi; Ohno, Hiroshi; Kikuchi, Jun

    2010-07-01

    We have developed a new approach for monitoring the metabolic dynamics in microbial ecosystems using a combination of DNA fingerprinting and metabolome analysis based on stable-isotope-labeling technologies. Stable-isotope probing of DNA (DNA-SIP) has been used previously for the evaluation of cross-feeding in microbial communities. For the development and validation of our monitoring approach, fecal microbiota were analyzed with stable-isotope-labeled glucose used as the sole carbon source. In order to link the metabolic information and the microbial variability, we performed metabolic-microbial correlation analysis based on nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) profiles and denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE) fingerprints, which successfully identified the glucose-utilizing bacteria and their related extracellular metabolites. Moreover, our approach revealed information regarding the carbon flux, in that the "first" wave of extracellular metabolites secreted by the glucose-utilizing bacteria were incorporated into the "secondary" group of substrate-utilizing bacteria, and that this "secondary" group further produced their own secondary metabolized substrates. Thus, this approach is a powerful tool for monitoring the metabolic dynamics in microbial ecosystems and allows for the tracking of the carbon flux within a microbial community.

  7. The Role of Microbial Biofilms as Ecosystem Engineers in Streams

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Battin, T. I.; Battin, T. I.; Kaplan, L. A.; Newbold, J. D.

    2001-12-01

    Microbial biofilms growing on and through the surface of streambeds physically alter the interface between the water column and benthic zone and influence the biogeochemistry within the steambed and hyporheic zone. We monitored the development of biofilms within stream-side flumes, and were able to relate changes in biofilm structure to concomitant changes in hydrodynamics, particle deposition, and dissolved organic carbon (DOC) uptake. Biofilm development was assessed by measurements of ash free dry mass, bacterial density, concentrations of chlorophyll a and exopolysaccharides, and confocal microscopy of fluorescent-stained biotic and abiotic assemblages. The microbial biofilms were followed through an initial colonization period, the development of mm-thick mats that included streamers undulating in the current, and the eventual erosion and sloughing of these structural features. As the biofilms matured, hydrologic exchange rate, transient storage capacity, and particle deposition rates increased, reached a plateau, and eventually declined. The uptake of glucose and arabinose, added in nM concentrations to the flumes, showed a preferential uptake of glucose over arabinose. However, as the biofilms grew, the differences between the uptake of these two saccharides declined. This change is consistent with a shift in the rate-limiting step for DOC uptake from internal biofilm processes to greater diffusion-limitation as biofilm thickness, and thus the diffusion barrier, increased. We suggest that microscale processes, which alter biofilm structure, in turn alter large-scale physical and biogeochemical processes, including streamwater/subsurface hydrodynamics and organic matter fluxes.

  8. Microbial community dynamics and transformation of vascular plant detritus in two wetland ecosystems

    SciTech Connect

    Moran, M.A.

    1987-01-01

    The microbial ecology of two wetland ecosystems in southeastern Georgia, USA, was studied with respect to microbial community dynamics and microbially-mediated transformations of vascular plant detritus. In the Okefenokee Swamp, biomass of microorganisms in the water column and sediments was generally lower in winter months and higher during spring and summer. Biomass and activity (measured as /sup 14/C-lignocellulose mineralization) differed significantly among five habitats within the Okefenokee, and also among locations within each habitat. Significant heterogeneity in the structure of Okefenokee microbial communities was found at scales from 30 cm to 150 m. In field and laboratory studies of vascular plant decomposition in the Okefenokee and a salt marsh on Sapelo Island, the mathematical model which best describes decomposition kinetics is the decaying coefficient model.

  9. Effects of soil organic matter properties and microbial community composition on enzyme activities in cryoturbated arctic soils.

    PubMed

    Schnecker, Jörg; Wild, Birgit; Hofhansl, Florian; Eloy Alves, Ricardo J; Bárta, Jiří; Capek, Petr; Fuchslueger, Lucia; Gentsch, Norman; Gittel, Antje; Guggenberger, Georg; Hofer, Angelika; Kienzl, Sandra; Knoltsch, Anna; Lashchinskiy, Nikolay; Mikutta, Robert; Santrůčková, Hana; Shibistova, Olga; Takriti, Mounir; Urich, Tim; Weltin, Georg; Richter, Andreas

    2014-01-01

    Enzyme-mediated decomposition of soil organic matter (SOM) is controlled, amongst other factors, by organic matter properties and by the microbial decomposer community present. Since microbial community composition and SOM properties are often interrelated and both change with soil depth, the drivers of enzymatic decomposition are hard to dissect. We investigated soils from three regions in the Siberian Arctic, where carbon rich topsoil material has been incorporated into the subsoil (cryoturbation). We took advantage of this subduction to test if SOM properties shape microbial community composition, and to identify controls of both on enzyme activities. We found that microbial community composition (estimated by phospholipid fatty acid analysis), was similar in cryoturbated material and in surrounding subsoil, although carbon and nitrogen contents were similar in cryoturbated material and topsoils. This suggests that the microbial community in cryoturbated material was not well adapted to SOM properties. We also measured three potential enzyme activities (cellobiohydrolase, leucine-amino-peptidase and phenoloxidase) and used structural equation models (SEMs) to identify direct and indirect drivers of the three enzyme activities. The models included microbial community composition, carbon and nitrogen contents, clay content, water content, and pH. Models for regular horizons, excluding cryoturbated material, showed that all enzyme activities were mainly controlled by carbon or nitrogen. Microbial community composition had no effect. In contrast, models for cryoturbated material showed that enzyme activities were also related to microbial community composition. The additional control of microbial community composition could have restrained enzyme activities and furthermore decomposition in general. The functional decoupling of SOM properties and microbial community composition might thus be one of the reasons for low decomposition rates and the persistence of 400 Gt

  10. Effects of soil organic matter properties and microbial community composition on enzyme activities in cryoturbated arctic soils.

    PubMed

    Schnecker, Jörg; Wild, Birgit; Hofhansl, Florian; Eloy Alves, Ricardo J; Bárta, Jiří; Capek, Petr; Fuchslueger, Lucia; Gentsch, Norman; Gittel, Antje; Guggenberger, Georg; Hofer, Angelika; Kienzl, Sandra; Knoltsch, Anna; Lashchinskiy, Nikolay; Mikutta, Robert; Santrůčková, Hana; Shibistova, Olga; Takriti, Mounir; Urich, Tim; Weltin, Georg; Richter, Andreas

    2014-01-01

    Enzyme-mediated decomposition of soil organic matter (SOM) is controlled, amongst other factors, by organic matter properties and by the microbial decomposer community present. Since microbial community composition and SOM properties are often interrelated and both change with soil depth, the drivers of enzymatic decomposition are hard to dissect. We investigated soils from three regions in the Siberian Arctic, where carbon rich topsoil material has been incorporated into the subsoil (cryoturbation). We took advantage of this subduction to test if SOM properties shape microbial community composition, and to identify controls of both on enzyme activities. We found that microbial community composition (estimated by phospholipid fatty acid analysis), was similar in cryoturbated material and in surrounding subsoil, although carbon and nitrogen contents were similar in cryoturbated material and topsoils. This suggests that the microbial community in cryoturbated material was not well adapted to SOM properties. We also measured three potential enzyme activities (cellobiohydrolase, leucine-amino-peptidase and phenoloxidase) and used structural equation models (SEMs) to identify direct and indirect drivers of the three enzyme activities. The models included microbial community composition, carbon and nitrogen contents, clay content, water content, and pH. Models for regular horizons, excluding cryoturbated material, showed that all enzyme activities were mainly controlled by carbon or nitrogen. Microbial community composition had no effect. In contrast, models for cryoturbated material showed that enzyme activities were also related to microbial community composition. The additional control of microbial community composition could have restrained enzyme activities and furthermore decomposition in general. The functional decoupling of SOM properties and microbial community composition might thus be one of the reasons for low decomposition rates and the persistence of 400 Gt

  11. Effects of Soil Organic Matter Properties and Microbial Community Composition on Enzyme Activities in Cryoturbated Arctic Soils

    PubMed Central

    Schnecker, Jörg; Wild, Birgit; Hofhansl, Florian; Eloy Alves, Ricardo J.; Bárta, Jiří; Čapek, Petr; Fuchslueger, Lucia; Gentsch, Norman; Gittel, Antje; Guggenberger, Georg; Hofer, Angelika; Kienzl, Sandra; Knoltsch, Anna; Lashchinskiy, Nikolay; Mikutta, Robert; Šantrůčková, Hana; Shibistova, Olga; Takriti, Mounir; Urich, Tim; Weltin, Georg; Richter, Andreas

    2014-01-01

    Enzyme-mediated decomposition of soil organic matter (SOM) is controlled, amongst other factors, by organic matter properties and by the microbial decomposer community present. Since microbial community composition and SOM properties are often interrelated and both change with soil depth, the drivers of enzymatic decomposition are hard to dissect. We investigated soils from three regions in the Siberian Arctic, where carbon rich topsoil material has been incorporated into the subsoil (cryoturbation). We took advantage of this subduction to test if SOM properties shape microbial community composition, and to identify controls of both on enzyme activities. We found that microbial community composition (estimated by phospholipid fatty acid analysis), was similar in cryoturbated material and in surrounding subsoil, although carbon and nitrogen contents were similar in cryoturbated material and topsoils. This suggests that the microbial community in cryoturbated material was not well adapted to SOM properties. We also measured three potential enzyme activities (cellobiohydrolase, leucine-amino-peptidase and phenoloxidase) and used structural equation models (SEMs) to identify direct and indirect drivers of the three enzyme activities. The models included microbial community composition, carbon and nitrogen contents, clay content, water content, and pH. Models for regular horizons, excluding cryoturbated material, showed that all enzyme activities were mainly controlled by carbon or nitrogen. Microbial community composition had no effect. In contrast, models for cryoturbated material showed that enzyme activities were also related to microbial community composition. The additional control of microbial community composition could have restrained enzyme activities and furthermore decomposition in general. The functional decoupling of SOM properties and microbial community composition might thus be one of the reasons for low decomposition rates and the persistence of 400 Gt

  12. Subsurface ecosystem resilience: long-term attenuation of subsurface contaminants supports a dynamic microbial community.

    PubMed

    Yagi, Jane M; Neuhauser, Edward F; Ripp, John A; Mauro, David M; Madsen, Eugene L

    2010-01-01

    The propensity for groundwater ecosystems to recover from contamination by organic chemicals (in this case, coal-tar waste) is of vital concern for scientists and engineers who manage polluted sites. The microbially mediated cleanup processes are also of interest to ecologists because they are an important mechanism for the resilience of ecosystems. In this study we establish the long-term dynamic nature of a coal-tar waste-contaminated site and its microbial community. We present 16 years of chemical monitoring data, tracking responses of a groundwater ecosystem to organic contamination (naphthalene, xylenes, toluene, 2-methyl naphthalene and acenaphthylene) associated with coal-tar waste. In addition, we analyzed small-subunit (SSU) ribosomal RNA (rRNA) genes from two contaminated wells at multiple time points over a 2-year period. Principle component analysis of community rRNA fingerprints (terminal-restriction fragment length polymorphism (T-RFLP)) showed that the composition of native microbial communities varied temporally, yet remained distinctive from well to well. After screening and analysis of 1178 cloned SSU rRNA genes from Bacteria, Archaea and Eukarya, we discovered that the site supports a robust variety of eukaryotes (for example, alveolates (especially anaerobic and predatory ciliates), stramenopiles, fungi, even the small metazoan flatworm, Suomina) that are absent from an uncontaminated control well. This study links the dynamic microbial composition of a contaminated site with the long-term attenuation of its subsurface contaminants.

  13. Evidence against hydrogen-based microbial ecosystems in basalt aquifers

    PubMed

    Anderson; Chapelle; Lovley

    1998-08-14

    It has been proposed that hydrogen produced from basalt-ground-water interactions may serve as an energy source that supports the existence of microorganisms in the deep subsurface on Earth and possibly on other planets. However, experiments demonstrated that hydrogen is not produced from basalt at an environmentally relevant, alkaline pH. Small amounts of hydrogen were produced at a lower pH in laboratory incubations, but even this hydrogen production was transitory. Furthermore, geochemical considerations suggest that previously reported rates of hydrogen production cannot be sustained over geologically significant time frames. These findings indicate that hydrogen production from basalt-ground-water interactions may not support microbial metabolism in the subsurface.

  14. Evidence against hydrogen-based microbial ecosystems in basalt aquifers

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Anderson, R.T.; Chapelle, F.H.; Lovley, D.R.

    1998-01-01

    It has been proposed that hydrogen produced from basalt-ground-water interactions may serve as an energy source that supports the existence of microorganisms in the deep subsurface on Earth and possibly on other planets. However, experiments demonstrated that hydrogen is not produced from basalt at an environmentally relevant, alkaline pH. Small amounts of hydrogen were produced at a lower pH in laboratory incubations, but even this hydrogen production was transitory. Furthermore, geochemical considerations suggest that previously reported rates of hydrogen production cannot be sustained over geologically significant time frames. These findings indicate that hydrogen production from basalt-ground-water interactions may not support microbial metabolism in the subsurface.

  15. Characterizing man-made and natural modifications of microbial diversity and activity in coastal ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Paerl, Hans W; Dyble, Julianne; Twomey, Luke; Pinckney, James L; Nelson, Joshua; Kerkhof, Lee

    2002-08-01

    The impacts of growing coastal pollution and habitat alteration accompanying human encroachment are of great concern at the microbial level, where much of the ocean's primary production and biogeochemical cycling takes place. Coastal ecosystems are also under the influence of natural perturbations such as major storwns and flooding. Distinguishing the impacts of natural and human stressors is essential for understanding environmentally-induced change in microbial diversity and function. The objective of this paper is to discuss the applications and merits of recently developed molecular, ecophysiological and analytical indicators and their utility in examining anthropogenic and climatic impacts on the structure and function of coastal microbial communities. The nitrogen-limited Neuse River Estuary and Pamlico Sound, North Carolina are used as examples of ecosystems experiencing both anthropogenic (i.e., accelerating eutrophication) and climatic stress (increasing frequencies of tropical storms and hurricanes). Additional examples are derived from a coastal monitoring site (LEO) on the Atlantic coast of New Jersey and Galveston Bay, on the Gulf of Mexico. In order to assess structure, function, and trophic state of these and other coastal ecosystems, molecular (DNA and RNA-based) characterizations of the microbial taxa involved in carbon, nitrogen and other nutrient transformations can be combined with diagnostic pigment-based indicators of primary producer groups. Application of these methods can reveal process-level microbial community responses to environmental variability over a range of scales. Experimental approaches combined with strategic monitoring utilizing these methods will facilitate: (a) understanding organismal and community responses to environmental change, and (b) synthesizing these responses in the context of ecosystem models that integrate physical, chemical and biotic variability with environmental controls.

  16. Extremotrophs, extremophiles and broadband pigmentation strategies in a high arctic ice shelf ecosystem.

    PubMed

    Mueller, Derek R; Vincent, Warwick F; Bonilla, Sylvia; Laurion, Isabelle

    2005-06-01

    Remnant ice shelves along the northern coast of Ellesmere Island, Nunavut, Canada ( approximately 83 degrees N) provide a habitat for cryo-tolerant microbial mat communities. Bioassays of bacterial and primary production were undertaken to quantify the short-term physiological response of the mats to changes in key variables that characterize this cryo-ecosystem (salinity, irradiance and temperature). The heterotrophic versus autotrophic community responses to these stressors differed markedly. The heterotrophic bacteria were extremophilic and specifically adapted to ambient conditions on the ice shelf, whereas the autotrophic community had broader tolerance ranges and optima outside the ambient range. This latter, extremotrophic response may be partly due to a diverse suite of pigments including oligosaccharide mycosporine-like amino acids, scytonemins, carotenoids, phycobiliproteins and chlorophylls that absorb from the near UV-B to red wavelengths. These pigments provide a comprehensive broadband strategy for coping with the multiple stressors of high irradiance, variable salinity and low temperatures in this extreme cryo-environment.

  17. The Barents and Chukchi Seas: Comparison of two Arctic shelf ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hunt, George L.; Blanchard, Arny L.; Boveng, Peter; Dalpadado, Padmini; Drinkwater, Kenneth F.; Eisner, Lisa; Hopcroft, Russ R.; Kovacs, Kit M.; Norcross, Brenda L.; Renaud, Paul; Reigstad, Marit; Renner, Martin; Skjoldal, Hein Rune; Whitehouse, Andy; Woodgate, Rebecca A.

    2013-01-01

    This paper compares and contrasts the ecosystems of the Barents and Chukchi Seas. Despite their similarity in a number of features, the Barents Sea supports a vast biomass of commercially important fish, but the Chukchi does not. Here we examine a number of aspects of these two seas to ascertain how they are similar and how they differ. We then indentify processes and mechanisms that may be responsible for their similarities and differences. Both the Barents and Chukchi Seas are high latitude, seasonally ice covered, Arctic shelf-seas. Both have strongly advective regimes, and receive water from the south. Water entering the Barents comes from the deep, ice-free and "warm" Norwegian Sea, and contains not only heat, but also a rich supply of zooplankton that supports larval fish in spring. In contrast, Bering Sea water entering the Chukchi in spring and early summer is cold. In spring, this Bering Sea water is depleted of large, lipid-rich zooplankton, thus likely resulting in a relatively low availability of zooplankton for fish. Although primary production on average is similar in the two seas, fish biomass density is an order of magnitude greater in the Barents than in the Chukchi Sea. The Barents Sea supports immense fisheries, whereas the Chukchi Sea does not. The density of cetaceans in the Barents Sea is about double that in the Chukchi Sea, as is the density of nesting seabirds, whereas, the density of pinnipeds in the Chukchi is about double that in the Barents Sea. In the Chukchi Sea, export of carbon to the benthos and benthic biomass may be greater. We hypothesize that the difference in fish abundance in the two seas is driven by differences in the heat and plankton advected into them, and the amount of primary production consumed in the upper water column. However, we suggest that the critical difference between the Chukchi and Barents Seas is the pre-cooled water entering the Chukchi Sea from the south. This cold water, and the winter mixing of the

  18. Microbial primary production on an Arctic glacier is insignificant in comparison with allochthonous organic carbon input.

    PubMed

    Stibal, Marek; Tranter, Martyn; Benning, Liane G; Rehák, Josef

    2008-08-01

    Cryoconite holes are unique freshwater environments on glacier surfaces, formed when solar-heated dark debris melts down into the ice. Active photoautotrophic microorganisms are abundant within the holes and fix inorganic carbon due to the availability of liquid water and solar radiation. Cryoconite holes are potentially important sources of organic carbon to the glacial ecosystem, but the relative magnitudes of autochthonous microbial primary production and wind-borne allochthonous organic matter brought are unknown. Here, we compare an estimate of annual microbial primary production in 2006 on Werenskioldbreen, a Svalbard glacier, with the organic carbon content of cryoconite debris. There is a great disparity between annual primary production (4.3 mug C g(-1) year(-1)) and the high content of organic carbon within the debris (1.7-4.5%, equivalent to 8500-22 000 mug C g(-1) debris). Long-term accumulation of autochthonous organic matter is considered unlikely due to ablation dynamics and the surface hydrology of the glacier. Rather, it is more likely that the majority of the organic matter on Werenskioldbreen is allochthonous. Hence, although glacier surfaces can be a significant source of organic carbon for glacial environments on Svalbard, they may be reservoirs rather than oases of high productivity. PMID:18430008

  19. Geological connectivity drives microbial community structure and connectivity in polar, terrestrial ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Ferrari, Belinda C; Bissett, Andrew; Snape, Ian; van Dorst, Josie; Palmer, Anne S; Ji, Mukan; Siciliano, Steven D; Stark, Jonathon S; Winsley, Tristrom; Brown, Mark V

    2016-06-01

    Landscape heterogeneity impacts community assembly in animals and plants, but it is not clear if this ecological concept extends to microbes. To examine this question, we chose to investigate polar soil environments from the Antarctic and Arctic, where microbes often form the major component of biomass. We examined soil environments that ranged in connectivity from relatively well-connected slopes to patchy, fragmented landforms that comprised isolated frost boils. We found landscape connectedness to have a significant correlation with microbial community structure and connectivity, as measured by co-occurrence networks. Soils from within fragmented landforms appeared to exhibit less local environmental heterogeneity, harboured more similar communities, but fewer biological associations than connected landforms. This effect was observed at both poles, despite the geographical distances and ecological differences between them. We suggest that microbial communities inhabiting well-connected landscape elements respond consistently to regional-scale gradients in biotic and edaphic factors. Conversely, the repeated freeze thaw cycles that characterize fragmented landscapes create barriers within the landscape and act to homogenize the soil environment within individual frost boils and consequently the microbial communities. We propose that lower microbial connectivity in the fragmented landforms is a function of smaller patch size and continual disturbances following soil mixing. PMID:26310523

  20. Changing Arctic ecosystems--measuring and forecasting the response of Alaska's terrestrial ecosystem to a warming climate

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Pearce, John; DeGange, Anthony R.; Flint, Paul; Fondell, Tom F.; Gustine, David; Holland-Bartels, Leslie; Hope, Andrew G.; Hupp, Jerry; Koch, Josh; Schmutz, Joel; Talbot, Sandra; Ward, David; Whalen, Mary

    2012-01-01

    The Arctic Coastal Plain of northern Alaska is a complex landscape of lakes, streams, and wetlands scattered across low relief tundra that is underlain by permafrost. This region of the Arctic has experienced a warming trend over the past three decades, leading to thawing of on-shore permafrost and the disappearance of sea ice at an unprecedented rate. The loss of sea ice has increased ocean wave action, leading to higher rates of erosion and salt water inundation of coastal habitats. Warming temperatures also have advanced the overall phenology of the region, including earlier snowmelt, lake ice thaw, and plant growth. As a result, many migratory species now arrive in the Arctic several days earlier in spring than in the 1970s. Predicted warming trends for the future will continue to alter plant growth, ice thaw, and other basic landscape processes. These changes will undoubtedly result in different responses by wildlife (fish, birds, and mammals) and the food they rely upon (plants, invertebrates, and fish). However, the type of response by different wildlife populations and their habitats-either positively or negatively-remains largely unknown.

  1. Improved quantification of microbial CH4 oxidation efficiency in arctic wetland soils using carbon isotope fractionation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Preuss, I.; Knoblauch, C.; Gebert, J.; Pfeiffer, E.-M.

    2013-04-01

    Permafrost-affected tundra soils are significant sources of the climate-relevant trace gas methane (CH4). The observed accelerated warming of the arctic will cause deeper permafrost thawing, followed by increased carbon mineralization and CH4 formation in water-saturated tundra soils, thus creating a positive feedback to climate change. Aerobic CH4 oxidation is regarded as the key process reducing CH4 emissions from wetlands, but quantification of turnover rates has remained difficult so far. The application of carbon stable isotope fractionation enables the in situ quantification of CH4 oxidation efficiency in arctic wetland soils. The aim of the current study is to quantify CH4 oxidation efficiency in permafrost-affected tundra soils in Russia's Lena River delta based on stable isotope signatures of CH4. Therefore, depth profiles of CH4 concentrations and δ13CH4 signatures were measured and the fractionation factors for the processes of oxidation (αox) and diffusion (αdiff) were determined. Most previous studies employing stable isotope fractionation for the quantification of CH4 oxidation in soils of other habitats (such as landfill cover soils) have assumed a gas transport dominated by advection (αtrans = 1). In tundra soils, however, diffusion is the main gas transport mechanism and diffusive stable isotope fractionation should be considered alongside oxidative fractionation. For the first time, the stable isotope fractionation of CH4 diffusion through water-saturated soils was determined with an αdiff = 1.001 ± 0.000 (n = 3). CH4 stable isotope fractionation during diffusion through air-filled pores of the investigated polygonal tundra soils was αdiff = 1.013 ± 0.003 (n = 18). Furthermore, it was found that αox differs widely between sites and horizons (mean αox = 1.017 ± 0.009) and needs to be determined on a case by case basis. The impact of both fractionation factors on the quantification of CH4 oxidation was analyzed by considering both the

  2. Improved quantification of microbial CH4 oxidation efficiency in Arctic wetland soils using carbon isotope fractionation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Preuss, I.; Knoblauch, C.; Gebert, J.; Pfeiffer, E.-M.

    2012-12-01

    Permafrost-affected tundra soils are significant sources of the climate-relevant trace gas methane (CH4). The observed accelerated warming of the Arctic will cause a deeper permafrost thawing followed by increased carbon mineralization and CH4 formation in water saturated tundra soils which might cause a positive feedback to climate change. Aerobic CH4 oxidation is regarded as the key process reducing CH4 emissions from wetlands, but quantification of turnover rates has remained difficult so far. The application of carbon stable isotope fractionation enables the in situ quantification of CH4 oxidation efficiency in arctic wetland soils. The aim of the current study is to quantify CH4 oxidation efficiency in permafrost-affected tundra soils in Russia's Lena River Delta based on stable isotope signatures of CH4. Therefore, depth profiles of CH4 concentrations and δ13CH4-signatures were measured and the fractionation factors for the processes of oxidation (αox) and diffusion (αdiff) were determined. Most previous studies employing stable isotope fractionation for the quantification of CH4 oxidation in soils of other habitats (e.g. landfill cover soils) have assumed a gas transport dominated by advection (αtrans = 1). In tundra soils, however, diffusion is the main gas transport mechanism, aside from ebullition. Hence, diffusive stable isotope fractionation has to be considered. For the first time, the stable isotope fractionation of CH4 diffusion through water-saturated soils was determined with an αdiff = 1.001 ± 0.000 (n = 3). CH4 stable isotope fractionation during diffusion through air-filled pores of the investigated polygonal tundra soils was αdiff = 1.013 ± 0.003 (n = 18). Furthermore, it was found that αox differs widely between sites and horizons (mean αox, = 1.017 ± 0.009) and needs to be determined individually. The impact of both fractionation factors on the quantification of CH4 oxidation was analyzed by considering both the potential diffusion

  3. Microbial characterization of microbial ecosystems associated to evaporites domes of gypsum in Salar de Llamara in Atacama desert.

    PubMed

    Rasuk, Maria Cecilia; Kurth, Daniel; Flores, Maria Regina; Contreras, Manuel; Novoa, Fernando; Poire, Daniel; Farias, Maria Eugenia

    2014-10-01

    The Central Andes in northern Chile contains a large number of closed basins whose central depression is occupied by saline lakes and salt crusts (salars). One of these basins is Salar de Llamara (850 m a.s.l.), where large domed structures of seemingly evaporitic origin forming domes can be found. In this work, we performed a detailed microbial characterization of these domes. Mineralogical studies revealed gypsum (CaSO(4)) as a major component. Microbial communities associated to these structures were analysed by 454 16S rDNA amplicon sequencing and compared between winter and summer seasons. Bacteroidetes Proteobacteria and Planctomycetes remained as the main phylogenetic groups, an increased diversity was found in winter. Comparison of the upper air-exposed part and the lower water-submerged part of the domes in both seasons showed little variation in the upper zone, showing a predominance of Chromatiales (Gammaproteobacteria), Rhodospirillales (Alphaproteobacteria), and Sphingobacteriales (Bacteroidetes). However, the submerged part showed marked differences between seasons, being dominated by Proteobacteria (Alpha and Gamma) and Verrucomicrobia in summer, but with more diverse phyla found in winter. Even though not abundant by sequence, Cyanobacteria were visually identified by scanning electron microscopy (SEM), which also revealed the presence of diatoms. Photosynthetic pigments were detected by high-performance liquid chromatography, being more diverse on the upper photosynthetic layer. Finally, the system was compared with other endoevaporite, mats microbialite and Stromatolites microbial ecosystems, showing higher similitude with evaporitic ecosystems from Atacama and Guerrero Negro. This environment is of special interest for extremophile studies because microbial life develops associated to minerals in the driest desert all over the world. Nevertheless, it is endangered by mining activity associated to copper and lithium extraction; thus, its

  4. Microbial characterization of microbial ecosystems associated to evaporites domes of gypsum in Salar de Llamara in Atacama desert.

    PubMed

    Rasuk, Maria Cecilia; Kurth, Daniel; Flores, Maria Regina; Contreras, Manuel; Novoa, Fernando; Poire, Daniel; Farias, Maria Eugenia

    2014-10-01

    The Central Andes in northern Chile contains a large number of closed basins whose central depression is occupied by saline lakes and salt crusts (salars). One of these basins is Salar de Llamara (850 m a.s.l.), where large domed structures of seemingly evaporitic origin forming domes can be found. In this work, we performed a detailed microbial characterization of these domes. Mineralogical studies revealed gypsum (CaSO(4)) as a major component. Microbial communities associated to these structures were analysed by 454 16S rDNA amplicon sequencing and compared between winter and summer seasons. Bacteroidetes Proteobacteria and Planctomycetes remained as the main phylogenetic groups, an increased diversity was found in winter. Comparison of the upper air-exposed part and the lower water-submerged part of the domes in both seasons showed little variation in the upper zone, showing a predominance of Chromatiales (Gammaproteobacteria), Rhodospirillales (Alphaproteobacteria), and Sphingobacteriales (Bacteroidetes). However, the submerged part showed marked differences between seasons, being dominated by Proteobacteria (Alpha and Gamma) and Verrucomicrobia in summer, but with more diverse phyla found in winter. Even though not abundant by sequence, Cyanobacteria were visually identified by scanning electron microscopy (SEM), which also revealed the presence of diatoms. Photosynthetic pigments were detected by high-performance liquid chromatography, being more diverse on the upper photosynthetic layer. Finally, the system was compared with other endoevaporite, mats microbialite and Stromatolites microbial ecosystems, showing higher similitude with evaporitic ecosystems from Atacama and Guerrero Negro. This environment is of special interest for extremophile studies because microbial life develops associated to minerals in the driest desert all over the world. Nevertheless, it is endangered by mining activity associated to copper and lithium extraction; thus, its

  5. Long-term preservation of microbial ecosystems in permafrost

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gilichinsky, D. A.; Vorobyova, E. A.; Erokhina, L. G.; Fyordorov-Dayvdov, D. G.; Chaikovskaya, N. R.

    It has been established that significant numbers (up to 10 million cells per gram of sample) of living microorganisms of various ecological and morphological groups have been preserved under permafrost conditions, at temperatures ranging from -9 to -13°C and depths of up to 100 m, for thousands and sometimes millions of years. Preserved since the formation of permafrost in sand-clay sediments of the Pliocene-Quaternary period and in paleosols and peats buried among them, these cells are the only living organisms that have survived for a geologically significant period of time. The complexity of the microbial community preserved varies with the age of the permafrost. Eukaryotes are found only in Holocene sediments; while prokaryotes are found to greater ages, i.e., Pliocene and Pleistocene. The diversity of microorganisms decreases with increasing age of sediments, and as a result cocci and corynebacteria are predominant. Enzyme activity (catalase and hydrolytic enzymes) and photosynthetic pigments (chlorophyll and pheophytin have also been detected in permafrost sediments. These results permit us to outline some approaches to the search for traces of life in the permafrost of Martian sediments by borehole core sampling. It is in the deep horizons (and not on the planet surface), isolated by permafrost from the external conditions, that results similar to those obtained on Earth can be expected.

  6. Iron isotope geochemistry in the Antarctic cryptoendolithic microbial ecosystem

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sun, H.

    2002-05-01

    The stable isotope composition of iron is a potentially powerful tracer of biogeochemical cycles because iron is ubiquitous, it is required by all organisms, and it is resistant to alterations during diagenesis. Here we report evidence of biological iron isotope fractionation in the weathering process of sandstone in McMurdo Dry Valleys, Antarctica, caused by the cryptoendolithic lichen-dominated microbial community that live below the rock surface. The fungi secrete oxalic acid, which under the sunlight reduces and dissolves the iron in the colonized zone. The mobilized iron diffuses to the rock surface and the rock interior below the organisms where it is re-oxidized. This leaching process is shown to prefer lighter isotopes of iron, leaving the colonized layer enriched in del 56Fe by as much 0.8 per mil. Had endolithic microorganisms occurred on Mars as commonly believed, they might have left similar iron biosignatures, well preserved in rocks because of the absence of subsequent aqueous activities.

  7. The Effect of Temperature and Increased Rainfall on Carbon Dioxide Exchange in a High Arctic Ecosystem: Improving Models and Testing Linearity of Response

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Steltzer, H.; Welker, J.; Sullivan, P.

    2006-12-01

    Ecosystem carbon dioxide exchange determines the terrestrial flux of carbon dioxide to the atmosphere through the two component processes of photosynthesis and respiration. Temperature and water availability are dominant factors that regulate carbon dioxide exchange and ecosystem productivity across the globe. Yet, in many ecosystems, the complex interaction of temperature and water availability and their individual and combined effects on photosynthesis and respiration make it difficult to predict how climate change will affect carbon dioxide exchange. For example, climate warming can increase carbon dioxide uptake in wetter Arctic ecosystems, but leads to the loss of carbon dioxide to the atmosphere in drier Arctic ecosystems. Characterizing how temperature and water availability affect ecosystem carbon exchange in the Arctic is essential to determine whether the rate of climate warming could accelerate due to carbon dioxide losses from Arctic ecosystems. We conducted a multi-level warming experiment that included control plots and two- levels of warming in a widespread High Arctic ecosystem. Infrared lamps were used to warm the tundra during the growing season and rainfall was increased by 50 percent in control plots and the higher level warming treatment. Carbon dioxide exchange was measured using chamber techniques over several 24-hour periods during the growing season for three years and was resolved into the component fluxes. Climate and biophysical variables that affect carbon dioxide exchange rates were measured in coordination with these flux measurements. We chose to analyze the data from this experiment by fitting the data to light and temperature response functions for gross ecosystem photosynthesis and ecosystem respiration, respectively. Based on our sample size of 30 experimental plots (5 treatments x 6 replicates), we selected relatively simple models of carbon dioxide exchange to minimize overfitting, but considered linear and nonlinear models

  8. Uncoupling of microbial community structure and function in decomposing litter across beech forest ecosystems in Central Europe

    PubMed Central

    Purahong, Witoon; Schloter, Michael; Pecyna, Marek J.; Kapturska, Danuta; Däumlich, Veronika; Mital, Sanchit; Buscot, François; Hofrichter, Martin; Gutknecht, Jessica L. M.; Krüger, Dirk

    2014-01-01

    The widespread paradigm in ecology that community structure determines function has recently been challenged by the high complexity of microbial communities. Here, we investigate the patterns of and connections between microbial community structure and microbially-mediated ecological function across different forest management practices and temporal changes in leaf litter across beech forest ecosystems in Central Europe. Our results clearly indicate distinct pattern of microbial community structure in response to forest management and time. However, those patterns were not reflected when potential enzymatic activities of microbes were measured. We postulate that in our forest ecosystems, a disconnect between microbial community structure and function may be present due to differences between the drivers of microbial growth and those of microbial function. PMID:25388562

  9. Uncoupling of microbial community structure and function in decomposing litter across beech forest ecosystems in Central Europe.

    PubMed

    Purahong, Witoon; Schloter, Michael; Pecyna, Marek J; Kapturska, Danuta; Däumlich, Veronika; Mital, Sanchit; Buscot, François; Hofrichter, Martin; Gutknecht, Jessica L M; Krüger, Dirk

    2014-01-01

    The widespread paradigm in ecology that community structure determines function has recently been challenged by the high complexity of microbial communities. Here, we investigate the patterns of and connections between microbial community structure and microbially-mediated ecological function across different forest management practices and temporal changes in leaf litter across beech forest ecosystems in Central Europe. Our results clearly indicate distinct pattern of microbial community structure in response to forest management and time. However, those patterns were not reflected when potential enzymatic activities of microbes were measured. We postulate that in our forest ecosystems, a disconnect between microbial community structure and function may be present due to differences between the drivers of microbial growth and those of microbial function. PMID:25388562

  10. Perspectives on the microbial carbon pump with special reference to microbial respiration and ecosystem efficiency in large estuarine systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dang, H.; Jiao, N.

    2014-07-01

    Although respiration-based oxidation of reduced carbon releases CO2 into the environment, it provides an ecosystem with the metabolic energy for essential biogeochemical processes, including the newly proposed microbial carbon pump (MCP). The efficiency of MCP in heterotrophic microorganisms is related to the mechanisms of energy transduction employed and hence is related to the form of respiration utilized. Anaerobic organisms typically have lower efficiencies of energy transduction and hence lower efficiencies of energy-dependent carbon transformation. This leads to a lower MCP efficiency on a per-cell basis. Substantial input of terrigenous nutrients and organic matter into estuarine ecosystems typically results in elevated heterotrophic respiration that rapidly consumes dissolved oxygen, potentially producing hypoxic and anoxic zones in the water column. The lowered availability of dissolved oxygen and the excessive supply of nutrients such as nitrate from river discharge lead to enhanced anaerobic respiration processes such as denitrification and dissimilatory nitrate reduction to ammonium. Thus, some nutrients may be consumed through anaerobic heterotrophs, instead of being utilized by phytoplankton for autotrophic carbon fixation. In this manner, eutrophied estuarine ecosystems become largely fueled by anaerobic respiratory pathways and their efficiency is less due to lowered ecosystem productivity when compared to healthy and balanced estuarine ecosystems. This situation may have a negative impact on the ecological function and efficiency of the MCP which depends on the supply of both organic carbon and metabolic energy. This review presents our current understanding of the MCP mechanisms from the view point of ecosystem energy transduction efficiency, which has not been discussed in previous literature.

  11. The nearshore western Beaufort Sea ecosystem: Circulation and importance of terrestrial carbon in arctic coastal food webs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dunton, Kenneth H.; Weingartner, Thomas; Carmack, Eddy C.

    2006-10-01

    . Calculations from isotopic mixing equations indicate cod from lagoons may derive 70% of their carbon from terrestrial sources. The δ15N values of lagoon fish were also 4‰ lower than coastal specimens, reflective of the lower δ15N values of terrestrially derived nitrogen (0-1.5‰ compared to 5-7‰ for phytoplankton). The role of terrestrial carbon in arctic estuarine food webs is especially important in view of the current warming trend in the arctic environment and the role of advective processes that transport carbon along the nearshore shelf. Biogeochemical studies of the arctic coastal estuarine environment may provide more insights into the function of these biologically complex ecosystems.

  12. Integration of 'omics technologies for characterization of complex microbial ecosystems

    SciTech Connect

    Miracle, A.L.; Bailey, V.L.; Baker, S.E.; Bunn, A.L.; Magnuson, J.; Webb-Robertson, B.J.

    2008-07-01

    Environmental remediation sites possess complexity at both biotic and abiotic levels, with temporal shifts that are associated with the interaction of both systems. Single scientific disciplines no longer serve to address and understand the complex nature of these sites. An integration of physical, chemical, and biological characterizations or a more inclusive environmental systems approach is needed. As a proof of concept, an integrated approach was developed to identify bio-signatures from a complex environmental community to provide sensitive, early indicators and predictors of response to radionuclide and chemical exposures of interest for environmental management. Specifically, the integrated approach used a combination of genetics, transcriptomics, proteomics, and computational statistics to characterize a complex periphyton community following uranium exposure. This additional, specific information has promise to further reduce uncertainties in environmental remediation and monitoring in realizing the potential impacts of exposure in advance to reduce potential mitigation efforts. Results from this study establish a basis for bio-signature characterization of any ecosystem for comparison or monitoring of biotic exposure and effects in response to a specific contaminant. (authors)

  13. Determining the Diversity and Species Abundance Patterns in Arctic Soils using Rational Methods for Exploring Microbial Diversity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ovreas, L.; Quince, C.; Sloan, W.; Lanzen, A.; Davenport, R.; Green, J.; Coulson, S.; Curtis, T.

    2012-12-01

    Arctic microbial soil communities are intrinsically interesting and poorly characterised. We have inferred the diversity and species abundance distribution of 6 Arctic soils: new and mature soil at the foot of a receding glacier, Arctic Semi Desert, the foot of bird cliffs and soil underlying Arctic Tundra Heath: all near Ny-Ålesund, Spitsbergen. Diversity, distribution and sample sizes were estimated using the rational method of Quince et al., (Isme Journal 2 2008:997-1006) to determine the most plausible underlying species abundance distribution. A log-normal species abundance curve was found to give a slightly better fit than an inverse Gaussian curve if, and only if, sequencing error was removed. The median estimates of diversity of operational taxonomic units (at the 3% level) were 3600-5600 (lognormal assumed) and 2825-4100 (inverse Gaussian assumed). The nature and origins of species abundance distributions are poorly understood but may yet be grasped by observing and analysing such distributions in the microbial world. The sample size required to observe the distribution (by sequencing 90% of the taxa) varied between ~ 106 and ~105 for the lognormal and inverse Gaussian respectively. We infer that between 5 and 50 GB of sequencing would be required to capture 90% or the metagenome. Though a principle components analysis clearly divided the sites into three groups there was a high (20-45%) degree of overlap in between locations irrespective of geographical proximity. Interestingly, the nearest relatives of the most abundant taxa at a number of most sites were of alpine or polar origin. Samples plotted on first two principal components together with arbitrary discriminatory OTUs

  14. Spatial and temporal variation of an ice-adapted predator's feeding ecology in a changing Arctic marine ecosystem.

    PubMed

    Yurkowski, David J; Ferguson, Steven H; Semeniuk, Christina A D; Brown, Tanya M; Muir, Derek C G; Fisk, Aaron T

    2016-03-01

    Spatial and temporal variation can confound interpretations of relationships within and between species in terms of diet composition, niche size, and trophic position (TP). The cause of dietary variation within species is commonly an ontogenetic niche shift, which is a key dynamic influencing community structure. We quantified spatial and temporal variations in ringed seal (Pusa hispida) diet, niche size, and TP during ontogeny across the Arctic-a rapidly changing ecosystem. Stable carbon and nitrogen isotope analysis was performed on 558 liver and 630 muscle samples from ringed seals and on likely prey species from five locations ranging from the High to the Low Arctic. A modest ontogenetic diet shift occurred, with adult ringed seals consuming more forage fish (approximately 80 versus 60 %) and having a higher TP than subadults, which generally decreased with latitude. However, the degree of shift varied spatially, with adults in the High Arctic presenting a more restricted niche size and consuming more Arctic cod (Boreogadus saida) than subadults (87 versus 44 %) and adults at the lowest latitude (29 %). The TPs of adult and subadult ringed seals generally decreased with latitude (4.7-3.3), which was mainly driven by greater complexity in trophic structure within the zooplankton communities. Adult isotopic niche size increased over time, likely due to the recent circumpolar increases in subarctic forage fish distribution and abundance. Given the spatial and temporal variability in ringed seal foraging ecology, ringed seals exhibit dietary plasticity as a species, suggesting adaptability in terms of their diet to climate change. PMID:26210748

  15. Spatial and temporal variation of an ice-adapted predator's feeding ecology in a changing Arctic marine ecosystem.

    PubMed

    Yurkowski, David J; Ferguson, Steven H; Semeniuk, Christina A D; Brown, Tanya M; Muir, Derek C G; Fisk, Aaron T

    2016-03-01

    Spatial and temporal variation can confound interpretations of relationships within and between species in terms of diet composition, niche size, and trophic position (TP). The cause of dietary variation within species is commonly an ontogenetic niche shift, which is a key dynamic influencing community structure. We quantified spatial and temporal variations in ringed seal (Pusa hispida) diet, niche size, and TP during ontogeny across the Arctic-a rapidly changing ecosystem. Stable carbon and nitrogen isotope analysis was performed on 558 liver and 630 muscle samples from ringed seals and on likely prey species from five locations ranging from the High to the Low Arctic. A modest ontogenetic diet shift occurred, with adult ringed seals consuming more forage fish (approximately 80 versus 60 %) and having a higher TP than subadults, which generally decreased with latitude. However, the degree of shift varied spatially, with adults in the High Arctic presenting a more restricted niche size and consuming more Arctic cod (Boreogadus saida) than subadults (87 versus 44 %) and adults at the lowest latitude (29 %). The TPs of adult and subadult ringed seals generally decreased with latitude (4.7-3.3), which was mainly driven by greater complexity in trophic structure within the zooplankton communities. Adult isotopic niche size increased over time, likely due to the recent circumpolar increases in subarctic forage fish distribution and abundance. Given the spatial and temporal variability in ringed seal foraging ecology, ringed seals exhibit dietary plasticity as a species, suggesting adaptability in terms of their diet to climate change.

  16. Design and Development of a Spectral Library for Different Vegetation and Landcover Types for Arctic, Antarctic and Chihuahua Desert Ecosystem

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Matharasi, K.; Goswami, S.; Gamon, J.; Vargas, S.; Marin, R.; Lin, D.; Tweedie, C. E.

    2008-12-01

    All objects on the Earth's surface absorb and reflect portions of the electromagnetic spectrum. Depending on the composition of the material, every material has its characteristic spectral profile. The characteristic spectral profile for vegetation is often used to study how vegetation patterns at large spatial scales affect ecosystem structure and function. Analysis of spectroscopic data from the laboratory, and from various other platforms like aircraft or spacecraft, requires a knowledge base that consists of different characteristic spectral profiles for known different materials. This study reports on establishment of an online and searchable spectral library for a range of plant species and landcover types in the Arctic, Anatarctic and Chihuahuan desert ecosystems. Field data were collected from Arctic Alaska, the Antarctic Peninsula and the Chihuahuan desert in the visible to near infrared (IR) range using a handheld portable spectrometer. The data have been archived in a database created using postgre sql with have been made publicly available on a plone web-interface. This poster describes the data collected in more detail and offers instruction to users who wish to make use of this free online resource.

  17. Utilization of subsurface microbial electrochemical systems to elucidate the mechanisms of competition between methanogenesis and microbial iron(III)/humic acid reduction in Arctic peat soils

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Friedman, E. S.; Miller, K.; Lipson, D.; Angenent, L. T.

    2012-12-01

    High-latitude peat soils are a major carbon reservoir, and there is growing concern that previously dormant carbon from this reservoir could be released to the atmosphere as a result of continued climate change. Microbial processes, such as methanogenesis and carbon dioxide production via iron(III) or humic acid reduction, are at the heart of the carbon cycle in Arctic peat soils [1]. A deeper understanding of the factors governing microbial dominance in these soils is crucial for predicting the effects of continued climate change. In previous years, we have demonstrated the viability of a potentiostatically-controlled subsurface microbial electrochemical system-based biosensor that measures microbial respiration via exocellular electron transfer [2]. This system utilizes a graphite working electrode poised at 0.1 V NHE to mimic ferric iron and humic acid compounds. Microbes that would normally utilize these compounds as electron acceptors donate electrons to the electrode instead. The resulting current is a measure of microbial respiration with the electrode and is recorded with respect to time. Here, we examine the mechanistic relationship between methanogenesis and iron(III)- or humic acid-reduction by using these same microbial-three electrode systems to provide an inexhaustible source of alternate electron acceptor to microbes in these soils. Chamber-based carbon dioxide and methane fluxes were measured from soil collars with and without microbial three-electrode systems over a period of four weeks. In addition, in some collars we simulated increased fermentation by applying acetate treatments to understand possible effects of continued climate change on microbial processes in these carbon-rich soils. The results from this work aim to increase our fundamental understanding of competition between electron acceptors, and will provide valuable data for climate modeling scenarios. 1. Lipson, D.A., et al., Reduction of iron (III) and humic substances plays a major

  18. Rapid evolution buffers ecosystem impacts of viruses in a microbial food web.

    PubMed

    Lennon, Jay T; Martiny, Jennifer B H

    2008-11-01

    Predation and parasitism often regulate population dynamics, community interactions, and ecosystem functioning. The strength of these top-down pressures is variable, however, and may be influenced by both ecological and evolutionary processes. We conducted a chemostat experiment to assess the direct and indirect effects of viruses on a marine microbial food web comprised of an autotrophic host (Synechococcus) and non-target heterotrophic bacteria. Viruses dramatically altered the host population dynamics, which in turn influenced phosphorus resource availability and the stoichiometric allocation of nutrients into microbial biomass. These virus effects diminished with time, but could not be attributed to changes in the abundance or composition of heterotrophic bacteria. Instead, attenuation of the virus effects coincided with the detection of resistant host phenotypes, suggesting that rapid evolution buffered the effect of viruses on nutrient cycling. Our results demonstrate that evolutionary processes are important for community dynamics and ecosystem processes on ecologically relevant time scales.

  19. Integrating Research and Education in a Study of Biocomplexity in Arctic Tundra Ecosystems: Costs, Results, and Benefits to the Research Agenda

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gould, W. A.; González, G.; Walker, D. A.

    2006-12-01

    The integration of research and education is one of the fundamental goals of our national science policy. There is strong interest to improve this integration at the graduate and undergraduate levels, with the general public, and with local and indigenous people. Efforts expended in integrating research and education can occur at the expense of research productivity and represent a cost. Results may include number of personnel involved, activities accomplished, research or other products produced. Benefits are difficult to quantify and may be short term and tangible, e.g. education-research projects enhancing research productivity with publications, or long-term and include intangibles such as personal interactions and experiences influencing career choices, the perception of research activities, enhanced communication, and direct or indirect influence on related research and educational projects. We have integrated the University field course Arctic Field Ecology with an interdisciplinary research project investigating the interactions of climate, vegetation, and permafrost in the study Biocomplexity of Arctic Tundra Ecosystems. The integration is designed to give students background in regional ecology; introduce students to the project objectives, methods, and personnel; provide for interaction with participating scientists; conduct research initiated by the class and instructors; and provide the opportunity to interact with indigenous people with interests in traditional ecological knowledge and land management. Our costs included increased logistical complexity and time-demands on the researchers and staff managing the integration. The educational component increased the size of the research group with the addition of 55 participants over the 4 field seasons of the study. Participants came from 7 countries and included 20 enrolled university students, 18 Inuit non student participants, 9 Inuit students, 3 visiting scientists, 3 staff, and 2 scientist

  20. Convergence of microbial assimilations of soil carbon, nitrogen, phosphorus, and sulfur in terrestrial ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Xu, Xiaofeng; Hui, Dafeng; King, Anthony W; Song, Xia; Thornton, Peter E; Zhang, Lihua

    2015-11-27

    How soil microbes assimilate carbon-C, nitrogen-N, phosphorus-P, and sulfur-S is fundamental for understanding nutrient cycling in terrestrial ecosystems. We compiled a global database of C, N, P, and S concentrations in soils and microbes and developed relationships between them by using a power function model. The C:N:P:S was estimated to be 287:17:1:0.8 for soils, and 42:6:1:0.4 for microbes. We found a convergence of the relationships between elements in soils and in soil microbial biomass across C, N, P, and S. The element concentrations in soil microbial biomass follow a homeostatic regulation curve with soil element concentrations across C, N, P and S, implying a unifying mechanism of microbial assimilating soil elements. This correlation explains the well-constrained C:N:P:S stoichiometry with a slightly larger variation in soils than in microbial biomass. Meanwhile, it is estimated that the minimum requirements of soil elements for soil microbes are 0.8 mmol C Kg(-1) dry soil, 0.1 mmol N Kg(-1) dry soil, 0.1 mmol P Kg(-1) dry soil, and 0.1 mmol S Kg(-1) dry soil, respectively. These findings provide a mathematical explanation of element imbalance in soils and soil microbial biomass, and offer insights for incorporating microbial contribution to nutrient cycling into Earth system models.

  1. Convergence of microbial assimilations of soil carbon, nitrogen, phosphorus, and sulfur in terrestrial ecosystems

    DOE PAGES

    Xu, Xiaofeng; Hui, Dafeng; King, Anthony Wayne; Song, Xia; Thornton, Peter E.; Zhang, Lihua

    2015-11-27

    How soil microbes assimilate carbon-C, nitrogen-N, phosphorus-P, and sulfur-S is fundamental for understanding nutrient cycling in terrestrial ecosystems. We compiled a global database of C, N, P, and S concentrations in soils and microbes and developed relationships between them by using a power function model. The C:N:P:S was estimated to be 287:17:1:0.8 for soils, and 42:6:1:0.4 for microbes. We found a convergence of the relationships between elements in soils and in soil microbial biomass across C, N, P, and S. The element concentrations in soil microbial biomass follow a homeostatic regulation curve with soil element concentrations across C, N, Pmore » and S, implying a unifying mechanism of microbial assimilating soil elements. This correlation explains the well-constrained C:N:P:S stoichiometry with a slightly larger variation in soils than in microbial biomass. Meanwhile, it is estimated that the minimum requirements of soil elements for soil microbes are 0.8 mmol C Kg–1 dry soil, 0.1 mmol N Kg–1 dry soil, 0.1 mmol P Kg–1 dry soil, and 0.1 mmol S Kg–1 dry soil, respectively. Lastly, these findings provide a mathematical explanation of element imbalance in soils and soil microbial biomass, and offer insights for incorporating microbial contribution to nutrient cycling into Earth system models.« less

  2. Convergence of microbial assimilations of soil carbon, nitrogen, phosphorus, and sulfur in terrestrial ecosystems

    SciTech Connect

    Xu, Xiaofeng; Hui, Dafeng; King, Anthony Wayne; Song, Xia; Thornton, Peter E.; Zhang, Lihua

    2015-11-27

    How soil microbes assimilate carbon-C, nitrogen-N, phosphorus-P, and sulfur-S is fundamental for understanding nutrient cycling in terrestrial ecosystems. We compiled a global database of C, N, P, and S concentrations in soils and microbes and developed relationships between them by using a power function model. The C:N:P:S was estimated to be 287:17:1:0.8 for soils, and 42:6:1:0.4 for microbes. We found a convergence of the relationships between elements in soils and in soil microbial biomass across C, N, P, and S. The element concentrations in soil microbial biomass follow a homeostatic regulation curve with soil element concentrations across C, N, P and S, implying a unifying mechanism of microbial assimilating soil elements. This correlation explains the well-constrained C:N:P:S stoichiometry with a slightly larger variation in soils than in microbial biomass. Meanwhile, it is estimated that the minimum requirements of soil elements for soil microbes are 0.8 mmol C Kg–1 dry soil, 0.1 mmol N Kg–1 dry soil, 0.1 mmol P Kg–1 dry soil, and 0.1 mmol S Kg–1 dry soil, respectively. Lastly, these findings provide a mathematical explanation of element imbalance in soils and soil microbial biomass, and offer insights for incorporating microbial contribution to nutrient cycling into Earth system models.

  3. The source of microbial C has little impact on soil organic matter stabilisation in forest ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Throckmorton, Heather M; Bird, Jeffrey A; Dane, Laura; Firestone, Mary K; Horwath, William R

    2012-11-01

    The source of microbial C is thought to impact its stability in soil due to variations in cellular biochemistry. It has been hypothesised that a fungal-dominated community stabilises more C than a bacterial-dominated community, in part due to chemical recalcitrance of their non-living biomass, particularly cell wall components and pigments. We compared the turnover of (13)C-labelled (99.9 atom %) temperate and tropical microbial isolates [i.e. fungi, Gram-positive bacteria (including actinobacteria) and Gram-negative bacteria] in temperate (California) and tropical (Puerto Rico) forest soils. While significant differences in (13)C recovery and mean residence times occurred among some microbial additions, similar turnover rates were observed, and in general, results do not support the view that microbial biochemistry affects soil C maintenance. Different effects by microbial necromass additions in California and Puerto Rico suggest that ecosystem-specific effects may be as important to microbial C stabilisation as its macromolecular composition and recalcitrance. PMID:22897121

  4. Mapping microbial ecosystems and spoilage-gene flow in breweries highlights patterns of contamination and resistance

    PubMed Central

    Bokulich, Nicholas A; Bergsveinson, Jordyn; Ziola, Barry; Mills, David A

    2015-01-01

    Distinct microbial ecosystems have evolved to meet the challenges of indoor environments, shaping the microbial communities that interact most with modern human activities. Microbial transmission in food-processing facilities has an enormous impact on the qualities and healthfulness of foods, beneficially or detrimentally interacting with food products. To explore modes of microbial transmission and spoilage-gene frequency in a commercial food-production scenario, we profiled hop-resistance gene frequencies and bacterial and fungal communities in a brewery. We employed a Bayesian approach for predicting routes of contamination, revealing critical control points for microbial management. Physically mapping microbial populations over time illustrates patterns of dispersal and identifies potential contaminant reservoirs within this environment. Habitual exposure to beer is associated with increased abundance of spoilage genes, predicting greater contamination risk. Elucidating the genetic landscapes of indoor environments poses important practical implications for food-production systems and these concepts are translatable to other built environments. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.04634.001 PMID:25756611

  5. Convergence of microbial assimilations of soil carbon, nitrogen, phosphorus, and sulfur in terrestrial ecosystems

    PubMed Central

    Xu, Xiaofeng; Hui, Dafeng; King, Anthony W.; Song, Xia; Thornton, Peter E.; Zhang, Lihua

    2015-01-01

    How soil microbes assimilate carbon-C, nitrogen-N, phosphorus-P, and sulfur-S is fundamental for understanding nutrient cycling in terrestrial ecosystems. We compiled a global database of C, N, P, and S concentrations in soils and microbes and developed relationships between them by using a power function model. The C:N:P:S was estimated to be 287:17:1:0.8 for soils, and 42:6:1:0.4 for microbes. We found a convergence of the relationships between elements in soils and in soil microbial biomass across C, N, P, and S. The element concentrations in soil microbial biomass follow a homeostatic regulation curve with soil element concentrations across C, N, P and S, implying a unifying mechanism of microbial assimilating soil elements. This correlation explains the well-constrained C:N:P:S stoichiometry with a slightly larger variation in soils than in microbial biomass. Meanwhile, it is estimated that the minimum requirements of soil elements for soil microbes are 0.8 mmol C Kg−1 dry soil, 0.1 mmol N Kg−1 dry soil, 0.1 mmol P Kg−1 dry soil, and 0.1 mmol S Kg−1 dry soil, respectively. These findings provide a mathematical explanation of element imbalance in soils and soil microbial biomass, and offer insights for incorporating microbial contribution to nutrient cycling into Earth system models. PMID:26612423

  6. Microbial Potential for Ecosystem N Loss Is Increased by Experimental N Deposition

    PubMed Central

    Upchurch, Rima A.; Zak, Donald R.

    2016-01-01

    Fossil fuel combustion and fertilizer use has increased the amount of biologically available N entering terrestrial ecosystems. Nonetheless, our understanding of how anthropogenic N may alter the physiological mechanisms by which soil microorganisms cycle N in soil is still developing. Here, we applied shotgun metagenomics to a replicated long-term field experiment to determine how two decades of experimental N deposition, at a rate expected by mid-century, has affected the genetic potential of the soil microbial community to cycle N in soils. Experimental N deposition lead to a significant and persistent increase in functional assemblages mediating N cycle transformations associated with ecosystem N loss (i.e., denitrification and nitrification), whereas functional assemblages associated with N input and retention (i.e., N fixation and microbial N assimilation) were less positively affected. Furthermore, the abundance and composition of microbial taxa, as well as functional assemblages involved in housekeeping functions (i.e., DNA replication) were unaffected by experimental N deposition. Taken together, our results suggest that functional genes and gene pathways associated with ecosystem N loss have been favored by experimental N deposition, which may represent a genetic mechanism fostering increased N loss as anthropogenic N deposition increases in the future. PMID:27737013

  7. Effects of drought stress on microbial dynamics in seasonally dry California ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schaeffer, S. M.; Boot, C. M.; Doyle, A.; Clark, J.; Schimel, J. P.

    2008-12-01

    One of the key environmental factors controlling microbial activity is moisture. This water limitation is particularly strong in semi-arid and arid ecosystems such as those found along California's coast and interior range-lands. Cool, wet winters separated by long, dry summers present some the most challenging conditions for microbial survival and growth. Infrequent pulses of precipitation directly control microbial dynamics through soil wet-dry cycles, which in turn control the export of materials and nutrients into streams and groundwater. Recent research suggests that living microbial biomass can increase during the driest, hottest part of the year. We measured dissolved organic carbon and nitrogen (DOC, DON), microbial biomass carbon and nitrogen, inorganic nitrogen (NH4+, NO3-), and nitrification potential from July of 2007 to the present in California semi-arid grasslands. We also monitored inorganic nitrogen concentrations in soil pore water, shallow ground water, and stream water over the same period. Seasonal trends in DOC and DON show that they accumulate over the dry summer, and then decrease with the onset of the winter rains. Microbial biomass carbon showed a similar pattern, being higher in the summer and declining during winter (188.94±13.34 and 139.21±8.45 μg C g-1 dry soil respectively. However, biomass nitrogen remained unchanged over the same period (11.21±0.84 and 10.86±0.74 μg N g-1 dry soil respectively). Nitrification potentials were lowest during the winter wet season (5.26±0.40 μg N d-1 g-1 dry soil) and highest during the dry summer season (8.91±0.60 μg N d-1 g-1 dry soil). However, the seasonal patterns in NH4+ and NO3- availability suggest that net nitrification was not substantial until after the winter rains began. It is not currently known whether this increase in biomass represents actual growth of new organisms, or is a result of microbes accumulating internal solutes to avoid drying out. At the landscape-scale, these

  8. Relating Multi-Scale Phenology to Arctic Ecosystem Parameters Using Various High Spatial and Spectral Resolution Remote Sensing Techniques

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vargas, S. A.; Melendez, M.; Tweedie, C. E.; Oberbauer, S. F.

    2012-12-01

    The need to improve the spatial and temporal scaling and extrapolation of plot level ecosystem properties and processes to the landscape level remains a persistent research challenge in the Arctic. Plant and landscape phenology is sensitive to a number of variable environmental factors such as soil moisture, temperature, and radiation. Seasonal and inter-annual environmental differences in these factors and phenology can affect surface energy and carbon balance and reflectance. Therefore improved scaling and extrapolation of phenological dynamics from the plot level to the landscape level is key to further understanding the impact of climate and other environmental change in arctic terrestrial ecosystems. This study contributes to the US Arctic Observing Network and focuses on a range of remotely sensed spectral indices derived from ground-based hyperspectral reflectance, time-lapse photography, kite aerial photography (KAP), and satellite imagery during the 2010-2012 snow free periods for the Networked Info-Mechanical Systems (NIMS) grids (2 x 50 meters) located in Barrow and Atqasuk, Alaska. Range of greenness indices have been calculated for different vegetation types (i.e. dry, moist, wet, aquatic) within each site. Preliminary results show that NDVI values acquired from ground based hyperspectral reflectance show similar seasonal and interannual trends as the 2G-RB index values derived for both the KAP and time-lapse time series photography for both study locations. An increase in peak season NDVI and 2G-RB values for dry, moist, and wet vegetation types were seen between the years of 2011 and 2012 for ground reflectance and KAP platforms in Barrow. While peak season 2G-RB values for dry, moist, and wet vegetation types increased using the time-lapse images between the years of 2011 and 2012 in Atqasuk. Intercomparison with high spatial resolution satellite imagery is on going. Plot level measurements have provided detailed insight into a range of ecosystem

  9. Source, transport and fate of soil organic matter inferred from microbial biomarker lipids on the East Siberian Arctic Shelf

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bischoff, Juliane; Sparkes, Robert B.; Doğrul Selver, Ayça; Spencer, Robert G. M.; Gustafsson, Örjan; Semiletov, Igor P.; Dudarev, Oleg V.; Wagner, Dirk; Rivkina, Elizaveta; van Dongen, Bart E.; Talbot, Helen M.

    2016-09-01

    The Siberian Arctic contains a globally significant pool of organic carbon (OC) vulnerable to enhanced warming and subsequent release by both fluvial and coastal erosion processes. However, the rate of release, its behaviour in the Arctic Ocean and vulnerability to remineralisation is poorly understood. Here we combine new measurements of microbial biohopanoids including adenosylhopane, a lipid associated with soil microbial communities, with published glycerol dialkyl glycerol tetraethers (GDGTs) and bulk δ13C measurements to improve knowledge of the fate of OC transported to the East Siberian Arctic Shelf (ESAS). The microbial hopanoid-based soil OC proxy R'soil ranges from 0.0 to 0.8 across the ESAS, with highest values nearshore and decreases offshore. Across the shelf R'soil displays a negative linear correlation with bulk δ13C measurements (r2 = -0.73, p = < 0.001). When compared to the GDGT-based OC proxy, the branched and isoprenoid tetraether (BIT) index, a decoupled (non-linear) behaviour on the shelf was observed, particularly in the Buor-Khaya Bay, where the R'soil shows limited variation, whereas the BIT index shows a rapid decline moving away from the Lena River outflow channels. This reflects a balance between delivery and removal of OC from different sources. The good correlation between the hopanoid and bulk terrestrial signal suggests a broad range of hopanoid sources, both fluvial and via coastal erosion, whilst GDGTs appear to be primarily sourced via fluvial transport. Analysis of ice complex deposits (ICDs) revealed an average R'soil of 0.5 for the Lena Delta, equivalent to that of the Buor-Khaya Bay sediments, whilst ICDs from further east showed higher values (0.6-0.85). Although R'soil correlates more closely with bulk OC than the BIT, our understanding of the endmembers of this system is clearly still incomplete, with variations between the different East Siberian Arctic regions potentially reflecting differences in environmental

  10. Dynamics of microbial communities during decomposition of litter from pioneering plants in initial soil ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Esperschütz, J.; Zimmermann, C.; Dümig, A.; Welzl, G.; Buegger, F.; Elmer, M.; Munch, J. C.; Schloter, M.

    2013-07-01

    In initial ecosystems, concentrations of all macro- and micronutrients can be considered as extremely low. Plant litter therefore strongly influences the development of a degrader's food web and is an important source for C and N input into soil in such ecosystems. In the present study, a 13C litter decomposition field experiment was performed for 30 weeks in initial soils from a post-mining area near the city of Cottbus (Germany). Two of this region's dominant but contrasting pioneering plant species (Lotus corniculatus L. and Calamagrostis epigejos L.) were chosen to investigate the effects of litter quality on the litter decomposing microbial food web in initially nutrient-poor substrates. The results clearly indicate the importance of litter quality, as indicated by its N content, its bioavailability for the degradation process and the development of microbial communities in the detritusphere and soil. The degradation of the L. corniculatus litter, which had a low C / N ratio, was fast and showed pronounced changes in the microbial community structure 1-4 weeks after litter addition. The degradation of the C. epigejos litter material was slow and microbial community changes mainly occurred between 4 and 30 weeks after litter addition to the soil. However, for both litter materials a clear indication of the importance of fungi for the degradation process was observed both in terms of fungal abundance and activity (13C incorporation activity)

  11. Spatial and successional dynamics of microbial biofilm communities in a grassland stream ecosystem.

    PubMed

    Veach, Allison M; Stegen, James C; Brown, Shawn P; Dodds, Walter K; Jumpponen, Ari

    2016-09-01

    Biofilms represent a metabolically active and structurally complex component of freshwater ecosystems. Ephemeral prairie streams are hydrologically harsh and prone to frequent perturbation. Elucidating both functional and structural community changes over time within prairie streams provides a general understanding of microbial responses to environmental disturbance. We examined microbial succession of biofilm communities at three sites in a third-order stream at Konza Prairie over a 2- to 64-day period. Microbial abundance (bacterial abundance, chlorophyll a concentrations) increased and never plateaued during the experiment. Net primary productivity (net balance of oxygen consumption and production) of the developing biofilms did not differ statistically from zero until 64 days suggesting a balance of the use of autochthonous and allochthonous energy sources until late succession. Bacterial communities (MiSeq analyses of the V4 region of 16S rRNA) established quickly. Bacterial richness, diversity and evenness were high after 2 days and increased over time. Several dominant bacterial phyla (Beta-, Alphaproteobacteria, Bacteroidetes, Gemmatimonadetes, Acidobacteria, Chloroflexi) and genera (Luteolibacter, Flavobacterium, Gemmatimonas, Hydrogenophaga) differed in relative abundance over space and time. Bacterial community composition differed across both space and successional time. Pairwise comparisons of phylogenetic turnover in bacterial community composition indicated that early-stage succession (≤16 days) was driven by stochastic processes, whereas later stages were driven by deterministic selection regardless of site. Our data suggest that microbial biofilms predictably develop both functionally and structurally indicating distinct successional trajectories of bacterial communities in this ecosystem. PMID:27481285

  12. Reconstructing ecosystem functions of the active microbial community of the Baltic Sea oxygen depleted sediments

    PubMed Central

    Franzetti, Andrea; Lundin, Daniel; Sjöling, Sara

    2016-01-01

    Baltic Sea deep water and sediments hold one of the largest anthropogenically induced hypoxic areas in the world. High nutrient input and low water exchange result in eutrophication and oxygen depletion below the halocline. As a consequence at Landsort Deep, the deepest point of the Baltic Sea, anoxia in the sediments has been a persistent condition over the past decades. Given that microbial communities are drivers of essential ecosystem functions we investigated the microbial community metabolisms and functions of oxygen depleted Landsort Deep sediments by metatranscriptomics. Results show substantial expression of genes involved in protein metabolism demonstrating that the Landsort Deep sediment microbial community is active. Identified expressed gene suites of metabolic pathways with importance for carbon transformation including fermentation, dissimilatory sulphate reduction and methanogenesis were identified. The presence of transcripts for these metabolic processes suggests a potential for heterotrophic-autotrophic community synergism and indicates active mineralisation of the organic matter deposited at the sediment as a consequence of the eutrophication process. Furthermore, cyanobacteria, probably deposited from the water column, are transcriptionally active in the anoxic sediment at this depth. Results also reveal high abundance of transcripts encoding integron integrases. These results provide insight into the activity of the microbial community of the anoxic sediment at the deepest point of the Baltic Sea and its possible role in ecosystem functioning. PMID:26823996

  13. From cultured to uncultured genome sequences: metagenomics and modeling microbial ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Garza, Daniel R; Dutilh, Bas E

    2015-11-01

    Microorganisms and the viruses that infect them are the most numerous biological entities on Earth and enclose its greatest biodiversity and genetic reservoir. With strength in their numbers, these microscopic organisms are major players in the cycles of energy and matter that sustain all life. Scientists have only scratched the surface of this vast microbial world through culture-dependent methods. Recent developments in generating metagenomes, large random samples of nucleic acid sequences isolated directly from the environment, are providing comprehensive portraits of the composition, structure, and functioning of microbial communities. Moreover, advances in metagenomic analysis have created the possibility of obtaining complete or nearly complete genome sequences from uncultured microorganisms, providing important means to study their biology, ecology, and evolution. Here we review some of the recent developments in the field of metagenomics, focusing on the discovery of genetic novelty and on methods for obtaining uncultured genome sequences, including through the recycling of previously published datasets. Moreover we discuss how metagenomics has become a core scientific tool to characterize eco-evolutionary patterns of microbial ecosystems, thus allowing us to simultaneously discover new microbes and study their natural communities. We conclude by discussing general guidelines and challenges for modeling the interactions between uncultured microorganisms and viruses based on the information contained in their genome sequences. These models will significantly advance our understanding of the functioning of microbial ecosystems and the roles of microbes in the environment. PMID:26254872

  14. Dynamics of microbial communities during decomposition of litter from pioneering plants in initial soil ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Esperschütz, J.; Zimmermann, C.; Dümig, A.; Welzl, G.; Buegger, F.; Elmer, M.; Munch, J. C.; Schloter, M.

    2012-10-01

    In initial ecosystems concentrations of all macro- and micronutrients can be considered as extremely low. Plant litter therefore strongly influences the development of a degraders' food web and is an important source for C and N input into soil in such ecosystems. In the present study, a 13C litter decomposition field experiment was performed for 30 weeks in initial soils from a post-mining area near the city of Cottbus (Germany). Two of this regions' dominant but contrasting pioneering plant species (Lotus corniculatus L. and Calamagrostis epigejos L.) were chosen to investigate the effects of litter quality on the litter decomposing microbial food web in initially nutrient-poor substrates. The results clearly indicate the importance of litter quality, mainly the amount of N stored in the litter material and its bioavailability for the degradation process and the development of microbial communities in the detritusphere and bulk soil. Whereas the degradation process of the L. corniculatus litter which had a low C/N ratio was fast and most pronounced changes in the microbial community structure were observed 1-4 weeks after litter addition, the degradation of the C. epigejos litter material was slow and microbial community changes mainly occurred at between 4 and 30 weeks after litter addition to the soil. However for both litter materials a clear indication for the importance of fungi for the degradation process was observed both on the abundance level as well as on the level of 13C incorporation (activity).

  15. Cellulose Digestion and Metabolism Induced Biocatalytic Transitions in Anaerobic Microbial Ecosystems

    PubMed Central

    Yamazawa, Akira; Iikura, Tomohiro; Morioka, Yusuke; Shino, Amiu; Ogata, Yoshiyuki; Date, Yasuhiro; Kikuchi, Jun

    2013-01-01

    Anaerobic digestion of highly polymerized biomass by microbial communities present in diverse microbial ecosystems is an indispensable metabolic process for biogeochemical cycling in nature and for industrial activities required to maintain a sustainable society. Therefore, the evaluation of the complicated microbial metabolomics presents a significant challenge. We here describe a comprehensive strategy for characterizing the degradation of highly crystallized bacterial cellulose (BC) that is accompanied by metabolite production for identifying the responsible biocatalysts, including microorganisms and their metabolic functions. To this end, we employed two-dimensional solid- and one-dimensional solution-state nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) profiling combined with a metagenomic approach using stable isotope labeling. The key components of biocatalytic reactions determined using a metagenomic approach were correlated with cellulose degradation and metabolic products. The results indicate that BC degradation was mediated by cellulases that contain carbohydrate-binding modules and that belong to structural type A. The degradation reactions induced the metabolic dynamics of the microbial community and produced organic compounds, such as acetic acid and propionic acid, mainly metabolized by clostridial species. This combinatorial, functional and structural metagenomic approach is useful for the comprehensive characterization of biomass degradation, metabolic dynamics and their key components in diverse ecosystems. PMID:24958386

  16. From cultured to uncultured genome sequences: metagenomics and modeling microbial ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Garza, Daniel R; Dutilh, Bas E

    2015-11-01

    Microorganisms and the viruses that infect them are the most numerous biological entities on Earth and enclose its greatest biodiversity and genetic reservoir. With strength in their numbers, these microscopic organisms are major players in the cycles of energy and matter that sustain all life. Scientists have only scratched the surface of this vast microbial world through culture-dependent methods. Recent developments in generating metagenomes, large random samples of nucleic acid sequences isolated directly from the environment, are providing comprehensive portraits of the composition, structure, and functioning of microbial communities. Moreover, advances in metagenomic analysis have created the possibility of obtaining complete or nearly complete genome sequences from uncultured microorganisms, providing important means to study their biology, ecology, and evolution. Here we review some of the recent developments in the field of metagenomics, focusing on the discovery of genetic novelty and on methods for obtaining uncultured genome sequences, including through the recycling of previously published datasets. Moreover we discuss how metagenomics has become a core scientific tool to characterize eco-evolutionary patterns of microbial ecosystems, thus allowing us to simultaneously discover new microbes and study their natural communities. We conclude by discussing general guidelines and challenges for modeling the interactions between uncultured microorganisms and viruses based on the information contained in their genome sequences. These models will significantly advance our understanding of the functioning of microbial ecosystems and the roles of microbes in the environment.

  17. Reconstructing ecosystem functions of the active microbial community of the Baltic Sea oxygen depleted sediments.

    PubMed

    Thureborn, Petter; Franzetti, Andrea; Lundin, Daniel; Sjöling, Sara

    2016-01-01

    Baltic Sea deep water and sediments hold one of the largest anthropogenically induced hypoxic areas in the world. High nutrient input and low water exchange result in eutrophication and oxygen depletion below the halocline. As a consequence at Landsort Deep, the deepest point of the Baltic Sea, anoxia in the sediments has been a persistent condition over the past decades. Given that microbial communities are drivers of essential ecosystem functions we investigated the microbial community metabolisms and functions of oxygen depleted Landsort Deep sediments by metatranscriptomics. Results show substantial expression of genes involved in protein metabolism demonstrating that the Landsort Deep sediment microbial community is active. Identified expressed gene suites of metabolic pathways with importance for carbon transformation including fermentation, dissimilatory sulphate reduction and methanogenesis were identified. The presence of transcripts for these metabolic processes suggests a potential for heterotrophic-autotrophic community synergism and indicates active mineralisation of the organic matter deposited at the sediment as a consequence of the eutrophication process. Furthermore, cyanobacteria, probably deposited from the water column, are transcriptionally active in the anoxic sediment at this depth. Results also reveal high abundance of transcripts encoding integron integrases. These results provide insight into the activity of the microbial community of the anoxic sediment at the deepest point of the Baltic Sea and its possible role in ecosystem functioning. PMID:26823996

  18. Mercury in freshwater ecosystems of the Canadian Arctic: recent advances on its cycling and fate.

    PubMed

    Chételat, John; Amyot, Marc; Arp, Paul; Blais, Jules M; Depew, David; Emmerton, Craig A; Evans, Marlene; Gamberg, Mary; Gantner, Nikolaus; Girard, Catherine; Graydon, Jennifer; Kirk, Jane; Lean, David; Lehnherr, Igor; Muir, Derek; Nasr, Mina; Poulain, Alexandre J; Power, Michael; Roach, Pat; Stern, Gary; Swanson, Heidi; van der Velden, Shannon

    2015-03-15

    The Canadian Arctic has vast freshwater resources, and fish are important in the diet of many Northerners. Mercury is a contaminant of concern because of its potential toxicity and elevated bioaccumulation in some fish populations. Over the last decade, significant advances have been made in characterizing the cycling and fate of mercury in these freshwater environments. Large amounts of new data on concentrations, speciation and fluxes of Hg are provided and summarized for water and sediment, which were virtually absent for the Canadian Arctic a decade ago. The biogeochemical processes that control the speciation of mercury remain poorly resolved, including the sites and controls of methylmercury production. Food web studies have examined the roles of Hg uptake, trophic transfer, and diet for Hg bioaccumulation in fish, and, in particular, advances have been made in identifying determinants of mercury levels in lake-dwelling and sea-run forms of Arctic char. In a comparison of common freshwater fish species that were sampled across the Canadian Arctic between 2002 and 2009, no geographic patterns or regional hotspots were evident. Over the last two to four decades, Hg concentrations have increased in some monitored populations of fish in the Mackenzie River Basin while other populations from the Yukon and Nunavut showed no change or a slight decline. The different Hg trends indicate that the drivers of temporal change may be regional or habitat-specific. The Canadian Arctic is undergoing profound environmental change, and preliminary evidence suggests that it may be impacting the cycling and bioaccumulation of mercury. Further research is needed to investigate climate change impacts on the Hg cycle as well as biogeochemical controls of methylmercury production and the processes leading to increasing Hg levels in some fish populations in the Canadian Arctic.

  19. Mercury in freshwater ecosystems of the Canadian Arctic: recent advances on its cycling and fate.

    PubMed

    Chételat, John; Amyot, Marc; Arp, Paul; Blais, Jules M; Depew, David; Emmerton, Craig A; Evans, Marlene; Gamberg, Mary; Gantner, Nikolaus; Girard, Catherine; Graydon, Jennifer; Kirk, Jane; Lean, David; Lehnherr, Igor; Muir, Derek; Nasr, Mina; Poulain, Alexandre J; Power, Michael; Roach, Pat; Stern, Gary; Swanson, Heidi; van der Velden, Shannon

    2015-03-15

    The Canadian Arctic has vast freshwater resources, and fish are important in the diet of many Northerners. Mercury is a contaminant of concern because of its potential toxicity and elevated bioaccumulation in some fish populations. Over the last decade, significant advances have been made in characterizing the cycling and fate of mercury in these freshwater environments. Large amounts of new data on concentrations, speciation and fluxes of Hg are provided and summarized for water and sediment, which were virtually absent for the Canadian Arctic a decade ago. The biogeochemical processes that control the speciation of mercury remain poorly resolved, including the sites and controls of methylmercury production. Food web studies have examined the roles of Hg uptake, trophic transfer, and diet for Hg bioaccumulation in fish, and, in particular, advances have been made in identifying determinants of mercury levels in lake-dwelling and sea-run forms of Arctic char. In a comparison of common freshwater fish species that were sampled across the Canadian Arctic between 2002 and 2009, no geographic patterns or regional hotspots were evident. Over the last two to four decades, Hg concentrations have increased in some monitored populations of fish in the Mackenzie River Basin while other populations from the Yukon and Nunavut showed no change or a slight decline. The different Hg trends indicate that the drivers of temporal change may be regional or habitat-specific. The Canadian Arctic is undergoing profound environmental change, and preliminary evidence suggests that it may be impacting the cycling and bioaccumulation of mercury. Further research is needed to investigate climate change impacts on the Hg cycle as well as biogeochemical controls of methylmercury production and the processes leading to increasing Hg levels in some fish populations in the Canadian Arctic. PMID:24993511

  20. Great Salt Lake Microbial Communities: The Foundation of a Terminal Lake Ecosystem

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Baxter, B. K.; Acord, M.; Riddle, M. R.; Avery, B.

    2006-12-01

    Great Salt Lake (GSL) is a natural hypersaline ecosystem and a terminal lake of substantial size. The dramatic fluctuation in water levels and salinity creates an ecological backdrop selective for organisms with a high degree of adaptability. At the macro level, the biodiversity of the GSL ecosystem is simple, due to the limitations of an extreme saline environment: Birds eat the two invertebrates of the lake, and the invertebrates eat phytoplankton. However, analysis of the microbial level reveals an enormous diversity of species interacting with one another and the ecosystem as a whole. Our cultivation, biochemical tests, microscopy and DNA sequencing yielded data on dozens of isolates. These data demonstrate novel species, and possibly genera, living in the lake. In addition, we have discovered viruses (bacteriophage) that prey on the microorganisms. Preliminary data on bacteria dwelling in the gut of the brine shrimp, Artemia franciscana, link these prokaryotic organisms to the food chain for the first time. All of these results taken together open the door for the discussion of the significance of the microbial level of terminal lake ecosystem, particularly in light of lake water contamination and bioremediation possibilities.

  1. Priming effect and microbial diversity in ecosystem functioning and response to global change: a modeling approach using the SYMPHONY model.

    PubMed

    Perveen, Nazia; Barot, Sébastien; Alvarez, Gaël; Klumpp, Katja; Martin, Raphael; Rapaport, Alain; Herfurth, Damien; Louault, Frédérique; Fontaine, Sébastien

    2014-04-01

    Integration of the priming effect (PE) in ecosystem models is crucial to better predict the consequences of global change on ecosystem carbon (C) dynamics and its feedbacks on climate. Over the last decade, many attempts have been made to model PE in soil. However, PE has not yet been incorporated into any ecosystem models. Here, we build plant/soil models to explore how PE and microbial diversity influence soil/plant interactions and ecosystem C and nitrogen (N) dynamics in response to global change (elevated CO2 and atmospheric N depositions). Our results show that plant persistence, soil organic matter (SOM) accumulation, and low N leaching in undisturbed ecosystems relies on a fine adjustment of microbial N mineralization to plant N uptake. This adjustment can be modeled in the SYMPHONY model by considering the destruction of SOM through PE, and the interactions between two microbial functional groups: SOM decomposers and SOM builders. After estimation of parameters, SYMPHONY provided realistic predictions on forage production, soil C storage and N leaching for a permanent grassland. Consistent with recent observations, SYMPHONY predicted a CO2 -induced modification of soil microbial communities leading to an intensification of SOM mineralization and a decrease in the soil C stock. SYMPHONY also indicated that atmospheric N deposition may promote SOM accumulation via changes in the structure and metabolic activities of microbial communities. Collectively, these results suggest that the PE and functional role of microbial diversity may be incorporated in ecosystem models with a few additional parameters, improving accuracy of predictions.

  2. Priming effect and microbial diversity in ecosystem functioning and response to global change: a modeling approach using the SYMPHONY model.

    PubMed

    Perveen, Nazia; Barot, Sébastien; Alvarez, Gaël; Klumpp, Katja; Martin, Raphael; Rapaport, Alain; Herfurth, Damien; Louault, Frédérique; Fontaine, Sébastien

    2014-04-01

    Integration of the priming effect (PE) in ecosystem models is crucial to better predict the consequences of global change on ecosystem carbon (C) dynamics and its feedbacks on climate. Over the last decade, many attempts have been made to model PE in soil. However, PE has not yet been incorporated into any ecosystem models. Here, we build plant/soil models to explore how PE and microbial diversity influence soil/plant interactions and ecosystem C and nitrogen (N) dynamics in response to global change (elevated CO2 and atmospheric N depositions). Our results show that plant persistence, soil organic matter (SOM) accumulation, and low N leaching in undisturbed ecosystems relies on a fine adjustment of microbial N mineralization to plant N uptake. This adjustment can be modeled in the SYMPHONY model by considering the destruction of SOM through PE, and the interactions between two microbial functional groups: SOM decomposers and SOM builders. After estimation of parameters, SYMPHONY provided realistic predictions on forage production, soil C storage and N leaching for a permanent grassland. Consistent with recent observations, SYMPHONY predicted a CO2 -induced modification of soil microbial communities leading to an intensification of SOM mineralization and a decrease in the soil C stock. SYMPHONY also indicated that atmospheric N deposition may promote SOM accumulation via changes in the structure and metabolic activities of microbial communities. Collectively, these results suggest that the PE and functional role of microbial diversity may be incorporated in ecosystem models with a few additional parameters, improving accuracy of predictions. PMID:24339186

  3. In situ expression of eukaryotic ice-binding proteins in microbial communities of Arctic and Antarctic sea ice

    PubMed Central

    Uhlig, Christiane; Kilpert, Fabian; Frickenhaus, Stephan; Kegel, Jessica U; Krell, Andreas; Mock, Thomas; Valentin, Klaus; Beszteri, Bánk

    2015-01-01

    Ice-binding proteins (IBPs) have been isolated from various sea-ice organisms. Their characterisation points to a crucial role in protecting the organisms in sub-zero environments. However, their in situ abundance and diversity in natural sea-ice microbial communities is largely unknown. In this study, we analysed the expression and phylogenetic diversity of eukaryotic IBP transcripts from microbial communities of Arctic and Antarctic sea ice. IBP transcripts were found in abundances similar to those of proteins involved in core cellular processes such as photosynthesis. Eighty-nine percent of the IBP transcripts grouped with known IBP sequences from diatoms, haptophytes and crustaceans, but the majority represented novel sequences not previously characterized in cultured organisms. The observed high eukaryotic IBP expression in natural eukaryotic sea ice communities underlines the essential role of IBPs for survival of many microorganisms in communities living under the extreme conditions of polar sea ice. PMID:25885562

  4. In situ expression of eukaryotic ice-binding proteins in microbial communities of Arctic and Antarctic sea ice.

    PubMed

    Uhlig, Christiane; Kilpert, Fabian; Frickenhaus, Stephan; Kegel, Jessica U; Krell, Andreas; Mock, Thomas; Valentin, Klaus; Beszteri, Bánk

    2015-11-01

    Ice-binding proteins (IBPs) have been isolated from various sea-ice organisms. Their characterisation points to a crucial role in protecting the organisms in sub-zero environments. However, their in situ abundance and diversity in natural sea-ice microbial communities is largely unknown. In this study, we analysed the expression and phylogenetic diversity of eukaryotic IBP transcripts from microbial communities of Arctic and Antarctic sea ice. IBP transcripts were found in abundances similar to those of proteins involved in core cellular processes such as photosynthesis. Eighty-nine percent of the IBP transcripts grouped with known IBP sequences from diatoms, haptophytes and crustaceans, but the majority represented novel sequences not previously characterized in cultured organisms. The observed high eukaryotic IBP expression in natural eukaryotic sea ice communities underlines the essential role of IBPs for survival of many microorganisms in communities living under the extreme conditions of polar sea ice.

  5. Hadal biosphere: Insight into the microbial ecosystem in the deepest ocean on Earth

    PubMed Central

    Nunoura, Takuro; Takaki, Yoshihiro; Hirai, Miho; Shimamura, Shigeru; Makabe, Akiko; Koide, Osamu; Kikuchi, Tohru; Miyazaki, Junichi; Koba, Keisuke; Yoshida, Naohiro; Sunamura, Michinari; Takai, Ken

    2015-01-01

    Hadal oceans at water depths below 6,000 m are the least-explored aquatic biosphere. The Challenger Deep, located in the western equatorial Pacific, with a water depth of ∼11 km, is the deepest ocean on Earth. Microbial communities associated with waters from the sea surface to the trench bottom (0 ∼10,257 m) in the Challenger Deep were analyzed, and unprecedented trench microbial communities were identified in the hadal waters (6,000 ∼10,257 m) that were distinct from the abyssal microbial communities. The potentially chemolithotrophic populations were less abundant in the hadal water than those in the upper abyssal waters. The emerging members of chemolithotrophic nitrifiers in the hadal water that likely adapt to the higher flux of electron donors were also different from those in the abyssal waters that adapt to the lower flux of electron donors. Species-level niche separation in most of the dominant taxa was also found between the hadal and abyssal microbial communities. Considering the geomorphology and the isolated hydrotopographical nature of the Mariana Trench, we hypothesized that the distinct hadal microbial ecosystem was driven by the endogenous recycling of organic matter in the hadal waters associated with the trench geomorphology. PMID:25713387

  6. Hadal biosphere: insight into the microbial ecosystem in the deepest ocean on Earth.

    PubMed

    Nunoura, Takuro; Takaki, Yoshihiro; Hirai, Miho; Shimamura, Shigeru; Makabe, Akiko; Koide, Osamu; Kikuchi, Tohru; Miyazaki, Junichi; Koba, Keisuke; Yoshida, Naohiro; Sunamura, Michinari; Takai, Ken

    2015-03-17

    Hadal oceans at water depths below 6,000 m are the least-explored aquatic biosphere. The Challenger Deep, located in the western equatorial Pacific, with a water depth of ∼11 km, is the deepest ocean on Earth. Microbial communities associated with waters from the sea surface to the trench bottom (0∼10,257 m) in the Challenger Deep were analyzed, and unprecedented trench microbial communities were identified in the hadal waters (6,000∼10,257 m) that were distinct from the abyssal microbial communities. The potentially chemolithotrophic populations were less abundant in the hadal water than those in the upper abyssal waters. The emerging members of chemolithotrophic nitrifiers in the hadal water that likely adapt to the higher flux of electron donors were also different from those in the abyssal waters that adapt to the lower flux of electron donors. Species-level niche separation in most of the dominant taxa was also found between the hadal and abyssal microbial communities. Considering the geomorphology and the isolated hydrotopographical nature of the Mariana Trench, we hypothesized that the distinct hadal microbial ecosystem was driven by the endogenous recycling of organic matter in the hadal waters associated with the trench geomorphology.

  7. Hadal biosphere: insight into the microbial ecosystem in the deepest ocean on Earth.

    PubMed

    Nunoura, Takuro; Takaki, Yoshihiro; Hirai, Miho; Shimamura, Shigeru; Makabe, Akiko; Koide, Osamu; Kikuchi, Tohru; Miyazaki, Junichi; Koba, Keisuke; Yoshida, Naohiro; Sunamura, Michinari; Takai, Ken

    2015-03-17

    Hadal oceans at water depths below 6,000 m are the least-explored aquatic biosphere. The Challenger Deep, located in the western equatorial Pacific, with a water depth of ∼11 km, is the deepest ocean on Earth. Microbial communities associated with waters from the sea surface to the trench bottom (0∼10,257 m) in the Challenger Deep were analyzed, and unprecedented trench microbial communities were identified in the hadal waters (6,000∼10,257 m) that were distinct from the abyssal microbial communities. The potentially chemolithotrophic populations were less abundant in the hadal water than those in the upper abyssal waters. The emerging members of chemolithotrophic nitrifiers in the hadal water that likely adapt to the higher flux of electron donors were also different from those in the abyssal waters that adapt to the lower flux of electron donors. Species-level niche separation in most of the dominant taxa was also found between the hadal and abyssal microbial communities. Considering the geomorphology and the isolated hydrotopographical nature of the Mariana Trench, we hypothesized that the distinct hadal microbial ecosystem was driven by the endogenous recycling of organic matter in the hadal waters associated with the trench geomorphology. PMID:25713387

  8. Omics in the Arctic: Genome-enabled Contributions to Carbon Cycle Research in High-Latitude Ecosystems (JGI Seventh Annual User Meeting 2012: Genomics of Energy and Environment)

    SciTech Connect

    Wullschleger, Stan

    2012-03-22

    Stan Wullschleger of Oak Ridge National Laboratory on "Omics in the Arctic: Genome-enabled Contributions to Carbon Cycle Research in High-Latitude Ecosystems" on March 22, 2012 at the 7th Annual Genomics of Energy & Environment Meeting in Walnut Creek, California.

  9. Omics in the Arctic: Genome-enabled Contributions to Carbon Cycle Research in High-Latitude Ecosystems (JGI Seventh Annual User Meeting 2012: Genomics of Energy and Environment)

    ScienceCinema

    Wullschleger, Stan [ORNL

    2016-07-12

    Stan Wullschleger of Oak Ridge National Laboratory on "Omics in the Arctic: Genome-enabled Contributions to Carbon Cycle Research in High-Latitude Ecosystems" on March 22, 2012 at the 7th Annual Genomics of Energy & Environment Meeting in Walnut Creek, California.

  10. USING LAKE SEDIMENT MERCURY FLUX RATIOS TO EVALUATE THE REGIONAL AND CONTINENTAL DIMENSIONS OF MERCURY DEPOSITION IN ARCTIC AND BOREAL ECOSYSTEMS

    EPA Science Inventory

    Anthropogenically elevated Hg deposition in arctic and subarctic ecosystems is potentially a serious environmental problem, particularly in northern Europe and North America. To determine the magnitude of this concern, it is necessary to make an evaluation over a broad spatial sc...

  11. Microbial metabolism fuels ecosystem-scale organic matter transformations: an integrated biological and chemical perspective

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wrighton, K. C.; Narrowe, A. B.; Angle, J.; Stefanik, K. S.; Daly, R. A.; Johnston, M.; Miller, C. S.

    2014-12-01

    Freshwater saturated sediments and soils represent vital ecosystems due to their nutrient cycling capacities and their prominent contribution to global greenhouse gas emissions. However, the diversity of microorganisms and metabolic pathways involved in carbon cycling, and the impacts of these processes on other biogeochemical cycles remain poorly understood. Major advances in DNA sequencing have helped forge linkages between the previously disconnected biological and chemical components of these systems. Here, we present data on the use of assembly-based metagenomics to generate hypotheses on microbial carbon degradation and biogeochemical cycling in waterlogged sediments and soils. DNA sequencing from a fresh water aquifer adjacent to the Colorado River in Rifle, CO yielded extensive genome recovery from multiple previously unknown bacterial lineages. Fermentative metabolisms encoded by these genomes drive nitrogen, hydrogen, and sulfur cycling in this subsurface system. We are also applying a similar approach to identify microbial processes in a freshwater wetland on Lake Erie, OH. Given the increased diversity (increased richness, decreased evenness, and strain variation) of wetland sediment microbial communities, we modified methods for specialized assembly of long taxonomic marker gene amplicons (EMIRGE) to create a biogeographical map of Fungi, Archaea, and Bacteria along depth and hydrological transects. This map reveals that the microbial community associated with the top two depths (>7 cm) is significantly different from bottom depths (7-40 cm). Dissolved organic matter (DOM) molecular weight and the presence of oxidized terminal electron acceptors best predict differences in microbial community structure. Laboratory mesocosms amended with pore-water DOM, in situ soil communities, and variable oxygen conditions link DOM composition and redox to microbial metabolic networks, biogeochemical cycles, and green house gas emission. Organism identities from

  12. Microbial communities in dark oligotrophic volcanic ice cave ecosystems of Mt. Erebus, Antarctica.

    PubMed

    Tebo, Bradley M; Davis, Richard E; Anitori, Roberto P; Connell, Laurie B; Schiffman, Peter; Staudigel, Hubert

    2015-01-01

    The Earth's crust hosts a subsurface, dark, and oligotrophic biosphere that is poorly understood in terms of the energy supporting its biomass production and impact on food webs at the Earth's surface. Dark oligotrophic volcanic ecosystems (DOVEs) are good environments for investigations of life in the absence of sunlight as they are poor in organics, rich in chemical reactants and well known for chemical exchange with Earth's surface systems. Ice caves near the summit of Mt. Erebus (Antarctica) offer DOVEs in a polar alpine environment that is starved in organics and with oxygenated hydrothermal circulation in highly reducing host rock. We surveyed the microbial communities using PCR, cloning, sequencing and analysis of the small subunit (16S) ribosomal and Ribulose-1,5-bisphosphate Carboxylase/Oxygenase (RubisCO) genes in sediment samples from three different caves, two that are completely dark and one that receives snow-filtered sunlight seasonally. The microbial communities in all three caves are composed primarily of Bacteria and fungi; Archaea were not detected. The bacterial communities from these ice caves display low phylogenetic diversity, but with a remarkable diversity of RubisCO genes including new deeply branching Form I clades, implicating the Calvin-Benson-Bassham (CBB) cycle as a pathway of CO2 fixation. The microbial communities in one of the dark caves, Warren Cave, which has a remarkably low phylogenetic diversity, were analyzed in more detail to gain a possible perspective on the energetic basis of the microbial ecosystem in the cave. Atmospheric carbon (CO2 and CO), including from volcanic emissions, likely supplies carbon and/or some of the energy requirements of chemoautotrophic microbial communities in Warren Cave and probably other Mt. Erebus ice caves. Our work casts a first glimpse at Mt. Erebus ice caves as natural laboratories for exploring carbon, energy and nutrient sources in the subsurface biosphere and the nutritional limits on

  13. Microbial communities in dark oligotrophic volcanic ice cave ecosystems of Mt. Erebus, Antarctica.

    PubMed

    Tebo, Bradley M; Davis, Richard E; Anitori, Roberto P; Connell, Laurie B; Schiffman, Peter; Staudigel, Hubert

    2015-01-01

    The Earth's crust hosts a subsurface, dark, and oligotrophic biosphere that is poorly understood in terms of the energy supporting its biomass production and impact on food webs at the Earth's surface. Dark oligotrophic volcanic ecosystems (DOVEs) are good environments for investigations of life in the absence of sunlight as they are poor in organics, rich in chemical reactants and well known for chemical exchange with Earth's surface systems. Ice caves near the summit of Mt. Erebus (Antarctica) offer DOVEs in a polar alpine environment that is starved in organics and with oxygenated hydrothermal circulation in highly reducing host rock. We surveyed the microbial communities using PCR, cloning, sequencing and analysis of the small subunit (16S) ribosomal and Ribulose-1,5-bisphosphate Carboxylase/Oxygenase (RubisCO) genes in sediment samples from three different caves, two that are completely dark and one that receives snow-filtered sunlight seasonally. The microbial communities in all three caves are composed primarily of Bacteria and fungi; Archaea were not detected. The bacterial communities from these ice caves display low phylogenetic diversity, but with a remarkable diversity of RubisCO genes including new deeply branching Form I clades, implicating the Calvin-Benson-Bassham (CBB) cycle as a pathway of CO2 fixation. The microbial communities in one of the dark caves, Warren Cave, which has a remarkably low phylogenetic diversity, were analyzed in more detail to gain a possible perspective on the energetic basis of the microbial ecosystem in the cave. Atmospheric carbon (CO2 and CO), including from volcanic emissions, likely supplies carbon and/or some of the energy requirements of chemoautotrophic microbial communities in Warren Cave and probably other Mt. Erebus ice caves. Our work casts a first glimpse at Mt. Erebus ice caves as natural laboratories for exploring carbon, energy and nutrient sources in the subsurface biosphere and the nutritional limits on

  14. Microbial communities in dark oligotrophic volcanic ice cave ecosystems of Mt. Erebus, Antarctica

    PubMed Central

    Tebo, Bradley M.; Davis, Richard E.; Anitori, Roberto P.; Connell, Laurie B.; Schiffman, Peter; Staudigel, Hubert

    2015-01-01

    The Earth's crust hosts a subsurface, dark, and oligotrophic biosphere that is poorly understood in terms of the energy supporting its biomass production and impact on food webs at the Earth's surface. Dark oligotrophic volcanic ecosystems (DOVEs) are good environments for investigations of life in the absence of sunlight as they are poor in organics, rich in chemical reactants and well known for chemical exchange with Earth's surface systems. Ice caves near the summit of Mt. Erebus (Antarctica) offer DOVEs in a polar alpine environment that is starved in organics and with oxygenated hydrothermal circulation in highly reducing host rock. We surveyed the microbial communities using PCR, cloning, sequencing and analysis of the small subunit (16S) ribosomal and Ribulose-1,5-bisphosphate Carboxylase/Oxygenase (RubisCO) genes in sediment samples from three different caves, two that are completely dark and one that receives snow-filtered sunlight seasonally. The microbial communities in all three caves are composed primarily of Bacteria and fungi; Archaea were not detected. The bacterial communities from these ice caves display low phylogenetic diversity, but with a remarkable diversity of RubisCO genes including new deeply branching Form I clades, implicating the Calvin-Benson-Bassham (CBB) cycle as a pathway of CO2 fixation. The microbial communities in one of the dark caves, Warren Cave, which has a remarkably low phylogenetic diversity, were analyzed in more detail to gain a possible perspective on the energetic basis of the microbial ecosystem in the cave. Atmospheric carbon (CO2 and CO), including from volcanic emissions, likely supplies carbon and/or some of the energy requirements of chemoautotrophic microbial communities in Warren Cave and probably other Mt. Erebus ice caves. Our work casts a first glimpse at Mt. Erebus ice caves as natural laboratories for exploring carbon, energy and nutrient sources in the subsurface biosphere and the nutritional limits on

  15. Strong Seasonality of Marine Microbial Eukaryotes in a High-Arctic Fjord (Isfjorden, in West Spitsbergen, Norway)

    PubMed Central

    Vader, Anna; Stübner, Eike I.; Reigstad, Marit

    2016-01-01

    The Adventfjorden time series station (IsA) in Isfjorden, West Spitsbergen, Norway, was sampled frequently from December 2011 to December 2012. The community composition of microbial eukaryotes (size, 0.45 to 10 μm) from a depth of 25 m was determined using 454 sequencing of the 18S V4 region amplified from both DNA and RNA. The compositional changes throughout the year were assessed in relation to in situ fjord environmental conditions. Size fractionation analyses of chlorophyll a showed that the photosynthetic biomass was dominated by small cells (<10 μm) most of the year but that larger cells dominated during the spring and summer. The winter and early-spring communities were more diverse than the spring and summer/autumn communities. Dinophyceae were predominant throughout the year. The Arctic Micromonas ecotype was abundant mostly in the early-bloom and fall periods, whereas heterotrophs, such as marine stramenopiles (MASTs), Picozoa, and the parasitoid marine alveolates (MALVs), displayed higher relative abundance in the winter than in other seasons. Our results emphasize the extreme seasonality of Arctic microbial eukaryotic communities driven by the light regime and nutrient availability but point to the necessity of a thorough knowledge of hydrography for full understanding of their succession and variability. PMID:26746718

  16. Manganese and iron as structuring parameters of microbial communities in Arctic marine sediments from the Baffin Bay.

    PubMed

    Algora, Camelia; Vasileiadis, Sotirios; Wasmund, Kenneth; Trevisan, Marco; Krüger, Martin; Puglisi, Edoardo; Adrian, Lorenz

    2015-06-01

    The Arctic Baffin Bay between Canada and Greenland is sea ice-covered during the majority of the year, restricting primary production to the summer months. Sediments receive low amounts of mostly terrestrial- and less marine-derived organic matter. To study microbial communities constrained by physicochemical conditions changing with distance from land and ocean depth, we applied high-throughput 16S rRNA gene sequencing and compared sequence diversity with biogeochemical parameters in 40 different sediment samples. Samples originated from seven cores down to 470 cm below seafloor along a shelf-to-basin transect. Bacterial diversity decreased faster with depth in basin than in shelf sediments, suggesting higher organic matter content sustained diversity into greater depths. All samples were dominated by Betaproteobacteria (mostly order Burkholderiales), which were especially abundant in basin sediments with low organic carbon and high Mn and Fe pore water concentrations. Strong statistical correlations between concentrations of reduced Mn and/or Fe and the relative abundances of Betaproteobacteria suggest that this group is involved in metal reduction in Baffin Bay sediments. Dehalococcoidia (phylum Chloroflexi) were abundant in all samples, especially in shelf sediments with high organic content. This study indicates that Mn and/or Fe play important roles structuring microbial communities in Arctic sediments poor in organic matter.

  17. Strong Seasonality of Marine Microbial Eukaryotes in a High-Arctic Fjord (Isfjorden, in West Spitsbergen, Norway).

    PubMed

    Marquardt, Miriam; Vader, Anna; Stübner, Eike I; Reigstad, Marit; Gabrielsen, Tove M

    2016-03-01

    The Adventfjorden time series station (IsA) in Isfjorden, West Spitsbergen, Norway, was sampled frequently from December 2011 to December 2012. The community composition of microbial eukaryotes (size, 0.45 to 10 μm) from a depth of 25 m was determined using 454 sequencing of the 18S V4 region amplified from both DNA and RNA. The compositional changes throughout the year were assessed in relation to in situ fjord environmental conditions. Size fractionation analyses of chlorophyll a showed that the photosynthetic biomass was dominated by small cells (<10 μm) most of the year but that larger cells dominated during the spring and summer. The winter and early-spring communities were more diverse than the spring and summer/autumn communities. Dinophyceae were predominant throughout the year. The Arctic Micromonas ecotype was abundant mostly in the early-bloom and fall periods, whereas heterotrophs, such as marine stramenopiles (MASTs), Picozoa, and the parasitoid marine alveolates (MALVs), displayed higher relative abundance in the winter than in other seasons. Our results emphasize the extreme seasonality of Arctic microbial eukaryotic communities driven by the light regime and nutrient availability but point to the necessity of a thorough knowledge of hydrography for full understanding of their succession and variability. PMID:26746718

  18. Inclusion of Additional Plant Species and Trait Information in Dynamic Vegetation Modeling of Arctic Tundra and Boreal Forest Ecosystem

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Euskirchen, E. S.; Patil, V.; Roach, J.; Griffith, B.; McGuire, A. D.

    2015-12-01

    Dynamic vegetation models (DVMs) have been developed to model the ecophysiological characteristics of plant functional types in terrestrial ecosystems. They have frequently been used to answer questions pertaining to processes such as disturbance, plant succession, and community composition under historical and future climate scenarios. While DVMs have proved useful in these types of applications, it has often been questioned if additional detail, such as including plant dynamics at the species-level and/or including species-specific traits would make these models more accurate and/or broadly applicable. A sub-question associated with this issue is, 'How many species, or what degree of functional diversity, should we incorporate to sustain ecosystem function in modeled ecosystems?' Here, we focus on how the inclusion of additional plant species and trait information may strengthen dynamic vegetation modeling in applications pertaining to: (1) forage for caribou in northern Alaska, (2) above- and belowground carbon storage in the boreal forest and lake margin wetlands of interior Alaska, and (3) arctic tundra and boreal forest leaf phenology. While the inclusion of additional information generally proved valuable in these three applications, this additional detail depends on field data that may not always be available and may also result in increased computational complexity. Therefore, it is important to assess these possible limitations against the perceived need for additional plant species and trait information in the development and application of dynamic vegetation models.

  19. Microbial Ecosystems from the Deepest Regions of the Terrestrial Deep Biosphere

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Moser, D. P.

    2011-12-01

    Although recent discoveries from four continents support the existence of microbial ecosystems across vast regions of our planet's inner space, very little is known about the abundance, distribution, diversity, or ultimate depth limit of subsurface microbial life. These deep lithospheric inhabitants must contend with a variety of potential challenges including high temperature, pressure and salinity, extreme isolation, and low energy flux. Interestingly, although deep microbial ecosystems are assumed to be energy and nutrient limited, it is often difficult to identify any one limiting substrate and the energy for deep life is often present in relative abundance (e.g. as geologically-produced hydrogen or other reduced gases). Recently, the concept of radiation-supported deep microbial ecosystems has gained traction in the literature. In particular, one bacterium, a Firmicute denoted Candidatus Desulforudis audaxviator, has been shown to be prominent, and in cases dominate, in deep fracture fluids from across the Witwatersrand basin of South Africa, where it appears to persist by utilizing H2 and SO42- derived from radiochemical reactions in U-rich host rock. Until recently, these mines were thought to define the geographic limit of this genus and species; however, our recent North American detection of D. audaxviator in radioactive subsurface water resulting from underground nuclear tests both supports earlier assertions concerning the radiochemical lifestyle of D. audaxviator and greatly expands its range. Results such as these suggest that novel modes of life operating without inputs from the photosphere are possible, and thus may have implications for the likelihood of detecting life off the Earth (e.g. in the Martian subsurface). In addition to underground nuclear detonation cavities, this talk will consider insights gained from ongoing microbial ecology assessments from several to date unexplored deep ecosystems accessed via deep mines in the Black Hills (USA

  20. The effect of higher plant microflora on the microbial landscape of a closed ecosystem

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tirranen, Lyalya; Gitelson, Josef; Borodina, Elena

    2012-07-01

    Having summarized certain data obtained earlier, we defined the aim of this work as an estimation of the effect of higher plant microflora on the microbial landscape of a closed ecosystem (CES). The microflora of such a component as higher plants can influence other system components not only by way of transfer with air and water flows, but also through the direct contact of the crew with the crops cultivated within CES when harvesting, thrashing, using them for food. Involving the higher plant component into the closed system the microorganism diversity and occurrence of microscopic fungi in other components of the closed ecosystem increased. The presence of microscopic fungi, especially on plants and in the air, is potentially dangerous for the health of the system residents. Since the contribution of the higher plant microflora (especially mycoflora) to the microbial landscape of a CES is significant, it is necessary to reduce the microbial flora of the higher plant component and limit its dispersion to other system components. One of the possible measures to limit the higher plant microflora colonization is air purification between components. Reducing the number of microscopic fungi by decreasing the humidity in the system's atmosphere should also be considered.

  1. Remote Sensing of Arctic-Boreal Terrestrial and Freshwater Ecosystems - Recent Progress and Current and Future Challenges

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kasischke, E. S.; Goetz, S. J.

    2015-12-01

    NASA is in the process of starting its next major terrestrial field campaign, the Arctic-Boreal Vulnerability Experiment (ABoVE), with field-based research beginning in 2016 at sites in high northern latitude regions of western North America. In this presentation, we will review the research that is being planned for ABoVE that involves the use of remotely-sensed data, including the development of information products required by end users to assess the societal impacts of environmental change. These plans included taking advantage of recent advances in mapping of key surface and atmospheric characteristics using both airborne and spaceborne remote sensing data. We will also identify current and future challenges for the collection and analysis of additional data needed to assess key ecosystem changes, including the need for use of medium resolution optical and SAR data, and fine resolution optical data.

  2. Historical and contemporary imagery to assess ecosystem change on the Arctic coastal plain of northern Alaska

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Tape, Ken D.; Pearce, John M.; Walworth, Dennis; Meixell, Brandt W.; Fondell, Tom F.; Gustine, David D.; Flint, Paul L.; Hupp, Jerry W.; Schmutz, Joel A.; Ward, David H.

    2014-01-01

    In this report, we describe and make available a set of 61 georectified aerial images of the Arctic Coastal Plain (taken from 1948 to 2010) that were obtained by the USGS to inform research objectives of the USGS CAE Initiative. Here, we describe the origins, metadata, and public availability of these images that were obtained within four main study areas on the Arctic Coastal Plain: Teshekpuk Lake Special Area, Chipp River, the Colville River Delta, and locations along the Dalton Highway Corridor between the Brooks Range and Deadhorse. We also provide general descriptions of observable changes to the geomorphology of landscapes that are apparent by comparing historical and contemporary images. These landscape changes include altered river corridors, lake drying, coastal erosion, and new vegetation communities. All original and georectified images and metadata are available through the USGS Alaska Science Center Portal (search under ‘Project Name’ using title of this report) or by contacting ascweb@usgs.gov.

  3. Effects of increased snow cover on the rates and sources of ecosystem respiration from high arctic tundra

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lupascu, M.; Welker, J. M.; Cooper, E.; Xu, X.; Czimczik, C. I.

    2013-12-01

    A key driver of carbon (C) cycling in arctic ecosystems is the amount, onset and duration of snow cover. Arctic tundra is covered in snow for 8-10 months of the year, although spatial and internannual variability of snow cover is high. Anticipated changes in the amount and timing of snow cover as a consequence of climate warming and their implications for regional C budget and biogeochemistry are highly uncertain. Here, we investigated the effects of increased winter snow depth on the rates and sources of ecosystem respiration (Reco) of a polar semi-desert and mesic meadow at two long-term snowpack manipulation experiments in NW Greenland and Svalbard, Norway. We monitored Reco, the concentrations of CO2 in the soil pore space and their radiocarbon (14C) contents (as an age proxy) over the course of three summers in Greenland and one winter in Svalbard. Preliminary results show that wintertime Reco fluxes were 45% higher in areas of deep as compared to ambient snow. Summertime Reco fluxes were positively correlated to total water-year precipitation (summer rain plus winter snow). However, due to the shorter, snow-free vegetation period, cumulative summertime Reco fluxes under increased snow cover were reduced by up to -34.1×5.4% compared to the control. The mean age of soil CO2 was always older during both the winter- and summertime under increased snow cover. Similarly, the mean age of Reco was older under increased snowpack during the wintertime. However, summertime Reco was dominated by decomposition of younger C and plant respiration, and we found no effect of snow cover. Our results demonstrate the vulnerability of permafrost C to increasing snow cover and the strong potential to serve as a positive feedback to global climate change.

  4. A comparison of organic contaminants in two high Arctic lake ecosystems, Bjørnøya (Bear Island), Norway.

    PubMed

    Evenset, Anita; Christensen, Guttorm N; Skotvold, Trond; Fjeld, Eirik; Schlabach, Martin; Wartena, Elleke; Gregor, Dennis

    2004-01-01

    Lake Ellasjøen and Lake Øyangen are two high Arctic lake ecosystem located on the island Bjørnøya (74 degrees 30' N, 19 degrees 00' E) in the Barents Sea. High levels of persistent organic pollutants (POPs), especially PCB and p,p'-DDE, were found in sediment and biota from Lake Ellasjøen while levels were several times lower in Lake Øyangen. Stable isotope signatures (delta15N) in comparable organisms (e.g. zooplankton, Arctic char) collected from both the lakes were also significantly different. The values of delta15N were 6-10 per thousand higher in the organisms from Ellasjøen than from Øyangen. In both Ellasjøen and Øyangen, a statistically significant correlation (P<0.05) was found between the levels of PCB and DDT, and delta15N values in organisms indicating enhanced bioaccumulation for higher trophical level lake organisms. As the lakes on Bjørnøya are remote, more than 500 km from any known point source, the presence of POPs is most likely the result of long-range transport of contaminants to the area. The observed higher contaminant concentrations associated with the Ellasjøen ecosystem is attributed to two factors. Ellasjøen is located in the southern, mountainous part of Bjørnøya and it is likely that this area receives more precipitation, and thereby more airborne contaminants, than the flatter areas further north on the island (i.e. the area around Øyangen). In addition, higher delta15N-levels in organisms from Ellasjøen as compared to Øyangen indicate the input of guano from seabirds using the lake as a resting area as an additional source of POPs to Ellasjøen. PMID:14654280

  5. Two years with extreme and little snowfall: effects on energy partitioning and surface energy exchange in a high-Arctic tundra ecosystem

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stiegler, Christian; Lund, Magnus; Røjle Christensen, Torben; Mastepanov, Mikhail; Lindroth, Anders

    2016-07-01

    Snow cover is one of the key factors controlling Arctic ecosystem functioning and productivity. In this study we assess the impact of strong variability in snow accumulation during 2 subsequent years (2013-2014) on the land-atmosphere interactions and surface energy exchange in two high-Arctic tundra ecosystems (wet fen and dry heath) in Zackenberg, Northeast Greenland. We observed that record-low snow cover during the winter 2012/2013 resulted in a strong response of the heath ecosystem towards low evaporative capacity and substantial surface heat loss by sensible heat fluxes (H) during the subsequent snowmelt period and growing season. Above-average snow accumulation during the winter 2013/2014 promoted summertime ground heat fluxes (G) and latent heat fluxes (LE) at the cost of H. At the fen ecosystem a more muted response of LE, H and G was observed in response to the variability in snow accumulation. Overall, the differences in flux partitioning and in the length of the snowmelt periods and growing seasons during the 2 years had a strong impact on the total accumulation of the surface energy balance components. We suggest that in a changing climate with higher temperature and more precipitation the surface energy balance of this high-Arctic tundra ecosystem may experience a further increase in the variability of energy accumulation, partitioning and redistribution.

  6. Input of easily available organic C and N stimulates microbial decomposition of soil organic matter in arctic permafrost soil.

    PubMed

    Wild, Birgit; Schnecker, Jörg; Alves, Ricardo J Eloy; Barsukov, Pavel; Bárta, Jiří; Capek, Petr; Gentsch, Norman; Gittel, Antje; Guggenberger, Georg; Lashchinskiy, Nikolay; Mikutta, Robert; Rusalimova, Olga; Santrůčková, Hana; Shibistova, Olga; Urich, Tim; Watzka, Margarete; Zrazhevskaya, Galina; Richter, Andreas

    2014-08-01

    Rising temperatures in the Arctic can affect soil organic matter (SOM) decomposition directly and indirectly, by increasing plant primary production and thus the allocation of plant-derived organic compounds into the soil. Such compounds, for example root exudates or decaying fine roots, are easily available for microorganisms, and can alter the decomposition of older SOM ("priming effect"). We here report on a SOM priming experiment in the active layer of a permafrost soil from the central Siberian Arctic, comparing responses of organic topsoil, mineral subsoil, and cryoturbated subsoil material (i.e., poorly decomposed topsoil material subducted into the subsoil by freeze-thaw processes) to additions of (13)C-labeled glucose, cellulose, a mixture of amino acids, and protein (added at levels corresponding to approximately 1% of soil organic carbon). SOM decomposition in the topsoil was barely affected by higher availability of organic compounds, whereas SOM decomposition in both subsoil horizons responded strongly. In the mineral subsoil, SOM decomposition increased by a factor of two to three after any substrate addition (glucose, cellulose, amino acids, protein), suggesting that the microbial decomposer community was limited in energy to break down more complex components of SOM. In the cryoturbated horizon, SOM decomposition increased by a factor of two after addition of amino acids or protein, but was not significantly affected by glucose or cellulose, indicating nitrogen rather than energy limitation. Since the stimulation of SOM decomposition in cryoturbated material was not connected to microbial growth or to a change in microbial community composition, the additional nitrogen was likely invested in the production of extracellular enzymes required for SOM decomposition. Our findings provide a first mechanistic understanding of priming in permafrost soils and suggest that an increase in the availability of organic carbon or nitrogen, e.g., by increased plant

  7. Input of easily available organic C and N stimulates microbial decomposition of soil organic matter in arctic permafrost soil.

    PubMed

    Wild, Birgit; Schnecker, Jörg; Alves, Ricardo J Eloy; Barsukov, Pavel; Bárta, Jiří; Capek, Petr; Gentsch, Norman; Gittel, Antje; Guggenberger, Georg; Lashchinskiy, Nikolay; Mikutta, Robert; Rusalimova, Olga; Santrůčková, Hana; Shibistova, Olga; Urich, Tim; Watzka, Margarete; Zrazhevskaya, Galina; Richter, Andreas

    2014-08-01

    Rising temperatures in the Arctic can affect soil organic matter (SOM) decomposition directly and indirectly, by increasing plant primary production and thus the allocation of plant-derived organic compounds into the soil. Such compounds, for example root exudates or decaying fine roots, are easily available for microorganisms, and can alter the decomposition of older SOM ("priming effect"). We here report on a SOM priming experiment in the active layer of a permafrost soil from the central Siberian Arctic, comparing responses of organic topsoil, mineral subsoil, and cryoturbated subsoil material (i.e., poorly decomposed topsoil material subducted into the subsoil by freeze-thaw processes) to additions of (13)C-labeled glucose, cellulose, a mixture of amino acids, and protein (added at levels corresponding to approximately 1% of soil organic carbon). SOM decomposition in the topsoil was barely affected by higher availability of organic compounds, whereas SOM decomposition in both subsoil horizons responded strongly. In the mineral subsoil, SOM decomposition increased by a factor of two to three after any substrate addition (glucose, cellulose, amino acids, protein), suggesting that the microbial decomposer community was limited in energy to break down more complex components of SOM. In the cryoturbated horizon, SOM decomposition increased by a factor of two after addition of amino acids or protein, but was not significantly affected by glucose or cellulose, indicating nitrogen rather than energy limitation. Since the stimulation of SOM decomposition in cryoturbated material was not connected to microbial growth or to a change in microbial community composition, the additional nitrogen was likely invested in the production of extracellular enzymes required for SOM decomposition. Our findings provide a first mechanistic understanding of priming in permafrost soils and suggest that an increase in the availability of organic carbon or nitrogen, e.g., by increased plant

  8. Input of easily available organic C and N stimulates microbial decomposition of soil organic matter in arctic permafrost soil

    PubMed Central

    Wild, Birgit; Schnecker, Jörg; Alves, Ricardo J. Eloy; Barsukov, Pavel; Bárta, Jiří; Čapek, Petr; Gentsch, Norman; Gittel, Antje; Guggenberger, Georg; Lashchinskiy, Nikolay; Mikutta, Robert; Rusalimova, Olga; Šantrůčková, Hana; Shibistova, Olga; Urich, Tim; Watzka, Margarete; Zrazhevskaya, Galina; Richter, Andreas

    2014-01-01

    Rising temperatures in the Arctic can affect soil organic matter (SOM) decomposition directly and indirectly, by increasing plant primary production and thus the allocation of plant-derived organic compounds into the soil. Such compounds, for example root exudates or decaying fine roots, are easily available for microorganisms, and can alter the decomposition of older SOM (“priming effect”). We here report on a SOM priming experiment in the active layer of a permafrost soil from the central Siberian Arctic, comparing responses of organic topsoil, mineral subsoil, and cryoturbated subsoil material (i.e., poorly decomposed topsoil material subducted into the subsoil by freeze–thaw processes) to additions of 13C-labeled glucose, cellulose, a mixture of amino acids, and protein (added at levels corresponding to approximately 1% of soil organic carbon). SOM decomposition in the topsoil was barely affected by higher availability of organic compounds, whereas SOM decomposition in both subsoil horizons responded strongly. In the mineral subsoil, SOM decomposition increased by a factor of two to three after any substrate addition (glucose, cellulose, amino acids, protein), suggesting that the microbial decomposer community was limited in energy to break down more complex components of SOM. In the cryoturbated horizon, SOM decomposition increased by a factor of two after addition of amino acids or protein, but was not significantly affected by glucose or cellulose, indicating nitrogen rather than energy limitation. Since the stimulation of SOM decomposition in cryoturbated material was not connected to microbial growth or to a change in microbial community composition, the additional nitrogen was likely invested in the production of extracellular enzymes required for SOM decomposition. Our findings provide a first mechanistic understanding of priming in permafrost soils and suggest that an increase in the availability of organic carbon or nitrogen, e.g., by increased

  9. The YNP Metagenome Project: Environmental Parameters Responsible for Microbial Distribution in the Yellowstone Geothermal Ecosystem

    PubMed Central

    Inskeep, William P.; Jay, Zackary J.; Tringe, Susannah G.; Herrgård, Markus J.; Rusch, Douglas B.

    2013-01-01

    The Yellowstone geothermal complex contains over 10,000 diverse geothermal features that host numerous phylogenetically deeply rooted and poorly understood archaea, bacteria, and viruses. Microbial communities in high-temperature environments are generally less diverse than soil, marine, sediment, or lake habitats and therefore offer a tremendous opportunity for studying the structure and function of different model microbial communities using environmental metagenomics. One of the broader goals of this study was to establish linkages among microbial distribution, metabolic potential, and environmental variables. Twenty geochemically distinct geothermal ecosystems representing a broad spectrum of Yellowstone hot-spring environments were used for metagenomic and geochemical analysis and included approximately equal numbers of: (1) phototrophic mats, (2) “filamentous streamer” communities, and (3) archaeal-dominated sediments. The metagenomes were analyzed using a suite of complementary and integrative bioinformatic tools, including phylogenetic and functional analysis of both individual sequence reads and assemblies of predominant phylotypes. This volume identifies major environmental determinants of a large number of thermophilic microbial lineages, many of which have not been fully described in the literature nor previously cultivated to enable functional and genomic analyses. Moreover, protein family abundance comparisons and in-depth analyses of specific genes and metabolic pathways relevant to these hot-spring environments reveal hallmark signatures of metabolic capabilities that parallel the distribution of phylotypes across specific types of geochemical environments. PMID:23653623

  10. The YNP Metagenome Project: Environmental Parameters Responsible for Microbial Distribution in the Yellowstone Geothermal Ecosystem.

    PubMed

    Inskeep, William P; Jay, Zackary J; Tringe, Susannah G; Herrgård, Markus J; Rusch, Douglas B

    2013-01-01

    The Yellowstone geothermal complex contains over 10,000 diverse geothermal features that host numerous phylogenetically deeply rooted and poorly understood archaea, bacteria, and viruses. Microbial communities in high-temperature environments are generally less diverse than soil, marine, sediment, or lake habitats and therefore offer a tremendous opportunity for studying the structure and function of different model microbial communities using environmental metagenomics. One of the broader goals of this study was to establish linkages among microbial distribution, metabolic potential, and environmental variables. Twenty geochemically distinct geothermal ecosystems representing a broad spectrum of Yellowstone hot-spring environments were used for metagenomic and geochemical analysis and included approximately equal numbers of: (1) phototrophic mats, (2) "filamentous streamer" communities, and (3) archaeal-dominated sediments. The metagenomes were analyzed using a suite of complementary and integrative bioinformatic tools, including phylogenetic and functional analysis of both individual sequence reads and assemblies of predominant phylotypes. This volume identifies major environmental determinants of a large number of thermophilic microbial lineages, many of which have not been fully described in the literature nor previously cultivated to enable functional and genomic analyses. Moreover, protein family abundance comparisons and in-depth analyses of specific genes and metabolic pathways relevant to these hot-spring environments reveal hallmark signatures of metabolic capabilities that parallel the distribution of phylotypes across specific types of geochemical environments.

  11. The YNP Metagenome Project: Environmental Parameters Responsible for Microbial Distribution in the Yellowstone Geothermal Ecosystem.

    PubMed

    Inskeep, William P; Jay, Zackary J; Tringe, Susannah G; Herrgård, Markus J; Rusch, Douglas B

    2013-01-01

    The Yellowstone geothermal complex contains over 10,000 diverse geothermal features that host numerous phylogenetically deeply rooted and poorly understood archaea, bacteria, and viruses. Microbial communities in high-temperature environments are generally less diverse than soil, marine, sediment, or lake habitats and therefore offer a tremendous opportunity for studying the structure and function of different model microbial communities using environmental metagenomics. One of the broader goals of this study was to establish linkages among microbial distribution, metabolic potential, and environmental variables. Twenty geochemically distinct geothermal ecosystems representing a broad spectrum of Yellowstone hot-spring environments were used for metagenomic and geochemical analysis and included approximately equal numbers of: (1) phototrophic mats, (2) "filamentous streamer" communities, and (3) archaeal-dominated sediments. The metagenomes were analyzed using a suite of complementary and integrative bioinformatic tools, including phylogenetic and functional analysis of both individual sequence reads and assemblies of predominant phylotypes. This volume identifies major environmental determinants of a large number of thermophilic microbial lineages, many of which have not been fully described in the literature nor previously cultivated to enable functional and genomic analyses. Moreover, protein family abundance comparisons and in-depth analyses of specific genes and metabolic pathways relevant to these hot-spring environments reveal hallmark signatures of metabolic capabilities that parallel the distribution of phylotypes across specific types of geochemical environments. PMID:23653623

  12. Benthic microbial abundance and activities in an intensively trawled ecosystem (Thermaikos Gulf, Aegean Sea)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Polymenakou, Paraskevi N.; Pusceddu, Antonio; Tselepides, Anastasios; Polychronaki, Thalia; Giannakourou, Antonia; Fiordelmondo, Carla; Hatziyanni, Eleni; Danovaro, Roberto

    2005-12-01

    Abundance of benthic bacteria, heterotrophic nanoflagellates and ciliates, extracellular enzymatic activities, bacterial C production, C mineralisation and sediment community oxygen consumption rates were measured in the Thermaikos Gulf (Northeastern Mediterranean), before (September 2001), and during intense trawling activities (October 2001 and February 2002). The biochemical composition of sedimentary organic matter has revealed that bottom trawling had an effect on the trophic state of Thermaikos Gulf. Changes on the benthic microbial food web were also recorded, during the three sampling seasons. Even though trawling-induced sediment resuspension did not alter significantly the abundance of the microbial components, with the exception of the most impacted station, it determined changes regarding their relative importance. Thus, the ratios of bacterium to nanoflagellates and ciliate to nanoflagellates abundance increased in the trawled stations, causing a sudden increase in bacterial C production, in comparison to the non-trawled station. Four months later, the effects of trawling on the microbial food web were less evident, masked possibly by the drastic decrease in the water temperature. The results of the present work suggest that bottom trawling induces alteration of the sedimentological variables and can be considered as a factor affecting the function of the microbial food web in marine coastal ecosystems. These alterations cause faster mobilisation of organic C buried in the sediment and increase nutrient concentrations and availability in the system, thus inducing an effect that could lead to coastal eutrophication.

  13. Using paleolimnology to track the impacts of early Arctic peoples on freshwater ecosystems from southern Baffin Island, Nunavut

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Michelutti, Neal; McCleary, Kathryn M.; Antoniades, Dermot; Sutherland, Patricia; Blais, Jules M.; Douglas, Marianne S. V.; Smol, John P.

    2013-09-01

    Paleolimnological approaches can be used to determine the ways in which past Arctic peoples have affected the ecosystems in which they live, and simultaneously to reconstruct the climate and other aspects of the environment that may have influenced local populations. Here we analyze sediment cores from seven ponds on the south-western coast of Baffin Island, Nunavut, in order to assess the impacts of early Arctic peoples on freshwater ecosystems. Prior to the historic Inuit occupation, the study area was extensively inhabited by Thule culture Inuit (ca 1200-1600 AD) and by an earlier Arctic group, the Dorset culture Palaeo-Eskimos (ca 500 BC-1500 AD) and their predecessors from as early as 2500 BC. The study ponds were selected to cover a gradient of the intensity of human activity in their catchments. The ecological impacts of early hunting societies can be detected using paleolimnology because the butchering of marine mammals released nutrients that eutrophied nearby ponds and left distinct geochemical signals in the sediments. The degree of eutrophication in the small freshwater ponds depended on the length of the occupation, as well as the amount and type of marine mammals taken as primary prey items (eg, whales, walrus, or seals). All sediment cores were AMS 14C dated to establish their chronologies, and analyzed for diatoms and stable isotopes of nitrogen (δ15N). Both diatoms and sedimentary δ15N have been previously demonstrated to respond sensitively to nutrient enrichment from Inuit whalers. Our δ15N and diatom data record nutrient enrichment in lakes surrounded by either long-term Thule or Dorset settlements. The Dorset sites that were the locations of periodic seasonal gatherings did not register any evidence of eutrophication in the nearby ponds, reflecting the shorter, less intensive nature of these occupations. Similarly, nearby control ponds with no evidence of significant human activity in their catchments showed little-to-no changes in δ15N

  14. Warming Alters Expressions of Microbial Functional Genes Important to Ecosystem Functioning

    PubMed Central

    Xue, Kai; Xie, Jianping; Zhou, Aifen; Liu, Feifei; Li, Dejun; Wu, Liyou; Deng, Ye; He, Zhili; Van Nostrand, Joy D.; Luo, Yiqi; Zhou, Jizhong

    2016-01-01

    Soil microbial communities play critical roles in ecosystem functioning and are likely altered by climate warming. However, so far, little is known about effects of warming on microbial functional gene expressions. Here, we applied functional gene array (GeoChip 3.0) to analyze cDNA reversely transcribed from total RNA to assess expressed functional genes in active soil microbial communities after nine years of experimental warming in a tallgrass prairie. Our results showed that warming significantly altered the community wide gene expressions. Specifically, expressed genes for degrading more recalcitrant carbon were stimulated by warming, likely linked to the plant community shift toward more C4 species under warming and to decrease the long-term soil carbon stability. In addition, warming changed expressed genes in labile C degradation and N cycling in different directions (increase and decrease), possibly reflecting the dynamics of labile C and available N pools during sampling. However, the average abundances of expressed genes in phosphorus and sulfur cycling were all increased by warming, implying a stable trend of accelerated P and S processes which might be a mechanism to sustain higher plant growth. Furthermore, the expressed gene composition was closely related to both dynamic (e.g., soil moisture) and stable environmental attributes (e.g., C4 leaf C or N content), indicating that RNA analyses could also capture certain stable trends in the long-term treatment. Overall, this study revealed the importance of elucidating functional gene expressions of soil microbial community in enhancing our understanding of ecosystem responses to warming. PMID:27199978

  15. Warming Alters Expressions of Microbial Functional Genes Important to Ecosystem Functioning.

    PubMed

    Xue, Kai; Xie, Jianping; Zhou, Aifen; Liu, Feifei; Li, Dejun; Wu, Liyou; Deng, Ye; He, Zhili; Van Nostrand, Joy D; Luo, Yiqi; Zhou, Jizhong

    2016-01-01

    Soil microbial communities play critical roles in ecosystem functioning and are likely altered by climate warming. However, so far, little is known about effects of warming on microbial functional gene expressions. Here, we applied functional gene array (GeoChip 3.0) to analyze cDNA reversely transcribed from total RNA to assess expressed functional genes in active soil microbial communities after nine years of experimental warming in a tallgrass prairie. Our results showed that warming significantly altered the community wide gene expressions. Specifically, expressed genes for degrading more recalcitrant carbon were stimulated by warming, likely linked to the plant community shift toward more C4 species under warming and to decrease the long-term soil carbon stability. In addition, warming changed expressed genes in labile C degradation and N cycling in different directions (increase and decrease), possibly reflecting the dynamics of labile C and available N pools during sampling. However, the average abundances of expressed genes in phosphorus and sulfur cycling were all increased by warming, implying a stable trend of accelerated P and S processes which might be a mechanism to sustain higher plant growth. Furthermore, the expressed gene composition was closely related to both dynamic (e.g., soil moisture) and stable environmental attributes (e.g., C4 leaf C or N content), indicating that RNA analyses could also capture certain stable trends in the long-term treatment. Overall, this study revealed the importance of elucidating functional gene expressions of soil microbial community in enhancing our understanding of ecosystem responses to warming.

  16. Microbial processes in marine ecosystem models: state of the art and future prospective

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Polimene, L.; Butenschon, M.; Blackford, J.; Allen, I.

    2012-12-01

    Heterotrophic bacteria play a key role in the marine biogeochemistry being the main consumer of dissolved organic matter (DOM) and the main producer of carbon dioxide (CO2) by respiration. Quantifying the carbon and energy fluxes within bacteria (i.e. production, respiration, overflow metabolism etc.) is therefore crucial for the assessment of the global ocean carbon and nutrient cycles. Consequently, the description of bacteria dynamic in ecosystem models is a key (although challenging) issue which cannot be overlooked if we want to properly simulate the marine environment. We present an overview of the microbial processes described in the European Sea Regional Ecosystem Model (ERSEM), a state of the art biogeochemical model resolving carbon and nutrient cycles (N, P, Si and Fe) within the low trophic levels (up to mesozooplankton) of the marine ecosystem. The description of the theoretical assumptions and philosophy underpinning the ERSEM bacteria sub-model will be followed by the presentation of some case studies highlighting the relevance of resolving microbial processes in the simulation of ecosystem dynamics at a local scale. Recent results concerning the implementation of ERSEM on a global ocean domain will be also presented. This latter exercise includes a comparison between simulations carried out with the full bacteria sub-model and simulations carried out with an implicit parameterization of bacterial activity. The results strongly underline the importance of explicitly resolved bacteria in the simulation of global carbon fluxes. Finally, a summary of the future developments along with issues still open on the topic will be presented and discussed.

  17. Nutrient addition effects on tropical dry forests: a mini-review from microbial to ecosystem scales

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Powers, Jennifer; Becklund, Kristen; Gei, Maria; Iyengar, Siddarth; Meyer, Rebecca; O'Connell, Christine; Schilling, Erik; Smith, Christina; Waring, Bonnie; Werden, Leland

    2015-06-01

    Humans have more than doubled inputs of reactive nitrogen globally and greatly accelerated the biogeochemical cycles of phosphorus and metals. However, the impacts of increased element mobility on tropical ecosystems remain poorly quantified, particularly for the vast tropical dry forest biome. Tropical dry forests are characterized by marked seasonality, relatively little precipitation, and high heterogeneity in plant functional diversity and soil chemistry. For these reasons, increased nutrient deposition may affect tropical dry forests differently than wet tropical or temperate forests. Here we review studies that investigated how nutrient availability affects ecosystem and community processes from the microsite to ecosystem scales in tropical dry forests. The effects of N and P addition on ecosystem carbon cycling and plant and microbial dynamics depend on forest successional stage, soil parent material and rainfall regime. Responses may depend on whether overall productivity is N- versus P-limited, although data to test this hypothesis are limited. These results highlight the many important gaps in our understanding of tropical dry forest responses to global change. Large-scale experiments are required to resolve these uncertainties.

  18. Influence of Precipitation Regime on Microbial Decomposition Patterns in Semi-Arid Ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Feris, K. P.; Jilek, C.; Huber, D. P.; Reinhardt, K.; deGraaff, M.; Lohse, K.; Germino, M.

    2011-12-01

    In water-limited semi-arid sagebrush steppe ecosystems predicted changes in climate may manifest as a shift from historically winter/snow-dominated precipitation regimes to one dominated by spring rains. In these ecosystems soil microorganisms play a vital role in linking the effects of water availability and plant productivity to biogeochemical cycling. Patterns of soil microbial catalyzed organic matter decomposition patters (i.e. patterns of extracellular enzyme activity (EEA)) are thought to depend upon the quantity and quality of soil organic matter (SOM), pH, and mean annual precipitation (Sinsabaugh, 2008), and less on the timing and magnitude of precipitation. However, sagebrush-steppe plant communities respond strongly to changes in the timing and magnitude of precipitation, and preliminary findings by our group suggest that corresponding changes in SOM quantity, quality, N-cycle dynamics, and soil structure are occurring. Therefore, we hypothesized: 1) Shifts in the timing and magnitude of precipitation would indirectly affect soil microbial decomposition patterns via responses in the plant community structure; and 2) Changes in precipitation patterns can directly affect soil microbial community structure and function, in effect uncoupling the interaction between plant community structure and soil community structure. We tested our hypotheses by determining the influence of experimentally manipulated timing and magnitude of precipitation on soil microbial EEA using standard flourometric assays in soils sampled under plant canopies and plant interspaces. We assessed this response in a mature (18 + years) ecohydrologic field experiment in eastern Idaho that annually imitates three possible post climatic-shift precipitation regimes (Ambient (AMB): no additional precipitation, ~200mm annually; Summer (SUMM): 200mm provisioned at 50mm bi-weekly starting in June; and Fall/Spring (F/S): 200mm provisioned over 1-2 weeks in October or April) (n=3). Within plant

  19. A trait-based framework for predicting when and where microbial adaptation to climate change will affect ecosystem functioning

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Wallenstein, Matthew D.; Hall, Edward K.

    2012-01-01

    As the earth system changes in response to human activities, a critical objective is to predict how biogeochemical process rates (e.g. nitrification, decomposition) and ecosystem function (e.g. net ecosystem productivity) will change under future conditions. A particular challenge is that the microbial communities that drive many of these processes are capable of adapting to environmental change in ways that alter ecosystem functioning. Despite evidence that microbes can adapt to temperature, precipitation regimes, and redox fluctuations, microbial communities are typically not optimally adapted to their local environment. For example, temperature optima for growth and enzyme activity are often greater than in situ temperatures in their environment. Here we discuss fundamental constraints on microbial adaptation and suggest specific environments where microbial adaptation to climate change (or lack thereof) is most likely to alter ecosystem functioning. Our framework is based on two principal assumptions. First, there are fundamental ecological trade-offs in microbial community traits that occur across environmental gradients (in time and space). These trade-offs result in shifting of microbial function (e.g. ability to take up resources at low temperature) in response to adaptation of another trait (e.g. limiting maintenance respiration at high temperature). Second, the mechanism and level of microbial community adaptation to changing environmental parameters is a function of the potential rate of change in community composition relative to the rate of environmental change. Together, this framework provides a basis for developing testable predictions about how the rate and degree of microbial adaptation to climate change will alter biogeochemical processes in aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems across the planet.

  20. Carbon and nitrogen isotope studies in an arctic ecosystem. Final report

    SciTech Connect

    Schell, D.M.

    1994-06-01

    The dynamics of carbon fixation and storage in tundra soils has received considerable attention with respect to global carbon cycling. Recent findings by investigators using chamber measurements of fixation/respiration rates in arctic tundra have led to the conclusion that tundra is no longer storing carbon but is instead a source of carbon dioxide to the atmosphere. The author has sought to test these conclusions and to determine methods by which the long-term accumulation or loss of carbon in tundra can be determined. Little is known, however, of the processes that control storage and the current rates of carbon fixation and peat formation in arctic Alaska. This project focused on several aspects of carbon dynamics and the roles of decomposition and herbivory at the DOE research site at Imnavait Creek, Alaska. Through the use of natural abundance stable and radioisotope techniques, several conclusions emerged. Peat carbon continues to accumulate in wetter areas of foothill valleys and on the coastal plain of arctic Alaska. Radiocarbon profiles of bomb {sup 14}C were used to date layers of vegetation and litter to obtain decomposition rates and to extrapolate these values to intersection with the permafrost horizon where further decomposition is assumed to cease. Carbon storage in riparian moss at Imnavait Creek was estimated at 3 g C/m{sup 2}-yr. Profiles of {sup 137}Cs closely matched those of {sup 14}C and may provide a more expeditious means of assessing recent carbon accumulation rates in tundra. Carbon and nitrogen stable isotope ratios in tundra vegetation vary markedly over hydrologic gradients in apparent response to changing growth rates and sources of nitrogenous nutrients. Within a taxon, {delta}{sup 15}N values varied by several {per_thousand} over a tens of meters distance.

  1. Potential sources of microbial colonizers in an initial soil ecosystem after retreat of an alpine glacier.

    PubMed

    Rime, Thomas; Hartmann, Martin; Frey, Beat

    2016-07-01

    Rapid disintegration of alpine glaciers has led to the formation of new terrain consisting of mineral debris colonized by microorganisms. Despite the importance of microbial pioneers in triggering the formation of terrestrial ecosystems, their sources (endogenous versus exogenous) and identities remain elusive. We used 454-pyrosequencing to characterize the bacterial and fungal communities in endogenous glacier habitats (ice, sub-, supraglacial sediments and glacier stream leaving the glacier forefront) and in atmospheric deposition (snow, rain and aeolian dust). We compared these microbial communities with those occurring in recently deglaciated barren soils before and after snow melt (snow-covered soil and barren soil). Atmospheric bacteria and fungi were dominated by plant-epiphytic organisms and differed from endogenous glacier habitats and soils indicating that atmospheric input of microorganisms is not a major source of microbial pioneers in newly formed soils. We found, however, that bacterial communities in newly exposed soils resembled those of endogenous habitats, which suggests that bacterial pioneers originating from sub- and supraglacial sediments contributed to the colonization of newly exposed soils. Conversely, fungal communities differed between habitats suggesting a lower dispersal capability than bacteria. Yeasts putatively adapted to cold habitats characteristic of snow and supraglacial sediments were similar, despite the fact that these habitats were not spatially connected. These findings suggest that environmental filtering selects particular fungi in cold habitats. Atmospheric deposition provided important sources of dissolved organic C, nitrate and ammonium. Overall, microbial colonizers triggering soil development in alpine environments mainly originate from endogenous glacier habitats, whereas atmospheric deposition contributes to the establishment of microbial communities by providing sources of C and N.

  2. Potential sources of microbial colonizers in an initial soil ecosystem after retreat of an alpine glacier.

    PubMed

    Rime, Thomas; Hartmann, Martin; Frey, Beat

    2016-07-01

    Rapid disintegration of alpine glaciers has led to the formation of new terrain consisting of mineral debris colonized by microorganisms. Despite the importance of microbial pioneers in triggering the formation of terrestrial ecosystems, their sources (endogenous versus exogenous) and identities remain elusive. We used 454-pyrosequencing to characterize the bacterial and fungal communities in endogenous glacier habitats (ice, sub-, supraglacial sediments and glacier stream leaving the glacier forefront) and in atmospheric deposition (snow, rain and aeolian dust). We compared these microbial communities with those occurring in recently deglaciated barren soils before and after snow melt (snow-covered soil and barren soil). Atmospheric bacteria and fungi were dominated by plant-epiphytic organisms and differed from endogenous glacier habitats and soils indicating that atmospheric input of microorganisms is not a major source of microbial pioneers in newly formed soils. We found, however, that bacterial communities in newly exposed soils resembled those of endogenous habitats, which suggests that bacterial pioneers originating from sub- and supraglacial sediments contributed to the colonization of newly exposed soils. Conversely, fungal communities differed between habitats suggesting a lower dispersal capability than bacteria. Yeasts putatively adapted to cold habitats characteristic of snow and supraglacial sediments were similar, despite the fact that these habitats were not spatially connected. These findings suggest that environmental filtering selects particular fungi in cold habitats. Atmospheric deposition provided important sources of dissolved organic C, nitrate and ammonium. Overall, microbial colonizers triggering soil development in alpine environments mainly originate from endogenous glacier habitats, whereas atmospheric deposition contributes to the establishment of microbial communities by providing sources of C and N. PMID:26771926

  3. High resolution single cell analytics to follow microbial community dynamics in anaerobic ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Müller, Susann; Hübschmann, Thomas; Kleinsteuber, Sabine; Vogt, Carsten

    2012-07-01

    Analyzing natural anaerobic microbial communities is a challenge and interpretation of the respective members' performances arduous. Strict anaerobes are often slow-growing and difficult to cultivate due to their unknown physiological capacities. Additionally, abiotic micro-environmental data are difficult to assess, limiting the information on the eco-chemical background in natural environments. This review describes how qualitative and quantitative data can be obtained on anaerobic microbial communities isolated from anoxic environments and treated under laboratory conditions. It gives information on how community composition ('phylogenetic fingerprint') and community structure ('cytometric fingerprint') can be described by PCR-based and single cell-based techniques, respectively. A cell sorting step combined both approaches and enabled quantitative and more precise community resolution. The community dynamics found were swift and strong, despite low and slow changes in measured abiotic parameters. Therefore, the community structure itself mirrored variation in the constructed long term (6 years) ecosystem in a most sensitive way and can be used as sensor for the ecosystems situation. New statistical tools are presented allowing suddenly changing performances of complex communities to be detected and community (in) stabilities to be monitored and/or predicted.

  4. Carbon Monoxide Based Metabolism and CO Cycling in Anaerobic Microbial Ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Colman, A. S.; Techtmann, S. M.; He, B.; Anderson, M. R.; Robb, F. T.

    2011-12-01

    Carbon monoxide binds tightly to many hemes and other porphyrins, proving toxic to humans and microbes. Nevertheless, CO is an attractive fuel for anaerobic chemolithotrophy for those microbes not impaired by CO's toxicity. CO can be oxidized to CO2 anaerobically through the water-gas-shift reaction by hydrogenogenic carboxydotrophs. CO can also be used by certain homoacetogens in the production of acetate and by certain methanogens in the production of methane, acetate, and formate. CO is not only consumed by microbes, but a diverse range of evidence points towards biogenic production of CO. We present measurements of CO concentrations in dissolved and free phase gases in hot springs in Kamchatka, Russia, and Lassen Volcanic National Park, CA. These measurements implicate microbial CO production as a dominant source of CO in these anaerobic ecosystems. There are few in situ measurements of dissolved CO in microbial mats and sediment pore waters. However, the concentration dependent biochemical and transcriptional responses of carboxydotrophs to CO offer strong evidence for the growth conditions to which these microbes have adapted. CooA is a CO-sensing transcriptional activator found in most anaerobic carboxydotrophs. We interpret the CO-binding properties of CooA in Carboxydothermus hydrogenoformans and Rhodospirillum rubrum as evidence for the ranges of environmental CO concentrations that are frequently encountered in anaerobic ecosystems.

  5. [Microbial community abundance and diversity in typical karst ecosystem to indicate soil carbon cycle].

    PubMed

    Jin, Zhen-Jiang; Tang, Hua-Feng; Li, Min; Huang, Bing-Fu; Li, Qiang; Zhang, Jia-Yu; Li, Gui-Wen

    2014-11-01

    The soil microbial characteristics were detected to clarify their indications in organic carbon cycle in karst system. Soil samples from three karst types (saddle, depression and slop) at 0-10 cm, 10-20 cm and 20-30 cm layers were collected in the Yaji Karst Experimental Site, a typical karst ecosystem. The microbial diversity and abundance were assayed using polymerase chain reaction-denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (PCR-DGGE) and fluorescence quantitative PCR. The data showed that the highest abundance of 16S rRNA and 18S rRNA were in depression with 1.32 x 10(11) copies x g(-1) and in saddle with 1.12 x 10(10) copies x g(-1), respectively. The abundance of 16S rRNA in saddle and depression decreased from top to bottom, while that of 18S rRNA in three karst forms decreased, which showed that the abundance changed consistently with soil organic carbon (SOC). The 3 diversity indices of 16S rRNA and 6 diversity indices of 18S rRNA increased from top to bottom in soil profiles of three karst forms. These results showed that microbial diversity changed conversely with the abundance and SOC in soil profile. It can be concluded that the abundance was more important than the diversity index for soil carbon cycle in karst system.

  6. A synthesis of the effects of pesticides on microbial persistence in aquatic ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Staley, Zachery R; Harwood, Valerie J; Rohr, Jason R

    2015-01-01

    Pesticides have a pervasive presence in aquatic ecosystems throughout the world. While pesticides are intended to control fungi, insects, and other pests, their mechanisms of action are often not specific enough to prevent unintended effects, such as on non-target microbial populations. Microorganisms, including algae and cyanobacteria, protozoa, aquatic fungi, and bacteria, form the basis of many food webs and are responsible for crucial aspects of biogeochemical cycling; therefore, the potential for pesticides to alter microbial community structures must be understood to preserve ecosystem services. This review examines studies that focused on direct population-level effects and indirect community-level effects of pesticides on microorganisms. Generally, insecticides, herbicides, and fungicides were found to have adverse direct effects on algal and fungal species. Insecticides and fungicides also had deleterious direct effects in the majority of studies examining protozoa species, although herbicides were found to have inconsistent direct effects on protozoans. Our synthesis revealed mixed or no direct effects on bacterial species among all pesticide categories, with results highly dependent on the target species, chemical, and concentration used in the study. Examination of community-level, indirect effects revealed that all pesticide categories had a tendency to reduce higher trophic levels, thereby diminishing top-down pressures and favoring lower trophic levels. Often, indirect effects exerted greater influence than direct effects. However, few studies have been conducted to specifically address community-level effects of pesticides on microorganisms, and further research is necessary to better understand and predict the net effects of pesticides on ecosystem health.

  7. A synthesis of the effects of pesticides on microbial persistence in aquatic ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Staley, Zachery R; Harwood, Valerie J; Rohr, Jason R

    2015-01-01

    Pesticides have a pervasive presence in aquatic ecosystems throughout the world. While pesticides are intended to control fungi, insects, and other pests, their mechanisms of action are often not specific enough to prevent unintended effects, such as on non-target microbial populations. Microorganisms, including algae and cyanobacteria, protozoa, aquatic fungi, and bacteria, form the basis of many food webs and are responsible for crucial aspects of biogeochemical cycling; therefore, the potential for pesticides to alter microbial community structures must be understood to preserve ecosystem services. This review examines studies that focused on direct population-level effects and indirect community-level effects of pesticides on microorganisms. Generally, insecticides, herbicides, and fungicides were found to have adverse direct effects on algal and fungal species. Insecticides and fungicides also had deleterious direct effects in the majority of studies examining protozoa species, although herbicides were found to have inconsistent direct effects on protozoans. Our synthesis revealed mixed or no direct effects on bacterial species among all pesticide categories, with results highly dependent on the target species, chemical, and concentration used in the study. Examination of community-level, indirect effects revealed that all pesticide categories had a tendency to reduce higher trophic levels, thereby diminishing top-down pressures and favoring lower trophic levels. Often, indirect effects exerted greater influence than direct effects. However, few studies have been conducted to specifically address community-level effects of pesticides on microorganisms, and further research is necessary to better understand and predict the net effects of pesticides on ecosystem health. PMID:26565685

  8. Iron-oxidizing microbial ecosystems thrived in late Paleoproterozoic redox-stratified oceans

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Planavsky, Noah; Rouxel, Olivier; Bekker, Andrey; Shapiro, Russell; Fralick, Phil; Knudsen, Andrew

    2009-08-01

    We conducted a geochemical and petrographic study of the 1.89 billion year old Gunflint and Biwabik iron formations, with the goal of determining the importance of microbial iron-oxidation in the formation of iron- and microfossil-rich stromatolites. We used redox-sensitive tracers, such as iron isotopes and rare earth elements, to decipher whether these ancient microbial ecosystems harbored cyanobacteria or Fe-oxidizing bacteria as primary producers. Iron-rich stromatolites contain non-significant or positive Ce anomalies, which contrast with shallow water deposits having negative Ce anomalies. This trend in Ce anomalies indicates that the stromatolites formed in low oxygen conditions, which is the ideal setting for the proliferation of Fe-oxidizing bacterial ecosystems. The stromatolites yield a large range of δ 56Fe values, from -0.66 to +0.82‰, but contain predominantly positive values indicating the prevalence of partial Fe-oxidation. Based on modern analogues, Fe-oxides precipitated in cyanobacterial mats are expected to record an isotopic signature of quantitative oxidation, which in marine settings will yield negative δ 56Fe values. The stromatolite iron isotope data, therefore, provide evidence for the presence of Fe-oxidizing bacteria. The stromatolites can be traced for a distance of over 100 km in these iron formations, indicating that they record a pervasive rather than localized ecosystem. Their preservation in late Paleoproterozoic successions deposited along the margins of the Superior craton suggests that there was a global expansion of iron-oxidizing bacterial communities at shallow-water redox boundaries in late Paleoproterozoic oceans.

  9. Lepidoptera Larvae as an Indicator of Multi-trophic Level Responses to Changing Seasonality in an Arctic Tundra Ecosystem

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Daly, K. M.; Steltzer, H.; Boelman, N.; Weintraub, M. N.; Darrouzet-Nardi, A.; Wallenstein, M. D.; Sullivan, P.; Gough, L.; Rich, M.; Hendrix, C.; Kielland, K.; Philip, K.; Doak, P.; Ferris, C.; Sikes, D.

    2011-12-01

    Earlier snowmelt and warming temperatures in the Arctic will impact multiple trophic levels through the timing and availability of food resources. Lepidoptera are a vital link within the ecosystem; their roles include pollinator, parasitized host for other pollinating insects, and essential food source for migrating birds and their fledglings. Multiple environmental cues including temperature initiate plant growth, and in turn, trigger the emergence of Lepidoptera and the migrations of birds. If snowmelt is accelerated and temperature is increased, it is expected that the Lepidoptera larvae will respond to early plant growth by increasing their abundance within areas that have accelerated snowmelt and warmer conditions. In May of 2011 in a moist acidic tussock tundra system, we accelerated snowmelt by 15 days through the use of radiation-absorbing fabric and warmed air and soil temperatures using open-top chambers, individually and in combination. Every 1-2 days from May 27th to July 8th, 2 minute searches were performed for Lepidoptera larvae in all treatments; when an animal was found, their micro-habitat, surface temperature, behavior, food source, and time of day were noted. The length, body and head width were measured, and the animals were examined for braconid wasp and tachinid fly parasites. Lepidoptera larvae collected in pitfall traps from May 26th to July 7th were also examined and measured. Total density of parasitized larvae accounted for 54% of observed specimens and 50% of pitfall specimens, indicating that Lepidoptera larvae serve an integral role as a host for other pollinators. Total larvae density was highest within the accelerated snowmelt plots compared to the control plots; 66% of observed live specimens and 63% of pitfall specimens were found within the accelerated snowmelt plots. Ninety percent of the total observed animals were found within the open-top warming chambers. Peak density of animals occurred at Solar Noon between 14:00 -15

  10. Methane fluxes show consistent temperature dependence across microbial to ecosystem scales.

    PubMed

    Yvon-Durocher, Gabriel; Allen, Andrew P; Bastviken, David; Conrad, Ralf; Gudasz, Cristian; St-Pierre, Annick; Thanh-Duc, Nguyen; del Giorgio, Paul A

    2014-03-27

    Methane (CH4) is an important greenhouse gas because it has 25 times the global warming potential of carbon dioxide (CO2) by mass over a century. Recent calculations suggest that atmospheric CH4 emissions have been responsible for approximately 20% of Earth's warming since pre-industrial times. Understanding how CH4 emissions from ecosystems will respond to expected increases in global temperature is therefore fundamental to predicting whether the carbon cycle will mitigate or accelerate climate change. Methanogenesis is the terminal step in the remineralization of organic matter and is carried out by strictly anaerobic Archaea. Like most other forms of metabolism, methanogenesis is temperature-dependent. However, it is not yet known how this physiological response combines with other biotic processes (for example, methanotrophy, substrate supply, microbial community composition) and abiotic processes (for example, water-table depth) to determine the temperature dependence of ecosystem-level CH4 emissions. It is also not known whether CH4 emissions at the ecosystem level have a fundamentally different temperature dependence than other key fluxes in the carbon cycle, such as photosynthesis and respiration. Here we use meta-analyses to show that seasonal variations in CH4 emissions from a wide range of ecosystems exhibit an average temperature dependence similar to that of CH4 production derived from pure cultures of methanogens and anaerobic microbial communities. This average temperature dependence (0.96 electron volts (eV)), which corresponds to a 57-fold increase between 0 and 30°C, is considerably higher than previously observed for respiration (approximately 0.65 eV) and photosynthesis (approximately 0.3 eV). As a result, we show that both the emission of CH4 and the ratio of CH4 to CO2 emissions increase markedly with seasonal increases in temperature. Our findings suggest that global warming may have a large impact on the relative contributions of CO2 and CH

  11. Methane fluxes show consistent temperature dependence across microbial to ecosystem scales.

    PubMed

    Yvon-Durocher, Gabriel; Allen, Andrew P; Bastviken, David; Conrad, Ralf; Gudasz, Cristian; St-Pierre, Annick; Thanh-Duc, Nguyen; del Giorgio, Paul A

    2014-03-27

    Methane (CH4) is an important greenhouse gas because it has 25 times the global warming potential of carbon dioxide (CO2) by mass over a century. Recent calculations suggest that atmospheric CH4 emissions have been responsible for approximately 20% of Earth's warming since pre-industrial times. Understanding how CH4 emissions from ecosystems will respond to expected increases in global temperature is therefore fundamental to predicting whether the carbon cycle will mitigate or accelerate climate change. Methanogenesis is the terminal step in the remineralization of organic matter and is carried out by strictly anaerobic Archaea. Like most other forms of metabolism, methanogenesis is temperature-dependent. However, it is not yet known how this physiological response combines with other biotic processes (for example, methanotrophy, substrate supply, microbial community composition) and abiotic processes (for example, water-table depth) to determine the temperature dependence of ecosystem-level CH4 emissions. It is also not known whether CH4 emissions at the ecosystem level have a fundamentally different temperature dependence than other key fluxes in the carbon cycle, such as photosynthesis and respiration. Here we use meta-analyses to show that seasonal variations in CH4 emissions from a wide range of ecosystems exhibit an average temperature dependence similar to that of CH4 production derived from pure cultures of methanogens and anaerobic microbial communities. This average temperature dependence (0.96 electron volts (eV)), which corresponds to a 57-fold increase between 0 and 30°C, is considerably higher than previously observed for respiration (approximately 0.65 eV) and photosynthesis (approximately 0.3 eV). As a result, we show that both the emission of CH4 and the ratio of CH4 to CO2 emissions increase markedly with seasonal increases in temperature. Our findings suggest that global warming may have a large impact on the relative contributions of CO2 and CH

  12. The active microbial diversity drives ecosystem multifunctionality and is physiologically related to carbon availability in Mediterranean semi-arid soils.

    PubMed

    Bastida, Felipe; Torres, Irene F; Moreno, José L; Baldrian, Petr; Ondoño, Sara; Ruiz-Navarro, Antonio; Hernández, Teresa; Richnow, Hans H; Starke, Robert; García, Carlos; Jehmlich, Nico

    2016-09-01

    Biogeochemical processes and ecosystemic functions are mostly driven by soil microbial communities. However, most methods focus on evaluating the total microbial community and fail to discriminate its active fraction which is linked to soil functionality. Precisely, the activity of the microbial community is strongly limited by the availability of organic carbon (C) in soils under arid and semi-arid climate. Here, we provide a complementary genomic and metaproteomic approach to investigate the relationships between the diversity of the total community, the active diversity and ecosystem functionality across a dissolved organic carbon (DOC) gradient in southeast Spain. DOC correlated with the ecosystem multifunctionality index composed by soil respiration, enzyme activities (urease, alkaline phosphatase and β-glucosidase) and microbial biomass (phospholipid fatty acids, PLFA). This study highlights that the active diversity (determined by metaprotoemics) but not the diversity of the whole microbial community (evaluated by amplicon gene sequencing) is related to the availability of organic C and it is also connected to the ecosystem multifunctionality index. We reveal that DOC shapes the activities of bacterial and fungal populations in Mediterranean semi-arid soils and determines the compartmentalization of functional niches. For instance, Rhizobales thrived at high-DOC sites probably fuelled by metabolism of one-C compounds. Moreover, the analysis of proteins involved in the transport and metabolism of carbohydrates revealed that Ascomycota and Basidiomycota occupied different nutritional niches. The functional mechanisms for niche specialization were not constant across the DOC gradient. PMID:27481114

  13. The active microbial diversity drives ecosystem multifunctionality and is physiologically related to carbon availability in Mediterranean semi-arid soils.

    PubMed

    Bastida, Felipe; Torres, Irene F; Moreno, José L; Baldrian, Petr; Ondoño, Sara; Ruiz-Navarro, Antonio; Hernández, Teresa; Richnow, Hans H; Starke, Robert; García, Carlos; Jehmlich, Nico

    2016-09-01

    Biogeochemical processes and ecosystemic functions are mostly driven by soil microbial communities. However, most methods focus on evaluating the total microbial community and fail to discriminate its active fraction which is linked to soil functionality. Precisely, the activity of the microbial community is strongly limited by the availability of organic carbon (C) in soils under arid and semi-arid climate. Here, we provide a complementary genomic and metaproteomic approach to investigate the relationships between the diversity of the total community, the active diversity and ecosystem functionality across a dissolved organic carbon (DOC) gradient in southeast Spain. DOC correlated with the ecosystem multifunctionality index composed by soil respiration, enzyme activities (urease, alkaline phosphatase and β-glucosidase) and microbial biomass (phospholipid fatty acids, PLFA). This study highlights that the active diversity (determined by metaprotoemics) but not the diversity of the whole microbial community (evaluated by amplicon gene sequencing) is related to the availability of organic C and it is also connected to the ecosystem multifunctionality index. We reveal that DOC shapes the activities of bacterial and fungal populations in Mediterranean semi-arid soils and determines the compartmentalization of functional niches. For instance, Rhizobales thrived at high-DOC sites probably fuelled by metabolism of one-C compounds. Moreover, the analysis of proteins involved in the transport and metabolism of carbohydrates revealed that Ascomycota and Basidiomycota occupied different nutritional niches. The functional mechanisms for niche specialization were not constant across the DOC gradient.

  14. Effect of radioactive pollution on the biodiversity of marine benthic ecosystems of the Russian Arctic shelf

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Alexeev, Denis K.; Galtsova, Valentina V.

    2012-07-01

    This study is the result of many years of research on the ecology of the marine benthos of Russian Arctic seas. We used samples collected at various locations from the Russian continental shelf during 1993-2009 as the basis of our study. Our main aim was to analyze the spatial distribution of taxonomic and quantitative characteristics of the meiobenthos (small bottom-dwelling animals, 0.1-3.0 mm in size). Statistical analysis of the data revealed that the factors determining the spatial distribution of meiobenthic organisms under natural conditions, and conditions impacted upon by human activity, were salinity, water depth, hydrocarbons, heavy metals and radiocaesium volumetric activity. The possible use of the meiobenthos as a tool for environmental impact assessment is proposed and discussed on the level of higher taxa.

  15. [A data collection program focused on hydrologic and meteorologic parameters in an Arctic ecosystem

    SciTech Connect

    Kane, D.

    1992-01-01

    The hydrologic cycle of an arctic watershed is dominated by such physical elements as snow, ice, permafrost, seasonally frozen soils, wide fluctuations in surface energy balance and phase change of snow and ice to water. At Imnavait basin, snow accumulation begins in September or early October and maximum snowpack water equivalent is reached just prior to the onset of ablation in mid May. No significant mid winter melt occurs in this basin. Considerable snowfall redistribution by wind to depressions and valley bottom is evident. Spring snowmelt on the North Slope of Alaska is the dominant hydrologic event of the year.This event provides most of the moisture for use by vegetation in the spring and early summer period. The mechanisms and timing of snowmelt are important factors in predicting runoff, the migrations of birds and large mammals and the diversity of plant communities. It is important globally due to the radical and abrupt change in the surface energy balance over vast areas. We were able to explore the trends and differences in the snowmelt process along a transect from the Brooks Range to the Arctic Coastal plain. Snowpack ablation was monitored at three sites. These data were analyzed along with meteorologic data at each site. The initiation of ablation was site specific being largely controlled by the complementary addition of energy from radiation and sensible heat flux. Although the research sites were only 115 km apart, the rates and mechanisms of snowmelt varied greatly. Usually, snowmelt begins at the mid-elevations in the foothills and progresses northerly toward the coast and southerly to the mountains. In the more southerly areas snowmelt progressed much faster and was more influenced by sensible heat advected from areas south of the Brooks Range. In contrast snowmelt in the more northerly areas was slower and the controlled by net radiation.

  16. [A data collection program focused on hydrologic and meteorologic parameters in an Arctic ecosystem

    SciTech Connect

    Kane, D.

    1992-12-31

    The hydrologic cycle of an arctic watershed is dominated by such physical elements as snow, ice, permafrost, seasonally frozen soils, wide fluctuations in surface energy balance and phase change of snow and ice to water. At Imnavait basin, snow accumulation begins in September or early October and maximum snowpack water equivalent is reached just prior to the onset of ablation in mid May. No significant mid winter melt occurs in this basin. Considerable snowfall redistribution by wind to depressions and valley bottom is evident. Spring snowmelt on the North Slope of Alaska is the dominant hydrologic event of the year.This event provides most of the moisture for use by vegetation in the spring and early summer period. The mechanisms and timing of snowmelt are important factors in predicting runoff, the migrations of birds and large mammals and the diversity of plant communities. It is important globally due to the radical and abrupt change in the surface energy balance over vast areas. We were able to explore the trends and differences in the snowmelt process along a transect from the Brooks Range to the Arctic Coastal plain. Snowpack ablation was monitored at three sites. These data were analyzed along with meteorologic data at each site. The initiation of ablation was site specific being largely controlled by the complementary addition of energy from radiation and sensible heat flux. Although the research sites were only 115 km apart, the rates and mechanisms of snowmelt varied greatly. Usually, snowmelt begins at the mid-elevations in the foothills and progresses northerly toward the coast and southerly to the mountains. In the more southerly areas snowmelt progressed much faster and was more influenced by sensible heat advected from areas south of the Brooks Range. In contrast snowmelt in the more northerly areas was slower and the controlled by net radiation.

  17. Microbial Biomass and Utilization of Dissolved Organic Matter in the Okefenokee Swamp Ecosystem

    PubMed Central

    Murray, Robert E.; Hodson, Robert E.

    1984-01-01

    The Okefenokee Swamp exhibited levels of microbial biomass and aerobic glucose uptake comparable to those of other organically rich, detritus-based aquatic ecosystems. In contrast to other peat-accumulating systems, this acidic (pH 3.7), low-nutrient environment does not show diminished water column or surface sediment microbial biomass or heterotrophic activity. The total particular ATP varied between 0.03 and 6.6 μg liter−1 (mean, 1.6 μg liter−1) in water and between 1 and 28 μg g (dry weight)−1 (mean, 10.0 μg g [dry weight]−1 in sediments. The turnover times for dissolved d-glucose were 1.26 to 701.25 h (mean, 110.25 h) in aerobic waters and 2.4 to 72 min (mean, 10.2 min) in aerobic surface sediments. Water column bacterial secondary production, measured as the incorporation of [3H]thymidine into cold-trichloroacetic acid-insoluble material, ranged from 0.06 to 1.67 nmol liter−1 day−1 (mean, 0.45 nmol liter−1 day−1). The kinetics of d-glucose uptake by water column microflora are multiphasic and suggest the presence of a diverse microbial population capable of using labile substrates at nanomolar concentrations and at substantial rates. The presence of a large and active aerobic microbial community in the Okefenokee Swamp is indicative of an important role for microbes in swamp geochemistry and strongly suggests the existence of a detritus-based food web. PMID:16346508

  18. The effect of a permafrost disturbance on growing-season carbon-dioxide fluxes in a high Arctic tundra ecosystem

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cassidy, Alison E.; Christen, Andreas; Henry, Gregory H. R.

    2016-04-01

    Soil carbon stored in high-latitude permafrost landscapes is threatened by warming and could contribute significant amounts of carbon to the atmosphere and hydrosphere as permafrost thaws. Thermokarst and permafrost disturbances, especially active layer detachments and retrogressive thaw slumps, are present across the Fosheim Peninsula, Ellesmere Island, Canada. To determine the effects of retrogressive thaw slumps on net ecosystem exchange (NEE) of CO2 in high Arctic tundra, we used two eddy covariance (EC) tower systems to simultaneously and continuously measure CO2 fluxes from a disturbed site and the surrounding undisturbed tundra. During the 32-day measurement period in the 2014 growing season, the undisturbed tundra was a small net sink (NEE = -0.1 g C m-2 d-1); however, the disturbed terrain of the retrogressive thaw slump was a net source (NEE = +0.4 g C m-2 d-1). Over the measurement period, the undisturbed tundra sequestered 3.8 g C m-2, while the disturbed tundra released 12.5 g C m-2. Before full leaf-out in early July, the undisturbed tundra was a small source of CO2 but shifted to a sink for the remainder of the sampling season (July), whereas the disturbed tundra remained a source of CO2 throughout the season. A static chamber system was also used to measure daytime fluxes in the footprints of the two towers, in both disturbed and undisturbed tundra, and fluxes were partitioned into ecosystem respiration (Re) and gross primary production (GPP). Average GPP and Re found in disturbed tundra were smaller (+0.40 µmol m-2 s-1 and +0.55 µmol m-2 s-1, respectively) than those found in undisturbed tundra (+1.19 µmol m-2 s-1 and +1.04 µmol m-2 s-1, respectively). Our measurements indicated clearly that the permafrost disturbance changed the high Arctic tundra system from a sink to a source for CO2 during the majority of the growing season (late June and July).

  19. The effect of a permafrost disturbance on growing-season carbon-dioxide fluxes in a high Arctic tundra ecosystem

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cassidy, A. E.; Christen, A.; Henry, G. H. R.

    2015-12-01

    Soil carbon stored in high-latitude permafrost landscapes is threatened by warming, and could contribute significant amounts of carbon to the atmosphere and hydrosphere as permafrost thaws. Permafrost disturbances, especially active layer detachments and retrogressive thaw slumps, have increased in frequency and magnitude across the Fosheim Peninsula, Ellesmere Island, Canada. To determine the effects of retrogressive thaw slumps on net ecosystem exchange (NEE) of CO2 in high Arctic tundra, we used two eddy covariance (EC) tower systems to simultaneously and continuously measure CO2 fluxes from a disturbed site and the surrounding undisturbed tundra. During the 32-day measurement period in the 2014 growing season the undisturbed tundra was a small net sink (NEE = -0.12 g C m-2 d-1); however, the disturbed terrain of the retrogressive thaw slump was a net source (NEE = +0.39 g C m-2 d-1). Over the measurement period, the undisturbed tundra sequestered 3.84 g C m-2, while the disturbed tundra released 12.48 g C m-2. Before full leaf out in early July, the undisturbed tundra was a small source of CO2, but shifted to a sink for the remainder of the sampling season (July), whereas the disturbed tundra remained a source of CO2 throughout the season. A static chamber system was also used to measure fluxes in the footprints of the two towers, in both disturbed and undisturbed tundra, and fluxes were partitioned into ecosystem respiration (Re) and gross primary production (GPP). Average GPP and Re found in disturbed tundra were smaller (+0.41 μmol m-2 s-1 and +0.50 μmol m-2 s-1, respectively) than those found in undisturbed tundra (+1.21 μmol m-2 s-1 and +1.00 μmol m-2 s-1, respectively). Our measurements indicated clearly that the permafrost disturbance changed the high Arctic tundra system from a sink to a source for CO2 during the growing season.

  20. Biomarker insights into microbial activity in the serpentinite-hosted ecosystem of the Semail Ophiolite, Oman

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Newman, S. A.; Lincoln, S. A.; Shock, E.; Kelemen, P. B.; Summons, R. E.

    2012-12-01

    Serpentinization is a process in which ultramafic and mafic rocks undergo exothermic reactions when exposed to water. The products of these reactions, including methane, hydrogen, and hydrogen sulfide, can sustain microbially dominated ecosystems [1,2,3]. Here, we report the lipid biomarker record of microbial activity in carbonate veins of the Semail Ophiolite, a site currently undergoing serpentinization [4]. The ophiolite, located in the Oman Mountains in the Sultanate of Oman, was obducted onto the Arabian continental margin during the closure of the southern Tethys Ocean (~70 Ma) [5]. We detected bacterial and archaeal glycerol dialkyl glycerol tetraether (GDGT) lipids in Semail carbonates. In addition to archaeal isoprenoidal GDGTs with 0-3 cyclopentane moieties, we detected crenarchaeol, an iGDGT containing 4 cyclopentane and 1 cyclohexane moiety. Crenarchaeol biosynthesis is currently understood to be limited to thaumarchaea, representatives of which have been found to fix inorganic carbon in culture. We also analyzed isoprenoidal diether lipids, potentially derived from methanogenic euryarchaea, as well as non-isoprenoidal diether and monoether lipids that may be indicative of methane cycling bacteria. The stable carbon isotopic composition of these compounds is potentially useful in determining both their origin and the origin of methane detected in ophiolite fluids. We compare our results to those found at the Lost City Hydrothermal Field, a similar microbially-dominated ecosystem fueled by serpentinization processes [3]. Modern serpentinite-hosted ecosystems such as this can serve as analogs for environments in which ultramafic and mafic rocks were prevalent (e.g. early Earth and other early terrestrial planets). Additionally, an analysis of modern serpentinite systems can help assess conditions promoting active carbon sequestration in ultramafic rocks [6]. References [1] Russell et al. (2010). Geobiology 8: 355-371. [2] Kelley et al. (2005). Science

  1. Isotopic identification of soil and permafrost nitrate sources in an Arctic tundra ecosystem

    DOE PAGES

    Heikoop, Jeffrey M.; Throckmorton, Heather M.; Newman, Brent D.; Perkins, George B.; Iversen, Colleen M.; Chowdhury, Taniya Roy; Romanovsky, Vladimir E.; Graham, David E.; Norby, Richard J.; Wilson, Cathy J.; et al

    2015-06-08

    The nitrate (NO₃⁻) dual isotope approach was applied to snowmelt, tundra active layer pore waters, and underlying permafrost in Barrow, Alaska, USA, to distinguish between NO₃⁻ derived from at NO₃⁻ signal with δ¹⁵N averaging –4.8 ± 1.0‰ (standard error of the mean) and δ¹⁸O averaging 70.2 ±1.7‰. In active layer pore waters, NO₃⁻ primarily occurred at concentrations suitable for isotopic analysis in the relatively dry and oxic centers of high-centered polygons. The average δ¹⁵N and δ¹⁸O of NO₃⁻ from high-centered polygons were 0.5 ± 1.1‰ and –4.1 ± 0.6‰, respectively. When compared to the δ¹⁵N of reduced nitrogen (N) sources,more » and the δ¹⁸O of soil pore waters, it was evident that NO₃⁻ in high-centered polygons was primarily from microbial nitrification. Permafrost NO₃⁻ had δ¹⁵N ranging from approximately –6‰ to 10‰, similar to atmospheric and microbial NO₃⁻, and highly variable δ¹⁸O ranging from approximately –2‰ to 38‰. Permafrost ice wedges contained a significant atmospheric component of NO₃⁻, while permafrost textural ice contained a greater proportion of microbially derived NO₃⁻. Large-scale permafrost thaw in this environment would release NO₃⁻ with a δ¹⁸O signature intermediate to that of atmospheric and microbial NO₃. Consequently, while atmospheric and microbial sources can be readily distinguished by the NO₃⁻ dual isotope technique in tundra environments, attribution of NO₃⁻ from thawing permafrost will not be straightforward. The NO₃⁻ isotopic signature, however, appears useful in identifying NO₃⁻ sources in extant permafrost ice.« less

  2. Isotopic identification of soil and permafrost nitrate sources in an Arctic tundra ecosystem

    SciTech Connect

    Heikoop, Jeffrey M.; Throckmorton, Heather M.; Newman, Brent D.; Perkins, George B.; Iversen, Colleen M.; Chowdhury, Taniya Roy; Romanovsky, Vladimir E.; Graham, David E.; Norby, Richard J.; Wilson, Cathy J.; Wullschleger, Stan D.

    2015-06-08

    The nitrate (NO₃⁻) dual isotope approach was applied to snowmelt, tundra active layer pore waters, and underlying permafrost in Barrow, Alaska, USA, to distinguish between NO₃⁻ derived from at NO₃⁻ signal with δ¹⁵N averaging –4.8 ± 1.0‰ (standard error of the mean) and δ¹⁸O averaging 70.2 ±1.7‰. In active layer pore waters, NO₃⁻ primarily occurred at concentrations suitable for isotopic analysis in the relatively dry and oxic centers of high-centered polygons. The average δ¹⁵N and δ¹⁸O of NO₃⁻ from high-centered polygons were 0.5 ± 1.1‰ and –4.1 ± 0.6‰, respectively. When compared to the δ¹⁵N of reduced nitrogen (N) sources, and the δ¹⁸O of soil pore waters, it was evident that NO₃⁻ in high-centered polygons was primarily from microbial nitrification. Permafrost NO₃⁻ had δ¹⁵N ranging from approximately –6‰ to 10‰, similar to atmospheric and microbial NO₃⁻, and highly variable δ¹⁸O ranging from approximately –2‰ to 38‰. Permafrost ice wedges contained a significant atmospheric component of NO₃⁻, while permafrost textural ice contained a greater proportion of microbially derived NO₃⁻. Large-scale permafrost thaw in this environment would release NO₃⁻ with a δ¹⁸O signature intermediate to that of atmospheric and microbial NO₃. Consequently, while atmospheric and microbial sources can be readily distinguished by the NO₃⁻ dual isotope technique in tundra environments, attribution of NO₃⁻ from thawing permafrost will not be straightforward. The NO₃⁻ isotopic signature, however, appears useful in identifying NO₃⁻ sources in extant permafrost ice.

  3. Microbial Enzymatic Response to Reduced Precipitation and Added Nitrogen in a Southern California Grassland Ecosystem

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Alster, C. J.; German, D.; Allison, S. D.

    2011-12-01

    Microbial enzymes play a fundamental role in ecosystem processes and nutrient mineralization. Although there have been many studies concluding that global climate change affects plant communities, the effects on microbial communities in leaf litter have been much less studied. We measured extracellular enzyme activities in litter decomposing in plots with either reduced precipitation or increased nitrogen in a grassland ecosystem in Loma Ridge National Landmark in Southern California. We used a reciprocal transplant design to examine the effects of plot treatment, litter origin, and microbial community origin on litter decomposition and extracellular enzyme activity. Our hypothesis was that increased nitrogen would increase activity because nitrogen often limits microbial growth, while decreased precipitation would decrease activity due to lower litter moisture levels. Samples were collected in March 2011 and analyzed for the activities of cellobiohydrolase (CBH), β-glucosidase (BG), α-glucosidase (AG), N-acetyl-β-D-glucosaminidase (NAG), β-xylosidase (BX), acid phosphatase (AP), and leucine aminopeptidase (LAP). None of the factors in the nitrogen manipulation had a significant effect on any of the enzymes, although BG, CBH, and NAG increased marginally significantly in plots with nitrogen addition (p = 0.103, p = 0.082, and p = 0.114, respectively). For the precipitation manipulation, AG, BG, BX, CBH, and NAG significantly increased in plots with reduced precipitation (p = 0.015, p <0.001, p<0.001, and p<0.001, respectively) while LAP significantly decreased (p = 0.002). LAP catalyzes the hydrolysis of polypeptides, so reduced LAP activity could result in lower rates of enzyme turnover in the reduced precipitation treatment. We also observed that AP significantly increased (p = 0.014) in litter originating from reduced precipitation plots, while AG, BX, and LAP significantly decreased (p = 0.011, p = 0.031, and 0.005, respectively). There were no significant

  4. Functional resilience of microbial ecosystems in soil: How important is a spatial analysis?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    König, Sara; Banitz, Thomas; Centler, Florian; Frank, Karin; Thullner, Martin

    2015-04-01

    Microbial life in soil is exposed to fluctuating environmental conditions influencing the performance of microbially mediated ecosystem services such as biodegradation of contaminants. However, as this environment is typically very heterogeneous, spatial aspects can be expected to play a major role for the ability to recover from a stress event. To determine key processes for functional resilience, simple scenarios with varying stress intensities were simulated within a microbial simulation model and the biodegradation rate in the recovery phase monitored. Parameters including microbial growth and dispersal rates were varied over a typical range to consider microorganisms with varying properties. Besides an aggregated temporal monitoring, the explicit observation of the spatio-temporal dynamics proved essential to understand the recovery process. For a mechanistic understanding of the model system, scenarios were also simulated with selected processes being switched-off. Results of the mechanistic and the spatial view show that the key factors for functional recovery with respect to biodegradation after a simple stress event depend on the location of the observed habitats. The limiting factors near unstressed areas are spatial processes - the mobility of the bacteria as well as substrate diffusion - the longer the distance to the unstressed region the more important becomes the process growth. Furthermore, recovery depends on the stress intensity - after a low stress event the spatial configuration has no influence on the key factors for functional resilience. To confirm these results, we repeated the stress scenarios but this time including an additional dispersal network representing a fungal network in soil. The system benefits from an increased spatial performance due to the higher mobility of the degrading microorganisms. However, this effect appears only in scenarios where the spatial distribution of the stressed area plays a role. With these simulations we

  5. Minor impact of ocean acidification to the composition of the active microbial community in an Arctic sediment.

    PubMed

    Tait, Karen; Laverock, Bonnie; Shaw, Jennifer; Somerfield, Paul J; Widdicombe, Steve

    2013-12-01

    Effects of ocean acidification on the composition of the active bacterial and archaeal community within Arctic surface sediment was analysed in detail using 16S rRNA 454 pyrosequencing. Intact sediment cores were collected and exposed to one of five different pCO(2) concentrations [380 (present day), 540, 750, 1120 and 3000 μatm] and RNA extracted after a period of 14 days exposure. Measurements of diversity and multivariate similarity indicated very little difference between pCO(2) treatments. Only when the highest and lowest pCO(2) treatments were compared were significant differences evident, namely increases in the abundance of operational taxonomic units most closely related to the Halobacteria and differences to the presence/absence structure of the Planctomycetes. The relative abundance of members of the classes Planctomycetacia and Nitrospira increased with increasing pCO(2) concentration, indicating that these groups may be able to take advantage of changing pH or pCO(2) conditions. The modest response of the active microbial communities associated with these sediments may be due to the low and fluctuating pore-water pH already experienced by sediment microbes, a result of the pH buffering capacity of marine sediments, or due to currently unknown factors. Further research is required to fully understand the impact of elevated CO(2) on sediment physicochemical parameters, biogeochemistry and microbial community dynamics.

  6. Hydrocarbon biodegradation by Arctic sea-ice and sub-ice microbial communities during microcosm experiments, Northwest Passage (Nunavut, Canada).

    PubMed

    Garneau, Marie-Ève; Michel, Christine; Meisterhans, Guillaume; Fortin, Nathalie; King, Thomas L; Greer, Charles W; Lee, Kenneth

    2016-10-01

    The increasing accessibility to navigation and offshore oil exploration brings risks of hydrocarbon releases in Arctic waters. Bioremediation of hydrocarbons is a promising mitigation strategy but challenges remain, particularly due to low microbial metabolic rates in cold, ice-covered seas. Hydrocarbon degradation potential of ice-associated microbes collected from the Northwest Passage was investigated. Microcosm incubations were run for 15 days at -1.7°C with and without oil to determine the effects of hydrocarbon exposure on microbial abundance, diversity and activity, and to estimate component-specific hydrocarbon loss. Diversity was assessed with automated ribosomal intergenic spacer analysis and Ion Torrent 16S rRNA gene sequencing. Bacterial activity was measured by (3)H-leucine uptake rates. After incubation, sub-ice and sea-ice communities degraded 94% and 48% of the initial hydrocarbons, respectively. Hydrocarbon exposure changed the composition of sea-ice and sub-ice communities; in sea-ice microcosms, Bacteroidetes (mainly Polaribacter) dominated whereas in sub-ice microcosms, the contribution of Epsilonproteobacteria increased, and that of Alphaproteobacteria and Bacteroidetes decreased. Sequencing data revealed a decline in diversity and increases in Colwellia and Moritella in oil-treated microcosms. Low concentration of dissolved organic matter (DOM) in sub-ice seawater may explain higher hydrocarbon degradation when compared to sea ice, where DOM was abundant and composed of labile exopolysaccharides.

  7. Hydrocarbon biodegradation by Arctic sea-ice and sub-ice microbial communities during microcosm experiments, Northwest Passage (Nunavut, Canada).

    PubMed

    Garneau, Marie-Ève; Michel, Christine; Meisterhans, Guillaume; Fortin, Nathalie; King, Thomas L; Greer, Charles W; Lee, Kenneth

    2016-10-01

    The increasing accessibility to navigation and offshore oil exploration brings risks of hydrocarbon releases in Arctic waters. Bioremediation of hydrocarbons is a promising mitigation strategy but challenges remain, particularly due to low microbial metabolic rates in cold, ice-covered seas. Hydrocarbon degradation potential of ice-associated microbes collected from the Northwest Passage was investigated. Microcosm incubations were run for 15 days at -1.7°C with and without oil to determine the effects of hydrocarbon exposure on microbial abundance, diversity and activity, and to estimate component-specific hydrocarbon loss. Diversity was assessed with automated ribosomal intergenic spacer analysis and Ion Torrent 16S rRNA gene sequencing. Bacterial activity was measured by (3)H-leucine uptake rates. After incubation, sub-ice and sea-ice communities degraded 94% and 48% of the initial hydrocarbons, respectively. Hydrocarbon exposure changed the composition of sea-ice and sub-ice communities; in sea-ice microcosms, Bacteroidetes (mainly Polaribacter) dominated whereas in sub-ice microcosms, the contribution of Epsilonproteobacteria increased, and that of Alphaproteobacteria and Bacteroidetes decreased. Sequencing data revealed a decline in diversity and increases in Colwellia and Moritella in oil-treated microcosms. Low concentration of dissolved organic matter (DOM) in sub-ice seawater may explain higher hydrocarbon degradation when compared to sea ice, where DOM was abundant and composed of labile exopolysaccharides. PMID:27387912

  8. The resilience and functional role of moss in boreal and arctic ecosystems

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Turetsky, M.; Bond-Lamberty, B.; Euskirchen, E.S.; Talbot, J. J.; Frolking, S.; McGuire, A.D.; Tuittila, E.S.

    2012-01-01

    Mosses in northern ecosystems are ubiquitous components of plant communities, and strongly influence nutrient, carbon and water cycling. We use literature review, synthesis and model simulations to explore the role of mosses in ecological stability and resilience. Moss community responses to disturbance showed all possible responses (increases, decreases, no change) within most disturbance categories. Simulations from two process-based models suggest that northern ecosystems would need to experience extreme perturbation before mosses were eliminated. But simulations with two other models suggest that loss of moss will reduce soil carbon accumulation primarily by influencing decomposition rates and soil nitrogen availability. It seems clear that mosses need to be incorporated into models as one or more plant functional types, but more empirical work is needed to determine how to best aggregate species. We highlight several issues that have not been adequately explored in moss communities, such as functional redundancy and singularity, relationships between response and effect traits, and parameter vs conceptual uncertainty in models. Mosses play an important role in several ecosystem processes that play out over centuries – permafrost formation and thaw, peat accumulation, development of microtopography – and there is a need for studies that increase our understanding of slow, long-term dynamical processes.

  9. Beyond arctic and alpine: the influence of winter climate on temperate ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Ladwig, Laura M; Ratajczak, Zak R; Ocheltree, Troy W; Hafich, Katya A; Churchill, Amber C; Frey, Sarah J K; Fuss, Colin B; Kazanski, Clare E; Muñoz, Juan D; Petrie, Matthew D; Reinmann, Andrew B; Smith, Jane G

    2016-02-01

    Winter climate is expected to change under future climate scenarios, yet the majority of winter ecology research is focused in cold-climate ecosystems. In many temperate systems, it is unclear how winter climate relates to biotic responses during the growing season. The objective of this study was to examine how winter weather relates to plant and animal communities in a variety of terrestrial ecosystems ranging from warm deserts to alpine tundra. Specifically, we examined the association between winter weather and plant phenology, plant species richness, consumer abundance, and consumer richness in 11 terrestrial ecosystems associated with the U.S. Long-Term Ecological Research (LTER) Network. To varying degrees, winter precipitation and temperature were correlated with all biotic response variables. Bud break was tightly aligned with end of winter temperatures. For half the sites, winter weather was a better predictor of plant species richness than growing season weather. Warmer winters were correlated with lower consumer abundances in both temperate and alpine systems. Our findings suggest winter weather may have a strong influence on biotic activity during the growing season and should be considered in future studies investigating the effects of climate change on both alpine and temperate systems.

  10. The resilience and functional role of moss in boreal and arctic ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Turetsky, M R; Bond-Lamberty, B; Euskirchen, E; Talbot, J; Frolking, S; McGuire, A D; Tuittila, E-S

    2012-10-01

    Mosses in northern ecosystems are ubiquitous components of plant communities, and strongly influence nutrient, carbon and water cycling. We use literature review, synthesis and model simulations to explore the role of mosses in ecological stability and resilience. Moss community responses to disturbance showed all possible responses (increases, decreases, no change) within most disturbance categories. Simulations from two process-based models suggest that northern ecosystems would need to experience extreme perturbation before mosses were eliminated. But simulations with two other models suggest that loss of moss will reduce soil carbon accumulation primarily by influencing decomposition rates and soil nitrogen availability. It seems clear that mosses need to be incorporated into models as one or more plant functional types, but more empirical work is needed to determine how to best aggregate species. We highlight several issues that have not been adequately explored in moss communities, such as functional redundancy and singularity, relationships between response and effect traits, and parameter vs conceptual uncertainty in models. Mosses play an important role in several ecosystem processes that play out over centuries - permafrost formation and thaw, peat accumulation, development of microtopography - and there is a need for studies that increase our understanding of slow, long-term dynamical processes. PMID:22924403

  11. Beyond arctic and alpine: the influence of winter climate on temperate ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Ladwig, Laura M; Ratajczak, Zak R; Ocheltree, Troy W; Hafich, Katya A; Churchill, Amber C; Frey, Sarah J K; Fuss, Colin B; Kazanski, Clare E; Muñoz, Juan D; Petrie, Matthew D; Reinmann, Andrew B; Smith, Jane G

    2016-02-01

    Winter climate is expected to change under future climate scenarios, yet the majority of winter ecology research is focused in cold-climate ecosystems. In many temperate systems, it is unclear how winter climate relates to biotic responses during the growing season. The objective of this study was to examine how winter weather relates to plant and animal communities in a variety of terrestrial ecosystems ranging from warm deserts to alpine tundra. Specifically, we examined the association between winter weather and plant phenology, plant species richness, consumer abundance, and consumer richness in 11 terrestrial ecosystems associated with the U.S. Long-Term Ecological Research (LTER) Network. To varying degrees, winter precipitation and temperature were correlated with all biotic response variables. Bud break was tightly aligned with end of winter temperatures. For half the sites, winter weather was a better predictor of plant species richness than growing season weather. Warmer winters were correlated with lower consumer abundances in both temperate and alpine systems. Our findings suggest winter weather may have a strong influence on biotic activity during the growing season and should be considered in future studies investigating the effects of climate change on both alpine and temperate systems. PMID:27145612

  12. Earth's Earliest Ecosystems in the C: The Use of Microbial Mats to Demonstrate General Principles of Scientific Inquiry and Microbial Ecology

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bebout, Brad M.; Bucaria, Robin

    2006-01-01

    Microbial mats are living examples of the most ancient biological communities on Earth. As Earth's earliest ecosystems, they are centrally important to understanding the history of life on our planet and are useful models for the search for life elsewhere. As relatively compact (but complete) ecosystems, microbial mats are also extremely useful for educational activities. Mats may be used to demonstrate a wide variety of concepts in general and microbial ecology, including the biogeochemical cycling of elements, photosynthesis and respiration, and the origin of the Earth's present oxygen containing atmosphere. Microbial mats can be found in a number of common environments accessible to teachers, and laboratory microbial mats can be constructed using materials purchased from biological supply houses. With funding from NASA's Exobiology program, we have developed curriculum and web-based activities centered on the use of microbial mats as tools for demonstrating general principles in ecology, and the scientific process. Our web site (http://microbes.arc.nasa.gov) includes reference materials, lesson plans, and a "Web Lab", featuring living mats maintained in a mini-aquarium. The site also provides information as to how research on microbial mats supports NASA's goals, and various NASA missions. A photo gallery contains images of mats, microscopic views of the organisms that form them, and our own research activities. An animated educational video on the web site uses computer graphic and video microscopy to take students on a journey into a microbial mat. These activities are targeted to a middle school audience and are aligned with the National Science Standards.

  13. Hyperspectral Study of the Arctic Tundra Ecosystem Using an Automated Robotic Cart System

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Goswami, S.; Gamon, J. A.; Houser, P.; Matharasi, K.; Tweedie, C. E.

    2007-12-01

    Our study in the NSF Biocomplexity project is carried on by collecting spectral data with the help of an automated robotic tram system over the drying arctic lake bed. The robotic cart samples three 300 meter long transects spread across the lake basin automatically, taking reflectance measurements at each meter using a dual detector spectrometer designed to correct for changing sky conditions. Surface reflectance data were collected for three consecutive years for 2005, 2006 and 2007 as part of the project, which provides a baseline dataset of surface conditions. Three spectral indices, Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI), a measure of vegetation 'greenness', the Photochemical Reflectance Index (PRI), a measure of carotenoid pigment levels, and the Water Band Index (WBI), a measure of vegetation moisture content, are calculated from the optical data collected to study the surface conditions of the lakebed. Comparison of three years NDVI data showed different greenness conditions of the surface. Peak season NDVI values were the lowest in 2005 compared to 2006 and 2007. WBI values for the two dry years 2005 and 2007 were similar for all the tramlines except for the beginning of the season. PRI values for the two dry years 2005 and 2007 had similar trends for all the tramlines except for the beginning of the season. This tram system along with the cyberinfrastucture tools that we are developing gives us the opportunity for developing a technology to the next level to facilitate the research in the field of environmental science and terrestrial ecology.

  14. Transitions in High-Arctic Vegetation Growth Patterns and Ecosystem Productivity from 2000-2013 Tracked with Cameras

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Westergaard-Nielsen, A.; Hansen, B. U.; Klosterman, S.; Pedersen, S. H.; Schmidt, N. M.; Abermann, J.; Lund, M.

    2015-12-01

    The changes in vegetation seasonality in high northern latitudes resulting from changes atmospheric temperatures and precipitation are still not well understood. Continued monitoring and research is therefore needed. In this study we use 13 years of time lapse camera data and climate data from high-Arctic Northeast Greenland to assess the seasonal response of a dwarf shrub heath, grassland, and fens to snow cover, soil moisture, and atmospheric and soil temperatures. Based on the camera data, we computed a greenness index which was subsequently used to analyze transition dates in vegetation seasonality. We show that snow cover and subsequent water from the melting snow pack is highly important for the seasonality. We found a significant advancement in start of growing season of 12 days but not a significant increase in growing season length. Both the timing and greenness index value of peak of growing season was significantly correlated to the available water in the pre-melt snow pack, mostly pronounced in vegetation with limited soil water. The end of growing season was likewise significantly correlated to the water equivalents in the pre-melt snowpack. Moreover, the vegetation greenness was highly correlated to GPP, and shifts in seasonality as tracked by the greenness index are thus expected to have direct influence on ecosystem productivity.

  15. Modelling carbon responses of tundra ecosystems to historical and projected climate: Sensitivity of pan-Arctic carbon storage to temporal and spatial variation in climate

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    McGuire, A.D.; Clein, J.S.; Melillo, J.M.; Kicklighter, D.W.; Meier, R.A.; Vorosmarty, C.J.; Serreze, M.C.

    2000-01-01

    Historical and projected climate trends for high latitudes show substantial temporal and spatial variability. To identify uncertainties in simulating carbon (C) dynamics for pan-Arctic tundra, we compare the historical and projected responses of tundra C storage from 1921 to 2100 between simulations by the Terrestrial Ecosystem Model (TEM) for the pan-Arctic and the Kuparuk River Basin, which was the focus of an integrated study of C dynamics from 1994 to 1996. In the historical period from 1921 to 1994, the responses of net primary production (NPP) and heterotrophic respiration (RH) simulated for the Kuparuk River Basin and the pan-Arctic are correlated with the same factors; NPP is positively correlated with net nitrogen mineralization (NMIN) and RH is negatively correlated with mean annual soil moisture. In comparison to the historical period, the spatially aggregated responses of NPP and RH for the Kuparuk River Basin and the pan-Arctic in our simulations for the projected period have different sensitivities to temperature, soil moisture and NMIN. In addition to being sensitive to soil moisture during the projected period, RH is also sensitive to temperature and there is a significant correlation between RH and NMIN. We interpret the increases in NPP during the projected period as being driven primarily by increases in NMIN, and that the correlation between NPP and temperature in the projected period is a result primarily of the causal linkage between temperature, RH, and NMIN. Although similar factors appear to be controlling simulated regional-and biome-scale C dynamics, simulated C dynamics at the two scales differ in magnitude with higher increases in C storage simulated for the Kuparuk River Basin than for the pan-Arctic at the end of the historical period and throughout the projected period. Also, the results of the simulations indicate that responses of C storage show different climate sensitivities at regional and pan-Arctic spatial scales and that

  16. Nitrogen fixation in distinct microbial niches within a chemoautotrophy-driven cave ecosystem

    PubMed Central

    Desai, Mahesh S; Assig, Karoline; Dattagupta, Sharmishtha

    2013-01-01

    Microbial sulfur and carbon cycles in ecosystems driven by chemoautotrophy—present at deep-sea hydrothermal vents, cold seeps and sulfidic caves—have been studied to some extent, yet little is known about nitrogen fixation in these systems. Using a comprehensive approach comprising of 15N2 isotope labeling, acetylene reduction assay and nitrogenase gene expression analyses, we investigated nitrogen fixation in the sulfide-rich, chemoautotrophy-based Frasassi cave ecosystem (Italy). Nitrogen fixation was examined in three different microbial niches within the cave waters: (1) symbiotic bacterial community of Niphargus amphipods, (2) Beggiatoa-dominated biofilms, which occur at the sulfide–oxygen interface, and (3) sulfidic sediment. We found evidence for nitrogen fixation in all the three niches, and the nitrogenase gene (homologs of nifH) expression data clearly show niche differentiation of diazotrophic Proteobacteria within the water streams. The nifH transcript originated from the symbiotic community of Niphargus amphipods might belong to the Thiothrix ectosymbionts. Two abundantly expressed nifH genes in the Beggiatoa-dominated biofilms are closely related to those from Beggiatoa- and Desulfovibrio-related bacteria. These two diazotrophs were consistently found in Beggiatoa-dominated biofilms collected at various time points, thus illustrating species-specific associations of the diazotrophs in biofilm formation, and micron-scale niche partitioning of sulfur-oxidizing and sulfate-reducing bacteria driven by steep redox gradients within the biofilm. Finally, putative heterotrophs (Geobacter, Azoarcus and Desulfovibrio related) were the active diazotrophs in the sulfidic sediment. Our study is the first to shed light on nitrogen fixation in permanently dark caves and suggests that diazotrophy may be widespread in chemosynthetic communities. PMID:23924780

  17. Correlating microbial community profiles with geochemical data in highly stratified sediments from the Arctic Mid-Ocean Ridge.

    PubMed

    Jorgensen, Steffen Leth; Hannisdal, Bjarte; Lanzén, Anders; Baumberger, Tamara; Flesland, Kristin; Fonseca, Rita; Ovreås, Lise; Steen, Ida H; Thorseth, Ingunn H; Pedersen, Rolf B; Schleper, Christa

    2012-10-16

    Microbial communities and their associated metabolic activity in marine sediments have a profound impact on global biogeochemical cycles. Their composition and structure are attributed to geochemical and physical factors, but finding direct correlations has remained a challenge. Here we show a significant statistical relationship between variation in geochemical composition and prokaryotic community structure within deep-sea sediments. We obtained comprehensive geochemical data from two gravity cores near the hydrothermal vent field Loki's Castle at the Arctic Mid-Ocean Ridge, in the Norwegian-Greenland Sea. Geochemical properties in the rift valley sediments exhibited strong centimeter-scale stratigraphic variability. Microbial populations were profiled by pyrosequencing from 15 sediment horizons (59,364 16S rRNA gene tags), quantitatively assessed by qPCR, and phylogenetically analyzed. Although the same taxa were generally present in all samples, their relative abundances varied substantially among horizons and fluctuated between Bacteria- and Archaea-dominated communities. By independently summarizing covariance structures of the relative abundance data and geochemical data, using principal components analysis, we found a significant correlation between changes in geochemical composition and changes in community structure. Differences in organic carbon and mineralogy shaped the relative abundance of microbial taxa. We used correlations to build hypotheses about energy metabolisms, particularly of the Deep Sea Archaeal Group, specific Deltaproteobacteria, and sediment lineages of potentially anaerobic Marine Group I Archaea. We demonstrate that total prokaryotic community structure can be directly correlated to geochemistry within these sediments, thus enhancing our understanding of biogeochemical cycling and our ability to predict metabolisms of uncultured microbes in deep-sea sediments.

  18. Experiences in multiyear combined state-parameter estimation with an ecosystem model of the North Atlantic and Arctic Oceans using the Ensemble Kalman Filter

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Simon, Ehouarn; Samuelsen, Annette; Bertino, Laurent; Mouysset, Sandrine

    2015-12-01

    A sequence of one-year combined state-parameter estimation experiments has been conducted in a North Atlantic and Arctic Ocean configuration of the coupled physical-biogeochemical model HYCOM-NORWECOM over the period 2007-2010. The aim is to evaluate the ability of an ensemble-based data assimilation method to calibrate ecosystem model parameters in a pre-operational setting, namely the production of the MyOcean pilot reanalysis of the Arctic biology. For that purpose, four biological parameters (two phyto- and two zooplankton mortality rates) are estimated by assimilating weekly data such as, satellite-derived Sea Surface Temperature, along-track Sea Level Anomalies, ice concentrations and chlorophyll-a concentrations with an Ensemble Kalman Filter. The set of optimized parameters locally exhibits seasonal variations suggesting that time-dependent parameters should be used in ocean ecosystem models. A clustering analysis of the optimized parameters is performed in order to identify consistent ecosystem regions. In the north part of the domain, where the ecosystem model is the most reliable, most of them can be associated with Longhurst provinces and new provinces emerge in the Arctic Ocean. However, the clusters do not coincide anymore with the Longhurst provinces in the Tropics due to large model errors. Regarding the ecosystem state variables, the assimilation of satellite-derived chlorophyll concentration leads to significant reduction of the RMS errors in the observed variables during the first year, i.e. 2008, compared to a free run simulation. However, local filter divergences of the parameter component occur in 2009 and result in an increase in the RMS error at the time of the spring bloom.

  19. Predicting ecosystem carbon balance in a warming Arctic: the importance of long-term thermal acclimation potential and inhibitory effects of light on respiration.

    PubMed

    McLaughlin, Blair C; Xu, Cheng-Yuan; Rastetter, Edward B; Griffin, Kevin L

    2014-06-01

    The carbon balance of Arctic ecosystems is particularly sensitive to global environmental change. Leaf respiration (R), a temperature-dependent key process in determining the carbon balance, is not well-understood in Arctic plants. The potential for plants to acclimate to warmer conditions could strongly impact future global carbon balance. Two key unanswered questions are (1) whether short-term temperature responses can predict long-term respiratory responses to growth in elevated temperatures and (2) to what extent the constant daylight conditions of the Arctic growing season inhibit leaf respiration. In two dominant Arctic species Eriophorum vaginatum (tussock grass) and Betula nana (woody shrub), we assessed the extent of respiratory inhibition in the light (RL/RD), respiratory response to short-term temperature change, and respiratory acclimation to long-term warming treatments. We found that R of both species is strongly inhibited by light (averaging 35% across all measurement temperatures). In E. vaginatum both RL and RD acclimated to the long-term warming treatment, reducing the magnitude of respiratory response relative to the short-term response to temperature increase. In B. nana, both RL and RD responded to short-term temperature increase but showed no acclimation to the long-term warming. The ability to predict plant respiratory response to global warming with short-term temperature responses will depend on species-specific acclimation potential and the differential response of RL and RD to temperature. With projected woody shrub encroachment in Arctic tundra and continued warming, changing species dominance between these two functional groups, may impact ecosystem respiratory response and carbon balance. PMID:24677488

  20. Predicting ecosystem carbon balance in a warming Arctic: the importance of long-term thermal acclimation potential and inhibitory effects of light on respiration.

    PubMed

    McLaughlin, Blair C; Xu, Cheng-Yuan; Rastetter, Edward B; Griffin, Kevin L

    2014-06-01

    The carbon balance of Arctic ecosystems is particularly sensitive to global environmental change. Leaf respiration (R), a temperature-dependent key process in determining the carbon balance, is not well-understood in Arctic plants. The potential for plants to acclimate to warmer conditions could strongly impact future global carbon balance. Two key unanswered questions are (1) whether short-term temperature responses can predict long-term respiratory responses to growth in elevated temperatures and (2) to what extent the constant daylight conditions of the Arctic growing season inhibit leaf respiration. In two dominant Arctic species Eriophorum vaginatum (tussock grass) and Betula nana (woody shrub), we assessed the extent of respiratory inhibition in the light (RL/RD), respiratory response to short-term temperature change, and respiratory acclimation to long-term warming treatments. We found that R of both species is strongly inhibited by light (averaging 35% across all measurement temperatures). In E. vaginatum both RL and RD acclimated to the long-term warming treatment, reducing the magnitude of respiratory response relative to the short-term response to temperature increase. In B. nana, both RL and RD responded to short-term temperature increase but showed no acclimation to the long-term warming. The ability to predict plant respiratory response to global warming with short-term temperature responses will depend on species-specific acclimation potential and the differential response of RL and RD to temperature. With projected woody shrub encroachment in Arctic tundra and continued warming, changing species dominance between these two functional groups, may impact ecosystem respiratory response and carbon balance.