Science.gov

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 terrestrial ecosystem contamination.

    PubMed

    Thomas, D J; Tracey, B; Marshall, H; Norstrom, R J

    1992-07-15

    Limited data have been collected on the presence of contaminants in the Arctic terrestrial ecosystem, with the exception of radioactive fallout from atmospheric weapons testing. Although southern and temperate biological systems have largely cleansed themselves of radioactive fallout deposited during the 1950s and 1960s, Arctic environments have not. Lichens accumulate radioactivity more than many other plants because of their large surface area and long life span; the presence and persistence of radioisotopes in the Arctic is of concern because of the lichen----reindeer----human ecosystem. Effective biological half-life of cesium 137 is reckoned to be substantially less than its physical half-life. The database on organochlorines in Canadian Arctic terrestrial mammals and birds is very limited, but indications are that the air/plant/animal contaminant pathway is the major route of these compounds into the terrestrial food chain. For terrestrial herbivores, the most abundant organochlorine is usually hexachlorobenzene followed by hexachlorocyclohexane isomers. PCB accumulation favours the hexachlorobiphenyl, pentachlorobiphenyl and heptachlorobiphenyl homologous series. The concentrations of the various classes of organochlorine compounds are substantially lower in terrestrial herbivore tissues than in marine mammal tissues. PCBs and DDT are the most abundant residues in peregrine falcons (a terrestrial carnivore) reaching average levels of 9.2 and 10.4 micrograms.g-1, respectively, more than 10 times higher than other organochlorines and higher than in marine mammals, including the polar bear. Contaminants from local sources include metals from mining activities, hydrocarbons and waste drilling fluids from oil and gas exploration and production, wastes from DEW line sites, naturally occurring radionuclides associated with uranium mineralization, and smoke containing SO2 and H2SO4 aerosol from the Smoking Hills at Cape Bathurst, N.W.T.

  4. Microbial life in cold, sulfur-rich environments: Investigations of an Arctic ecosystem and implications for life detection at Europa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gleeson, Damhnait Fagan

    2009-12-01

    Exobiological investigations require a detailed understanding of life's interactions with its environment here on Earth before we can confidently recognize signs of these interactions at other worlds such as Europa. Using a cold, sulfur-based ecosystem at Borup Fiord pass in the Canadian High Arctic as a study site, I investigated how the supraglacial non-ice materials are represented across different scales in spectral data, how microbiology is influencing the mineralogy of the site, and whether the products of microbial sulfide oxidation preserve indications of their biogenic origin. A systematic scale-integrated approach was applied to query orbital (Hyperion), field, and laboratory spectra to identify sulfur-rich materials precipitated on a glacier. While sulfur, the main constituent of the deposits, is well represented in Hyperion data, minor constituents such as calcite and gypsum are partially or entirely masked. Absorption features of sulfates, where present, are shifted in wavelength due to the effects of mixing or temperature. Autonomous detection methods were successfully applied to monitor the generation and extent of the deposits, which show spectral similarities to Europa's non-ice materials. Geomicrobiological cultivation of sulfide oxidizing bacteria succeeded in demonstrating that the microbiological community present at the site has the potential to catalyze the generation of sulfur deposits. Sulfur generated in culture is present as biomineralized structures comprised of microbial filaments and sheaths along which sulfur globules are deposited. Consortia producing these structures are dominated by gamma-Proteobacteria closely related to Marinobacter, not previously known to oxidize sulfide. The sulfur structures produced by these consortia are not observed in abiotic controls and have the potential to serve as morphological biosignatures. Investigations into the biogenicity of field deposits reveal mineral assemblages with similar morphologies to

  5. Endolithic microbial ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Walker, Jeffrey J; Pace, Norman R

    2007-01-01

    The endolithic environment, the pore space in rocks, is a ubiquitous microbial habitat and an interface between biology and geology. Photosynthesis-based endolithic communities inhabit the outer centimeters of rocks exposed to the surface, and offer model systems for microbial ecology, geobiology, and astrobiology. Endolithic ecosystems are among the simplest microbial ecosystems known and as such provide tractable models for testing ecological hypotheses. Such hypotheses have been difficult to test because microbial ecosystems are extraordinarily diverse. We review here recent culture-independent, ribosomal RNA-based studies that evaluate hypotheses about endolithic ecosystems, and provide insight for understanding general principles in microbial ecology. Comparison of endolithic communities supports the principle that patterns of microbial diversity are governed by similar principles observed in macroecological systems. Recent results also explore geobiological processes that shape the current biosphere and potentially provide clues to life's history on Earth and where to seek life elsewhere in the Solar System.

  6. 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. Copyright © 2015 Institut Pasteur. Published by Elsevier Masson SAS. All rights reserved.

  7. Arctic Ecosystem Integrated Survey (Arctic Eis): Marine ecosystem dynamics in the rapidly changing Pacific Arctic Gateway

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mueter, Franz J.; Weems, Jared; Farley, Edward V.; Sigler, Michael F.

    2017-01-01

    Arctic Marine Ecosystems are undergoing rapid changes associated with ice loss and surface warming resulting from human activities (IPCC, 2013). The most dramatic changes include an earlier ice retreat and a longer ice-free season, particularly on Arctic inflow shelves such as the Barents Sea in the Atlantic Arctic and the northern Bering Sea and Chukchi Sea in the Pacific Arctic, the two major gateways into the Arctic (Danielson et al., 2016; Frey et al., 2015; Serreze et al., 2007; Wood et al., 2015). The retreat of Arctic sea ice has opened access to the Arctic marine environment and its resources, particularly during summer, and among other changes has brought with it increased research activities. For the Pacific Arctic region, these activities have led to several recent compendiums examining physical, biogeochemical, and biological patterns and trends in this rapidly changing environment (Arrigo, 2015, 2016; Arrigo et al., 2014; Bluhm et al., 2010; Dunton et al., 2014; Grebmeier and Maslowski, 2014; Hopcroft and Day, 2013; Moore and Stabeno, 2015).

  8. Tipping elements in the Arctic marine ecosystem.

    PubMed

    Duarte, Carlos M; Agustí, Susana; Wassmann, Paul; Arrieta, Jesús M; Alcaraz, Miquel; Coello, Alexandra; Marbà, Núria; Hendriks, Iris E; Holding, Johnna; García-Zarandona, Iñigo; Kritzberg, Emma; Vaqué, Dolors

    2012-02-01

    The Arctic marine ecosystem contains multiple elements that present alternative states. The most obvious of which is an Arctic Ocean largely covered by an ice sheet in summer versus one largely devoid of such cover. Ecosystems under pressure typically shift between such alternative states in an abrupt, rather than smooth manner, with the level of forcing required for shifting this status termed threshold or tipping point. Loss of Arctic ice due to anthropogenic climate change is accelerating, with the extent of Arctic sea ice displaying increased variance at present, a leading indicator of the proximity of a possible tipping point. Reduced ice extent is expected, in turn, to trigger a number of additional tipping elements, physical, chemical, and biological, in motion, with potentially large impacts on the Arctic marine ecosystem.

  9. 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.

  10. Interaction webs in arctic ecosystems: Determinants of arctic change?

    PubMed

    Schmidt, Niels M; Hardwick, Bess; Gilg, Olivier; Høye, Toke T; Krogh, Paul Henning; Meltofte, Hans; Michelsen, Anders; Mosbacher, Jesper B; Raundrup, Katrine; Reneerkens, Jeroen; Stewart, Lærke; Wirta, Helena; Roslin, Tomas

    2017-02-01

    How species interact modulate their dynamics, their response to environmental change, and ultimately the functioning and stability of entire communities. Work conducted at Zackenberg, Northeast Greenland, has changed our view on how networks of arctic biotic interactions are structured, how they vary in time, and how they are changing with current environmental change: firstly, the high arctic interaction webs are much more complex than previously envisaged, and with a structure mainly dictated by its arthropod component. Secondly, the dynamics of species within these webs reflect changes in environmental conditions. Thirdly, biotic interactions within a trophic level may affect other trophic levels, in some cases ultimately affecting land-atmosphere feedbacks. Finally, differential responses to environmental change may decouple interacting species. These insights form Zackenberg emphasize that the combination of long-term, ecosystem-based monitoring, and targeted research projects offers the most fruitful basis for understanding and predicting the future of arctic ecosystems.

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. Arctic ecosystems in a changing climate: An ecophysiological perspective

    SciTech Connect

    Chapin, F.S. III; Jefferies, R.L.; Reynolds, J.F.; Shaver, G.R.; Svoboda, J.

    1992-01-01

    This book is an international synthesis of studies on arctic ecosystems, a region where climatic change is greatest, presenting the interrelationship between climate change and ecosystems. In addition to chapters dealing specifically with climatic change issues, important background information on arctic ecosystems and vegetation is given. Individual contributions are arranged into four parts: The Arctic System; Carbon Balance; Water and Nutrient Balance; and Interactions. An brief introduction, summary, and a useful index are also included.

  18. Planning the Next Generation of Arctic Ecosystem Experiments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wullschleger, Stan D.; Hinzman, Larry D.; Wilson, Cathy J.

    2011-04-01

    Climate Change Experiments in High-Latitude Ecosystems; Fairbanks, Alaska, 13-14 October 2010 ; A 2-day climate change workshop was held at the International Arctic Research Center, University of Alaska Fairbanks. The workshop, sponsored by Biological and Environmental Research, Office of Science, U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), was attended by 45 subject matter experts from universities, DOE national laboratories, and other federal and nongovernmental organizations. The workshop sought to engage the Arctic science community in planning for a proposed Next-Generation Ecosystem Experiments (NGEE-Arctic) project in Alaska (http://ngee.ornl.gov/). The goal of this activity is to provide data, theory, and models to improve representations of high-latitude terrestrial processes in Earth system models. In particular, there is a need to better understand the processes by which warming may drive increased plant productivity and atmospheric carbon uptake and storage in biomass and soils, as well as those processes that may drive an increase in the release of methane (CH4) and carbon dioxide (CO2) through microbial decomposition of soil carbon stored in thawing permafrost. This understanding is required to quantify the important feedback mechanisms that define the role of terrestrial processes in regional and global climate.

  19. Planning the Next Generation of Arctic Ecosystem Experiments

    SciTech Connect

    Hinzman, Larry D; Wilson, Cathy

    2011-01-01

    Climate Change Experiments in High-Latitude Ecosystems; Fairbanks, Alaska, 13-14 October 2010; A 2-day climate change workshop was held at the International Arctic Research Center, University of Alaska Fairbanks. The workshop, sponsored by Biological and Environmental Research, Office of Science, U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), was attended by 45 subject matter experts from universities, DOE national laboratories, and other federal and nongovernmental organizations. The workshop sought to engage the Arctic science community in planning for a proposed Next-Generation Ecosystem Experiments (NGEE-Arctic) project in Alaska (http:// ngee.ornl.gov/). The goal of this activity is to provide data, theory, and models to improve representations of high-latitude terrestrial processes in Earth system models. In particular, there is a need to better understand the processes by which warming may drive increased plant productivity and atmospheric carbon uptake and storage in biomass and soils, as well as those processes that may drive an increase in the release of methane (CH{sub 4}) and carbon dioxide (CO{sub 2}) through microbial decomposition of soil carbon stored in thawing permafrost. This understanding is required to quantify the important feedback mechanisms that define the role of terrestrial processes in regional and global climate.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. [Energy flow in arctic aquatic ecosystems

    SciTech Connect

    Schell, D.M.

    1985-12-31

    This study is aimed at determining the major pathways of energy flow in freshwater ecosystems of the Alaskan arctic coastal plain. Selected sites for study of the processes supplying energy to streams and lakes to verify the generality of past findings will be surveyed for collection of organisms including the Colville River drainage and the lake region around Teshekpuk Lake. Specific objectives are to collect food web apex organisms (fish and birds) from a variety of sites in the coastal plain to verify descriptive models of ecosystem structure and food web pathways and to compare the utilization rates by insect larvae of fresh litter and in situ primary production relative to more refractory peaty materials through seasonal sampling for isotopic analysis.

  3. [Energy flow in arctic aquatic ecosystems

    SciTech Connect

    Schell, D.M.

    1985-01-01

    This study is aimed at determining the major pathways of energy flow in freshwater ecosystems of the Alaskan arctic coastal plain. Selected sites for study of the processes supplying energy to streams and lakes to verify the generality of past findings will be surveyed for collection of organisms including the Colville River drainage and the lake region around Teshekpuk Lake. Specific objectives are to collect food web apex organisms (fish and birds) from a variety of sites in the coastal plain to verify descriptive models of ecosystem structure and food web pathways and to compare the utilization rates by insect larvae of fresh litter and in situ primary production relative to more refractory peaty materials through seasonal sampling for isotopic analysis.

  4. Arctic mosses govern below-ground environment and ecosystem processes.

    PubMed

    Gornall, J L; Jónsdóttir, I S; Woodin, S J; Van der Wal, R

    2007-10-01

    Mosses dominate many northern ecosystems and their presence is integral to soil thermal and hydrological regimes which, in turn, dictate important ecological processes. Drivers, such as climate change and increasing herbivore pressure, affect the moss layer thus, assessment of the functional role of mosses in determining soil characteristics is essential. Field manipulations conducted in high arctic Spitsbergen (78 degrees N), creating shallow (3 cm), intermediate (6 cm) and deep (12 cm) moss layers over the soil surface, had an immediate impact on soil temperature in terms of both average temperatures and amplitude of fluctuations. In soil under deep moss, temperature was substantially lower and organic layer thaw occurred 4 weeks later than in other treatment plots; the growing season for vascular plants was thereby reduced by 40%. Soil moisture was also reduced under deep moss, reflecting the influence of local heterogeneity in moss depth, over and above the landscape-scale topographic control of soil moisture. Data from field and laboratory experiments show that moss-mediated effects on the soil environment influenced microbial biomass and activity, resulting in warmer and wetter soil under thinner moss layers containing more plant-available nitrogen. In arctic ecosystems, which are limited by soil temperature, growing season length and nutrient availability, spatial and temporal variation in the depth of the moss layer has significant repercussions for ecosystem function. Evidence from our mesic tundra site shows that any disturbance causing reduction in the depth of the moss layer will alleviate temperature and moisture constraints and therefore profoundly influence a wide range of ecosystem processes, including nutrient cycling and energy transfer.

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. Toward understanding, managing, and protecting microbial ecosystems.

    PubMed

    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.

  10. 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

  11. Prehistoric Inuit whalers affected Arctic freshwater ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Douglas, Marianne S V; Smol, John P; Savelle, James M; Blais, Jules M

    2004-02-10

    It is commonly assumed that High Arctic lakes and ponds were not affected by direct local human activities before the arrival of Europeans, because most native peoples were primarily nomadic, maintained relatively low population densities, and practiced unintrusive hunting and gathering technologies. Our archeological and paleolimnological data show that this was not always the case. Thule Inuit whalers, whose winter settlements consisted of houses constructed from the bones of bowhead whales on Somerset Island between about anno Domini 1200 and 1600, markedly changed pond water quality and ecology. The arrival of whalers 8 centuries ago caused marked changes in water chemistry and the expansion of moss substrates. Although whalers abandoned the area >4 centuries ago, the legacy of these human disturbances is still evident in the pond's present-day limnology and is characterized by elevated nutrient concentrations and atypical biota. This is the earliest reported paleolimnological record of changes in aquatic ecology associated with local human activities in Canada or the United States, or for any circumpolar ecosystem.

  12. Pollutant effects on the microbial ecosystem.

    PubMed Central

    Ford, T

    1994-01-01

    Genetic diversity of a microbial community will inevitably be affected by environmental stress. However, our understanding of the implications of these effects is limited. Genetic exchange between natural microbial communities appears to be a common phenomenon, mediated by a number of microbial processes (conjugation, transformation, and transduction). These mechanisms of change are presumably adaptations to natural environmental perturbation, e.g., the low levels of antibiotics produced by other organisms. However, anthropogenic influences on the environment may be accelerating genetic change within microbiologic ecosystems, beyond these natural adaptation rates. This article highlights some of the perceived risks to ecosystem health and research questions that need to be addressed. PMID:7713033

  13. Potent toxins in Arctic environments--presence of saxitoxins and an unusual microcystin variant in Arctic freshwater ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Kleinteich, Julia; Wood, Susanna A; Puddick, Jonathan; Schleheck, David; Küpper, Frithjof C; Dietrich, Daniel

    2013-11-25

    Cyanobacteria are the predominant phototrophs in freshwater ecosystems of the polar regions where they commonly form extensive benthic mats. Despite their major biological role in these ecosystems, little attention has been paid to their physiology and biochemistry. An important feature of cyanobacteria from the temperate and tropical regions is the production of a large variety of toxic secondary metabolites. In Antarctica, and more recently in the Arctic, the cyanobacterial toxins microcystin and nodularin (Antarctic only) have been detected in freshwater microbial mats. To date other cyanobacterial toxins have not been reported from these locations. Five Arctic cyanobacterial communities were screened for saxitoxin, another common cyanobacterial toxin, and microcystins using immunological, spectroscopic and molecular methods. Saxitoxin was detected for the first time in cyanobacteria from the Arctic. In addition, an unusual microcystin variant was identified using liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry. Gene expression analyses confirmed the analytical findings, whereby parts of the sxt and mcy operon involved in saxitoxin and microcystin synthesis, were detected and sequenced in one and five of the Arctic cyanobacterial samples, respectively. The detection of these compounds in the cryosphere improves the understanding of the biogeography and distribution of toxic cyanobacteria globally. The sequences of sxt and mcy genes provided from this habitat for the first time may help to clarify the evolutionary origin of toxin production in cyanobacteria. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  14. Impacts of Climate and UV Change on Arctic Freshwater Ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wrona, F. J.; Prowse, T. D.; Reist, J. D.

    2004-05-01

    An overview is provided of the key findings of the Arctic Climate Impact Assessment (ACIA), which is an international project of the Arctic Council and the International Arctic Science Committee (IASC), to evaluate and synthesize knowledge on climate variability, climate change, and increased ultraviolet radiation and their consequences. Predicted changes in climate and UV in the Arctic are expected to have far-reaching impacts on the hydrology and ecology of freshwater ecosystems. Key effects include changes in the distribution, abundance and ecology of aquatic species in various trophic levels, dramatic alterations in the physical environment that makes up their habitat, changes to the chemical properties of that environment, and alterations to 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 hence can be propagated through ecosystems in ways that are often difficult to predict. This is partly because of our still relatively poor understanding of the structure and function of arctic freshwater systems and their basic interrelationships with climate and other environmental variables, as well as by a paucity of long-term freshwater monitoring sites and integrated hydro-ecological research programs in the Arctic. Predictions of hydro-ecological impacts are further complicated by synergistic and cumulative effects.

  15. Prokaryotic diversity of arctic ice shelf microbial mats.

    PubMed

    Bottos, Eric M; Vincent, Warwick F; Greer, Charles W; Whyte, Lyle G

    2008-04-01

    The prokaryotic diversity and respiratory activity of microbial mat communities on the Markham Ice Shelf and Ward Hunt Ice Shelf in the Canadian high Arctic were analysed. All heterotrophic isolates and > 95% of bacterial 16S rRNA gene clone library sequences from both ice shelves grouped within the phyla Bacteroidetes, Proteobacteria and Actinobacteria. Clone library analyses showed that the bacterial communities were diverse and varied significantly between the two ice shelves, with the Markham library having a higher estimated diversity (Chao1 = 243; 105 operational taxonomic units observed in 189 clones) than the Ward Hunt library (Chao1 = 106; 52 operational taxonomic units observed in 128 clones). Archaeal 16S rRNA gene clone libraries from both ice shelves were dominated by a single Euryarchaeota sequence, which appears to represent a novel phylotype. Analyses of community activity by radiorespiration assays detected metabolism in mat samples from both ice shelves at temperatures as low as -10 degrees C. These findings provide the first insight into the prokaryotic biodiversity of Arctic ice shelf communities and underscore the importance of these cryo-ecosystems as a rich source of microbiota that are adapted to extreme cold.

  16. Soil Biota and Litter Decay in High Arctic Ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    González, G.; Rivera, F.; Makarova, O.; Gould, W. A.

    2006-12-01

    Frost heave action contributes to the formation of non-sorted circles in the High Arctic. Non-sorted circles tend to heave more than the surrounding tundra due to deeper thaw and the formation of ice lenses. Thus, the geomorphology, soils and vegetation on the centers of the patterned-ground feature (non-sorted circles) as compared to the surrounding soils (inter-circles) can be different. We established a decomposition experiment to look at in situ decay rates of the most dominant graminoid species on non-sorted circles and adjacent inter-circle soils along a climatic gradient in the Canadian High Arctic as a component of a larger study looking at the biocomplexity of small-featured patterned ground ecosystems. Additionally, we investigated variation in soil chemical properties and biota, including soil microarthropods and microbial composition and biomass, as they relate to climate, topographic position, and litter decay rates. Our three sites locations, from coldest to warmest, are Isachsen, Ellef Ringnes Island (ER), NU (bioclimatic subzone A); Mould Bay (MB), Prince Patrick Island, NT (bioclimatic subzone B), and Green Cabin (GC), Aulavik National Park, Thomsen River, Banks Island, NT (bioclimatic subzone C). Our sample design included the selection of 15 non-sorted circles and adjacent inter-circle areas within the zonal vegetation at each site (a total of 90 sites), and a second set of 3 non-sorted circles and adjacent inter-circle areas in dry, mesic and wet tundra at each of the sites. Soil invertebrates were sampled at each site using both pitfall traps, soil microbial biomass was determined using substrate induced respiration and bacterial populations were determined using the most probable number method. Decomposition rates were measured using litterbags and as the percent of mass remaining of Carex misandra, Luzula nivalis and Alopecuris alpinus in GC, MB and ER, respectively. Our findings indicate these graminoid species decayed significantly over

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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/

  1. 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/

  2. Microbial Life beneath a High Arctic Glacier†

    PubMed Central

    Skidmore, Mark L.; Foght, Julia M.; Sharp, Martin J.

    2000-01-01

    The debris-rich basal ice layers of a high Arctic glacier were shown to contain metabolically diverse microbes that could be cultured oligotrophically at low temperatures (0.3 to 4°C). These organisms included aerobic chemoheterotrophs and anaerobic nitrate reducers, sulfate reducers, and methanogens. Colonies purified from subglacial samples at 4°C appeared to be predominantly psychrophilic. Aerobic chemoheterotrophs were metabolically active in unfrozen basal sediments when they were cultured at 0.3°C in the dark (to simulate nearly in situ conditions), producing 14CO2 from radiolabeled sodium acetate with minimal organic amendment (≥38 μM C). In contrast, no activity was observed when samples were cultured at subfreezing temperatures (≤−1.8°C) for 66 days. Electron microscopy of thawed basal ice samples revealed various cell morphologies, including dividing cells. This suggests that the subglacial environment beneath a polythermal glacier provides a viable habitat for life and that microbes may be widespread where the basal ice is temperate and water is present at the base of the glacier and where organic carbon from glacially overridden soils is present. Our observations raise the possibility that in situ microbial production of CO2 and CH4 beneath ice masses (e.g., the Northern Hemisphere ice sheets) is an important factor in carbon cycling during glacial periods. Moreover, this terrestrial environment may provide a model for viable habitats for life on Mars, since similar conditions may exist or may have existed in the basal sediments beneath the Martian north polar ice cap. PMID:10919772

  3. Microbial life beneath a high arctic glacier.

    PubMed

    Skidmore, M L; Foght, J M; Sharp, M J

    2000-08-01

    The debris-rich basal ice layers of a high Arctic glacier were shown to contain metabolically diverse microbes that could be cultured oligotrophically at low temperatures (0.3 to 4 degrees C). These organisms included aerobic chemoheterotrophs and anaerobic nitrate reducers, sulfate reducers, and methanogens. Colonies purified from subglacial samples at 4 degrees C appeared to be predominantly psychrophilic. Aerobic chemoheterotrophs were metabolically active in unfrozen basal sediments when they were cultured at 0.3 degrees C in the dark (to simulate nearly in situ conditions), producing (14)CO(2) from radiolabeled sodium acetate with minimal organic amendment (> or =38 microM C). In contrast, no activity was observed when samples were cultured at subfreezing temperatures (< or =-1.8 degrees C) for 66 days. Electron microscopy of thawed basal ice samples revealed various cell morphologies, including dividing cells. This suggests that the subglacial environment beneath a polythermal glacier provides a viable habitat for life and that microbes may be widespread where the basal ice is temperate and water is present at the base of the glacier and where organic carbon from glacially overridden soils is present. Our observations raise the possibility that in situ microbial production of CO(2) and CH(4) beneath ice masses (e.g., the Northern Hemisphere ice sheets) is an important factor in carbon cycling during glacial periods. Moreover, this terrestrial environment may provide a model for viable habitats for life on Mars, since similar conditions may exist or may have existed in the basal sediments beneath the Martian north polar ice cap.

  4. 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

  5. Organic layer serves as a hotspot of microbial activity and abundance in Arctic tundra soils.

    PubMed

    Lee, Seung-Hoon; Jang, Inyoung; Chae, Namyi; Choi, Taejin; Kang, Hojeong

    2013-02-01

    Tundra ecosystem is of importance for its high accumulation of organic carbon and vulnerability to future climate change. Microorganisms play a key role in carbon dynamics of the tundra ecosystem by mineralizing organic carbon. We assessed both ecosystem process rates and community structure of Bacteria, Archaea, and Fungi in different soil layers (surface organic layer and subsurface mineral soil) in an Arctic soil ecosystem located at Spitsbergen, Svalbard during the summer of 2008 by using biochemical and molecular analyses, such as enzymatic assay, terminal restriction fragment length polymorphism (T-RFLP), quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR), and pyrosequencing. Activity of hydrolytic enzymes showed difference according to soil type. For all three microbial communities, the average gene copy number did not significantly differ between soil types. However, archaeal diversities appeared to differ according to soil type, whereas bacterial and fungal diversity indices did not show any variation. Correlation analysis between biogeochemical and microbial parameters exhibited a discriminating pattern according to microbial or soil types. Analysis of the microbial community structure showed that bacterial and archaeal communities have different profiles with unique phylotypes in terms of soil types. Water content and hydrolytic enzymes were found to be related with the structure of bacterial and archaeal communities, whereas soil organic matter (SOM) and total organic carbon (TOC) were related with bacterial communities. The overall results of this study indicate that microbial enzyme activity were generally higher in the organic layer than in mineral soils and that bacterial and archaeal communities differed between the organic layer and mineral soils in the Arctic region. Compared to mineral soil, peat-covered organic layer may represent a hotspot for secondary productivity and nutrient cycling in this ecosystem.

  6. Stochastic daily modeling of arctic tundra ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Erler, A.; Epstein, H. E.; Frazier, J.

    2011-12-01

    ArcVeg is a dynamic vegetation model that has simulated interannual variability of production and abundance of arctic tundra plant types in previous studies. In order to address the effects of changing seasonality on tundra plant community composition and productivity, we have uniquely adapted the model to operate on the daily timescale. Each section of the model-weather generation, nitrogen mineralization, and plant growth dynamics-are driven by daily fluctuations in simulated temperature conditions. These simulation dynamics are achieved by calibrating stochastic iterative loops and mathematical functions with raw field data. Air temperature is the fundamental driver in the model, parameterized by climate data collected in the field across numerous arctic tundra sites, and key daily statistics are extracted (mean and standard deviation of temperature for each day of the year). Nitrogen mineralization is calculated as an exponential function from the simulated temperature. The seasonality of plant growth is driven by the availability of nitrogen and constrained by historical patterns and dynamics of the remotely sensed normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI), as they pertain to the seasonal onset of growth. Here we describe the methods used for daily weather generation, nitrogen mineralization, and the daily competition among twelve plant functional types for nitrogen and subsequent growth. This still rather simple approach to vegetation dynamics has the capacity to generate complex relationships between seasonal patterns of temperature and arctic tundra vegetation community structure and function.

  7. Mercury bioaccumulation and biomagnification in a small Arctic polynya ecosystem.

    PubMed

    Clayden, Meredith G; Arsenault, Lilianne M; Kidd, Karen A; O'Driscoll, Nelson J; Mallory, Mark L

    2015-03-15

    Recurring polynyas are important areas of biological productivity and feeding grounds for seabirds and mammals in the Arctic marine environment. In this study, we examined food web structure (using carbon and nitrogen isotopes, δ(13)C and δ(15)N) and mercury (Hg) bioaccumulation and biomagnification in a small recurring polynya ecosystem near Nasaruvaalik Island (Nunavut, Canada). Methyl Hg (MeHg) concentrations increased by more than 50-fold from copepods (Calanus hyperboreus) to Arctic terns (Sterna paradisaea), the abundant predators at this site. The biomagnification of MeHg through members of the food web - using the slope of log MeHg versus δ(15)N - was 0.157 from copepods (C. hyperboreus) to fish. This slope was higher (0.267) when seabird chicks were included in the analyses. Collectively, our results indicate that MeHg biomagnification is occurring in this small polynya and that its trophic transfer is at the lower end of the range of estimates from other Arctic marine ecosystems. In addition, we measured Hg concentrations in some poorly studied members of Arctic marine food webs [e.g. Arctic alligatorfish (Ulcina olrikii) and jellyfish, Medusozoa], and found that MeHg concentrations in jellyfish were lower than expected given their trophic position. Overall, these findings provide fundamental information about food web structure and mercury contamination in a small Arctic polynya, which will inform future research in such ecosystems and provide a baseline against which to assess changes over time resulting from environmental disturbance. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  8. 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. © 2015 Society for Applied Microbiology and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. Microbial Community and Functional Gene Changes in Arctic Tundra Soils in a Microcosm Warming Experiment.

    PubMed

    Yang, Ziming; Yang, Sihang; Van Nostrand, Joy D; Zhou, Jizhong; Fang, Wei; Qi, Qi; Liu, Yurong; Wullschleger, Stan D; Liang, Liyuan; Graham, David E; Yang, Yunfeng; Gu, Baohua

    2017-01-01

    Microbial decomposition of soil organic carbon (SOC) in thawing Arctic permafrost is important in determining greenhouse gas feedbacks of tundra ecosystems to climate. However, the changes in microbial community structure during SOC decomposition are poorly known. Here we examine these changes using frozen soils from Barrow, Alaska, USA, in anoxic microcosm incubation at -2 and 8°C for 122 days. The functional gene array GeoChip was used to determine microbial community structure and the functional genes associated with SOC degradation, methanogenesis, and Fe(III) reduction. Results show that soil incubation after 122 days at 8°C significantly decreased functional gene abundance (P < 0.05) associated with SOC degradation, fermentation, methanogenesis, and iron cycling, particularly in organic-rich soil. These observations correspond well with decreases in labile SOC content (e.g., reducing sugar and ethanol), methane and CO2 production, and Fe(III) reduction. In contrast, the community functional structure was largely unchanged in the -2°C incubation. Soil type (i.e., organic vs. mineral) and the availability of labile SOC were among the most significant factors impacting microbial community structure. These results demonstrate the important roles of microbial community in SOC degradation and support previous findings that SOC in organic-rich Arctic tundra is highly vulnerable to microbial degradation under warming.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. Soil Carbon Inputs and Ecosystem Respiration: a Field Priming Experiment in Arctic Coastal Tundra

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vaughn, L. S.; Zhu, B.; Bimueller, C.; Curtis, J. B.; Chafe, O.; Bill, M.; Abramoff, R. Z.; Torn, M. S.

    2016-12-01

    In Arctic ecosystems, climate change is expected to influence soil carbon stocks through changes in both plant carbon inputs and organic matter decomposition. This study addresses the potential for a priming effect, an interaction between these changes in which root-derived carbon inputs alter SOM decomposition rates via microbial biomass increases, co-metabolism of substrates, induced nitrogen limitation, or other possible mechanisms. The priming effect has been observed in numerous laboratory and greenhouse experiments, and is increasingly included in ecosystem models. Few studies, however, have evaluated the priming effect with in situ field manipulations. In a two-year field experiment in Barrow, Alaska, we tested for a priming effect under natural environmental variability. In September 2014 and August 2015, we added 6.1g of 13C-labeled glucose to 25cm diameter mesocosms, 15cm below the soil surface in the mineral soil layer. Over the following month, we quantified effects on the rate and temperature sensitivity of native (non-glucose) ecosystem respiration and GPP. Following the 2014 treatment, soil samples were collected at 1 and 3 weeks for microbial biomass carbon and 13C/12C analysis, and ion exchange membranes were buried for one week to assess nitrate and ammonium availability. In contrast with many laboratory incubation studies using soils from a broad range of ecosystems, we observed no significant priming effect. In spite of a clear signal of 13C-glucose decomposition in respired CO2 and microbial biomass, we detected no treatment effect on background ecosystem respiration or total microbial biomass carbon. Our findings suggest that glucose taken up by microbes was not used for production of additional SOM-decomposing enzymes, possibly due to stoichiometric limitations on enzyme production. To best inform models representing complex and dynamic ecosystems, this study calls for further research relating theory, laboratory findings, and field

  19. Hydrocarbon-degrading potential of microbial communities from Arctic plants.

    PubMed

    Ferrera-Rodríguez, O; Greer, C W; Juck, D; Consaul, L L; Martínez-Romero, E; Whyte, L G

    2013-01-01

    To explore rhizospheric microbial communities from Arctic native plant species evaluating their bacterial hydrocarbon-degrading capacities. Eriophorum scheuchzeri, Potentilla cf. rubricaulis, Oxyria digyna, Salix arctica and Puccinellia angustata plant species were collected at Eureka (Canadian high Arctic) along with their rhizospheric soil samples. Their bacterial community fingerprints (16S rRNA gene, DGGE) were distinctive encompassing members from the phyla: Bacteroidetes, Firmicutes, Actinobacteria and Proteobacteria. Isolated diesel-degrading bacteria belonged to the phyla Actinobacteria and Proteobacteria. Strains of Mycobacterium, Nocardia, Rhodococcus, Intrasporangiaceae, Leifsoni and Arthrobacter possessed alkB and Pseudomonas possessed both ndoB and xylE gene sequences. Two Rhodococcus strains mineralized [1-(14) C] hexadecane at 5 and -5°C. From the rhizosphere of P. angustata, larger numbers of hydrocarbon-degrading bacteria were isolated than from other plant rhizosphere samples and all three genes alkB (from Actinobacteria), ndoB and xylE (from Pseudomonas) were detected by PCR. (i) Arctic plants have unique rhizospheric bacterial communities. (ii) P. angustata has potential for phytoremediation research at high Arctic soils. (iii) Isolated bacteria mineralized hydrocarbons at ambient low temperatures. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first rhizospheric exploration examining the phytoremediation potential of five Arctic plants and evaluating their microbial hydrocarbon-degrading capacities. © 2012 The Society for Applied Microbiology.

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. Microbial Community Response to Terrestrially Derived Dissolved Organic Matter in the Coastal Arctic

    PubMed Central

    Sipler, Rachel E.; Kellogg, Colleen T. E.; Connelly, Tara L.; Roberts, Quinn N.; Yager, Patricia L.; Bronk, Deborah A.

    2017-01-01

    Warming at nearly twice the global rate, higher than average air temperatures are the new ‘normal’ for Arctic ecosystems. This rise in temperature has triggered hydrological and geochemical changes that increasingly release carbon-rich water into the coastal ocean via increased riverine discharge, coastal erosion, and the thawing of the semi-permanent permafrost ubiquitous in the region. To determine the biogeochemical impacts of terrestrially derived dissolved organic matter (tDOM) on marine ecosystems we compared the nutrient stocks and bacterial communities present under ice-covered and ice-free conditions, assessed the lability of Arctic tDOM to coastal microbial communities from the Chukchi Sea, and identified bacterial taxa that respond to rapid increases in tDOM. Once thought to be predominantly refractory, we found that ∼7% of dissolved organic carbon and ∼38% of dissolved organic nitrogen from tDOM was bioavailable to receiving marine microbial communities on short 4 – 6 day time scales. The addition of tDOM shifted bacterial community structure toward more copiotrophic taxa and away from more oligotrophic taxa. Although no single order was found to respond universally (positively or negatively) to the tDOM addition, this study identified 20 indicator species as possible sentinels for increased tDOM. These data suggest the true ecological impact of tDOM will be widespread across many bacterial taxa and that shifts in coastal microbial community composition should be anticipated. PMID:28649233

  3. Improved Climate Prediction through a System Level Understanding of Arctic Terrestrial Ecosystems: Next Generation Ecosystem Experiments (NGEE-Arctic)*

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hubbard, S. S.; Graham, D. E.; Hinzman, L. D.; Liang, L.; Liljedahl, A.; Norby, R. J.; Rogers, A.; Rowland, J. C.; Thornton, P. E.; Torn, M. S.; Riley, W. J.; Wilson, C. J.; Wullschleger, S. D.

    2013-12-01

    Characterized by vast amounts of carbon stored in permafrost and a rapidly evolving landscape, the Arctic has emerged as an important focal point for the study of climate change. Although recognized as an ecosystem highly vulnerable to climate change, mechanisms that govern feedbacks between the terrestrial and climate system are not well understood. Increasing our confidence in climate projections for high-latitude regions of the world requires coordinated investigations that target improved process understanding and model representation of important ecosystem-climate feedbacks. The Next-Generation Ecosystem Experiments (NGEE-Arctic) seeks to address this challenge by quantifying the physical, chemical, and biological behavior of terrestrial ecosystems in Alaska. The NGEE-Arctic project is a large, multi-disciplinary activity sponsored by the Department of Energy, Office of Science. Recent NGEE-Arctic research has focused on the highly dynamic landscapes of the North Slope Arctic tundra where thaw lakes, drained thaw lake basins, and ice-rich polygonal ground offer distinct land units for investigation and modeling. The project is working on the Barrow Environmental Observatory to study interactions that drive critical climate feedbacks within these environments through greenhouse gas fluxes and changes in surface energy balance associated with permafrost degradation and the many other processes that arise as a result of these landscape dynamics. Ongoing are mechanistic studies in the field and in the laboratory; modeling of critical and interrelated water, nitrogen, carbon, and energy dynamics; and characterization of important interactions from molecular to landscape scales that drive feedbacks to the climate system. A suite of climate-, intermediate- and fine-scale models are being used to guide observations and interpret data, while characterization information and process studies serve to initialize state variables in models, provide new algorithms and

  4. 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.

  5. Alaska's Arctic Landscapes: Land cover, Monitoring and Assessing Arctic Ecosystems and their Change Agents

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Guyer, P. S.

    2013-12-01

    The challenge for agencies who manage the 89,000 square miles constituting Alaska's arctic ecoregion is in understanding what, where and to what extent important ecosystems exist. How do each of these ecosystems function? What are the key components of these ecosystems? How are they affected by the changing climate, fire, permafrost changes and development? Answers to these management questions come not from one specific project or program but from a series of data gathering efforts. Landcover mapping of Alaska's arctic using satellite imagery began in the mid 1990's. Over the past three years the land cover has been updated using additional ground truth data and the most up to date image processing software. In 2012, the updated map was used for the first time to select sites for an inventory and monitoring pilot project. The project established a baseline of information for long-term monitoring of regional ecological components. That same year the Bureau of Land Management began a Rapid Ecoregional Assessment across the North Slope of Alaska. This effort will utilize the known environments established by the land cover map and will model the effects of climate change, fire, permafrost change and development. The assessment and modeling effort will show how the effect of these change agents would shape long term conservation, restoration and development efforts. These interactions together will advance the understanding of the arctic ecoregion its values, processes and functions and how the agents of change will shape the future.

  6. Climate change effects on hydroecology of arctic freshwater ecosystems.

    PubMed

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

    2006-11-01

    In general, the arctic freshwater-terrestrial system will warm more rapidly than the global average, particularly during the autumn and winter season. The decline or loss of many cryospheric components and a shift from a nival to an increasingly pluvial system will produce numerous physical effects on freshwater ecosystems. Of particular note will be reductions in the dominance of the spring freshet and changes in the intensity of river-ice breakup. Increased evaporation/evapotranspiration due to longer ice-free seasons, higher air/water temperatures and greater transpiring vegetation along with increase infiltration because of permafrost thaw will decrease surface water levels and coverage. Loss of ice and permafrost, increased water temperatures and vegetation shifts will alter water chemistry, the general result being an increase in lotic and lentic productivity. Changes in ice and water flow/levels will lead to regime-specific increases and decreases in habitat availability/quality across the circumpolar Arctic.

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. Marine Arctic Ecosystem Study (MARES): Pilot Project - Marine Mammal Tagging and Tracking

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2015-09-30

    1 DISTRIBUTION STATEMENT A. Approved for public release; distribution is unlimited. Marine Arctic Ecosystem Study (MARES): Pilot Project...inter-relationships of biophysical and chemical parameters on living resources, including marine mammals that use this ecosystem . This larger picture

  13. Arctic patterned-ground ecosystems: A synthesis of field studies and models along a North American Arctic Transect

    Treesearch

    Walker D.A.; Romanovsky V.E.; Ping C.L.; Michaelson G.J.; Daanen R.P.; Shur Y.; Peterson R.A.; Krantz W.B.; Raynolds M.K.; William Gould; Grizelle Gonzalez; Nicolsky D.J.; Vonlanthen C.M.; Kade A.N.; Kuss P.; Kelley A.M.; Munger C.A.; Tarnocai C.T.; Matveyeva N.V.; Daniels F.J.A.

    2008-01-01

    Arctic landscapes have visually striking patterns of small polygons, circles, and hummocks. The linkages between the geophysical and biological components of these systems and their responses to climate changes are not well understood. The “Biocomplexity of Patterned Ground Ecosystems” project examined patterned-ground features (PGFs) in all five Arctic bioclimate...

  14. 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

  15. Seabird-driven shifts in Arctic pond ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Michelutti, Neal; Keatley, Bronwyn E; Brimble, Samantha; Blais, Jules M; Liu, Huijun; Douglas, Marianne S V; Mallory, Mark L; Macdonald, Robie W; Smol, John P

    2009-02-07

    Migratory animals such as seabirds, salmon and whales can transport large quantities of nutrients across ecosystem boundaries, greatly enriching recipient food webs. As many of these animals biomagnify contaminants, they can also focus pollutants at toxic levels. Seabirds arguably represent the most significant biovectors of nutrients and contaminants from the ocean to the land, given their sheer numbers and global distribution. However, long-term census data on seabirds are rare. Using palaeolimnological proxies, we show that a colony of Arctic seabirds has experienced climate-induced population increases in recent decades. We then document increasing concentrations of contaminants, including polychlorinated biphenyls and cadmium, in pond sediments that are linked to biotransport by seabirds. Our findings suggest that climate-related shifts in global seabird populations will have the unexpected consequence of restructuring coastal ecosystems.

  16. 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

    2012-08-07

    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.

  17. 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.

  18. Microbial mats and the search for minimal ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Guerrero, R; Piqueras, M; Berlanga, M

    2002-12-01

    This article reviews some ecological concepts common to all kinds of ecosystems, describes the characteristics of microbial mats, and focuses on the description of the Ebro Delta microbial mats, to assess whether they fit the concept of a minimal ecosystem. First, microorganisms as components of ecosystems are considered, and some features of microbial life, including ubiquity, size and metabolism, genetic versatility, and strategies to overcome unfavorable conditions, are discussed. Models for ecosystems, regardless of their size, have the same basic components; tropical forests, multilayered planktonic microbial communities, and benthic microbial mats are analogous ecosystems at different scales. The structure--in terms of populations and communities--and ecophysiology of microbial mats are also discussed. The linear distribution of microbial populations along steep gradients of light and hydrogen sulfide allows for the simultaneous presence of different microbial populations. Defining the minimal ecosystem requirements necessary for the survival and proliferation of organisms is crucial in the search for extraterrestrial life and for establishing ecosystems beyond the Earth.

  19. A review of the Northern Ecosystem Initiative in Arctic Canada: facilitating arctic ecosystem research through traditional and novel approaches.

    PubMed

    Mallory, Mark L; Ogilvie, Carey; Gilchrist, H Grant

    2006-02-01

    The Canadian Arctic is undergoing considerable social and environmental change. Anthropogenic stressors on this sensitive environment include climate change, contaminants, resource extraction, tourism and increasing human populations. The Northern Ecosystem Initiative (NEI) is a program aimed at supporting the sustainability of northern communities, and at improving our understanding of how northern ecosystems respond to these environmental stressors. A key element of the NEI is to establish partnerships between all levels of government, non-governmental environmental agencies, and northern residents. The NEI is an important source of financial support critical for social and environmental scientists as well as northern residents and their community and regional organizations. Initiated in 1998, the NEI has supported numerous northern scientific and capacity-building projects, and has evaluated the information gained from this work to refine and focus its future support to address key information gaps and northern needs.

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. Viral Induced Microbial Mortality in Arctic Hypersaline Spring Sediments

    PubMed Central

    Colangelo-Lillis, Jesse; Wing, Boswell A.; Raymond-Bouchard, Isabelle; Whyte, Lyle G.

    2017-01-01

    Viruses are a primary influence on microbial mortality in the global ocean. The impacts of viruses on their microbial hosts in low-energy environments are poorly explored and are the focus of this study. To investigate the role of viruses in mediating mortality in low-energy environments where contacts between viruses and microbes are infrequent, we conducted a set of in situ time series incubations in the outlet and channel sediments of two cold, hypersaline springs of the Canadian High Arctic. We found microbial and viral populations in dynamic equilibrium, indicating approximately equal birth and death rates for each population. In situ rates of microbial growth were low (0.5–50 × 103 cells cm-3 h-1) as were rates of viral decay (0.09–170 × 104 virions cm-3 h-1). A large fraction of the springs’ viral communities (49–100%) were refractory to decay over the timescales of our experiments. Microcosms amended with lactate or acetate exhibited increased microbial growth rates (up to three-fold) indicating organic carbon as one limiting resource for the microbial communities in these environments. A substantial fraction (15–71%) of the microbial populations contained inducible proviruses that were released- occasionally in multiple pulses- over the eight monitored days following chemical induction. Our findings indicate that viruses in low-energy systems maintain low rates of production and activity, have a small but notable impact on microbial mortality (8–29% attenuation of growth) and that successful viral replication may primarily proceed by non-lethal strategies. In cold, low biomass marine systems of similar character (e.g., subsurface sediments), viruses may be a relatively minor driver of community mortality compared to less energy-limited environments such as the marine water column or surface sediments. PMID:28167930

  6. Viral Induced Microbial Mortality in Arctic Hypersaline Spring Sediments.

    PubMed

    Colangelo-Lillis, Jesse; Wing, Boswell A; Raymond-Bouchard, Isabelle; Whyte, Lyle G

    2016-01-01

    Viruses are a primary influence on microbial mortality in the global ocean. The impacts of viruses on their microbial hosts in low-energy environments are poorly explored and are the focus of this study. To investigate the role of viruses in mediating mortality in low-energy environments where contacts between viruses and microbes are infrequent, we conducted a set of in situ time series incubations in the outlet and channel sediments of two cold, hypersaline springs of the Canadian High Arctic. We found microbial and viral populations in dynamic equilibrium, indicating approximately equal birth and death rates for each population. In situ rates of microbial growth were low (0.5-50 × 10(3) cells cm(-3) h(-1)) as were rates of viral decay (0.09-170 × 10(4) virions cm(-3) h(-1)). A large fraction of the springs' viral communities (49-100%) were refractory to decay over the timescales of our experiments. Microcosms amended with lactate or acetate exhibited increased microbial growth rates (up to three-fold) indicating organic carbon as one limiting resource for the microbial communities in these environments. A substantial fraction (15-71%) of the microbial populations contained inducible proviruses that were released- occasionally in multiple pulses- over the eight monitored days following chemical induction. Our findings indicate that viruses in low-energy systems maintain low rates of production and activity, have a small but notable impact on microbial mortality (8-29% attenuation of growth) and that successful viral replication may primarily proceed by non-lethal strategies. In cold, low biomass marine systems of similar character (e.g., subsurface sediments), viruses may be a relatively minor driver of community mortality compared to less energy-limited environments such as the marine water column or surface sediments.

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. Coupled ecosystem carbon and nutrient cycling in a High Arctic ecosystem are altered by long-term experimental warming and higher rainfall

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schaeffer, S. M.; Schimel, J.; Welker, J. M.

    2013-12-01

    The rapid changes in temperature and precipitation in High Arctic tundra ecosystems are altering the biogeochemical cycles of nitrogen (N) and carbon (C), but in ways that are difficult to anticipate. The challenge grows from the complexity of tundra soil organic matter, the uncertainty of N cycle responses and the extent to which shifts in soil N processes are coupled with the C cycle, including leaf-level photosynthesis, gross ecosystem photosynthesis (GEP-productivity) and net CO2 exchange (NEE-C sequestration). Understanding the processes that are leading to changes in High Arctic biogeochemical processes are especially important today as soil organic C pools in the High Arctic are up to 6 times greater than previously estimated, and are sensitive to being oxidized to the atmosphere through changes in microbial decomposition associated with warmer and wetter conditions. We used a long-term (since 2003) experiment of summer warming and supplemental summer water additions to a High Arctic ecosystem in NW Greenland to determine the impact of interactions between temperature, water availability, and microbial metabolism on the cycling of C and plant-available N in High Arctic tundra soil. We have found that water availability plays a critical role in these cycles in High Arctic tundra, over and above that from temperature increases. On seasonal time scales, we observed greater net N mineralization under both global change scenarios, yet water addition also significantly increased net nitrification rates, loss of NO3--N via leaching from surface soil layers, and lowered rates of labile organic C and 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 δ15N values. However, we found that soil δ15N decreased under the different climate change scenarios. Our findings indicate that warmer, wetter High Arctic tundra will be cycling N and C in ways that may transform these

  12. Cold- and Growing-Season Microbial Substrate Use in Arctic Tundra Soil

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schimel, J.; McMahon, S.

    2006-12-01

    Microbial communities will play a critical role in determining arctic ecosystem response to warming due to global climate change since decomposition, which is responsible for both CO2 evolution and plant nutrient availability, is a microbially-mediated process. Microorganisms living in tundra soil have access to two broad categories of carbon compounds via decomposition: complex polymers such as cellulose, lignin, protein and soil organic matter, and simple monomers such as glucose, phenolics and amino acids. Thermodynamically, labile substrates are easier to degrade because the activation energy of the reaction is lower than for more recalcitrant polymers. Thus, metabolic processes involving simple compounds are more likely under frozen conditions during the cold season. To test this theory, we incubated soils collected at Toolik Lake, Alaska before and after snowmelt and freeze-up with a variety of 13C-labelled substrates to track microbial carbon use during cold- and growing-season conditions. Surprisingly, tussock soils respired more protein-derived carbon under frozen pre-thaw conditions than late growing-season conditions. Organic shrub soils respired more glutamic acid-derived carbon under all conditions. Since nitrogen is more abundant in shrub than tussock soils, microbes in the shrub soil can afford to respire glutamic acid as an energy source rather than incorporate it into microbial biomass as a nitrogen source. This study indicates that winter substrate use may not follow predictions made strictly on a thermodynamic basis and hints at the complex nature of cold-tolerant microorganisms.

  13. Shrub Expansion in Arctic Alaska Alters the Sources (14C) and Magnitudes of Ecosystem Respiration in the Continuous Permafrost Zone

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Holden, S. R.; Welker, J. M.; Czimczik, C. I.

    2014-12-01

    Soils in the Arctic store up to 50% of global soil organic carbon (C) (1,672 Pg C) and more than twice the amount of C currently present in the atmosphere. At the core of this enormous C pool is the large fraction of C that has been frozen in permafrost and disconnected from the active C cycle. As the Arctic undergoes warming and wetting, permafrost C is at risk of being transferred to the atmosphere, resulting in a strong positive feedback to global climate. One of the most commonly observed responses to climate warming in the Arctic is an increase in woody shrub growth and corresponding changes in the surface energy budget and shifts in belowground processes. Increased shrub cover is accompanied by a number of soil physical and chemical changes, including decreased growing season soil temperature due to soil shading, warmer winter soil temperature due to snow accumulation around shrubs, and increased rooting depth. Therefore, shrub expansion may feedback to alter the amount of C stored in arctic ecosystems, but the direction and magnitude of this potential feedback are highly uncertain. To address this uncertainty, we established four sites across a shrub cover gradient near Toolik Lake, AK, USA, ranging from herbaceous tussock to deciduous shrub tundra. At each site we measured the rate and isotope composition (13C/12C, 14C/12C) of ecosystem, root and microbial respiration with chambers and incubations, the concentration and isotope composition of soil CO2 with wells, and the C and N concentration and isotopic composition of bulk organic matter in the active layer and upper permafrost with EA-IRMS. We used the isotope values to partition ecosystem CO2 emissions into respiration from plants, young surface soil, and old deep soil. We found that rates of ecosystem respiration increase with increasing shrub cover. Furthermore, preliminary results indicate that the proportional contribution of plants and old soil to ecosystem respiration changes with increasing shrub

  14. Arctic Tundra Soils: A Microbial Feast That Shrubs Will Cease

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Machmuller, M.; Calderon, F.; Cotrufo, M. F.; Lynch, L.; Paul, E. A.; Wallenstein, M. D.

    2016-12-01

    Rapid climate warming may already be driving rapid decomposition of the vast stocks of carbon in Arctic tundra soils. However, stimulated decomposition may also release nitrogen and support increased plant productivity, potentially counteracting soil carbon losses. At the same time, these two processes interact, with plant derived carbon potentially fueling soil microbes to attack soil organic matter (SOM) to acquire nitrogen- a process known as priming. Thus, differences in the physiology, stoichiometry and microbial interactions among plant species could affect climate-carbon feedbacks. To reconcile these interactive mechanisms, we examined how vegetation type (Betula nana and Eriophorum vaginatum) and fertilization (short-term and long-term) influenced the decomposition of native SOM after labile carbon and nutrient addition. We hypothesized that labile carbon inputs would stimulate the loss of native SOM, but the magnitude of this effect would be indirectly related to soil nitrogen concentrations (e.g. SOM priming would be highest in N-limited soils). We added isotopically enriched (13C) glucose and ammonium nitrate to soils under shrub (B. nana) and tussock (E. vaginatum) vegetation. We found that nitrogen additions stimulated priming only in tussock soils, characterized by lower nutrient concentrations and microbial biomass (p<0.05). There was no evidence of priming in soils that had been fertilized for >20yrs. Rather, we found that long-term fertilization shifted SOM chemistry towards a greater abundance of recalcitrant SOM, lower microbial biomass, and decreased SOM respiration (p<0.05). Our results suggest that, in the short-term, the magnitude of SOM priming is dependent on vegetation and soil nitrogen concentrations, but this effect may not persist if shrubs increase in abundance under climate warming. Therefore, including nitrogen as a control on SOM decomposition and priming is critical to accurately model the effects of climate change on arctic carbon

  15. 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.

  16. Effects on the structure 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; Henttonen, Heikki

    2004-11-01

    Species individualistic responses to warming and increased UV-B radiation are moderated by the responses of neighbors within communities, and trophic interactions within ecosystems. All of these responses lead to changes in ecosystem structure. Experimental manipulation of environmental factors expected to change at high latitudes showed that summer warming of tundra vegetation has generally led to smaller changes than fertilizer addition. Some of the factors manipulated have strong effects on the structure of Arctic ecosystems but the effects vary regionally, with the greatest response of plant and invertebrate communities being observed at the coldest locations. Arctic invertebrate communities are very likely to respond rapidly to warming whereas microbial biomass and nutrient stocks are more stable. Experimentally enhanced UV-B radiation altered the community composition of gram-negative bacteria and fungi, but not that of plants. Increased plant productivity due to warmer summers may dominate food-web dynamics. Trophic interactions of tundra and sub-Arctic forest plant-based food webs are centered on a few dominant animal species which often have cyclic population fluctuations that lead to extremely high peak abundances in some years. Population cycles of small rodents and insect defoliators such as the autumn moth affect the structure and diversity of tundra and forest-tundra vegetation and the viability of a number of specialist predators and parasites. Ice crusting in warmer winters is likely to reduce the accessibility of plant food to lemmings, while deep snow may protect them from snow-surface predators. In Fennoscandia, there is evidence already for a pronounced shift in small rodent community structure and dynamics that have resulted in a decline of predators that specialize in feeding on small rodents. Climate is also likely to alter the role of insect pests in the birch forest system: warmer winters may increase survival of eggs and expand the range

  17. 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. Crown Copyright © 2016. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. General features of the arctic relevant to climate change in freshwater ecosystems.

    PubMed

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

    2006-11-01

    Large variations exist in the size, abundance and biota of the two principal categories of freshwater ecosystems, lotic (flowing water; e.g., rivers, streams, deltas and estuaries) and lentic (standing water; lakes, ponds and wetlands) found across the circumpolar Arctic. Arctic climate, many components of which exhibit strong variations along latitudinal gradients, directly affects a range of physical, chemical and biological processes in these aquatic systems. Furthermore, arctic climate creates additional indirect ecological effects through the control of terrestrial hydrologic systems and processes, particularly those associated with cryospheric components such as permafrost, freshwater ice and snow accumulation/ablation. The ecological structure and function of arctic freshwater systems are also controlled by external processes and conditions, particularly those in the headwaters of the major arctic rivers and in the adjacent marine environment. The movement of physical, chemical and biotic components through the interlinked lentic and lotic freshwater systems are major determinants of arctic freshwater ecology.

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. Microbial diversity--exploration of natural ecosystems and microbiomes.

    PubMed

    Gibbons, Sean M; Gilbert, Jack A

    2015-12-01

    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 nano-machines might be harnessed to advance our understanding of the natural world. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. The Forminalized Rat: A Convenient Microbial Ecosystem.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lee, Adrian

    1984-01-01

    Presents a series of experiments built around the bacteria found in the intestinal tract of formalinized rats as a model for discussing microbial ecology. Describes methods of examination of intestinal content, student tasks, and discussion questions; also gives a challenge problem to solve.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. Arctic ecosystem reaction on permafrost melting as a result of 40 years anthropogenic impact

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Petrzhik, Nataliya; Matyshak, George; Myshonkov, Alexander; Petrov, Dmitry

    2017-04-01

    Arctic ecosystems are sensitive indicators of environmental change. The increasing of anthropogenic impact perturb the natural ecosystems balance, first of all significant changes happen in soil and vegetation. It is necessary to study the permafrost ecosystem response, as the permafrost covers the quarter of the world and more than a half of Russia. Since 1960 the oil and gas industry grows in Russia. The hydrocarbons can be transferred by pipelines only in the heated state. The main effect of construction and operation of pipeline is the heating of soil and permafrost degradation. The goal of this study was to estimate the response of landscapes and permafrost ecosystem of north of West Siberia to the cumulative action of pipelines. The main objective was to investigate the warming impact on the properties and function of the soil along the pipelines in permafrost zone. The studied object was vegetation and soil cover of the north of Western Siberia ecosystems after the action of pipelines. The areas with maximum effect of heat lines were selected by remote sensing. Ten transects of 50 meters in length with sampling points every 5 meters from pipeline to undisturbed background area were selected in three different natural zones. The soil and vegetation cover was described, sampled, active layer of soil and the power of organic horizon were measured, the hydrothermal regime of soils in a layer of 0-10 cm was measured, the emission of greenhouse gas was studied. In the laboratory, the content of labile carbon, microbial biomass carbon, basal and substrate-induced respiration were measured. The main effect of the pipelines impact is the active degradation of permafrost and changes in hydrothermal settings. From background to broken areas the following settings changing: the depth of thawing increase in 10 times; the soil temperature changes from 4 to 10,5 ° C in taiga, from 4.5 to 13,5 ° C in tundra, from 5.5 to 12 ° C in forest-tundra; the soil moisture reduces

  17. 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.

  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. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. Microbial Biogeography on the Legacies of Historical Events in the Arctic Subsurface Sediments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Han, Dukki; Nam, Seung-Il; Hur, Hor-Gil

    2017-04-01

    The Arctic marine environment consists of various microbial habitats. The niche preference of microbial assemblages in the Arctic Ocean has been surveyed with the modern environmental change by oceanographic traits such as sea-ice dynamics, current circulation, and sedimentation. The North Pacific inflow from the shallow and narrow Bering Strait is highly susceptible to sea-level fluctuations, and thus the water mass exchange mediated by the history of sea-ice between the North Pacific and the Chukchi Sea in the Arctic Ocean. Over geological timescale, the climate change may provide putative evidences for ecological niche for the Arctic microbial assemblages as well as geological records in response to the paleoclimate change. In the present study, the multidisciplinary approach, based on microbiology, geology, and geochemistry, was applied to survey the microbial assemblages in the Arctic subsurface sediments and help further integrate the microbial biogeography and biogeochemical patterns in the Arctic subsurface biosphere. Our results describe microbial assemblages with high-resolution paleoceanographic records in the Chukchi Sea sediment core (ARA02B/01A-GC; 5.4 mbsf) to show the processes that drive microbial biogeographic patterns in the Arctic subsurface sediments. We found microbial habitat preferences closely linked to Holocene paleoclimate records as well as geological, geochemical, and microbiological evidence for the inference of the sulphate-methane transition zone (SMTZ) in the Chukchi Sea. Especially, the vertically distributed predominant populations of Gammaproteobacteria and Marine Group II Euryarchaeota in the ARA02B/01A-GC consistent with the patterns of the known global SMTZs and Holocene sedimentary records, suggesting that in-depth microbiological profiles integrated with geological records may be indirectly useful for reconstructing Arctic paleoclimate changes. In the earliest phase of Mid Holocene in the ARA02B/01A-GC with concentrated

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. Community history affects the predictability of microbial ecosystem development.

    PubMed

    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.

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. Acclimation of ecosystem CO2 exchange in the Alaskan Arctic in response to decadal climate warming

    PubMed

    Oechel; Vourlitis; Hastings; Zulueta; Hinzman; Kane

    2000-08-31

    Long-term sequestration of carbon in Alaskan Arctic tundra ecosystems was reversed by warming and drying of the climate in the early 1980s, resulting in substantial losses of terrestrial carbon. But recent measurements suggest that continued warming and drying has resulted in diminished CO2 efflux, and in some cases, summer CO2 sink activity. Here we compile summer CO2 flux data for two Arctic ecosystems from 1960 to the end of 1998. The results show that a return to summer sink activity has come during the warmest and driest period observed over the past four decades, and indicates a previously undemonstrated capacity for ecosystems to metabolically adjust to long-term (decadal or longer) changes in climate. The mechanisms involved are likely to include changes in nutrient cycling, physiological acclimation, and population and community reorganization. Nevertheless, despite the observed acclimation, the Arctic ecosystems studied are still annual net sources of CO2 to the atmosphere of at least 40 g C m(-2) yr(-1), due to winter release of CO2, implying that further climate change may still exacerbate CO2 emissions from Arctic ecosystems.

  14. 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.

  15. Assembly-driven community genomics of a hypersaline microbial ecosystem.

    PubMed

    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.

  16. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-08-19

    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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-04-05

    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 δ(15)N 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-04-01

    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.

  20. 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

  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. A Positive Feedback Loop For Global Warming: Methane Production And Microbial Diversity In Arctic Soils

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Barott, K. L.; Lipson, D. A.; Oechel, W. C.

    2008-12-01

    As mean summer temperatures in the Arctic increase, the maximum depth of the annual thaw layer correspondingly increases. This warmed layer, also known as the active layer, is home to a wide diversity of microorganisms. As these microbes become metabolically active every summer, they respire anaerobically to produce carbon dioxide and methane, two powerful greenhouse gases. This study examines the diversity of microbial communities and the production of methane and carbon dioxide from successive layers of soil cores collected from a thaw-lake basin near Barrow, Alaska. The diversity of the microbial communities was determined by generating 16S rRNA gene libraries. A highly diverse community of Archaea and Bacteria was present throughout the soil core, and the structure of the community changed with depth. A novel Archaeal group was also discovered, and was a dominant presence in the microbial community at each depth within the soil core. In addition, the anaerobic production of carbon dioxide and methane from the soil was determined. Despite the fact that this was the first time some of the deepest layers of these cores have been defrosted in thousands of years, each layer was found to produce large volumes of methane and carbon dioxide. After 6 hours of incubation at 3°C, the total methane produced was found to increase with increasing depth, from near 340 ppm at the surface to 1800 ppm at the deepest layers of the cores (40-50 cm). Furthermore, carbon dioxide production was lowest in the top two layers (2500-3000 ppm, 0-20 cm), and highest in each of the lower layers (5000 ppm, 20-50 cm). These data indicate that the contribution of anaerobic respiration cannot be overlooked as a significant source of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. Moreover, soils from this region of the Arctic are immediately capable upon thawing to convert ancient stores of organic carbon into methane and carbon dioxide. These data suggest that as the depth of the annual active layer

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. Microbial responses to experimental warming in a peatland forest ecosystem

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kluber, L. A.; Hanson, P. J.; Schadt, C. W.

    2016-12-01

    The Spruce and Peatland Responses Under Climatic and Environmental Change (SPRUCE) experiment is a ten-year ecosystem manipulation experiment examining how peatland forests respond to increased temperature and CO2 levels. This experiment is expected to lead to various changes in ecosystem processes, including microbially mediated biogeochemical cycles that may ultimately alter the overall C balance of these ecosystems. The initial phase of this experiment began over the summer of 2014 by heating deep subsurface peat to +2.25, +4.5, +6.75 and +9.0 °C above ambient plots with a target heating zone of 1.5-2 meters depth. Whole ecosystem warming began the summer of 2015 with the addition of aboveground heating to the same target temperatures. The response of microbial communities to in-situ warming is assessed with qPCR and rRNA amplicon sequencing at eleven discrete depths across the peat profile to a depth of 200 cm. Additionally, metagenomic sequencing is used to characterize microbial metabolic and functional potential on four depths per profile. After one year of deep peat warming, microbial community structure and abundance of bacterial, archaeal, fungal, and methanogenic populations showed strong vertical stratification across the peat depth profile yet no clear response to the temperature treatments. In an effort to identify factors that may be limiting decomposition and microbial community change in deep peat, we conducted a microcosm incubation of deep peat (150-200 cm depth) at 6 and 15 °C to mimic ambient and +9 °C SPRUCE conditions. Additional treatments included elevated pH and the addition of N and P. Microcosms were monitored for CO2 and CH4 production, and microbial community dynamics were assessed using qPCR and amplicon sequencing. Increasing temperature elevated both CO2 and CH4 production while elevated pH only resulted in greater CH4 production. The effects of elevating temperature and pH in combination with N, P, or N+P additions were more

  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. Endoparasites in the feces of arctic foxes in a terrestrial ecosystem in Canada

    PubMed Central

    Elmore, Stacey A.; Lalonde, Laura F.; Samelius, Gustaf; Alisauskas, Ray T.; Gajadhar, Alvin A.; Jenkins, Emily J.

    2013-01-01

    The parasites of arctic foxes in the central Canadian Arctic have not been well described. Canada’s central Arctic is undergoing dramatic environmental change, which is predicted to cause shifts in parasite and wildlife species distributions, and trophic interactions, requiring that baselines be established to monitor future alterations. This study used conventional, immunological, and molecular fecal analysis techniques to survey the current gastrointestinal endoparasite fauna currently present in arctic foxes in central Nunavut, Canada. Ninety-five arctic fox fecal samples were collected from the terrestrial Karrak Lake ecosystem within the Queen Maud Gulf Migratory Bird Sanctuary. Samples were examined by fecal flotation to detect helminths and protozoa, immunofluorescent assay (IFA) to detect Cryptosporidium and Giardia, and quantitative PCR with melt-curve analysis (qPCR-MCA) to detect coccidia. Positive qPCR-MCA products were sequenced and analyzed phylogenetically. Arctic foxes from Karrak Lake were routinely shedding eggs from Toxascaris leonina (63%). Taeniid (15%), Capillarid (1%), and hookworm eggs (2%), Sarcocystis sp. sporocysts 3%), and Eimeria sp. (6%), and Cystoisospora sp. (5%) oocysts were present at a lower prevalence on fecal flotation. Cryptosporidium sp. (9%) and Giardia sp. (16%) were detected by IFA. PCR analysis detected Sarcocystis (15%), Cystoisospora (5%), Eimeria sp., and either Neospora sp. or Hammondia sp. (1%). Through molecular techniques and phylogenetic analysis, we identified two distinct lineages of Sarcocystis sp. present in arctic foxes, which probably derived from cervid and avian intermediate hosts. Additionally, we detected previously undescribed genotypes of Cystoisospora. Our survey of gastrointestinal endoparasites in arctic foxes from the central Canadian Arctic provides a unique record against which future comparisons can be made. PMID:24533320

  8. Endoparasites in the feces of arctic foxes in a terrestrial ecosystem in Canada.

    PubMed

    Elmore, Stacey A; Lalonde, Laura F; Samelius, Gustaf; Alisauskas, Ray T; Gajadhar, Alvin A; Jenkins, Emily J

    2013-12-01

    The parasites of arctic foxes in the central Canadian Arctic have not been well described. Canada's central Arctic is undergoing dramatic environmental change, which is predicted to cause shifts in parasite and wildlife species distributions, and trophic interactions, requiring that baselines be established to monitor future alterations. This study used conventional, immunological, and molecular fecal analysis techniques to survey the current gastrointestinal endoparasite fauna currently present in arctic foxes in central Nunavut, Canada. Ninety-five arctic fox fecal samples were collected from the terrestrial Karrak Lake ecosystem within the Queen Maud Gulf Migratory Bird Sanctuary. Samples were examined by fecal flotation to detect helminths and protozoa, immunofluorescent assay (IFA) to detect Cryptosporidium and Giardia, and quantitative PCR with melt-curve analysis (qPCR-MCA) to detect coccidia. Positive qPCR-MCA products were sequenced and analyzed phylogenetically. Arctic foxes from Karrak Lake were routinely shedding eggs from Toxascaris leonina (63%). Taeniid (15%), Capillarid (1%), and hookworm eggs (2%), Sarcocystis sp. sporocysts 3%), and Eimeria sp. (6%), and Cystoisospora sp. (5%) oocysts were present at a lower prevalence on fecal flotation. Cryptosporidium sp. (9%) and Giardia sp. (16%) were detected by IFA. PCR analysis detected Sarcocystis (15%), Cystoisospora (5%), Eimeria sp., and either Neospora sp. or Hammondia sp. (1%). Through molecular techniques and phylogenetic analysis, we identified two distinct lineages of Sarcocystis sp. present in arctic foxes, which probably derived from cervid and avian intermediate hosts. Additionally, we detected previously undescribed genotypes of Cystoisospora. Our survey of gastrointestinal endoparasites in arctic foxes from the central Canadian Arctic provides a unique record against which future comparisons can be made.

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. Plankton ecosystem functioning and nitrogen fluxes in the most oligotrophic waters of the Beaufort Sea, Arctic Ocean: a modeling study

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Le Fouest, V.; Zakardjian, B.; Xie, H.; Raimbault, P.; Joux, F.; Babin, M.

    2012-10-01

    The Arctic Ocean (AO) undergoes profound changes of its physical and biotic environments due to climate change. The greater light exposure and stratification alter its plankton ecosystem structure, functioning and productivity promoting oligotrophy in some areas as the Beaufort Sea. A one-dimension (1-D) physical-biological coupled model based on the large multiparametric database of the Malina project in the Beaufort Sea was used (i) to infer the functioning and nitrogen fluxes within the summer plankton ecosystem and (ii) to assess the model sensitivity to key light-associated processes involved in nutrient recycling and phytoplankton growth. The coupled model suggested that ammonium photochemically produced from photosensitive dissolved organic nitrogen (i.e. photoammonification process) was a necessary nitrogen source to achieve the observed levels of microbial biomass and production. It contributed to ca. two-thirds and one-third of the simulated surface (0-10 m) and depth-integrated primary and bacterial production, respectively. The model also suggested that carbon to chlorophyll ratios for small (< 5 μm) phytoplankton (ca. 15-45 g g-1) lower than those commonly used in biogeochemical models applied to the AO were required to simulate the observed herbivorous versus microbial food web competition and realistic nitrogen fluxes in the Beaufort Sea oligotrophic waters. In face of accelerating Arctic warming, more attention should be paid in the future to the mechanistic processes involved in food webs and functional groups competition, nutrient recycling and primary production in poorly productive waters of the AO as they are expected to expand rapidly.

  13. Climate Change Experiments in Arctic Ecosystems: Scientific Strategy and Design Criteria

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wullschleger, S. D.; Hinzman, L. D.; McGuire, A. D.; Oberbauer, S. F.; Oechel, W. C.; Norby, R. J.; Thornton, P. E.; Schuur, E. A.; Shugart, H. H.; Walsh, J. E.; Wilson, C. J.

    2010-12-01

    Arctic and subarctic ecosystems are sensitive to changes in climate. These are among the largest and coldest of all ecosystems and are perceived by many as especially vulnerable to environmental change. Warming, in particular, is expected to be greatest in northern latitudes with potentially significant consequences for tundra, taiga, and peat lands. Observational evidence suggests that warming is already affecting physical and ecological processes in high-latitude ecosystems. Models predict that permafrost degradation and the northward expansion of shrubs into tundra represent important feedbacks on climate. Manipulative experiments can help understand the vulnerability of ecosystems to climate warming. Previous attempts to manipulate the environment of ecosystems in arctic and subarctic regions have focused on warming plant and soils, but treatments have been limited to small scales and modest increases in temperature. Manipulating the environment at larger scales and exposing ecosystems to higher temperatures for longer periods of time will be required to fully describe the physical, chemical, and biological mechanisms that govern land-atmosphere interactions. A variety of logistical and engineering challenges must be overcome and new approaches developed before we can address the questions being asked of the scientific community especially as we continue to move toward large-scale and long-term experiments. In light of the many uncertainties that surround the response of high-latitude ecosystems to global climate change, it is important that the scientific community consider how manipulative experiments can address and resolve ecosystem impacts and feedbacks to climate. A workshop sponsored by the Department of Energy, Office of Science was recently held at the University of Alaska, Fairbanks. The goal of the workshop was to highlight conclusions from observational and modeling studies about the response of arctic and subarctic ecosystems to a changing climate

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. Chemical characteristics of fulvic acids from Arctic surface waters: Microbial contributions and photochemical transformations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cory, Rose M.; McKnight, Diane M.; Chin, Yu-Ping; Miller, Penney; Jaros, Chris L.

    2007-12-01

    Dissolved organic matter (DOM) originating from the extensive Arctic tundra is an important source of organic material to the Arctic Ocean. Chemical characteristics of whole water dissolved organic matter (DOM) and the fulvic acid fraction of DOM were studied from nine surface waters in the Arctic region of Alaska to gain insight into the extent of microbial and photochemical transformation of this DOM. All the fulvic acids had a strong terrestrial/higher plant signature, with uniformly depleted δ13C values of -28‰, and low fluorescence indices around 1.3. Several of the measured chemical characteristics of the Arctic fulvic acids were related to water residence time, a measure of environmental exposure to sunlight and microbial activity. For example, fulvic acids from Arctic streams had higher aromatic contents, higher specific absorbance values, lower nitrogen content, lower amino acid-like fluorescence and were more depleted in δ15N relative to fulvic acids isolated from lake and coastal surface waters. The differences in the nitrogen signature between the lake and coastal fulvic acids compared to the stream fulvic acids indicated that microbial contributions to the fulvic acid pool increased with increasing water residence time. The photo-lability of the fulvic acids was positively correlated with water residence time, suggesting that the fulvic acids isolated from source waters with larger water residence times (i.e., lakes and coastal waters) have experienced greater photochemical degradation than the stream fulvic acids. In addition, many of the initial differences in fulvic acid chemical characteristics across the gradient of water residence times were consistent with changes observed in fulvic acid photolysis experiments. Taken together, results from this study suggest that photochemical processes predominantly control the chemical character of fulvic acids in Arctic surface waters. Our findings show that hydrologic transport in addition to

  20. 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.

  1. Decrease of lichens in Arctic ecosystems: the role of wildfire, caribou, reindeer, competition and climate in north-western Alaska

    Treesearch

    Kyle Joly; Randi R. Jandt; David R. Klein

    2009-01-01

    We review and present a synthesis of the existing research dealing with changing Arctic tundra ecosystems, in relation to caribou and reindeer winter ranges. Whereas pan-Arctic studies have documented the effects on tundra vegetation from simulated climate change, we draw upon recent long-term regional studies in Alaska that have documented the actual, on-the-ground...

  2. Modeling plankton ecosystem functioning and nitrogen fluxes in the oligotrophic waters of the Beaufort Sea, Arctic Ocean: a focus on light-driven processes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Le Fouest, V.; Zakardjian, B.; Xie, H.; Raimbault, P.; Joux, F.; Babin, M.

    2013-07-01

    The Arctic Ocean (AO) undergoes profound changes of its physical and biotic environments due to climate change. In some areas of the Beaufort Sea, the stronger haline stratification observed in summer alters the plankton ecosystem structure, functioning and productivity, promoting oligotrophy. A one-dimension (1-D) physical-biological coupled model based on the large multiparametric database of the Malina project in the Beaufort Sea was used (i) to infer the plankton ecosystem functioning and related nitrogen fluxes and (ii) to assess the model sensitivity to key light-driven processes involved in nutrient recycling and phytoplankton growth. The coupled model suggested that ammonium photochemically produced from photosensitive dissolved organic nitrogen (i.e., photoammonification process) was a necessary nitrogen source to achieve the observed levels of microbial biomass and production. Photoammonification directly and indirectly (by stimulating the microbial food web activity) contributed to 70% and 18.5% of the 0-10 m and whole water column, respectively, simulated primary production (respectively 66% and 16% for the bacterial production). The model also suggested that variable carbon to chlorophyll ratios were required to simulate the observed herbivorous versus microbial food web competition and realistic nitrogen fluxes in the Beaufort Sea oligotrophic waters. In face of accelerating Arctic warming, more attention should be paid in the future to the mechanistic processes involved in food webs and functional group competition, nutrient recycling and primary production in poorly productive waters of the AO, as they are expected to expand rapidly.

  3. Microbial responses to nitrogen addition in three contrasting grassland ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Zeglin, Lydia H; Stursova, Martina; Sinsabaugh, Robert L; Collins, Scott L

    2007-11-01

    The effects of global N enrichment on soil processes in grassland ecosystems have received relatively little study. We assessed microbial community response to experimental increases in N availability by measuring extracellular enzyme activity (EEA) in soils from three grasslands with contrasting edaphic and climatic characteristics: a semiarid grassland at the Sevilleta National Wildlife Refuge, New Mexico, USA (SEV), and mesic grasslands at Konza Prairie, Kansas, USA (KNZ) and Ukulinga Research Farm, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa (SAF). We hypothesized that, with N enrichment, soil microbial communities would increase C and P acquisition activity, decrease N acquisition activity, and reduce oxidative enzyme production (leading to recalcitrant soil organic matter [SOM] accumulation), and that the magnitude of response would decrease with soil age (due to higher stabilization of enzyme pools and P limitation of response). Cellulolytic activities followed the pattern predicted, increasing 35-52% in the youngest soil (SEV), 10-14% in the intermediate soil (KNZ) and remaining constant in the oldest soil (SAF). The magnitude of phosphatase response did not vary among sites. N acquisition activity response was driven by the enzyme closest to its pH optimum in each soil: i.e., leucine aminopeptidase in alkaline soil, beta-N-acetylglucosaminidase in acidic soil. Oxidative enzyme activity varied widely across ecosystems, but did not decrease with N amendment at any site. Likewise, SOM and %C pools did not respond to N enrichment. Between-site variation in both soil properties and EEA exceeded any treatment response, and a large portion of EEA variability (leucine aminopeptidase and oxidative enzymes), 68% as shown by principal components analysis, was strongly related to soil pH (r = 0.91, P < 0.001). In these grassland ecosystems, soil microbial responses appear constrained by a molecular-scale (pH) edaphic factor, making potential breakdown rates of SOM resistant to N

  4. 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).

  5. Microbial communities, processes and functions in acid mine drainage ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Chen, Lin-xing; Huang, Li-nan; Méndez-García, Celia; Kuang, Jia-liang; Hua, Zheng-shuang; Liu, Jun; Shu, Wen-sheng

    2016-04-01

    Acid mine drainage (AMD) is generated from the oxidative dissolution of metal sulfides when water and oxygen are available largely due to human mining activities. This process can be accelerated by indigenous microorganisms. In the last several decades, culture-dependent researches have uncovered and validated the roles of AMD microorganisms in metal sulfides oxidation and acid generation processes, and culture-independent studies have largely revealed the diversity and metabolic potentials and activities of AMD communities, leading towards a full understanding of the microbial diversity, functions and interactions in AMD ecosystems. This review describes the diversity of microorganisms and their functions in AMD ecosystems, and discusses their biotechnological applications in biomining and AMD bioremediation according to their capabilities. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. Microbial Community Response to Warming and Correlations to Organic Carbon Degradation in an Arctic Tundra Soil

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yang, Z.; Yang, S.; Zhou, J.; Wullschleger, S. D.; Graham, D. E.; Yang, Y.; Gu, B.

    2016-12-01

    Climate warming increases microbial activity and thus decomposition of soil organic carbon (SOC) stored in Arctic tundra, but changes in microbial community and its correlations to SOC decomposition are poorly understood. Using a microbial functional gene array (GeoChip 5.0), we examined the microbial functional community structure changes with temperature (-2 and +8 °C) in an anoxic incubation experiment with a high-centered polygon trough soil from Barrow, Alaska. Through a 122-day incubation, we show that functional community structure was significantly altered (P < 0.05) by 8 °C warming, with functional diversity decreasing in response to warming and rapid degradation of the labile soil organic substrates. In contrast, microbial community structure was largely unchanged by -2 °C incubation. In the organic layer soil, gene abundances associated with fermentation, methanogenesis, and iron reduction all decreased significantly (P < 0.05) following the incubation at 8 °C. These observations corroborate strongly with decreased methane and reducing sugar production rates and iron reduction during the incubation. These results demonstrate a rapid and sensitive microbial response to increasing soil temperature, and suggest important roles of microbial communities in moderating SOC degradation and iron cycling in warming Arctic tundra.

  10. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, G.; Mayes, M. A.; Gu, L.; Schadt, C. W.

    2013-12-01

    Experimental observations and modeling efforts have shown that dormancy is likely a common strategy for microorganisms to contend with environmental stress. We review the state-of-the-art in modeling approaches for microbial dormancy and discuss the rationales of these models. We proved that the physiological state index model is not appropriate for describing transformation between active and dormant states. Based on the generally accepted assumptions summarized from ten existing models, we postulated a new synthetic microbial physiology component within the Microbial-ENzyme-mediated Decomposition (MEND) model. Both the steady state active fraction (rss) and substrate saturation level (Øss) positively depend on two physiological indices: α and β. The index α = mR /(μG+ mR), where μG and mR represent the maximum specific growth and maintenance rates, respectively, for active microbes. β denotes the ratio of dormant to active maintenance rate. The rss equals to Øss only under the condition of β→0, and they are identical to α. When substrate availability is the only limiting factor, the maximum rss is ca. 0.5 with α≤0.5 and β ≤0.01. This threshold value (0.5) of rss (not dynamic r) can explain the low active microbial fractions observed in undisturbed soils. The applications of the improved model to a 14C-labeled glucose induced respiration dataset and a batch experimental dataset show satisfactory model performance. We found that the exponential growth respiration rates can only be used to determine μG and initial active microbial biomass (Ba0), thus we suggest using respiration data representing both exponential growth and non-accelerating phases to robustly determine other important parameters such as initial total live microbial biomass (B0), initial active fraction (r0), μG, α, and the half-saturation constant (Ks). Similar improved representations of microbial physiology should be incorporated into existing ecosystem models in order to

  12. Dead or Alive? Probing Microbial Ecosystems With Intact Polar Lipids.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sturt, H. F.; Smith, K. J.; Xu, L.; Molyneaux, S. J.; Teske, A.; Orphan, V. J.; Summons, R. E.; Hinrichs, K.

    2002-12-01

    Multi-proxy approaches consisting of isotopic information derived from diagnostic lipid biomarkers together with phylogenetic techniques have advanced our understanding of naturally occurring microbial communities. Examples include the significant advances in our understanding of the ecology of archaeal methanotrophs and planktonic crenarchaeota. However, this approach has to be modified for application to microbial ecosystems in the deep subsurface in order to distinguish live matter from dead. Polar lipids, i.e., phospho- and glycolipids, fulfill that requirement and potentially provide information on the structure, size and function of the microbial community. We utilized a high-performance-liquid-chromatograph coupled to a mass-spectrometer (HPLC-MS) to examine the distribution of intact polar lipids from microbial isolates and surface sediments that are relevant for the study of deep subsurface biospheres. Structural features of bacterial and archaeal-derived polar lipids are identified on the basis of their sequential fragmentation in an ion-trap mass spectrometer upon electrospray ionization. Additional details are obtained from a series of chemical degradations designed to release alkyl units of the polar lipids rendering them analyzable by conventional gas-chromatography-mass-spectrometry (GC-MS). Fingerprints of polar lipids from microbial isolates allow distinction of taxonomically closely related prokaryotes. Moreover, sediments from seep environments in Eel River Basin and Guaymas Basin that host anaerobic methanotrophic communities are both dominated by similar types of glycosyl biphytanyl tetraethers suggestive of a predominant low-diversity archaeal assemblage. First applications of this technique to sediments from the deep subsurface will be presented.

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. A Canadian Working Group report on fecal microbial therapy: microbial ecosystems therapeutics.

    PubMed

    Allen-Vercoe, Emma; Reid, Gregor; Viner, Norman; Gloor, Gregory B; Hota, Susy; Kim, Peter; Lee, Christine; O'Doherty, Kieran; Vanner, Stephen J; Weese, J Scott; Petrof, Elaine O

    2012-07-01

    A working group from across Canada comprised of clinician and basic scientists, epidemiologists, ethicists, Health Canada regulatory authorities and representatives of major funding agencies (Canadian Institutes of Health Research and the Crohn's and Colitis Foundation of Canada) met to review the current experience with fecal microbial therapy and to identify the key areas of study required to move this field forward. The report highlights the promise of fecal microbial therapy and related synthetic stool therapy (together called 'microbial ecosystems therapeutics') for the treatment of Clostridium difficile colitis and, possibly, other disorders. It identifies pressing clinical issues that need to be addressed as well as social, ethical and regulatory barriers to the use of these important therapies.

  16. A Canadian Working Group report on fecal microbial therapy: Microbial ecosystems therapeutics

    PubMed Central

    Allen-Vercoe, Emma; Reid, Gregor; Viner, Norman; Gloor, Gregory B; Hota, Susy; Kim, Peter; Lee, Christine; O’Doherty, Kieran C; Vanner, Stephen J; Weese, J Scott; Petrof, Elaine O

    2012-01-01

    A working group from across Canada comprised of clinician and basic scientists, epidemiologists, ethicists, Health Canada regulatory authorities and representatives of major funding agencies (Canadian Institutes of Health Research and the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of Canada) met to review the current experience with fecal microbial therapy and to identify the key areas of study required to move this field forward. The report highlights the promise of fecal microbial therapy and related synthetic stool therapy (together called ‘microbial ecosystems therapeutics’) for the treatment of Clostridium difficile colitis and, possibly, other disorders. It identifies pressing clinical issues that need to be addressed as well as social, ethical and regulatory barriers to the use of these important therapies. PMID:22803022

  17. The role of microbial stress responses in regulating ecosystem-level responses to episodic pulse weather events

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schimel, J.; Balser, T.; Wallenstein, M.

    2006-12-01

    Episodic stress events such as drying/rewetting and freeze/thaw are common in nature and they have large impacts on the microbial processes that regulate ecosystem fluxes of C, N, and other elements. Soil microorganisms must acclimate to these stresses or die. Largely, microbes do acclimate effectively. However, even when community response to stress is limited, the physiological costs imposed on soil microbes are large enough that they may cause suybstantial shifts in the allocation and fate of C and N. For example, for microbes to synthesize the osmolytes they need to survive a single drought episode may consume up to 5% of total annual net primary production in a grassland, while acclimating to freezing conditions switches Arctic tundra soils from immobilizing N during the growing season to mineralizing it during the winter. Thus, the physiological ecology of soil microbes plays an important, and not well recognized, role in regulating ecosystem responses to pulse weather events.

  18. 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

  19. Soil microbial responses to nitrogen addition in arid ecosystems

    DOE PAGES

    Sinsabaugh, Robert L.; Belnap, Jayne; Rudgers, Jennifer; ...

    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. 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. As a result, large effect sizes at low N

  20. 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. 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

  1. 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

  2. Ecosystem Dynamics of the Microbial Mats in Lake Fryxell, Antarctica

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Krusor, M.; Mackey, T. J.; Hawes, I.; Jungblut, A. D.; Eisen, J.; Sumner, D. Y.

    2016-12-01

    Microbial communities drive biogeochemical cycles on Earth at micron scales, at which microbial ecosystem networks are highly interconnected to each other and their local environment through trophic interactions and the availability of electron acceptors. Feedbacks among microorganisms and environmental conditions structure microbial communities and micron-scale geochemical gradients. We are exploring interactions among microbial community structure and local geochemistry in Lake Fryxell, a perennially ice-covered, meromictic lake in the McMurdo Dry Valleys, Antarctica. In Lake Fryxell, O2 concentration and photosynthetically active radiation (PAR) decline with depth and influence layered benthic mats, which consist of microorganisms from all three domains. These layered mats change pigmentation and morphology with depth in the lake. In 2012, samples were collected for 16S rRNA and metagenomic sequencing in collaboration with the McMurdo Dry Valleys Long Term Ecological Research program. Samples were collected at 9.0, 9.35, and 9.8 m depth with temperature, pressure, O2 concentration, conductivity, PAR, irradiance, and morphology. O2 microelectrode profiles were also collected. At 9.0 and 9.35 m depths, PAR was relatively high, and the water was supersaturated with O2. At 9.8 m depth, PAR was low and lake water was anoxic, but 50 µmol L-1 of O2 was produced by cyanobacteria, creating a mm-thick zone with free O2 in the mat under anoxic water. As in many microbial mats, community-O2 correlations are present in Lake Fryxell: diversity increases with increasing depth into the mat at all lake depths, and diversity decreases with increasing depth in the lake. Microbial communities are less diverse and the dominant phototrophs change at lower PAR and O2 concentrations. Further, O2 generated by cyanobacteria creates a habitat for aerobic and microaerophilic heterotrophs under an anoxic water column. Some lineages, particularly alpha- and gammaproteobacteria and the

  3. 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).

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. Ecosystem responses to climate change at a Low Arctic and a High Arctic long-term research site.

    PubMed

    Hobbie, John E; Shaver, Gaius R; Rastetter, Edward B; Cherry, Jessica E; Goetz, Scott J; Guay, Kevin C; Gould, William A; Kling, George W

    2017-02-01

    Long-term measurements of ecological effects of warming are often not statistically significant because of annual variability or signal noise. These are reduced in indicators that filter or reduce the noise around the signal and allow effects of climate warming to emerge. In this way, certain indicators act as medium pass filters integrating the signal over years-to-decades. In the Alaskan Arctic, the 25-year record of warming of air temperature revealed no significant trend, yet environmental and ecological changes prove that warming is affecting the ecosystem. The useful indicators are deep permafrost temperatures, vegetation and shrub biomass, satellite measures of canopy reflectance (NDVI), and chemical measures of soil weathering. In contrast, the 18-year record in the Greenland Arctic revealed an extremely high summer air-warming of 1.3 °C/decade; the cover of some plant species increased while the cover of others decreased. Useful indicators of change are NDVI and the active layer thickness.

  7. 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.

  8. Herbivory Network: An international, collaborative effort to study herbivory in Arctic and alpine ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Barrio, I. C.; Hik, D. S.; Jónsdóttir, I. S.; Bueno, C. G.; Mörsdorf, M. A.; Ravolainen, V. T.

    2016-09-01

    Plant-herbivore interactions are central to the functioning of tundra ecosystems, but their outcomes vary over space and time. Accurate forecasting of ecosystem responses to ongoing environmental changes requires a better understanding of the processes responsible for this heterogeneity. To effectively address this complexity at a global scale, coordinated research efforts, including multi-site comparisons within and across disciplines, are needed. The Herbivory Network was established as a forum for researchers from Arctic and alpine regions to collaboratively investigate the multifunctional role of herbivores in these changing ecosystems. One of the priorities is to integrate sites, methodologies, and metrics used in previous work, to develop a set of common protocols and design long-term geographically-balanced, coordinated experiments. The implementation of these collaborative research efforts will also improve our understanding of traditional human-managed systems that encompass significant portions of the sub-Arctic and alpine areas worldwide. A deeper understanding of the role of herbivory in these systems under ongoing environmental changes will guide appropriate adaptive strategies to preserve their natural values and related ecosystem services.

  9. 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.

  10. Small birds, big effects: the little auk (Alle alle) transforms high Arctic ecosystems.

    PubMed

    González-Bergonzoni, Ivan; Johansen, Kasper L; Mosbech, Anders; Landkildehus, Frank; Jeppesen, Erik; Davidson, Thomas A

    2017-02-22

    In some arctic areas, marine-derived nutrients (MDN) resulting from fish migrations fuel freshwater and terrestrial ecosystems, increasing primary production and biodiversity. Less is known, however, about the role of seabird-MDN in shaping ecosystems. Here, we examine how the most abundant seabird in the North Atlantic, the little auk (Alle alle), alters freshwater and terrestrial ecosystems around the North Water Polynya (NOW) in Greenland. We compare stable isotope ratios (δ(15)N and δ(13)C) of freshwater and terrestrial biota, terrestrial vegetation indices and physical-chemical properties, productivity and community structure of fresh waters in catchments with and without little auk colonies. The presence of colonies profoundly alters freshwater and terrestrial ecosystems by providing nutrients and massively enhancing primary production. Based on elevated δ(15)N in MDN, we estimate that MDN fuels more than 85% of terrestrial and aquatic biomass in bird influenced systems. Furthermore, by using different proxies of bird impact (colony distance, algal δ(15)N) it is possible to identify a gradient in ecosystem response to increasing bird impact. Little auk impact acidifies the freshwater systems, reducing taxonomic richness of macroinvertebrates and truncating food webs. These results demonstrate that the little auk acts as an ecosystem engineer, transforming ecosystems across a vast region of Northwest Greenland.

  11. Contamination of the Arctic reflected in microbial metagenomes from the Greenland ice sheet

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hauptmann, Aviaja L.; Sicheritz-Pontén, Thomas; Cameron, Karen A.; Bælum, Jacob; Plichta, Damian R.; Dalgaard, Marlene; Stibal, Marek

    2017-07-01

    Globally emitted contaminants accumulate in the Arctic and are stored in the frozen environments of the cryosphere. Climate change influences the release of these contaminants through elevated melt rates, resulting in increased contamination locally. Our understanding of how biological processes interact with contamination in the Arctic is limited. Through shotgun metagenomic data and binned genomes from metagenomes we show that microbial communities, sampled from multiple surface ice locations on the Greenland ice sheet, have the potential for resistance to and degradation of contaminants. The microbial potential to degrade anthropogenic contaminants, such as toxic and persistent polychlorinated biphenyls, was found to be spatially variable and not limited to regions close to human activities. Binned genomes showed close resemblance to microorganisms isolated from contaminated habitats. These results indicate that, from a microbiological perspective, the Greenland ice sheet cannot be seen as a pristine environment.

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

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

    PubMed

    Girard, Catherine; Leclerc, Maxime; Amyot, Marc

    2016-04-05

    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.

  18. Interactions between snow chemistry, mercury inputs and microbial population dynamics in an Arctic snowpack.

    PubMed

    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.

  19. Contingency and statistical laws in replicate microbial closed ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Hekstra, Doeke R; Leibler, Stanislas

    2012-05-25

    Contingency, the persistent influence of past random events, pervades biology. To what extent, then, is each course of ecological or evolutionary dynamics unique, and to what extent are these dynamics subject to a common statistical structure? Addressing this question requires replicate measurements to search for emergent statistical laws. We establish a readily replicated microbial closed ecosystem (CES), sustaining its three species for years. We precisely measure the local population density of each species in many CES replicates, started from the same initial conditions and kept under constant light and temperature. The covariation among replicates of the three species densities acquires a stable structure, which could be decomposed into discrete eigenvectors, or "ecomodes." The largest ecomode dominates population density fluctuations around the replicate-average dynamics. These fluctuations follow simple power laws consistent with a geometric random walk. Thus, variability in ecological dynamics can be studied with CES replicates and described by simple statistical laws.

  20. 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.

  1. Arctic ecosystem responses to changes in water table and surface warming

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Olivas, P. C.; Oberbauer, S. F.; Tweedie, C. E.; Oechel, W. C.

    2009-12-01

    Although low in productivity, arctic ecosystems store close to 20% of the global soil carbon as a result of low decomposition rates enhanced by high soil moisture availability and low temperatures. Expected global climatic changes are likely to significantly increase the temperature in the Arctic, disturbing surface soil moisture patterns and potentially increasing turnover of soil organic matter, thus reversing the role of the Arctic as a carbon sink. Our goal was to determine the short-term ecosystem CO2 exchange response to drying, flooding, and warming, and understand the potential effects that climatic changes could have on the long-term carbon balance of the Arctic. We carried out this study during the growing seasons from 2006 to 2008 on the coastal plain near Barrow, Alaska. We used a 62 ha thawed lake, divided into three sections: drained, flooded and intermediate treatments. Temperature treated plots were replicated within each water treatment category using open top chambers. We assessed ecosystem responses to water and temperature treatments as: ecosystem respiration (ER), gross primary photosynthesis (GPP) and net ecosystem balance (NEE) using chamber-based measurements. We found a strong CO2 exchange response to changes in water table and surface temperature. However, the magnitude of the response differed among carbon flux components. Although flooding increased NEE, the increase was more a result of a decrease in ER rather than an increase in GPP. High water tables can also reduce GPP by submerging leaf area, especially that of mosses. Drying increased ER and GPP, however, species composition and microtopography position affected the magnitude of the changes ultimately affecting NEE. Areas dominated by mosses experienced a reduction of sink capacity, whereas areas dominated by vascular plants experienced an increase in NEE regardless of the drying of the moss layer. Warming affected all CO2 flux components. GPP increased in all treatments except in

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. High Arctic Landscapes in Transition: Threshold Responses to Recent Climate Change in Ellesmere Island Lakes, Fiords and Ice Shelf Ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vincent, W. F.; van Hove, P.; Mueller, D. R.

    2004-05-01

    The northern coast of Ellesmere Island in the Canadian high Arctic (latitude 83N, longitude 75 W) contains a diverse range of lakes in which persistent ice plays a major role in their ecosystem structure and dynamics. Five meromictic lakes occur in this area and are the result of isostatic uplift trapping basins of seawater, subsequently overlain by low conductivity melt-water. The lakes are protected from wind-induced mixing by thick ice cover though most or all of the year. As a result they are highly stratified with strong vertical gradients in biogeochemical properties and in biological community structure. Our recent measurements indicate that this ice cover is now being lost during warm summers, and the lakes are passing across an abrupt transition in their physical regime that may ultimately have strong impacts on their chemical and biological properties. A 440 sq. km expanse of ice (Ward Hunt Ice Shelf ) extends off the coast of Ellesmere Island and acts as a dam for inflowing meltwater to the surface of a deep fiord (Disraeli Fiord). The resultant 'epishelf lake' (freshwater overlying saltwater connected the sea) contains a complex microbial food web that supports higher trophic levels including zooplankton and probably fish. The ice shelf itself is covered by numerous elongate (up to 15 km long) meltwater lakes. These unique ecosystems are currently undergoing rapid change with the break-up and loss of integrity of the ice shelf. Large sections of the Ward Hunt Ice Shelf have been lost by calving, and most of the Disraeli Fiord epishelf lake has drained away through a central fissure that developed over the period 2001-3. Pronounced habitat loss is accompanying small shifts in the northern Ellesmere temperature regime, underscoring the importance of threshold effects in the cryosphere, and the extreme sensitivity of cryo-ecosystems to climate forcing.

  5. Rapid decline in river icings detected in Arctic Alaska: Implications for a changing hydrologic cycle and river ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pavelsky, Tamlin M.; Zarnetske, Jay P.

    2017-04-01

    Arctic river icings are surface ice accumulations that can be >10 km2 in area and >10 m thick. They commonly impact the hydrology, geomorphology, and ecology of Arctic river environments. Previous examination of icing dynamics in Arctic Alaska found no substantial changes in extent through 2005. However, here we use daily time series of satellite imagery for 2000-2015 to demonstrate that the temporal persistence and minimum summertime extent of large icings in part of Arctic Alaska and Canada have declined rapidly. We identified 122 large ephemeral icings, and 70 are disappearing significantly earlier in the summer, with a mean trend of -1.6 ± 0.9 day-1 for fully ephemeral features. Additionally, 14 of 25 icings that usually persist through the summer have significantly smaller minimum extents (-2.6 ± 1.6% yr-1). These declines are remarkably rapid and suggest that Arctic hydroclimatic systems generating icings, and their associated ecosystems, are changing rapidly.

  6. 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.

  7. Hydrology modifies ecosystem responses to warming through interactions between soil, leaf and canopy processes in a high Arctic ecosystem

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-12-01

    Arctic ecosystems are experiencing temperature increases more strongly than the global average, and increases in precipitation are also expected amongst the climate impacts on this region in the future. These changes are expected to strongly influence both plant physiology and soil biogeochemistry, and therefore ecosystem carbon balance, hydrology and nutrient cycling. We have investigated the effects of a long-term (10 years) increase in temperature (T2), soil water (W) and the combination of both (T2W) on leaf-level structure and function and ecosystem CO2 and water fluxes in a tundra ecosystem at a field manipulation experiment in NW Greenland. Leaf-level gas exchange, chlorophyll fluorescence, carbon (C), nitrogen (N) and morphology were measured on Salix arctica plants in treatment and control plots in June-July 2011, and continuous measurements of net ecosystem fluxes of carbon and water were made using automatic chambers coupled to a trace gas analyzer. Contrasting responses to the treatments were observed between leaf-level and net ecosystem fluxes. Plants in the elevated temperature treatment had the highest leaf-level photosynthetic capacity in terms of net CO2 assimilation rates and photosystem II efficiencies, and lowest rates of non-photochemical energy dissipation during photosynthesis. The plants in the plots with both elevated temperatures and additional water had the lowest photosystem II efficiencies and the highest rates of non-photochemical energy dissipation. However, net photosynthetic rates remained similar to control plants with additional water, due in part to higher stomatal conductance (W) and lower dark respiration rates (T2W). In contrast, net ecosystem CO2 and water fluxes were highest in the T2W plots, due largely to a 35% increase in leaf area. Total growing season C accumulation was 3-5 times greater, water fluxes were 1.5-2 times higher, and water use efficiency was about 3 times higher in the combined treatment than the control

  8. 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.

  9. Heterotrophic and autotrophic microbial populations in cold perennial springs of the high arctic.

    PubMed

    Perreault, Nancy N; Greer, Charles W; Andersen, Dale T; Tille, Stefanie; Lacrampe-Couloume, Georges; Lollar, Barbara Sherwood; Whyte, Lyle G

    2008-11-01

    The saline springs of Gypsum Hill in the Canadian high Arctic are a rare example of cold springs originating from deep groundwater and rising to the surface through thick permafrost. The heterotrophic bacteria and autotrophic sulfur-oxidizing bacteria (up to 40% of the total microbial community) isolated from the spring waters and sediments were classified into four phyla (Actinobacteria, Bacteroidetes, Firmicutes, and Proteobacteria) based on 16S rRNA gene analysis; heterotrophic isolates were primarily psychrotolerant, salt-tolerant, facultative anaerobes. Some of the isolates contained genes for thiosulfate oxidation (soxB) and anoxygenic photosynthesis (pufM), possibly enabling the strains to better compete in these sulfur-rich environments subject to long periods of illumination in the Arctic summer. Although leucine uptake by the spring water microbial community was low, CO(2) uptake was relatively high under dark incubation, reinforcing the idea that primary production by chemoautotrophs is an important process in the springs. The small amounts of hydrocarbons in gases exsolving from the springs (0.38 to 0.51% CH(4)) were compositionally and isotopically consistent with microbial methanogenesis and possible methanotrophy. Anaerobic heterotrophic sulfur oxidation and aerobic autotrophic sulfur oxidation activities were demonstrated in sediment slurries. Overall, our results describe an active microbial community capable of sustainability in an extreme environment that experiences prolonged periods of continuous light or darkness, low temperatures, and moderate salinity, where life seems to rely on chemolithoautotrophy.

  10. 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

  11. Heterotrophic and Autotrophic Microbial Populations in Cold Perennial Springs of the High Arctic ▿ †

    PubMed Central

    Perreault, Nancy N.; Greer, Charles W.; Andersen, Dale T.; Tille, Stefanie; Lacrampe-Couloume, Georges; Lollar, Barbara Sherwood; Whyte, Lyle G.

    2008-01-01

    The saline springs of Gypsum Hill in the Canadian high Arctic are a rare example of cold springs originating from deep groundwater and rising to the surface through thick permafrost. The heterotrophic bacteria and autotrophic sulfur-oxidizing bacteria (up to 40% of the total microbial community) isolated from the spring waters and sediments were classified into four phyla (Actinobacteria, Bacteroidetes, Firmicutes, and Proteobacteria) based on 16S rRNA gene analysis; heterotrophic isolates were primarily psychrotolerant, salt-tolerant, facultative anaerobes. Some of the isolates contained genes for thiosulfate oxidation (soxB) and anoxygenic photosynthesis (pufM), possibly enabling the strains to better compete in these sulfur-rich environments subject to long periods of illumination in the Arctic summer. Although leucine uptake by the spring water microbial community was low, CO2 uptake was relatively high under dark incubation, reinforcing the idea that primary production by chemoautotrophs is an important process in the springs. The small amounts of hydrocarbons in gases exsolving from the springs (0.38 to 0.51% CH4) were compositionally and isotopically consistent with microbial methanogenesis and possible methanotrophy. Anaerobic heterotrophic sulfur oxidation and aerobic autotrophic sulfur oxidation activities were demonstrated in sediment slurries. Overall, our results describe an active microbial community capable of sustainability in an extreme environment that experiences prolonged periods of continuous light or darkness, low temperatures, and moderate salinity, where life seems to rely on chemolithoautotrophy. PMID:18805995

  12. Light-stress avoidance mechanisms in a Sphagnum-dominated wet coastal Arctic tundra ecosystem in Alaska.

    PubMed

    Zona, D; Oechel, Walter C; Richards, James H; Hastings, Steven; Kopetz, Irene; Ikawa, Hiroki; Oberbauer, Steven

    2011-03-01

    The Arctic experiences a high-radiation environment in the summer with 24-hour daylight for more than two months. Damage to plants and ecosystem metabolism can be muted by overcast conditions common in much of the Arctic. However, with climate change, extreme dry years and clearer skies could lead to the risk of increased photoxidation and photoinhibition in Arctic primary producers. Mosses, which often exceed the NPP of vascular plants in Arctic areas, are often understudied. As a result, the effect of specific environmental factors, including light, on these growth forms is poorly understood. Here, we investigated net ecosystem exchange (NEE) at the ecosystem scale, net Sphagnum CO2 exchange (NSE), and photoinhibition to better understand the impact of light on carbon exchange from a moss-dominated coastal tundra ecosystem during the summer season 2006. Sphagnum photosynthesis showed photoinhibition early in the season coupled with low ecosystem NEE. However, later in the season, Sphagnum maintained a significant CO2 uptake, probably for the development of subsurface moss layers protected from strong radiation. We suggest that the compact canopy structure of Sphagnum reduces light penetration to the subsurface layers of the moss mat and thereby protects the active photosynthetic tissues from damage. This stress avoidance mechanism allowed Sphagnum to constitute a significant percentage (up to 60%) of the ecosystem net daytime CO2 uptake at the end of the growing season despite the high levels of radiation experienced.

  13. A New Perspective on Changing Arctic Marine Ecosystems: Panarchy Adaptive Cycles in Pan-Arctic Spatial and Temporal Scales

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wiese, F. K.; Huntington, H. P.; Carmack, E.; Wassmann, P. F. J.; Leu, E. S.; Gradinger, R.

    2016-02-01

    Changes in the physical/biological interactions in the Arctic are occurring across a variety of spatial and temporal scales and may be mitigated or strengthened based on varying rates of evolutionary adaptation. A novel way to view these interactions and their social relevance is through the systems theory perspective of "Panarchy" proposed by Gunderson and Holling. Panarchy is an interdisciplinary approach in which structures, scales and linkages of complex-adaptive systems, including those of nature (e.g. ocean), humans (e.g. economics), and combined social-ecological systems (e.g. institutions that govern natural resource use), are mapped across multiple space and time scales in continual and interactive adaptive cycles of growth, accumulation, restructuring and renewal. In complex-adaptive systems the dynamics at a given scale are generally dominated by a small number of key internal variables that are forced by one or more external variables. The stability of such a system is characterized by its resilience, i.e. its capacity to absorb disturbance and re-organize while undergoing change, so as to retain essentially similar function, structure, identity and feedbacks. It is in the capacity of a system to cope with pressures and adversities such as exploitation, warming, governance restrictions, competition, etc. that resilience embraces human and natural systems as complex entities continually adapting through cycles of change. In this paper we explore processes at four linked spatial domains in the Arctic Ocean and link it to ecosystem resilience and re-organization characteristics. From this we derive a series of hypotheses concerning the biological responses to future physical changes and suggest ways how Panarchy theory can be applied to observational strategies to help detect early signs of environmental shifts affecting marine system services and functions. We close by discussing possible implications of the Panarchy framework for policy and governance.

  14. Peak season carbon exchange shifts from a sink to a source following 50+ years of herbivore exclusion in an Arctic tundra ecosystem

    DOE PAGES

    Lara, Mark J.; Johnson, David R.; Andresen, Christian; ...

    2016-08-27

    To date, the majority of our knowledge regarding the impacts of herbivory on arctic ecosystem function has been restricted to short-term (<5 years) exclusion or manipulation experiments. Here, our understanding of long-term responses of sustained herbivory and/or herbivore exclusion on arctic tundra ecosystem function is severely limited.

  15. 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.

  16. Wastewater treatment and public health in Nunavut: a microbial risk assessment framework for the Canadian Arctic.

    PubMed

    Daley, Kiley; Jamieson, Rob; Rainham, Daniel; Truelstrup Hansen, Lisbeth

    2017-02-21

    Wastewater management in Canadian Arctic communities is influenced by several geographical factors including climate, remoteness, population size, and local food-harvesting practices. Most communities use trucked collection services and basic treatment systems, which are capable of only low-level pathogen removal. These systems are typically reliant solely on natural environmental processes for treatment and make use of existing lagoons, wetlands, and bays. They are operated in a manner such that partially treated wastewater still containing potentially hazardous microorganisms is released into the terrestrial and aquatic environment at random times. Northern communities rely heavily on their local surroundings as a source of food, drinking water, and recreation, thus creating the possibility of human exposure to wastewater effluent. Human exposure to microbial hazards present in municipal wastewater can lead to acute gastrointestinal illness or more severe disease. Although estimating the actual disease burdens associated with wastewater exposures in Arctic communities is challenging, waterborne- and sanitation-related illness is believed to be comparatively higher than in other parts of Canada. This review offers a conceptual framework and evaluation of current knowledge to enable the first microbial risk assessment of exposure scenarios associated with food-harvesting and recreational activities in Arctic communities, where simplified wastewater systems are being operated.

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. A life detection problem in a High Arctic microbial community

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rogers, J. D.; Perreault, N. N.; Niederberger, T. D.; Lichten, C.; Whyte, L. G.; Nadeau, J. L.

    2010-03-01

    Fluorescent labeling of bacterial cell walls, DNA, and metabolic processes demonstrates high (potentially single molecule) sensitivity, is non-invasive, and in some cases can differentiate strains and species. Robust microscopes such as the custom instruments presented here can provide good image quality in the field and are potentially suitable for flight. However, ambiguous or false-positive results with bacterial stains can occur and can create difficulties in interpretation even on Earth. We present a "real" life detection problem in a sample of biofilms taken from the Canadian High Arctic. The samples consisted of numerous small sulfur-oxidizing bacteria and larger structures resembling fungi or diatoms. The identity of these latter structures remained ambiguous until electron microscopy and X-ray spectroscopy were performed, indicating that they were unusual sulfur minerals probably precipitated by the bacterial communities. While such mineral structures may possibly serve as biosignatures after the cells have disappeared, it is important that they not be mistaken for cells themselves. It is also possible that unusual mineral structures will be performed under extraterrestrial conditions, so great care is needed to differentiate cell structures from minerals.

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. How well does your model capture the terrestrial ecosystem dynamics of the Arctic-Boreal Region?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stofferahn, E.; Fisher, J. B.; Hayes, D. J.; Huntzinger, D. N.; Schwalm, C.

    2016-12-01

    The Arctic-Boreal Region (ABR) is a major source of uncertainties for terrestrial biosphere model (TBM) simulations. These uncertainties are precipitated by a lack of observational data from the region, affecting the parameterizations of cold environment processes in the models. Addressing these uncertainties requires a coordinated effort of data collection and integration of the following key indicators of the ABR ecosystem: disturbance, flora / fauna and related ecosystem function, carbon pools and biogeochemistry, permafrost, and hydrology. We are developing a model-data integration framework for NASA's Arctic Boreal Vulnerability Experiment (ABoVE), wherein data collection for the key ABoVE indicators is driven by matching observations and model outputs to the ABoVE indicators. The data are used as reference datasets for a benchmarking system which evaluates TBM performance with respect to ABR processes. The benchmarking system utilizes performance metrics to identify intra-model and inter-model strengths and weaknesses, which in turn provides guidance to model development teams for reducing uncertainties in TBM simulations of the ABR. The system is directly connected to the International Land Model Benchmarking (ILaMB) system, as an ABR-focused application.

  7. 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.

  8. Fire and ecosystem change in the Arctic across the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Denis, Elizabeth H.; Pedentchouk, Nikolai; Schouten, Stefan; Pagani, Mark; Freeman, Katherine H.

    2017-06-01

    Fire has been an important component of ecosystems on a range of spatial and temporal scales. Fire can affect vegetation distribution, the carbon cycle, and climate. The relationship between climate and fire is complex, in large part because of a key role of vegetation type. Here, we evaluate regional scale fire-climate relationships during a past global warming event, the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum (PETM), in order to understand how vegetation influenced the links between climate and fire occurrence in the Arctic region. To document concurrent changes in climate, vegetation, and fire occurrence, we evaluated biomarkers, including polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), terpenoids, and alkanes, from the PETM interval at a marine depositional site (IODP site 302, the Lomonosov Ridge) in the Arctic Ocean. Biomarker, fossil, and isotope evidence from site 302 indicates that terrestrial vegetation changed during the PETM. The abundance of the C29n-alkanes, pollen, and the ratio of leaf-wax n-alkanes relative to diterpenoids all indicate that proportional contributions from angiosperm vegetation increased relative to that from gymnosperms. These changes accompanied increased moisture transport to the Arctic and higher temperatures, as recorded by previously published proxy records. We find that PAH abundances were elevated relative to total plant biomarkers throughout the PETM, and suggest that fire occurrence increased relative to plant productivity. The fact that fire frequency or prevalence may have increased during wetter Arctic conditions suggests that changes in fire occurrence were not a simple function of aridity, as is commonly conceived. Instead, we suggest that the climate-driven ecological shift to angiosperm-dominated vegetation was what led to increased fire occurrence. Potential increases in terrestrial plant biomass that arose from warm, wet, and high CO2 conditions were possibly attenuated by biomass burning associated with compositional changes

  9. The relation between productivity and species diversity in temperate-Arctic marine ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Witman, Jon D; Cusson, Mathieu; Archambault, Philippe; Pershing, Andrew J; Mieszkowska, Nova

    2008-11-01

    Energy variables, such as evapotranspiration, temperature, and productivity explain significant variation in the diversity of many groups of terrestrial plants and animals at local to global scales. Although the ocean represents the largest continuous habitat on earth with a vast spectrum of primary productivity and species richness, little is known about how productivity influences species diversity in marine systems. To search for general relationships between productivity and species richness in the ocean, we analyzed data from three different benthic marine ecosystems (epifaunal communities on subtidal rock walls, on navigation buoys in the Gulf of St. Lawrence, and Canadian Arctic macrobenthos) across local to continental spatial scales (<20 to >1000 km) using a standardized proxy for productivity, satellite-derived chlorophyll a. Theoretically, the form of the function between productivity and species richness is either monotonically increasing or decreasing, or curvilinear (hump- or U-shaped). We found three negative linear and three hump-shaped relationships between chlorophyll a and species richness out of 10 independent comparisons. Scale dependence was suggested by more prevalent diversity-productivity relationships at smaller (local, landscape) than larger (regional, continental) spatial scales. Differences in the form of the functions were more closely allied with community type than with scale, as negative linear functions were restricted to sessile epifauna while hump-shaped functions occurred in Arctic macrobenthos (mixed epifauna, infauna). In two of the data sets, (St. Lawrence epifauna and Arctic macrobenthos) significant effects of chlorophyll a co-varied with the effects of salinity, suggesting that environmental stress as well as productivity influences diversity in these marine systems. The co-varying effect of salinity may commonly arise in broad-scale studies of productivity and diversity in marine ecosystems when attempting to sample the

  10. Spatial and temporal trends and effects of contaminants in the Canadian Arctic marine ecosystem: a review.

    PubMed

    Muir, D; Braune, B; DeMarch, B; Norstrom, R; Wagemann, R; Lockhart, L; Hargrave, B; Bright, D; Addison, R; Payne, J; Reimer, K

    1999-06-01

    Recent studies have added substantially to our knowledge of spatial and temporal trends of persistent organic pollutants and heavy metals in the Canadian Arctic marine ecosystem. This paper reviews the current state of knowledge of contaminants in marine biota in the Canadian Arctic and where possible, discusses biological effects. The geographic coverage of information on contaminants such as persistent organochlorines (OCs) (PCBs, DDT- and chlordane-related compounds, hexachlorocyclohexanes, toxaphene) and heavy metals (mercury, selenium, cadmium, lead) in tissues of marine mammal and sea birds is relatively complete. All major beluga, ringed seal and polar bear stocks along with several major sea bird colonies have been sampled and analysed for OC and heavy metal contaminants. Studies on contaminants in walrus are limited to Foxe Basin and northern Québec stocks, while migratory harp seals have only been studied recently at one location. Contaminant measurements in bearded seal, harbour seal, bowhead whale and killer whale tissues from the Canadian Arctic are very limited or non-existent. Many of the temporal trend data for contaminants in Canadian Arctic biota are confounded by changes in analytical methodology, as well as by variability due to age/size, or to dietary and population shifts. Despite this, studies of OCs in ringed seal blubber at Holman Island and in sea birds at Prince Leopold Island in Lancaster Sound show declining concentrations of PCBs and DDT-related compounds from the 1970s to 1980s then a levelling off during the 1980s and early 1990s. For other OCs, such as chlordane, HCH and toxaphene, limited data for the 1980s to early 1990s suggests few significant declines in concentrations in marine mammals or sea birds. Temporal trend studies of heavy metals in ringed seals and beluga found higher mean concentrations of mercury in more recent (1993/1994) samples than in earlier collections (1981-1984 in eastern Arctic, 1972-1973 in western Arctic

  11. 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. Copyright © 2013 The Society for Biotechnology, Japan. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  12. 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.

  13. Microbial denitrification dominates nitrate losses from forest ecosystems

    PubMed Central

    Fang, Yunting; Koba, Keisuke; Makabe, Akiko; Takahashi, Chieko; Zhu, Weixing; Hayashi, Takahiro; Hokari, Azusa A.; Urakawa, Rieko; Bai, Edith; Houlton, Benjamin Z.; Xi, Dan; Zhang, Shasha; Matsushita, Kayo; Tu, Ying; Liu, Dongwei; Zhu, Feifei; Wang, Zhenyu; Zhou, Guoyi; Chen, Dexiang; Makita, Tomoko; Toda, Hiroto; Liu, Xueyan; Chen, Quansheng; Zhang, Deqiang; Li, Yide; Yoh, Muneoki

    2015-01-01

    Denitrification removes fixed nitrogen (N) from the biosphere, thereby restricting the availability of this key limiting nutrient for terrestrial plant productivity. This microbially driven process has been exceedingly difficult to measure, however, given the large background of nitrogen gas (N2) in the atmosphere and vexing scaling issues associated with heterogeneous soil systems. Here, we use natural abundance of N and oxygen isotopes in nitrate (NO3−) to examine dentrification rates across six forest sites in southern China and central Japan, which span temperate to tropical climates, as well as various stand ages and N deposition regimes. Our multiple stable isotope approach across soil to watershed scales shows that traditional techniques underestimate terrestrial denitrification fluxes by up to 98%, with annual losses of 5.6–30.1 kg of N per hectare via this gaseous pathway. These N export fluxes are up to sixfold higher than NO3− leaching, pointing to widespread dominance of denitrification in removing NO3− from forest ecosystems across a range of conditions. Further, we report that the loss of NO3− to denitrification decreased in comparison to leaching pathways in sites with the highest rates of anthropogenic N deposition. PMID:25605898

  14. Microbial denitrification dominates nitrate losses from forest ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Fang, Yunting; Koba, Keisuke; Makabe, Akiko; Takahashi, Chieko; Zhu, Weixing; Hayashi, Takahiro; Hokari, Azusa A; Urakawa, Rieko; Bai, Edith; Houlton, Benjamin Z; Xi, Dan; Zhang, Shasha; Matsushita, Kayo; Tu, Ying; Liu, Dongwei; Zhu, Feifei; Wang, Zhenyu; Zhou, Guoyi; Chen, Dexiang; Makita, Tomoko; Toda, Hiroto; Liu, Xueyan; Chen, Quansheng; Zhang, Deqiang; Li, Yide; Yoh, Muneoki

    2015-02-03

    Denitrification removes fixed nitrogen (N) from the biosphere, thereby restricting the availability of this key limiting nutrient for terrestrial plant productivity. This microbially driven process has been exceedingly difficult to measure, however, given the large background of nitrogen gas (N2) in the atmosphere and vexing scaling issues associated with heterogeneous soil systems. Here, we use natural abundance of N and oxygen isotopes in nitrate (NO3 (-)) to examine dentrification rates across six forest sites in southern China and central Japan, which span temperate to tropical climates, as well as various stand ages and N deposition regimes. Our multiple stable isotope approach across soil to watershed scales shows that traditional techniques underestimate terrestrial denitrification fluxes by up to 98%, with annual losses of 5.6-30.1 kg of N per hectare via this gaseous pathway. These N export fluxes are up to sixfold higher than NO3 (-) leaching, pointing to widespread dominance of denitrification in removing NO3 (-) from forest ecosystems across a range of conditions. Further, we report that the loss of NO3 (-) to denitrification decreased in comparison to leaching pathways in sites with the highest rates of anthropogenic N deposition.

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. Microbial diversity, producer-decomposer interactions and ecosystem processes: a theoretical model.

    PubMed

    Loreau, M

    2001-02-07

    Interactions between the diversity of primary producers and that of decomposers--the two key functional groups that form the basis of all ecosystems--might have major consequences on the functioning of depauperate ecosystems. I present a simple ecosystem model in which primary producers (plants) and decomposers (microbes) are linked through material cycling. The model considers a diversity of plant organic compounds and a diversity of microbial species. Nutrient recycling efficiency from organic compounds to decomposers is then the key parameter that controls ecosystem processes (primary productivity, secondary productivity, producer biomass and decomposer biomass). The model predicts that microbial diversity has a positive effect on nutrient recycling efficiency and ecosystem processes through either greater intensity of microbial exploitation of organic compounds or functional niche complementarity, much like in plants. Microbial niche breadth and overlap should not affect ecosystem processes unless they increase the number of organic compounds that are decomposed. In contrast, the model predicts that plant organic compound diversity can only have a negative effect or, at best, no effect on ecosystem processes, at least in a constant environment. This creates a tension between the effects of plant diversity and microbial diversity on ecosystem functioning, which may explain some recent experimental results.

  19. 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

  20. High Diversity of Planctomycetes in Soils of Two Lichen-Dominated Sub-Arctic Ecosystems of Northwestern Siberia.

    PubMed

    Ivanova, Anastasia A; Kulichevskaya, Irina S; Merkel, Alexander Y; Toshchakov, Stepan V; Dedysh, Svetlana N

    2016-01-01

    A wide variety of terrestrial ecosystems in tundra have a ground vegetation cover composed of reindeer lichens (genera Cladonia and Cetraria). The microbial communities of two lichen-dominated ecosystems typical of the sub-arctic zone of northwestern Siberia, that is a forested tundra soil and a shallow acidic peatland, were examined in our study. As revealed by molecular analyses, soil and peat layers just beneath the lichen cover were abundantly colonized by bacteria from the phylum Planctomycetes. Highest abundance of planctomycetes detected by fluorescence in situ hybridization was in the range 2.2-2.7 × 10(7) cells per gram of wet weight. 16S rRNA gene fragments from the Planctomycetes comprised 8-13% of total 16S rRNA gene reads retrieved using Illumina pair-end sequencing from the soil and peat samples. Lichen-associated assemblages of planctomycetes displayed unexpectedly high diversity, with a total of 89,662 reads representing 1723 operational taxonomic units determined at 97% sequence identity. The soil of forested tundra was dominated by uncultivated members of the family Planctomycetaceae (53-71% of total Planctomycetes-like reads), while sequences affiliated with the Phycisphaera-related group WD2101 (recently assigned to the order Tepidisphaerales) were most abundant in peat (28-51% of total reads). Representatives of the Isosphaera-Singulisphaera group (14-28% of total reads) and the lineages defined by the genera Gemmata (1-4%) and Planctopirus-Rubinisphaera (1-3%) were present in both habitats. Two strains of Singulisphaera-like bacteria were isolated from studied soil and peat samples. These planctomycetes displayed good tolerance of low temperatures (4-15°C) and were capable of growth on a number of polysaccharides, including lichenan, a characteristic component of lichen-derived phytomass.

  1. High Diversity of Planctomycetes in Soils of Two Lichen-Dominated Sub-Arctic Ecosystems of Northwestern Siberia

    PubMed Central

    Ivanova, Anastasia A.; Kulichevskaya, Irina S.; Merkel, Alexander Y.; Toshchakov, Stepan V.; Dedysh, Svetlana N.

    2016-01-01

    A wide variety of terrestrial ecosystems in tundra have a ground vegetation cover composed of reindeer lichens (genera Cladonia and Cetraria). The microbial communities of two lichen-dominated ecosystems typical of the sub-arctic zone of northwestern Siberia, that is a forested tundra soil and a shallow acidic peatland, were examined in our study. As revealed by molecular analyses, soil and peat layers just beneath the lichen cover were abundantly colonized by bacteria from the phylum Planctomycetes. Highest abundance of planctomycetes detected by fluorescence in situ hybridization was in the range 2.2–2.7 × 107 cells per gram of wet weight. 16S rRNA gene fragments from the Planctomycetes comprised 8–13% of total 16S rRNA gene reads retrieved using Illumina pair-end sequencing from the soil and peat samples. Lichen-associated assemblages of planctomycetes displayed unexpectedly high diversity, with a total of 89,662 reads representing 1723 operational taxonomic units determined at 97% sequence identity. The soil of forested tundra was dominated by uncultivated members of the family Planctomycetaceae (53–71% of total Planctomycetes-like reads), while sequences affiliated with the Phycisphaera-related group WD2101 (recently assigned to the order Tepidisphaerales) were most abundant in peat (28–51% of total reads). Representatives of the Isosphaera–Singulisphaera group (14–28% of total reads) and the lineages defined by the genera Gemmata (1–4%) and Planctopirus–Rubinisphaera (1–3%) were present in both habitats. Two strains of Singulisphaera-like bacteria were isolated from studied soil and peat samples. These planctomycetes displayed good tolerance of low temperatures (4–15°C) and were capable of growth on a number of polysaccharides, including lichenan, a characteristic component of lichen-derived phytomass. PMID:28066382

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. Advanced Ecosystem Mapping Techniques for Large Arctic Study Domains Using Calibrated High-Resolution Imagery

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Macander, M. J.; Frost, G. V., Jr.

    2015-12-01

    Regional-scale mapping of vegetation and other ecosystem properties has traditionally relied on medium-resolution remote sensing such as Landsat (30 m) and MODIS (250 m). Yet, the burgeoning availability of high-resolution (<=2 m) imagery and ongoing advances in computing power and analysis tools raises the prospect of performing ecosystem mapping at fine spatial scales over large study domains. Here we demonstrate cutting-edge mapping approaches over a ~35,000 km² study area on Alaska's North Slope using calibrated and atmospherically-corrected mosaics of high-resolution WorldView-2 and GeoEye-1 imagery: (1) an a priori spectral approach incorporating the Satellite Imagery Automatic Mapper (SIAM) algorithms; (2) image segmentation techniques; and (3) texture metrics. The SIAM spectral approach classifies radiometrically-calibrated imagery to general vegetation density categories and non-vegetated classes. The SIAM classes were developed globally and their applicability in arctic tundra environments has not been previously evaluated. Image segmentation, or object-based image analysis, automatically partitions high-resolution imagery into homogeneous image regions that can then be analyzed based on spectral, textural, and contextual information. We applied eCognition software to delineate waterbodies and vegetation classes, in combination with other techniques. Texture metrics were evaluated to determine the feasibility of using high-resolution imagery to algorithmically characterize periglacial surface forms (e.g., ice-wedge polygons), which are an important physical characteristic of permafrost-dominated regions but which cannot be distinguished by medium-resolution remote sensing. These advanced mapping techniques provide products which can provide essential information supporting a broad range of ecosystem science and land-use planning applications in northern Alaska and elsewhere in the circumpolar Arctic.

  5. 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.

  6. Influence of deglaciation on microbial communities in marine sediments off the coast of Svalbard, Arctic Circle.

    PubMed

    Park, Soo-Je; Park, Byoung-Joon; Jung, Man-Young; Kim, So-Jeong; Chae, Jong-Chan; Roh, Yul; Forwick, Matthias; Yoon, Ho-Il; Rhee, Sung-Keun

    2011-10-01

    Increases in global temperatures have been shown to enhance glacier melting in the Arctic region. Here, we have evaluated the effects of meltwater runoff on the microbial communities of coastal marine sediment located along a transect of Temelfjorden, in Svalbard. As close to the glacier front, the sediment properties were clearly influenced by deglaciation. Denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis profiles showed that the sediment microbial communities of the stations of glacier front (stations 188-178) were distinguishable from that of outer fjord region (station 176). Canonical correspondence analysis indicated that total carbon and calcium carbonate in sediment and chlorophyll a in bottom water were key factors driving the change of microbial communities. Analysis of 16S rRNA gene clone libraries suggested that microbial diversity was higher within the glacier-proximal zone (station 188) directly affected by the runoffs than in the outer fjord region. While the crenarchaeotal group I.1a dominated at station 176 (62%), Marine Benthic Group-B and other Crenarchaeota groups were proportionally abundant. With regard to the bacterial community, alpha-Proteobacteria and Flavobacteria lineages prevailed (60%) at station 188, whereas delta-Proteobacteria (largely sulfate-reducers) predominated (32%) at station 176. Considering no clone sequences related to sulfate-reducers, station 188 may be more oxic compared to station 176. The distance-wise compositional variation in the microbial communities is attributable to their adaptations to the sediment environments which are differentially affected by melting glaciers.

  7. 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. © 2012 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Grundger, F.; Svenning, M. M.; Niemann, H.; Silyakova, A.; Serov, P.; Hong, W. L.; Wegener, G.; Panieri, G.; Carroll, J.

    2016-02-01

    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 pingo-like 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.

  9. Ecosystem development and carbon cycle on a glacier foreland in the high Arctic, Ny-Alesund, Svalbard.

    PubMed

    Nakatsubo, Takayuki; Bekku, Yukiko Sakata; Uchida, Masaki; Muraoka, Hiroyuki; Kume, Atsushi; Ohtsuka, Toshiyuki; Masuzawa, Takehiro; Kanda, Hiroshi; Koizumi, Hiroshi

    2005-06-01

    The Arctic terrestrial ecosystem is thought to be extremely susceptible to climate change. However, because of the diverse responses of ecosystem components to change, an overall response of the ecosystem carbon cycle to climate change is still hard to predict. In this review, we focus on several recent studies conducted to clarify the pattern of the carbon cycle on the deglaciated area of Ny-Alesund, Svalbard in the high Arctic. Vegetation cover and soil carbon pools tended to increase with the progress of succession. However, even in the latter stages of succession, the size of the soil carbon pool was much smaller than those reported for the low Arctic tundra. Cryptogams contributed the major proportion of phytomass in the later stages. However, because of water limitation, their net primary production was smaller than that of the vascular plants. The compartment model that incorporated major carbon pools and flows suggested that the ecosystem of the later stages is likely to be a net sink of carbon at least for the summer season. Based on the eco-physiological characteristics of the major ecosystem components, we suggest several possible scenarios of future changes in the ecosystem carbon cycle.

  10. Review: Potential catastrophic reduction of sea ice in the western Arctic Ocean: Its impact on biogeochemical cycles and marine ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Harada, Naomi

    2016-01-01

    The reduction of sea ice in the Arctic Ocean, which has progressed more rapidly than previously predicted, has the potential to cause multiple environmental stresses, including warming, acidification, and strengthened stratification of the ocean. Observational studies have been undertaken to detect the impacts on biogeochemical cycles and marine ecosystems of these environmental stresses in the Arctic Ocean. Satellite analyses show that the reduction of sea ice has been especially great in the western Arctic Ocean. Observations and model simulations have both helped to clarify the impact of sea-ice reductions on the dynamics of ecosystem processes and biogeochemical cycles. In this review, I focus on the western Arctic Ocean, which has experienced the most rapid retreat of sea ice in the Arctic Ocean and, very importantly, has a higher rate of primary production than any other area of the Arctic Ocean owing to the supply of nutrient-rich Pacific water. I report the impact of the current reduction of sea ice on marine biogeochemical cycles in the western Arctic Ocean, including lower-trophic-level organisms, and identify the key mechanism of changes in the biogeochemical cycles, based on published observations and model simulations. The retreat of sea ice has enhanced primary production and has increased the frequency of appearance of mesoscale anticyclonic eddies. These eddies enhance the light environment and replenish nutrients, and they also represent a mechanism that can increase the rate of the biological pump in the Arctic Ocean. Various unresolved issues that require further investigation, such as biological responses to environmental stressors such as ocean acidification, are also discussed.

  11. Annual patterns and budget of CO2 flux in an Alaskan arctic tussock tundra ecosystem at Atqasuk, Alaska

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Oechel, W. C.; Kalhori, A. A.; Burba, G. G.; Gioli, B.

    2013-12-01

    Arctic ecosystem functioning is not only critically affected by climate change, but also has the potential for major positive feedbacks on climate. There is however relatively little information available on the role, patterns, and vulnerabilities of CO2 fluxes during the non-summer seasons. Presented here is a year-around study of CO2 fluxes in an Alaskan Arctic tussock tundra ecosystem. Also presented are key environmental controls on CO2 fluxes as well as possible impacts of likely changes in season timing. This is aided by a new empirical quantification of seasons in the Arctic based on net radiation, which can help describe seasonal responses to greenhouse gas fluxes under climate change. The fluxes were computed using standard FluxNet methodology and corrected using standard WPL density terms, adjusted for influences of instrument surface heating. The results showed that the non-summer season comprises a significant source of carbon to the atmosphere. The summer period was a net sink of 10.83 g C m-2 yr-1, while the non-summer seasons released more than four times the CO2 uptake observed in the summer, resulting in a net annual source of 37.6 g C m-2 yr-1 to the atmosphere. This shows a change in this region of the Arctic from a long-term annual sink of CO2 from the atmosphere to an annual source of CO2 from the terrestrial ecosystem and soils to the atmosphere. The results presented here demonstrate that nearly continuous observations may be required in order to accurately calculate the annual NEE of Arctic ecosystems, and to build predictive understanding that can be used to estimate, with confidence, Arctic fluxes under future conditions. Daily CO2 fluxes over the year, average daily net radiation, average daily PAR, average daily air temperature and average daily soil respiration (at -5 cm).

  12. Comparison of Seasonal Soil Microbial Process in Snow-Covered Temperate Ecosystems of Northern China

    PubMed Central

    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. PMID:24667929

  13. 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.

  14. Shifts of microbial communities of wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) cultivation in a closed artificial ecosystem.

    PubMed

    Qin, Youcai; Fu, Yuming; Dong, Chen; Jia, Nannan; Liu, Hong

    2016-05-01

    The microbial communities of plant ecosystems are in relation to plant growing environment, but the alteration in biodiversity of rhizosphere and phyllosphere microbial communities in closed and controlled environments is unknown. The purpose of this study is to analyze the change regularity of microbial communities with wheat plants dependent-cultivated in a closed artificial ecosystem. The microbial community structures in closed-environment treatment plants were investigated by a culture-dependent approach, polymerase chain reaction-denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (PCR-DGGE), and Illumina Miseq high-throughput sequencing. The results indicated that the number of microbes decreased along with time, and the magnitude of bacteria, fungi, and actinomycetes were 10(7)-10(8), 10(5), and 10(3)-10(4) CFU/g (dry weight), respectively. The analysis of PCR-DGGE and Illumina Miseq revealed that the wheat leaf surface and near-root substrate had different microbial communities at different periods of wheat ecosystem development and showed that the relative highest diversity of microbial communities appeared at late and middle periods of the plant ecosystem, respectively. The results also indicated that the wheat leaf and substrate had different microbial community compositions, and the wheat substrate had higher richness of microbial community than the leaf. Flavobacterium, Pseudomonas, Paenibacillus, Enterobacter, Penicillium, Rhodotorula, Acremonium, and Alternaria were dominant in the wheat leaf samples, and Pedobacter, Flavobacterium, Halomonas, Marinobacter, Salinimicrobium, Lysobacter, Pseudomonas, Halobacillus, Xanthomonas, Acremonium, Monographella, and Penicillium were dominant populations in the wheat near-root substrate samples.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. Inorganic species distribution and microbial diversity within high Arctic cryptoendolithic habitats.

    PubMed

    Omelon, Christopher R; Pollard, Wayne H; Ferris, F Grant

    2007-11-01

    Cryptoendolithic habitats in the Canadian high Arctic are associated with a variety of microbial community assemblages, including cyanobacteria, algae, and fungi. These habitats were analyzed for the presence of metal ions by sequential extraction and evaluated for relationships between these and the various microorganisms found at each site using multivariate statistical methods. Cyanobacteria-dominated communities exist under higher pH conditions with elevated concentrations of calcium and magnesium, whereas communities dominated by fungi and algae are characterized by lower pH conditions and higher concentrations of iron, aluminum, and silicon in the overlying surfaces. These results suggest that the activity of the dominant microorganisms controls the pH of the surrounding environment, which in turn dictates rates of weathering or the possibility for surface crust formation, both ultimately deciding the structure of microbial diversity for each cryptoendolithic habitat.

  18. 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

  19. Allee effect: the story behind the stabilization or extinction of microbial ecosystem.

    PubMed

    Goswami, Madhurankhi; Bhattacharyya, Purnita; Tribedi, Prosun

    2017-03-01

    A population exhibiting Allee effect shows a positive correlation between population fitness and population size or density. Allee effect decides the extinction or conservation of a microbial population and thus appears to be an important criterion in population ecology. The underlying factor of Allee effect that decides the stabilization and extinction of a particular population density is the threshold or the critical density of their abundance. According to Allee, microbial populations exhibit a definite, critical or threshold density, beyond which the population fitness of a particular population increases with the rise in population density and below it, the population fitness goes down with the decrease in population density. In particular, microbial population displays advantageous traits such as biofilm formation, expression of virulence genes, spore formation and many more only at a high population density. It has also been observed that microorganisms exhibiting a lower population density undergo complete extinction from the residual microbial ecosystem. In reference to Allee effect, decrease in population density or size introduces deleterious mutations among the population density through genetic drift. Mutations are carried forward to successive generations resulting in its accumulation among the population density thus reducing its microbial fitness and thereby increasing the risk of extinction of a particular microbial population. However, when the microbial load is high, the chance of genetic drift is less, and through the process of biofilm formation, the cooperation existing among the microbial population increases that increases the microbial fitness. Thus, the high microbial population through the formation of microbial biofilm stabilizes the ecosystem by increasing fitness. Taken together, microbial fitness shows positive correlation with the ecosystem conservation and negative correlation with ecosystem extinction.

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. 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. © FEMS 2016. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  3. Non-Redfield carbon and nitrogen cycling in the Arctic: Effects of ecosystem structure and dynamics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Daly, Kendra L.; Wallace, Douglas W. R.; Smith, Walker O.; Skoog, Annelie; Lara, RubéN.; Gosselin, Michel; Falck, Eva; Yager, Patricia L.

    1999-02-01

    The C:N ratio is a critical parameter used in both global ocean carbon models and field studies to understand carbon and nutrient cycling as well as to estimate exported carbon from the euphotic zone. The so-called Redfield ratio (C:N = 6.6 by atoms) [Redfield et al., 1963] is widely used for such calculations. Here we present data from the NE Greenland continental shelf that show that most of the C:N ratios for particulate (autotrophic and heterotrophic) and dissolved pools and rates of transformation among them exceed Redfield proportions from June to August, owing to species composition, size, and biological interactions. The ecosystem components that likely comprised sinking particles and had relatively high C:N ratios (geometric means) included (1) the particulate organic matter (C:N = 8.9) dominated by nutrient-deficient diatoms, resulting from low initial nitrate concentrations (approximately 4 μM) in Arctic surface waters; (2) the dominant zooplankton, herbivorous copepods (C:N = 9.6), having lipid storage typical of Arctic copepods; and (3) copepod fecal pellets (C:N = 33.2). Relatively high dissolved organic carbon concentrations (median 105 μM) were approximately 25 to 45 μM higher than reported for other systems and may be broadly characteristic of Arctic waters. A carbon-rich dissolved organic carbon pool also was generated during summer. Since the magnitude of carbon and nitrogen uncoupling in the surface mixed layer appeared to be greater than in other regions and occurred throughout the productive season, the C:N ratio of particulate organic matter may be a better conversion factor than the Redfield ratio to estimate carbon export for broad application in northern high-latitude systems.

  4. 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

  5. Diet affects arctic ground squirrel gut microbial metatranscriptome independent of community structure.

    PubMed

    Hatton, Jasmine J; Stevenson, Timothy J; Buck, C Loren; Duddleston, Khrystyne N

    2017-04-01

    We examined the effect of diet on pre-hibernation fattening and the gut microbiota of captive arctic ground squirrels (Urocitellus parryii). We measured body composition across time and gut microbiota density, diversity and function prior to and after five-weeks on control, high-fat, low-fat (18%, 40% and 10% energy from fat, respectively), or restricted calorie (50% of control) diets. Squirrels fattened at the same rate and to the same degree on all diets. Additionally, we found no differences in gut microbiota diversity or short chain fatty acid production across time or with diet. Analysis of the gut microbial transcriptome indicated differences in community function among diet groups, but not across time, and revealed shifts in the relative contribution of function at a taxonomic level. Our results demonstrate that pre-hibernation fattening of arctic ground squirrels is robust to changes in diet and is accomplished by more than increased food intake. Although our analyses did not uncover a definitive link between host fattening and the gut microbiota, and suggest the squirrels may possess a gut microbial community structure that is unresponsive to dietary changes, studies manipulating diet earlier in the active season may yet uncover a relationship between host diet, fattening and gut microbiota. © 2017 Society for Applied Microbiology and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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).

  11. 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).

  12. 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,

  13. 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.

  14. Are Hotspots Always Hotspots? The Relationship between Diversity, Resource and Ecosystem Functions in the Arctic

    PubMed Central

    Link, Heike; Piepenburg, Dieter; Archambault, Philippe

    2013-01-01

    The diversity-ecosystem function relationship is an important topic in ecology but has not received much attention in Arctic environments, and has rarely been tested for its stability in time. We studied the temporal variability of benthic ecosystem functioning at hotspots (sites with high benthic boundary fluxes) and coldspots (sites with lower fluxes) across two years in the Canadian Arctic. Benthic remineralisation function was measured as fluxes of oxygen, silicic acid, phosphate, nitrate and nitrite at the sediment-water interface. In addition we determined sediment pigment concentration and taxonomic and functional macrobenthic diversity. To separate temporal from spatial variability, we sampled the same nine sites from the Mackenzie Shelf to Baffin Bay during the same season (summer or fall) in 2008 and 2009. We observed that temporal variability of benthic remineralisation function at hotspots is higher than at coldspots and that taxonomic and functional macrobenthic diversity did not change significantly between years. Temporal variability of food availability (i.e., sediment surface pigment concentration) seemed higher at coldspot than at hotspot areas. Sediment chlorophyll a (Chl a) concentration, taxonomic richness, total abundance, water depth and abundance of the largest gallery-burrowing polychaete Lumbrineristetraura together explained 42% of the total variation in fluxes. Food supply proxies (i.e., sediment Chl a and depth) split hot- from coldspot stations and explained variation on the axis of temporal variability, and macrofaunal community parameters explained variation mostly along the axis separating eastern from western sites with hot- or coldspot regimes. We conclude that variability in benthic remineralisation function, food supply and diversity will react to climate change on different time scales, and that their interactive effects may hide the detection of progressive change, particularly at hotspots. Time-series of benthic functions and

  15. Global change and ecosystem connectivity: How geese link fields of central Europe to eutrophication of Arctic freshwaters.

    PubMed

    Hessen, Dag O; Tombre, Ingunn M; van Geest, Gerben; Alfsnes, Kristian

    2017-02-01

    Migratory connectivity by birds may mutually affect different ecosystems over large distances. Populations of geese overwintering in southern areas while breeding in high-latitude ecosystems have increased strongly over the past decades. The increase is likely due to positive feedbacks caused by climate change at both wintering, stopover sites and breeding grounds, land-use practices at the overwintering grounds and protection from hunting. Here we show how increasing goose populations in temperate regions, and increased breeding success in the Arctic, entail a positive feedback with strong impacts on Arctic freshwater ecosystems in the form of eutrophication. This may again strongly affect community composition and productivity of the ponds, due to increased nutrient loadings or birds serving as vectors for new species.

  16. Estimating Pan Arctic Net Ecosystem Exchange using Functional Relationships with Air temperature, Leaf Area Index and Photosynthetic Active Radiation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mbufong, H.; Kusbach, A.; Lund, M.; Persson, A.; Christensen, T. R.; Tamstorf, M. P.; Connolly, J.

    2015-12-01

    The high variability in Arctic tundra net ecosystem exchange (NEE) of carbon (C) is often attributed to the high spatial heterogeneity of Arctic tundra. Current models of carbon exchange thus 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 NEE 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 data from 12 Arctic tundra sites. The model input parameters (fcsat, Rd and α) were estimated as a function of air temperature and leaf area index (LAI) and represent specific characteristics of the NEE-PPFD relationship. They describe the saturation flux, dark respiration and initial light use efficiency, respectively. While remotely sensed LAI is readily available as a MODIS Terra product (MCD15A3), air temperature was estimated from a direct relationship with MODIS land surface temperature (MOD11A2, LST). Therefore, no specific knowledge of the vegetation type is required. Preliminary results show the model captures the spatial heterogeneity of the Arctic tundra but so far, overestimates NEE on all 17 test sites which include heaths, bogs, fens, and tussock tundra vegetation. The final updated results and error assessment will be presented at the conference in December.

  17. Microbial ecology of fermentative hydrogen producing bioprocesses: useful insights for driving the ecosystem function.

    PubMed

    Cabrol, Lea; Marone, Antonella; Tapia-Venegas, Estela; Steyer, Jean-Philippe; Ruiz-Filippi, Gonzalo; Trably, Eric

    2017-03-01

    One of the most important biotechnological challenges is to develop environment friendly technologies to produce new sources of energy. Microbial production of biohydrogen through dark fermentation, by conversion of residual biomass, is an attractive solution for short-term development of bioH2 producing processes. Efficient biohydrogen production relies on complex mixed communities working in tight interaction. Species composition and functional traits are of crucial importance to maintain the ecosystem service. The analysis of microbial community revealed a wide phylogenetic diversity that contributes in different-and still mostly unclear-ways to hydrogen production. Bridging this gap of knowledge between microbial ecology features and ecosystem functionality is essential to optimize the bioprocess and develop strategies toward a maximization of the efficiency and stability of substrate conversion. The aim of this review is to provide a comprehensive overview of the most up-to-date biodata available and discuss the main microbial community features of biohydrogen engineered ecosystems, with a special emphasis on the crucial role of interactions and the relationships between species composition and ecosystem service. The elucidation of intricate relationships between community structure and ecosystem function would make possible to drive ecosystems toward an improved functionality on the basis of microbial ecology principles. © FEMS 2017. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. 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. © 2016 Society for Applied Microbiology and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  1. The Role of Remote Sensing in Modeling Landscape Change and Its Associated Carbon Cycle Impacts Across Terrestrial Arctic Ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hayes, D. J.; Goswami, S.; Jones, B. M.; Grosse, G.; Balser, A.; Wullschleger, S. D.

    2014-12-01

    Terrestrial ecosystems across the circumpolar Arctic region are undergoing unprecedented changes in structure and function as a result of rapid climate warming. Such changes have substantially altered energy, water and biogeochemical cycling in these regions, which has important global-scale consequences for climate and society. Recognizing the vulnerability of these ecosystems to change, scientists and decision-makers have identified a critical need for research that employs existing and new remote sensing technologies and methodologies to observe, monitor and understand changes in Arctic ecosystems. The unique capabilities provided by remote sensing imagery and data products have allowed us novel views of ecosystems and their dynamics over multiple scales in time and space across all regions of the globe. Here we offer a synthetic discussion of the recent and emerging science focused on understanding the dynamic landscape processes in Arctic terrestrial ecosystems using a variety of remotely-sensed information collected from passive and active sensors on ground-, aircraft- and satellite- based platforms. To consider the evolution of these technologies, methods and applications over recent decades, we look at key examples from the scientific literature that range from the use of radar sensors for local-scale characterization of active layer dynamics to the circumpolar-scale assessment of changes in vegetation productivity using long-term records of optical satellite imagery. This discussion has a particular focus on the use of remotely sensed data and products to parameterize, drive, evaluate and benchmark the modeling of Arctic ecosystem processes. We use these examples to demonstrate the opportunities for model-data integration, as well as to highlight the challenges of remote sensing studies in northern high latitude regions.

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. Response of Microorganisms to an Accidental Gasoline Spillage in an Arctic Freshwater Ecosystem

    PubMed Central

    Horowitz, A.; Atlas, R. M.

    1977-01-01

    The response of microorganisms to an accidental spillage of 55,000 gallons of leaded gasoline into an Arctic freshwater lake was studied. Shifts in microbial populations were detected after the spillage, reflecting the migration pattern of the gasoline, enrichment for hydrocarbon utilizers, and selection for leaded-gasoline-tolerant microorganisms. Ratios of gasoline-tolerant/utilizing heterotrophs to “total” heterotrophs were found to be a sensitive indicator of the degree of hydrocarbon contamination. Respiration rates were elevated in the highly contaminated area, but did not reflect differences between moderately and lightly contaminated areas. Hydrocarbon biodegradation potential experiments showed that indigenous microorganisms could extensively convert hydrocarbons to CO2. In situ measurement of gasoline degradation showed that, if untreated, sediment samples retained significant amounts of gasoline hydrocarbons including “volatile components” at the time the lake froze for the winter. Nutrient addition and bacterial inoculation resulted in enhanced biodegradative losses, significantly reducing the amount of residual hydrocarbons. Enhanced biodegradation, however, resulted in the appearance of compounds not detected in the gasoline. Since the contaminated lake serves as a drinking water supply, treatment to enhance microbial removal of much of the remaining gasoline still may be advisable. PMID:879781

  5. Regional-Scale Vegetation Dynamics in Patterned-Ground Ecosystems of Arctic Tundra

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Epstein, H. E.; Kelley, A. M.; Walker, D. A.; Jia, G. J.; Raynolds, M. K.

    2006-12-01

    Regional-scale patterns of vegetation have been analyzed along a number of climate gradients throughout the world; these spatial dynamics provide important insights into the controlling factors of vegetation and the potential plant responses to environmental change. Only a few studies to date have collectively examined the vegetation biomass and production of arctic tundra ecosystems and their relationships to broadly ranging climate variables. No prior study has taken a systematic and consistent approach to examining vegetation biomass patterns along the full temperature gradient of the arctic biome. An additional complicating factor for studying vegetation of arctic tundra is the high spatial variability associated with small patterned-ground features (e.g. non-sorted circles and small non-sorted polygons), resulting from intense freeze-thaw processes. In this study, we sampled and analyzed the aboveground plant biomass components of patterned-ground ecosystems in the Arctic of northern Alaska and Canada along an 1800-km north-south gradient that spans approximately 11 degrees C of mean July temperatures. At each of ten locations along the regional temperature gradient, we ran several 50-m transects and harvested the aboveground biomass of three 20 x 50 cm plots for each transect. Vegetation biomass was dried, sorted by plant functional groups and tissue types, weighed, and analyzed as functions of the summer warmth index (SWI sum of mean monthly temperatures > 0). The absolute biomass (g/m2) of shrubs and graminoids increased exponentially with SWI, whereas forb and lichen biomass showed no change along the gradient. Moss biomass increased linearly with SWI, but with greater variabiliy than the other types. Relative aboveground biomass (% of total) of shrubs and graminoids increased with SWI, whereas percent lichen biomass decreased, and forbs again exhibited no significant change. Percentage of moss biomass was a parabolic function of SWI, with high relative

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. A conceptual ecosystem model of microbial communities in enhanced biological phosphorus removal plants.

    PubMed

    Nielsen, Per Halkjaer; Mielczarek, Artur Tomasz; Kragelund, Caroline; Nielsen, Jeppe Lund; Saunders, Aaron Marc; Kong, Yunhong; Hansen, Aviaja Anna; Vollertsen, Jes

    2010-09-01

    The microbial populations in 25 full-scale activated sludge wastewater treatment plants with enhanced biological phosphorus removal (EBPR plants) have been intensively studied over several years. Most of the important bacterial groups involved in nitrification, denitrification, biological P removal, fermentation, and hydrolysis have been identified and quantified using quantitative culture-independent molecular methods. Surprisingly, a limited number of core species was present in all plants, constituting on average approx. 80% of the entire communities in the plants, showing that the microbial populations in EBPR plants are rather similar and not very diverse, as sometimes suggested. By focusing on these organisms it is possible to make a comprehensive ecosystem model, where many important aspects in relation to microbial ecosystems and wastewater treatment can be investigated. We have reviewed the current knowledge about these microorganisms with focus on key ecophysiological factors and combined this into a conceptual ecosystem model for EBPR plants. It includes the major pathways of carbon flow with specific organic substances, the dominant populations involved in the transformations, interspecies interactions, and the key factors controlling their presence and activity. We believe that the EBPR process is a perfect model system for studies of microbial ecology in water engineering systems and that this conceptual model can be used for proposing and testing theories based on microbial ecosystem theories, for the development of new and improved quantitative ecosystem models and is beneficial for future design and management of wastewater treatment systems. Copyright © 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  10. Soil Microbial Community Successional Patterns during Forest Ecosystem Restoration ▿†

    PubMed Central

    Banning, Natasha C.; Gleeson, Deirdre B.; Grigg, Andrew H.; Grant, Carl D.; Andersen, Gary L.; Brodie, Eoin L.; Murphy, D. V.

    2011-01-01

    Soil microbial community characterization is increasingly being used to determine the responses of soils to stress and disturbances and to assess ecosystem sustainability. However, there is little experimental evidence to indicate that predictable patterns in microbial community structure or composition occur during secondary succession or ecosystem restoration. This study utilized a chronosequence of developing jarrah (Eucalyptus marginata) forest ecosystems, rehabilitated after bauxite mining (up to 18 years old), to examine changes in soil bacterial and fungal community structures (by automated ribosomal intergenic spacer analysis [ARISA]) and changes in specific soil bacterial phyla by 16S rRNA gene microarray analysis. This study demonstrated that mining in these ecosystems significantly altered soil bacterial and fungal community structures. The hypothesis that the soil microbial community structures would become more similar to those of the surrounding nonmined forest with rehabilitation age was broadly supported by shifts in the bacterial but not the fungal community. Microarray analysis enabled the identification of clear successional trends in the bacterial community at the phylum level and supported the finding of an increase in similarity to nonmined forest soil with rehabilitation age. Changes in soil microbial community structure were significantly related to the size of the microbial biomass as well as numerous edaphic variables (including pH and C, N, and P nutrient concentrations). These findings suggest that soil bacterial community dynamics follow a pattern in developing ecosystems that may be predictable and can be conceptualized as providing an integrated assessment of numerous edaphic variables. PMID:21724890

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. [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.

  14. 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

  15. Predicting global microbial community structure and function from global climate- ecosystem models

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gilbert, J. A.; Larsen, P.; Mickelson, S. A.; Drewniak, B. A.; Jacob, R. L.

    2012-12-01

    Microbial ecology deals with the role of microbes in biogeochemical cycling and the interaction dynamics within the microbial biosphere. It is axiomatic that microbes strongly influence the cycling of carbon and nitrogen in terrestrial ecosystems. However, there has been little progress in understanding how microbes mediate these transformations and hence integration of microbial biodiversity and functional data into climate models has been limited. Here we present our current and ongoing work on the integration of microbial taxonomic and metabolic data in to global climate models, presenting the first total global map of microbial diversity and functional potential as it relates to climate change scenarios over the next 100 years. Utilizing existing tools developed to predict microbial assemblage structure (MAP) and to interpret metagenomic sequence data as metabolic turnover (PRMT) we demonstrate that output from the biogeochemistry components of climate models can be used to accurately predict these elements globally at one degree resolution including both marine and terrestrial sources. In addition we will explore ongoing efforts to capture the feedback mechanisms between changes in microbial metabolic turnover and variables in the climate model. These global resolution microbial models are relative, but highlight the potential for integrating microbial community structure, demonstrate that this improves predictions of actual CO2 fluxes, and can be used to focus quantitative efforts on particular metabolic pathways in specific ecosystems across the globe.

  16. A multi-objective constraint-based approach for modeling genome-scale microbial ecosystems

    PubMed Central

    Bourdon, Jérémie; Larhlimi, Abdelhalim; Eveillard, Damien

    2017-01-01

    Interplay within microbial communities impacts ecosystems on several scales, and elucidation of the consequent effects is a difficult task in ecology. In particular, the integration of genome-scale data within quantitative models of microbial ecosystems remains elusive. This study advocates the use of constraint-based modeling to build predictive models from recent high-resolution -omics datasets. Following recent studies that have demonstrated the accuracy of constraint-based models (CBMs) for simulating single-strain metabolic networks, we sought to study microbial ecosystems as a combination of single-strain metabolic networks that exchange nutrients. This study presents two multi-objective extensions of CBMs for modeling communities: multi-objective flux balance analysis (MO-FBA) and multi-objective flux variability analysis (MO-FVA). Both methods were applied to a hot spring mat model ecosystem. As a result, multiple trade-offs between nutrients and growth rates, as well as thermodynamically favorable relative abundances at community level, were emphasized. We expect this approach to be used for integrating genomic information in microbial ecosystems. Following models will provide insights about behaviors (including diversity) that take place at the ecosystem scale. PMID:28187207

  17. 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.

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

    DOE PAGES

    Wang, Gangsheng; Jagadamma, Sindhu; Mayes, Melanie; ...

    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

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. Rare earth elements in freshwater, marine, and terrestrial ecosystems in the eastern Canadian Arctic.

    PubMed

    MacMillan, Gwyneth Anne; Chételat, John; Heath, Joel P; Mickpegak, Raymond; Amyot, Marc

    2017-09-07

    Few ecotoxicological studies exist for rare earth elements (REEs), particularly field-based studies on their bioaccumulation and food web dynamics. REE mining has led to significant environmental impacts in several countries (China, Brazil, U.S.), yet little is known about the fate and transport of these contaminants of emerging concern. Northern ecosystems are potentially vulnerable to REE enrichment from prospective mining projects at high latitudes. To understand how REEs behave in remote northern food webs, we measured REE concentrations and carbon and nitrogen stable isotope ratios (∂(15)N, ∂(13)C) in biota from marine, freshwater, and terrestrial ecosystems of the eastern Canadian Arctic (N = 339). Wildlife harvesting and tissue sampling was partly conducted by local hunters through a community-based monitoring project. Results show that REEs generally follow a coherent bioaccumulation pattern for sample tissues, with some anomalies for redox-sensitive elements (Ce, Eu). Highest REE concentrations were found at low trophic levels, especially in vegetation and aquatic invertebrates. Terrestrial herbivores, ringed seal, and fish had low total REE levels in muscle tissue (∑REE for 15 elements <0.1 nmol g(-1)), yet accumulation was an order of magnitude higher in liver tissues. Age- and length-dependent REE accumulation also suggest that REE uptake is faster than elimination for some species. Overall, REE bioaccumulation patterns appear to be species- and tissue-specific, with limited potential for biomagnification. This study provides novel data on the behaviour of REEs in ecosystems and will be useful for environmental impact assessment of REE enrichment in northern regions.

  2. Microbial assemblages in soil microbial succession after glacial retreat in Svalbard (high arctic).

    PubMed

    Kastovská, Klára; Elster, Josef; Stibal, Marek; Santrůcková, Hana

    2005-10-01

    Microbial community composition (cyanobacteria and eukaryotic microalgae abundance and diversity, bacterial abundance, and soil respiration) was studied in subglacial and periglacial habitats on five glaciers near Ny-Alesund, Svalbard (79 degrees N). Soil microbial communities from nonvegetated sites (subglacial, recently deglaciated, and cryoconite sediments) and sites with plant cover (deglaciated some hundreds of years ago) were analyzed. Physicochemical analyses (pH, texture, water content, organic matter, total C and N content) were also performed on the samples. In total, 57 taxa of 23 genera of cyanobacteriaand algae were identified. Algae from the class Chlorophyceae (25 species) and cyanobacteria (23 species) were richest in biodiversity. The numbers of identified species in single habitat types were 23 in subglacial, 39 inbarren, 22 in cryoconite, and 24 in vegetated soils. The highest cyanobacterial and algal biovolume and cell numbers, respectively, were present in cryoconite (13x10(4) microm3 mg-1 soil and 508 cells per mg of soil), followed by barren (5.7x10(4) and 188), vegetated (2.6x10(4) and 120), and subglacial (0.1x10(4) and 5) soils. Cyanobacteria prevailed in all soil samples. Algae (mainly green algae) were present only as accessory organisms. The density of bacteria showed a slightly different trend to that of the cyanobacterial and algal assemblages. The highest number of bacteria was present in vegetated (mean: 13,722x10(8) cells per mg of soil dry wt.), followed by cryoconite (3802x10(8)), barren (654x10(8)), and subglacial (78x10(8)) soils. Response of cyanobacteria and algae to physical parameters showed that soil texture and water content are important for biomass development. In addition, it is shown that nitrogen and water content are the main factors affecting bacterial abundance and overall soil respiration. Redundancy analysis (RDA) with forward selection was used to create a model explaining variability in cyanobacterial, algal

  3. 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

    2015-03-10

    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.

  4. Fire and ecosystem change in the Arctic across the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Denis, E. H.; Pedentchouk, N.; Schouten, S.; Pagani, M.; Freeman, K. H.

    2016-12-01

    Fire, an important component of ecosystems at a range of spatial and temporal scales, affects vegetation distribution, the carbon cycle, and climate. In turn, climate influences fuel composition (e.g., amount and type of vegetation), fuel availability (e.g., vegetation that can burn based on precipitation and temperature), and ignition sources (e.g., lightning). Climate studies predict increased wildfire activity in future decades, but mechanisms that control the relationship between climate and fire are complex. Reconstructing environmental conditions during past warming events (e.g., the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum (PETM)) will help elucidate climate-vegetation-fire relationships that are expressed over long durations (1,000 - 10,000 yrs). The abrupt global warming during the PETM dramatically altered vegetation and hydrologic patterns, and, possibly, fire occurrence. To investigate coincident changes in climate, vegetation, and fire occurrence, we studied biomarkers, including polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), terpenoids, and alkanes from the PETM interval at IODP site 302 (the Lomonosov Ridge) in the Arctic Ocean. Both pollen and biomarker records indicate angiosperms abundance increased during the PETM relative to gymnosperms, reflecting a significant ecological shift to angiosperm-dominated vegetation. PAH abundances increased relative to plant biomarkers throughout the PETM, which suggests PAH production increased relative to plant productivity. Increased PAH production associated with the angiosperm vegetation shift indicates a greater prevalence of more fire-prone species. A time lag between increased moisture transport (based on published δD of n-alkanes data) to the Arctic and increased angiosperms and PAH production suggests wetter conditions, followed by increased air temperatures, favored angiosperms and combined to enhance fire occurrence.

  5. Modeling Plant-Atmosphere Interactions and Ramifications on the Surface Energy Balance in Arctic Ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Linn, R.; Cunningham, P.; Wilson, C. J.

    2011-12-01

    There is broad recognition that the melting of the permafrost in arctic landscapes could have pronounced global climatological impacts. The evolution of the permafrost and its impacts on the carbon and water balances is directly related to balances in the surface energy budget. There are a number of factors that are expected to impact the net heat flux at the surface of the soil including regional atmospheric conditions. However, ultimately this surface energy balance is controlled by local processes including evaporation from the surface, transpiration from vegetation as well as radiative and convective heat transfer. These four processes are directly impacted by coupling between the vegetation and atmosphere, and thus depend heavily upon the horizontal and vertical vegetation structure. If shrubs replace grasses in the arctic ecosystem there will be net shifts in the heat transfer to the ground. For example, the solar radiation that is absorbed by shrubs is separated from the soil by a stem space through which winds blow. In order for the energy to reach the soil it must warm the air and then warm the soil, however some of the warm air is mixed into the atmosphere and diffused. This structural feature can act in a fashion similar to a closed canopy forest, which frequently have cooler temperatures below the canopy than nearby grasslands An atmospheric hydrodynamics model, HIGRAD, has been enhanced to simulate complex, three-dimensional plant-atmosphere interactions at extremely high resolution (~0.1 m in all three directions). The model represents the transport of momentum, heat, moisture, and CO2 and their exchange between the vegetation and surrounding air. HIGRAD was used to simulate coupled atmosphere/vegetation systems representative of heterogeneous shrub and tussock grass surrounding a thermokarst. In these simulations shrubs, uneven grasses, and a thermokarst depression are explicitly resolved, and atmospheric conditions are similar to those of summer

  6. Ecosystem Respiration Rates of Arctic Tundra Mesocosms in Response to Cold-Season Temperatures

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Oberbauer, S. F.; Moser, J. G.; Olivas, P. C.; Starr, G.; Mortazavi, B.

    2013-12-01

    The cold season in the Arctic extends over 8 to 9 mo, during which air temperatures often reach as low as -40 °C. However, as a result of the insulating layer created by snow cover, temperatures seldom fall below -15 °C, and are likely warm enough to support some metabolism. Little research has been conducted on arctic plants and tundra during the cold season, despite its length and the fact that warming is predicted to be greatest during this period. The primary focus of cold-season research has been on rates of winter ecosystem respiration (ER) for estimates of annual carbon balance. The majority of these measurements during the winter or at winter temperatures indicate that some respiration is occurring. Although rates are low, they may contribute substantially to the annual carbon balance because of the length of the cold season. However, estimates of respiration at low temperatures differ substantially, have been taken at different temperatures using different methodologies, and importantly almost none provide quantitative relationships across a range of temperatures. We measured respiration rates of intact arctic tundra monoliths from 15 to -15 °C at 5 °C steps to facilitate improved model estimates of tundra respiration. Six tundra monoliths (~900 cm2) taken from Toolik Field Station, Alaska were conditioned for the cold season in growth chambers at shortened photoperiods and low, but above-freezing temperatures. Desired temperatures were obtained with a combination of growth chambers and a modified freezer. The average of five samplings of [CO2] at each temperature step was used to estimate the ER rates. Measurements were conducted with a closed system using incubation periods of 30 to 180 min, depending on the temperature. Carbon dioxide concentrations were measured by syringe samples injected into a N2 gas stream flowing through an infrared gas analyzer. Rates of ER calculated on an area basis were close to zero at -15 °C, but increased steadily with

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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

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

    PubMed

    Wang, Gangsheng; Jagadamma, Sindhu; Mayes, Melanie A; Schadt, Christopher W; Steinweg, J Megan; Gu, Lianhong; Post, Wilfred M

    2015-01-01

    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 owing to changes in the physiology and community composition of microbes and their associated effect on carbon cycling. Here we developed 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, that is, MEND with dormancy (MEND) and MEND without dormancy (MEND_wod), against long-term (270 days) carbon decomposition data from laboratory incubations of four soils with isotopically labeled substrates. MEND_wod adequately fitted multiple observations (total C-CO2 and (14)C-CO2 respiration, and dissolved organic carbon), but at the cost of significantly underestimating the total microbial biomass. MEND improved estimates of microbial biomass by 20-71% over MEND_wod. We also quantified uncertainties in parameters and model simulations using the Critical Objective Function Index method, which is based on a global stochastic optimization algorithm, as well as model complexity and observational data availability. Together our model extrapolations of the incubation study show that long-term soil incubations with experimental data for multiple carbon pools are conducive 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. Above- and belowground responses of Arctic tundra ecosystems to altered soil nutrients and mammalian herbivory.

    PubMed

    Gough, Laura; Moore, John C; Shaver, Gauis R; Simpson, Rodney T; Johnson, David R

    2012-07-01

    Theory and observation indicate that changes in the rate of primary production can alter the balance between the bottom-up influences of plants and resources and the top-down regulation of herbivores and predators on ecosystem structure and function. The exploitation ecosystem hypothesis (EEH) posited that as aboveground net primary productivity (ANPP) increases, the additional biomass should support higher trophic levels. We developed an extension of EEH to include the impacts of increases in ANPP on belowground consumers in a similar manner as aboveground, but indirectly through changes in the allocation of photosynthate to roots. We tested our predictions for plants aboveground and for phytophagous nematodes and their predators belowground in two common arctic tundra plant communities subjected to 11 years of increased soil nutrient availability and/or exclusion of mammalian herbivores. The less productive dry heath (DH) community met the predictions of EEH aboveground, with the greatest ANPP and plant biomass in the fertilized plots protected from herbivory. A palatable grass increased in fertilized plots while dwarf evergreen shrubs and lichens declined. Belowground, phytophagous nematodes also responded as predicted, achieving greater biomass in the higher ANPP plots, whereas predator biomass tended to be lower in those same plots (although not significantly). In the higher productivity moist acidic tussock (MAT) community, aboveground responses were quite different. Herbivores stimulated ANPP and biomass in both ambient and enriched soil nutrient plots; maximum ANPP occurred in fertilized plots exposed to herbivory. Fertilized plots became dominated by dwarf birch (a deciduous shrub) and cloudberry (a perennial forb); under ambient conditions these two species coexist with sedges, evergreen dwarf shrubs, and Sphagnum mosses. Phytophagous nematodes did not respond significantly to changes in ANPP, although predator biomass was greatest in control plots. The

  14. 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

  15. Biodiversity and ecosystem functioning in coastal lagoons: Does microbial diversity play any role?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Danovaro, Roberto; Pusceddu, Antonio

    2007-10-01

    Although prokaryotes are small in size, they are a significant biomass component in aquatic ecosystems and play a major role in biogeochemical processes. It is generally assumed that the relative importance of prokaryotes to material and energy fluxes is maximized in low-productivity (oligotrophic) ecosystems and decreases in high-productivity (eutrophic) ecosystems. Lagoon and coastal ecosystems are extremely dynamic, typically highly productive and dominated by macro-size organisms (both macrofauna and macrophytes). As such, their functional characteristics are typically evaluated from a "macrobial" perspective. An efficient ecosystem functioning, with fast nutrient cycling, high productivity, low C accumulation and lack of hypoxic/dystrophic crises is, however, intimately dependent on the interaction between microbial and macrobial organisms. We make here an attempt to relate prokaryote biodiversity (genotype richness, using fingerprinting techniques, ARISA) and ecosystem functioning (using a series of parameters including meiofaunal biomass, prokaryote C production and organic matter turnover rates) in different Mediterranean lagoon systems. The lagoons differed significantly with each other for all the variables. While no relationships were observed between the environmental characteristics of the lagoons and the bacterial diversity, the latter was significantly and positively correlated with the functioning and efficiency of the lagoons. The investigation of the links between microbial diversity and functioning in lagoons is still at its infancy, but these preliminary results suggest that a better understanding of the role of prokaryote diversity on ecosystem functioning and efficiency could open new perspectives for the conservation and management of these highly productive and vulnerable ecosystems.

  16. Reference independent species level profiling of the largest marine microbial ecosystem.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mende, D. R.; DeLong, E.; Aylward, F.

    2016-02-01

    Marine microbes are of immense importance for the flux of matter and energy within the global oceans. Yet, the temporal variability of microbial communities in response to seasonal and environmental changes remains understudied. In addition, there is only a very limited understanding of the effects that changes within microbial communities at a certain depth have on the other microbes within the water column. Further, existing studies have mostly been limited by the lack of good reference databases. Here we present an reference independent analysis of a year long time series at 5 different water depth of the microbial communities at Station ALOHA, a sampling location representative of the largest contiguous ecosystem on earth, the North Pacific Subtropical Gyre (NPSG). Due to the lack the lack of closely related reference genomes most recent meta-genomic studies of marine microbial ecosystems have been limited to a coarse grained view at higher taxonomic levels. In order to gain a fine grained picture of the microbial communities and their dynamics within the NPSG, we extended the mOTU approach that has been successfully applied to the human microbiome to this marine ecosystem using more than 60 deeply sequenced metagenomic samples. This method allows for species level community profiling and diversity estimates, revealing seasonal shifts within the microbial communities. Additionally, we detected a number of microbes that respond to changes of different changing environmental conditions. We further surveyed the depth specificity of microbes at station ALOHA, showing species specific patterns of presence at different depths.

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. Timing, Magnitude and Sources of Ecosystem Respiration in High Arctic Tundra of NW Greenland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2011-12-01

    High arctic ecosystems with low vegetation density contain significant stocks of organic carbon (C) in the form of soil organic matter that range in age from modern to ancient. How rapidly these C pools can be mineralized and lost to the atmosphere as CO2 (ecosystem respiration, ER) as a consequence of warming and, or changes in precipitation is a major uncertainty in our understanding of current and future arctic biogeochemistry and for predicting future levels of atmospheric CO2. In a 2-year study (2010-2011), we monitored seasonal changes in the magnitude, timing and sources of ER and soil pore space CO2 in the High Arctic of NW Greenland under current and simulated, future climate conditions. Measurements were taken from May to August at a multi-factorial, long-term climate change experiment in prostrate dwarf-shrub tundra on patterned ground with 5 treatments: (T1) +2oC warming, (T2) +4oC warming, (W) +50% summer precipitation, (T2W) +4oC + 50% summer precipitation, and (C) control. ER (using opaque chambers) and soil CO2 concentrations (wells) were monitored daily via infrared spectroscopy (LI-COR 800 & 840). The source of CO2 was inferred from its radiocarbon (14C) content analyzed at the AMS facility in UCI. CO2 was sampled monthly using molecular sieve traps (chambers) or evacuated canisters (wells). Highest rates of ER are observed on vegetated ground with a maximum in mid summer - reflecting a peak in plant productivity and soil temperature. Respiration rates from bare ground remain similar throughout the summer. Additional soil moisture, administered or due to precipitation events, strongly enhances ER from both vegetated and bare ground. Daily ER budget for the sampling period was of 53.1 mmol C m-2 day-1 for the (C) vegetated areas compared to the 60.0 for the (T2), 68.1 for the (T2W) or the 79.9 for the (W) treatment. ER was highly correlated to temperature (eg. C = 0.8; T2W = 0.8) until middle of July, when heavy precipitation started to occur. In

  3. 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...

  4. 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...

  5. 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.

  6. Arctic Ocean Atmosphere Sea Ice Snowpack (OASIS) Interactions Affecting Atmospheric Biogeochemistry, Climate and Ecosystems in the Arctic

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Beine, H.

    2006-12-01

    The Arctic Ocean is central to the understanding of climate and global environmental change. As a critical component of the Earth system, the Arctic region both influences and responds rapidly to natural variations and to human-induced perturbations, such as warming, contaminant accumulation, and associated impacts. While it is clear that there are dramatic changes occurring in the Arctic, the interactions between the air and surfaces are still not understood. The international, multidisciplinary Ocean-Atmosphere-Sea Ice-Snowpack (OASIS) program addresses the knowledge gaps and coordinates studies of Arctic atmosphere-surface interactions and associated feedbacks to the climate system. OASIS is planned as a long term science program for the next decade. OASIS is linked to a number of international organizations and activities, including AMAP, the IGBP programs IGAC under the AICI (Air Ice Chemical Interactions) activity, and SOLAS (Surface Ocean Lower Atmosphere Study), and the WCRP project CliC (Climate and Cryosphere). The abundant snowpack in the Arctic is not just a white cover: an array of intriguing reactions has been observed within and on snowpacks and sea-ice during springtime Arctic sunrise that dramatically influences the composition of the atmosphere. Building on these discoveries, the OASIS research approach is aimed at a better understanding of air-surface chemical exchange in the context of a changing climate. Fundamental physical, chemical, and biologically-mediated chemical exchange processes will be studied to answer questions such as: Will climate change increase or decrease the amount of mercury deposited in the Arctic? How will warming affect regional and global climate? How are sea ice and snow chemistry and physics changing? What is the role of biological processes in producing reactive atmospheric gases? What is the role of sea-salt in ozone depletion? What are ecological and human health impacts of toxic materials such as mercury and

  7. Effects of non-indigenous oysters on microbial diversity and ecosystem functioning.

    PubMed

    Green, Dannielle S; Boots, Bas; Crowe, Tasman P

    2012-01-01

    Invasive ecosystem engineers can physically and chemically alter the receiving environment, thereby affecting biodiversity and ecosystem functioning. The Pacific oyster, Crassostrea gigas, invasive throughout much of the world, can establish dense populations monopolising shorelines and possibly altering ecosystem processes including decomposition and nutrient cycling. The effects of increasing cover of invasive C. gigas on ecosystem processes and associated microbial assemblages in mud-flats were tested experimentally in the field. Pore-water nutrients (NH(4)(+) and total oxidised nitrogen), sediment chlorophyll content, microbial activity, total carbon and nitrogen, and community respiration (CO(2) and CH(4)) were measured to assess changes in ecosystem functioning. Assemblages of bacteria and functionally important microbes, including methanogens, methylotrophs and ammonia-oxidisers were assessed in the oxic and anoxic layers of sediment using terminal restriction length polymorphism of the bacterial 16S rRNA, mxaF, amoA and archaeal mcrA genes respectively. At higher covers (40 and 80%) of oysters there was significantly greater microbial activity, increased chlorophyll content, CO(2) (13 fold greater) and CH(4) (6 fold greater) emission from the sediment compared to mud-flats without C. gigas. At 10% cover, C. gigas increased the concentration of total oxidised nitrogen and altered the assemblage structure of ammonia-oxidisers and methanogens. Concentrations of pore-water NH(4)(+) were increased by C. gigas regardless of cover. Invasive species can alter ecosystem functioning not only directly, but also indirectly, by affecting microbial communities vital for the maintenance of ecosystem processes, but the nature and magnitude of these effects can be non-linear, depending on invader abundance.

  8. Effects of Non-Indigenous Oysters on Microbial Diversity and Ecosystem Functioning

    PubMed Central

    Green, Dannielle S.; Boots, Bas; Crowe, Tasman P.

    2012-01-01

    Invasive ecosystem engineers can physically and chemically alter the receiving environment, thereby affecting biodiversity and ecosystem functioning. The Pacific oyster, Crassostrea gigas, invasive throughout much of the world, can establish dense populations monopolising shorelines and possibly altering ecosystem processes including decomposition and nutrient cycling. The effects of increasing cover of invasive C. gigas on ecosystem processes and associated microbial assemblages in mud-flats were tested experimentally in the field. Pore-water nutrients (NH4+ and total oxidised nitrogen), sediment chlorophyll content, microbial activity, total carbon and nitrogen, and community respiration (CO2 and CH4) were measured to assess changes in ecosystem functioning. Assemblages of bacteria and functionally important microbes, including methanogens, methylotrophs and ammonia-oxidisers were assessed in the oxic and anoxic layers of sediment using terminal restriction length polymorphism of the bacterial 16S rRNA, mxaF, amoA and archaeal mcrA genes respectively. At higher covers (40 and 80%) of oysters there was significantly greater microbial activity, increased chlorophyll content, CO2 (13 fold greater) and CH4 (6 fold greater) emission from the sediment compared to mud-flats without C. gigas. At 10% cover, C. gigas increased the concentration of total oxidised nitrogen and altered the assemblage structure of ammonia-oxidisers and methanogens. Concentrations of pore-water NH4+ were increased by C. gigas regardless of cover. Invasive species can alter ecosystem functioning not only directly, but also indirectly, by affecting microbial communities vital for the maintenance of ecosystem processes, but the nature and magnitude of these effects can be non-linear, depending on invader abundance. PMID:23144762

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. Arctic Marine Biogeochemistry in a Global Ice-Ocean Ecosystem Model: A Look at Seasonal Features and Spatial Patterns

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Deal, C.; Jin, M.; Elliott, S.; Jeffery, N.; Steiner, N.; Carpenter, L.; Chance, R.

    2015-12-01

    The LANL-UAF ice-ocean ecosystem model was developed to investigate how sea ice influences biogeochemical cycling in the arctic marine environment and predict how it will do so in the future. Sea ice is an integral component of arctic biogeochemical cycles. Rapidly changing sea ice conditions, such as thinning, increasing open water area and freshening impact C, N, and S cycles in multiple interacting ways. Here we discuss model results for chlorophyll, primary productivity, nutrients, and dimethyl sulfide (DMS) in the Arctic Ocean. We compare our results to observations and simulations from other Arctic biogeochemical models. Participation in several recent intercomparison studies provide context for interpretation of our own model results. Key seasonal features and spatial patterns of biogeochemical phenomena studied include pan-Arctic primary production, subsurface chlorophyll maxima, under-ice phytoplankton blooms, and relatively high seawater DMS concentrations following the retreating ice edge. Not surprisingly, in most all cases, the model's success depends on how well the physical processes (e.g., vertical mixing, melt-water stratification) realistically distribute available nutrients. Further explanations for model-model and model-observation agreement/disagreement will be presented. While the model predicted high ice primary productivity recently recorded in the Bering Sea, the model shows no indication of extremely high seawater DMS recently observed at sea ice stations north of Svalbard. Preliminary model results from a high resolution version of our model, as part of the Regional Arctic System Model - Marine Biogeochemistry (i.e., RASM-mBGC) project, will also be presented.

  12. 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.

  13. Chemical and microbial characteristics of municipal drinking water supply systems in the Canadian Arctic.

    PubMed

    Daley, Kiley; Truelstrup Hansen, Lisbeth; Jamieson, Rob C; Hayward, Jenny L; Piorkowski, Greg S; Krkosek, Wendy; Gagnon, Graham A; Castleden, Heather; MacNeil, Kristen; Poltarowicz, Joanna; Corriveau, Emmalina; Jackson, Amy; Lywood, Justine; Huang, Yannan

    2017-06-13

    Drinking water in the vast Arctic Canadian territory of Nunavut is sourced from surface water lakes or rivers and transferred to man-made or natural reservoirs. The raw water is at a minimum treated by chlorination and distributed to customers either by trucks delivering to a water storage tank inside buildings or through a piped distribution system. The objective of this study was to characterize the chemical and microbial drinking water quality from source to tap in three hamlets (Coral Harbour, Pond Inlet and Pangnirtung-each has a population of <2000) on trucked service, and in Iqaluit (population ~6700), which uses a combination of trucked and piped water conveyance. Generally, the source and drinking water was of satisfactory microbial quality, containing Escherichia coli levels of <1 MPN/100 mL with a few exceptions, and selected pathogenic bacteria and parasites were below detection limits using quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) methods. Tap water in households receiving trucked water contained less than the recommended 0.2 mg/L of free chlorine, while piped drinking water in Iqaluit complied with Health Canada guidelines for residual chlorine (i.e. >0.2 mg/L free chlorine). Some buildings in the four communities contained manganese (Mn), copper (Cu), iron (Fe) and/or lead (Pb) concentrations above Health Canada guideline values for the aesthetic (Mn, Cu and Fe) and health (Pb) objectives. Corrosion of components of the drinking water distribution system (household storage tanks, premise plumbing) could be contributing to Pb, Cu and Fe levels, as the source water in three of the four communities had low alkalinity. The results point to the need for robust disinfection, which may include secondary disinfection or point-of-use disinfection, to prevent microbial risks in drinking water tanks in buildings and ultimately at the tap.

  14. 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.

  15. 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. .

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  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. Linking Soil Microbial Ecology to Ecosystem Functioning in Integrated Crop-Livestock Systems

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    Enhanced soil stability, nutrient cycling and C sequestration potential are important ecosystem functions driven by soil microbial processes and are directly influenced by agricultural management. Integrated crop-livestock agroecosystems (ICL) can enhance these functions via high-residue returning c...

  20. 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...

  1. 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.

  2. Seasonal and spatial variation in soil chemistry and anaerobic processes in an Arctic ecosystem

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lipson, D.; Mauritz, M.; Bozzolo, F.; Raab, T. K.; Santos, M. J.; Friedman, E. F.; Rosenbaum, M.; Angenent, L.

    2009-12-01

    Drained thaw lake basins (DTLB) are the dominant landform in the Arctic coastal plain near Barrow, Alaska. Our previous work in a DTLB showed that Fe(III) and humic substances are important electron acceptors in anaerobic respiration, and play a significant role in the C cycle of these organic-rich soils. In the current study, we investigated seasonal and spatial patterns of availability of electron acceptors and labile substrate, redox conditions and microbial activity. Landscapes within DTLB contain complex, fine-scale topography arising from ice wedge polygons, which produce raised and lowered areas. One goal of our study was to determine the effects of microtopographic variation on the potential for Fe(III) reduction and other anaerobic processes. Additionally, the soil in the study site has a complex vertical structure, with an organic peat layer overlying a mineral layer, overlying permafrost. We described variations in soil chemistry across depth profiles into the permafrost. Finally, we installed an integrated electrode/potentiostat system to electrochemically monitor microbial activity in the soil. Topographically low areas differed from high areas in most of the measured variables: low areas had lower oxidation-reduction potential, higher pH and electrical conductivity. Soil pore water from low areas had higher concentrations of Fe(III), Fe(II), dissolved organic C (DOC), and aromaticity (UV absorbance at 260nm, “A260”). Low areas also had higher concentrations of dissolve CO2 and CH4 in soil pore water. Laboratory incubations of soil showed a trend toward higher potentials for Fe(III) reduction in topographically low areas. Clearly, ice wedge-induced microtopography exerts a strong control on microbial processes in this DTLB landscape, with increased anaerobic activity occurring in the wetter, depressed areas. Soil water extracted from 5-15 cm depth had higher concentrations of Fe(III), Fe(II), A260, and DOC compared to soil water sampled from 0-5cm

  3. Microbial ecology of cereal vinegar fermentation: insights for driving the ecosystem function.

    PubMed

    Lu, Zhen-Ming; Wang, Zong-Min; Zhang, Xiao-Juan; Mao, Jian; Shi, Jin-Song; Xu, Zheng-Hong

    2017-08-24

    Over thousands of years, humans have mastered the natural vinegar fermentation technique of cultivating functional microbiota on different raw materials. Functional microbial communities that form reproducibly on non-autoclaved raw materials through repeated batch acetic acid fermentation underpin the flavour development of traditional cereal vinegars. However, how to modulate rationally and optimise the metabolic function of these naturally engineered acidic ecosystems remains unclear. Exploring two key minorities in a vinegar ecosystem, including microbial functions (e.g., flavour and aroma synthesis) and microbial strains, is a crucial step for the vinegar industry to modulate the metabolic function of vinegar microbiota, to monitor the fermentation process, and to maintain the flavour quality of final product. Copyright © 2017. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

  4. 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

  5. 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. © 2015 John

  6. 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.

  7. Assessing the Utility of Alternate Digital Image Color Space for Deriving Phenological Dynamics in a High-Arctic Tundra Ecosystem

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vargas, S. A., Jr.; Oberbauer, S. F.; Ramirez, G.; Ramirez, G. A.; Tweedie, C. E.; Hollister, R. D.; Escarzaga, S. M.; Ochoa, E.

    2015-12-01

    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 spatiotemporally variable environmental factors such as soil moisture, temperature, and radiation. Seasonal and inter-annual differences in phenology can affect surface energy balance and land-atmosphere carbon flux. Considering the relative importance of the Arctic to global carbon balance, improved scaling and extrapolation of phenological dynamics from the plot level to the landscape level is important for advancing our understanding of the impact of climate and other environmental change in arctic terrestrial ecosystems. Seasonal and interannual landscape phenology was observed over the Mobile Instrumented Sensor Platform (MISP) grid (2 x 50 meters) located in Barrow and Atqasuk, Alaska using imagery acquired from kite aerial photography (KAP), a hyperspectral ground-based spectrometer, and a phenocam. These data were analyzed in RGB and non-traditional HSV and l*a*b*color spaces to determine site, plant community seasonal, and inter annual phenological dynamics. Results were also compared to high spatial resolution satellite imagery to determine optimal indices for scaling vegetation dynamics from plot to landscape level. These results show that greenness indices similar to those acquired from hyperspectral remote sensing platforms can be derived using low-cost and low-tech techniques that could be deployed at multiple sites at low cost.

  8. [Nitrogen bio-cycle in the alpine tundra ecosystem of Changbai Mountain and its comparison with arctic tundra].

    PubMed

    Wei, Jing; Zhao, Jing-zhu; Deng, Hong-bing; Wu, Gang; Hao, Ying-jie; Shang, Wen-yan

    2005-03-01

    The nitrogen bio-cycle was discussed in the alpine tundra ecosystem of Changbai Mountain through compartment model. The alpine tundra of Changbai Mountain was compared with Arctic tundra by the common ratio of genus and species in this paper. It was found that the 89.3% of genus and 58.6% of species was the common between Changbai alpine tundra and Arctic tundra while 95.5% of lichen genus and 58.7% lichen species, 82.1% of moss genus and 76.3% of moss species, 93.1% of vascular bundle genus and 40.5% of vascular bundle species were the common, respectively, which made vegetation type or community to be similar between Changbai alpine tundra and Arctic tundra. The total storage of nitrogen was 65220.6 t in the vegetation-plant system of Changbai Mountain, of which soil pool amounted to 99.3%. The nitrogen storage of each compartment was as follows: the vegetation pool, litterfall pool and soil pool were 237.4 t, 145.3 t and 64837.9 t respectively. The transferable amounts of nitrogen were 131.7 t x a(-1), 58 t/a and 73.7 t x a(-1) in the aboveground plant, belowground root system and litterfall of alpine tundra ecosystem of Changbai Mountain.

  9. 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.

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

    PubMed

    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 Ca(2+), Mg(2+), 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.

  11. Soil Microbial Communities across a Chronosequence of Drained Lake Basins in the Arctic Coastal Plain of Alaska

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kao-Kniffin, J.; Bockheim, J.; Mueller, C. W.; Hinkel, K. M.

    2012-12-01

    The Arctic Coastal Plain landscape is comprised of approximately 25% drained lake basins spanning a continuum of geologic succession that provides the basis for an analysis of biologic change in soil on a millennial temporal scale. We examined patterns in soil carbon and microbial community composition across a 5,000-yr succession of these lake basins near Barrow, Alaska. Soil properties such as depth, pH, soil organic carbon, total nitrogen, C:N ratio, and bulk density, were related to microbial community composition and abundance. Non-metric multidimensional scaling indicated that soil microbial community composition was distinguishable between basins at the two extremes of the chronosequence (youngest and most ancient). In the youngest basins, organic carbon levels were positively correlated with abundance of gram-positive bacteria and saprotrophic fungi, whereas in the oldest basins carbon levels were associated only with gram-positive bacteria. In contrast, soil pH was negatively correlated with abundance of gram-positive bacteria and saprotrophic fungi. Surprisingly, the proportions of bacteria and fungi remained constant across the basin successional gradient with soil depth (up to 117 cm) and between the active layer and permafrost, although the total microbial biomass was 1.6-fold higher in the active layer. Cryoturbation in permafrost landscapes could be maintaining local homogeneity of the microbial community across the horizons sampled through mixing of materials across soil horizons. The results of this study indicate that the developmental time of drained lake basins impacts the community structure of major microbial groups, while soil depth influences microbial biomass. Examining the biomass distribution of active microorganisms across the chronosequence and at soil depth could help us better understand how different microbial groups respond to warming temperatures in the Arctic Coastal Plain.

  12. Microbial diversity and activity through a permafrost/ground ice core profile from the Canadian high Arctic.

    PubMed

    Steven, Blaire; Pollard, Wayne H; Greer, Charles W; Whyte, Lyle G

    2008-12-01

    Culture-dependent and culture-independent methods were used in an investigation of the microbial diversity in a permafrost/massive ground ice core from the Canadian high Arctic. Denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis as well as Bacteria and Archaea 16S rRNA gene clone libraries showed differences in the composition of the microbial communities in the distinct core horizons. Microbial diversity was similar in the active layer (surface) soil, permafrost table and permafrost horizons while the ground ice microbial community showed low diversity. Bacteria and Archaea sequences related to the Actinobacteria (54%) and Crenarchaeota (100%) respectively were predominant in the active layer while the majority of sequences in the permafrost were related to the Proteobacteria (57%) and Euryarchaeota (76%). The most abundant phyla in the ground ice clone libraries were the Firmicutes (59%) and Crenarchaeota (82%). Isolates from the permafrost were both less abundant and diverse than in the active layer soil, while no culturable cells were recovered from the ground ice. Mineralization of [1-(14)C] acetic acid and [2-(14)C] glucose was used to detect microbial activity in the different horizons in the core. Mineralization was detected at near ambient permafrost temperatures (-15 degrees C), indicating that permafrost may harbour an active microbial population, while the low microbial diversity, abundance and activity in ground ice suggests a less hospitable microbial habitat.

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. Leaf and fine root carbon stocks and turnover are coupled across Arctic ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Sloan, Victoria L; Fletcher, Benjamin J; Press, Malcolm C; Williams, Mathew; Phoenix, Gareth K

    2013-12-01

    Estimates of vegetation carbon pools and their turnover rates are central to understanding and modelling ecosystem responses to climate change and their feedbacks to climate. In the Arctic, a region containing globally important stores of soil carbon, and where the most rapid climate change is expected over the coming century, plant communities have on average sixfold more biomass below ground than above ground, but knowledge of the root carbon pool sizes and turnover rates is limited. Here, we show that across eight plant communities, there is a significant positive relationship between leaf and fine root turnover rates (r(2) = 0.68, P < 0.05), and that the turnover rates of both leaf (r(2) = 0.63, P < 0.05) and fine root (r(2) = 0.55, P < 0.05) pools are strongly correlated with leaf area index (LAI, leaf area per unit ground area). This coupling of root and leaf dynamics supports the theory of a whole-plant economics spectrum. We also show that the size of the fine root carbon pool initially increases linearly with increasing LAI, and then levels off at LAI = 1 m(2) m(-2), suggesting a functional balance between investment in leaves and fine roots at the whole community scale. These ecological relationships not only demonstrate close links between above and below-ground plant carbon dynamics but also allow plant carbon pool sizes and their turnover rates to be predicted from the single readily quantifiable (and remotely sensed) parameter of LAI, including the possibility of estimating root data from satellites.

  16. 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.

  17. Limits of Microbial Photosynthesis in Hot Spring Ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cox, A. D.; Shock, E. L.

    2003-12-01

    The limits of microbial photosynthesis are determined by many environmental factors including light availability, temperature, pH, flow rate, nutrient abundance, chemical composition and the presence or absence of other microorganisms. In an effort to determine which factors have the greatest influence on the limits of photosynthesis, we conducted a field study in the summer of 2003 at Yellowstone National Park. At more than 75 locations temperature, pH, conductivity, and sulfide measurements were made in the field, and at many of these locations samples were collected for major and trace element measurements and organic analyses. Temperatures ranged from 32 to 93° C, conductivities from 790 to 11500μ S, in situ pH from 1.87 to 8.97, and total sulfide concentrations from 1850μ g L-1 to below detection ( ˜2μ g L-1). These data indicate that the previously established upper temperature limit for photosynthesis of 73° C is reached in many alkaline hot springs, but that upper temperature limits decrease with decreasing pH below ˜7. As an example, we found no strong evidence for photosynthesis above 45° C at pH ˜2. In several locations, photosynthesis appears to be suppressed despite temperatures and pH values that permit photosynthesis elsewhere. Preliminary results indicate that salinity variations are not responsible for suppression of photosynthesis, but that sulfide concentrations may be. Studies of five hot spring outflow channels, together spanning pH values from 2.5 to 8.6, show that photosynthesis appears once sulfide concentrations drop to < 20% of the source values. In one channel where total sulfide varies by only a factor of two over more than 100 m of flow, we found no evidence of photosynthesis despite temperatures ranging from 60 to 35° C and mild pH values of 5.8 to 6.5. These observations lead us to propose that photosynthesis becomes possible after a large decrease in initial sulfide concentration. Although abiotic processes (degassing

  18. Using Seed Bank Theory To Better Understand Microbial Contributions to Ecosystem Functioning

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lennon, J. T.

    2016-12-01

    Microbial communities are comprised of many individuals that exist in a range of physiological states. While some individuals may be growing at their maximum potential, a large fraction of cells are metabolically inactive or dormant. The sum of all dormant individuals is referred to as a "seed bank" and is important for understanding the maintenance of microbial diversity. However, seed banks have also been shown to be important for predicting ecosystem processes. For example, growing evidence suggests that >90 % of the microbial biomass in soils is metabolically inactive. This means that only a small fraction of the microbial community is responsible for important functions, such as the production and consumption of trace gases, at any point in time. In this presentation, I will provide an overview of seed bank theory, which will emphasize transitions into and out of dormancy. I will then discuss results from individual-based models (IBMs) that demonstrate how seed banks emerge as a function of microscale processes such as the encounter rate between microorganisms and their resources in spatially structured habitats. Finally, I will highlight experimental work from aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems, which reveal that ecosystems dynamics can be better understood and more accurately predicted when explicitly taking seed bank theory into account.

  19. Bridging Time Scales, Disciplines, and Generations to Better Understand the Arctic Marine Ecosystem

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Forest, Alexandre; Kedra, Monika; Pavlov, Alexey

    2013-03-01

    Understanding and predicting how ecological and biogeochemical processes in the Arctic Ocean are affected by global changes require an integrated approach. Modifications in the Arctic system may feed back to the Earth's climate, and shifts in food web functions could affect the people who depend on marine resources. Connecting information obtained along the circum-Arctic, across disciplines and time scales as well as over generations, is thus key to gaining new insights on the interactions that drive the mechanics of change (Arctic in Rapid Transition Implementation Plan; http://www.iarc.uaf.edu/ART/implementation-plan). Such a framework is needed if the linkages between atmosphere-ice-ocean forcing, land-ocean exchanges, biodiversity, and the productive capacity of the Arctic Ocean are to be properly understood.

  20. Microbial characterization of a subzero, hypersaline methane seep in the Canadian High Arctic.

    PubMed

    Niederberger, Thomas D; Perreault, Nancy N; Tille, Stephanie; Lollar, Barbara Sherwood; Lacrampe-Couloume, Georges; Andersen, Dale; Greer, Charles W; Pollard, Wayne; Whyte, Lyle G

    2010-10-01

    We report the first microbiological characterization of a terrestrial methane seep in a cryo-environment in the form of an Arctic hypersaline (∼24% salinity), subzero (-5 °C), perennial spring, arising through thick permafrost in an area with an average annual air temperature of -15 °C. Bacterial and archaeal 16S rRNA gene clone libraries indicated a relatively low diversity of phylotypes within the spring sediment (Shannon index values of 1.65 and 1.39, respectively). Bacterial phylotypes were related to microorganisms such as Loktanella, Gillisia, Halomonas and Marinobacter spp. previously recovered from cold, saline habitats. A proportion of the bacterial phylotypes were cultured, including Marinobacter and Halomonas, with all isolates capable of growth at the in situ temperature (-5 °C). Archaeal phylotypes were related to signatures from hypersaline deep-sea methane-seep sediments and were dominated by the anaerobic methane group 1a (ANME-1a) clade of anaerobic methane oxidizing archaea. CARD-FISH analyses indicated that cells within the spring sediment consisted of ∼84.0% bacterial and 3.8% archaeal cells with ANME-1 cells accounting for most of the archaeal cells. The major gas discharging from the spring was methane (∼50%) with the low CH(4)/C(2+) ratio and hydrogen and carbon isotope signatures consistent with a thermogenic origin of the methane. Overall, this hypersaline, subzero environment supports a viable microbial community capable of activity at in situ temperature and where methane may behave as an energy and carbon source for sustaining anaerobic oxidation of methane-based microbial metabolism. This site also provides a model of how a methane seep can form in a cryo-environment as well as a mechanism for the hypothesized Martian methane plumes.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. Differential allocation of carbon in mosses and grasses governs ecosystem sequestration: a 13C tracer study in the high Arctic.

    PubMed

    Woodin, S J; van der Wal, R; Sommerkorn, M; Gornall, J L

    2009-12-01

    *This study investigates the influence of vegetation composition on carbon (C) sequestration in a moss-dominated ecosystem in the Arctic. *A (13)C labelling study in an arctic wet meadow was used to trace assimilate into C pools of differing recalcitrance within grasses and mosses and to determine the retention of C by these plant groups. *Moss retained 70% of assimilated (13)C over the month following labelling, which represented half the growing season. By contrast, the vascular plants, comprising mostly grasses, retained only 40%. The mechanism underlying this was that moss allocated 80% of the (13)C to recalcitrant C pools, a much higher proportion than in grasses (56%). *This method enabled elucidation of a plant trait that will influence decomposition and hence persistence of assimilated C in the ecosystem. We predict that moss-dominated vegetation will retain sequestered C more strongly than a grass-dominated community. Given the strong environmental drivers that are causing a shift from moss to grass dominance, this is likely to result in a reduction in future ecosystem C sink strength.

  4. 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.

  5. Vertical distribution of microbial communities in a perennially stratified Arctic lake with saline, anoxic bottom waters

    PubMed Central

    Comeau, André M.; Harding, Tommy; Galand, Pierre E.; Vincent, Warwick F.; Lovejoy, Connie

    2012-01-01

    Meromictic lakes are useful biogeochemical models because of their stratified chemical gradients and separation of redox reactions down the water column. Perennially ice-covered meromictic lakes are particularly stable, with long term constancy in their density profiles. Here we sampled Lake A, a deep meromictic lake at latitude 83°N in High Arctic Canada. Sampling was before (May) and after (August) an unusual ice-out event during the warm 2008 summer. We determined the bacterial and archaeal community composition by high-throughput 16S rRNA gene tag-pyrosequencing. Both prokaryote communities were stratified by depth and the Bacteria differed between dates, indicating locally driven selection processes. We matched taxa to known taxon-specific biogeochemical functions and found a close correspondence between the depth of functional specialists and chemical gradients. These results indicate a rich microbial diversity despite the extreme location, with pronounced vertical structure in taxonomic and potential functional composition, and with community shifts during ice-out. PMID:22930670

  6. Vertical distribution of microbial communities in a perennially stratified Arctic lake with saline, anoxic bottom waters.

    PubMed

    Comeau, André M; Harding, Tommy; Galand, Pierre E; Vincent, Warwick F; Lovejoy, Connie

    2012-01-01

    Meromictic lakes are useful biogeochemical models because of their stratified chemical gradients and separation of redox reactions down the water column. Perennially ice-covered meromictic lakes are particularly stable, with long term constancy in their density profiles. Here we sampled Lake A, a deep meromictic lake at latitude 83°N in High Arctic Canada. Sampling was before (May) and after (August) an unusual ice-out event during the warm 2008 summer. We determined the bacterial and archaeal community composition by high-throughput 16S rRNA gene tag-pyrosequencing. Both prokaryote communities were stratified by depth and the Bacteria differed between dates, indicating locally driven selection processes. We matched taxa to known taxon-specific biogeochemical functions and found a close correspondence between the depth of functional specialists and chemical gradients. These results indicate a rich microbial diversity despite the extreme location, with pronounced vertical structure in taxonomic and potential functional composition, and with community shifts during ice-out.

  7. Microbial community structure of Arctic multiyear sea ice and surface seawater by 454 sequencing of the 16S RNA gene.

    PubMed

    Bowman, Jeff S; Rasmussen, Simon; Blom, Nikolaj; Deming, Jody W; Rysgaard, Søren; Sicheritz-Ponten, Thomas

    2012-01-01

    Dramatic decreases in the extent of Arctic multiyear ice (MYI) suggest this environment may disappear as early as 2100, replaced by ecologically different first-year ice. To better understand the implications of this loss on microbial biodiversity, we undertook a detailed census of the microbial community in MYI at two sites near the geographic North Pole using parallel tag sequencing of the 16S rRNA gene. Although the composition of the MYI microbial community has been characterized by previous studies, microbial community structure has not been. Although richness was lower in MYI than in underlying surface water, we found diversity to be comparable using the Simpson and Shannon's indices (for Simpson t=0.65, P=0.56; for Shannon t=0.25, P=0.84 for a Student's t-test of mean values). Cyanobacteria, comprising 6.8% of reads obtained from MYI, were observed for the first time in Arctic sea ice. In addition, several low-abundance clades not previously reported in sea ice were present, including the phylum TM7 and the classes Spartobacteria and Opitutae. Members of Coraliomargarita, a recently described genus of the class Opitutae, were present in sufficient numbers to suggest niche occupation within MYI.

  8. Microbial community structure of Arctic multiyear sea ice and surface seawater by 454 sequencing of the 16S RNA gene

    PubMed Central

    Bowman, Jeff S; Rasmussen, Simon; Blom, Nikolaj; Deming, Jody W; Rysgaard, Søren; Sicheritz-Ponten, Thomas

    2012-01-01

    Dramatic decreases in the extent of Arctic multiyear ice (MYI) suggest this environment may disappear as early as 2100, replaced by ecologically different first-year ice. To better understand the implications of this loss on microbial biodiversity, we undertook a detailed census of the microbial community in MYI at two sites near the geographic North Pole using parallel tag sequencing of the 16S rRNA gene. Although the composition of the MYI microbial community has been characterized by previous studies, microbial community structure has not been. Although richness was lower in MYI than in underlying surface water, we found diversity to be comparable using the Simpson and Shannon's indices (for Simpson t=0.65, P=0.56; for Shannon t=0.25, P=0.84 for a Student's t-test of mean values). Cyanobacteria, comprising 6.8% of reads obtained from MYI, were observed for the first time in Arctic sea ice. In addition, several low-abundance clades not previously reported in sea ice were present, including the phylum TM7 and the classes Spartobacteria and Opitutae. Members of Coraliomargarita, a recently described genus of the class Opitutae, were present in sufficient numbers to suggest niche occupation within MYI. PMID:21716307

  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 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

  11. 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. © 2015 Society for Applied Microbiology and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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

    2014-11-12

    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.

  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. 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)

  18. 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

  19. Microbial ecology of the watery ecosystems of Evros river in North Eastern Greece and its influence upon the cultivated soil ecosystem.

    PubMed

    Vavias, S; Alexopoulos, A; Plessas, S; Stefanis, C; Voidarou, C; Stavropoulou, E; Bezirtzoglou, E

    2011-12-01

    The aim of the present study was to evaluate the microbial ecosystem of cultivated soils along the Evros river in NE Greece. Evros river together with its derivative rivers constitute the capital source of life and sustainable development of the area. Along this riverside watery ecosystem systematic agro-cultures were developed such as wheat, corn and vegetable cultures. The evaluation of the ecosystem microbial charge was conducted in both axes which are the watery ecosystem and the riverside cultivated soil area. Considerable discrimination of water quality was observed when considering chemical and microbiological parameters of the Evros river ecosystem. Ardas river possesses a better water quality than Evros and Erythropotamos, which is mainly due to the higher quantities that these two rivers accumulate from industrial, farming and urban residues leading to higher degree of pollution. An increased microbial pollution was recorded in two of the three rivers monitored and a direct relation in microbial and chemical charging between water and cultivated-soil ecosystems was observed. The protection of these ecosystems with appropriate cultivated practices and control of human and animal activities will define the homeostasis of the environmental area.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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 L.; 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.

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. Convergence of microbial assimilations of soil carbon, nitrogen, phosphorus, and sulfur in terrestrial ecosystems

    DOE PAGES

    Xu, Xiaofeng; Hui, Dafeng; King, Anthony Wayne; ...

    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

  8. 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

  9. Microbial Potential for Ecosystem N Loss Is Increased by Experimental N Deposition

    SciTech Connect

    Freedman, Zachary B.; Upchurch, Rima A.; Zak, Donald R.; Miki, Takeshi

    2016-10-13

    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. Here 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.

  10. 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

  11. Lake microbial communities are resilient after a whole-ecosystem disturbance

    PubMed Central

    Shade, Ashley; Read, Jordan S; Youngblut, Nicholas D; Fierer, Noah; Knight, Rob; Kratz, Timothy K; Lottig, Noah R; Roden, Eric E; Stanley, Emily H; Stombaugh, Jesse; Whitaker, Rachel J; Wu, Chin H; McMahon, Katherine D

    2012-01-01

    Disturbances act as powerful structuring forces on ecosystems. To ask whether environmental microbial communities have capacity to recover after a large disturbance event, we conducted a whole-ecosystem manipulation, during which we imposed an intense disturbance on freshwater microbial communities by artificially mixing a temperate lake during peak summer thermal stratification. We employed environmental sensors and water chemistry analyses to evaluate the physical and chemical responses of the lake, and bar-coded 16S ribosomal RNA gene pyrosequencing and automated ribosomal intergenic spacer analysis (ARISA) to assess the bacterial community responses. The artificial mixing increased mean lake temperature from 14 to 20 °C for seven weeks after mixing ended, and exposed the microorganisms to very different environmental conditions, including increased hypolimnion oxygen and increased epilimnion carbon dioxide concentrations. Though overall ecosystem conditions remained altered (with hypolimnion temperatures elevated from 6 to 20 °C), bacterial communities returned to their pre-manipulation state as some environmental conditions, such as oxygen concentration, recovered. Recovery to pre-disturbance community composition and diversity was observed within 7 (epilimnion) and 11 (hypolimnion) days after mixing. Our results suggest that some microbial communities have capacity to recover after a major disturbance. PMID:22739495

  12. Impacts of engineered nanomaterials on microbial community structure and function in natural and engineered ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Mohanty, Anee; Wu, Yichao; Cao, Bin

    2014-10-01

    In natural and engineered environments, microorganisms often exist as complex communities, which are key to the health of ecosystems and the success of bioprocesses in various engineering applications. With the rapid development of nanotechnology in recent years, engineered nanomaterials (ENMs) have been considered one type of emerging contaminants that pose great potential risks to the proper function of microbial communities in natural and engineered ecosystems. The impacts of ENMs on microorganisms have attracted increasing research attentions; however, most studies focused on the antimicrobial activities of ENMs at single cell and population level. Elucidating the influence of ENMs on microbial communities represents a critical step toward a comprehensive understanding of the ecotoxicity of ENMs. In this mini-review, we summarize and discuss recent research work on the impacts of ENMs on microbial communities in natural and engineered ecosystems, with an emphasis on their influences on the community structure and function. We also highlight several important research topics which may be of great interest to the research community.

  13. Microbial Potential for Ecosystem N Loss Is Increased by Experimental N Deposition

    DOE PAGES

    Freedman, Zachary B.; Upchurch, Rima A.; Zak, Donald R.; ...

    2016-10-13

    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 withmore » 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. Here 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.« less

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. Spatial and successional dynamics of microbial biofilm communities in a grassland stream ecosystem

    SciTech Connect

    Veach, Allison M.; Stegen, James C.; Brown, Shawn P.; Dodds, Walter K.; Jumpponen, Ari

    2016-09-06

    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. In this study, 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. Finally, our data suggest that microbial biofilms predictably develop both functionally and structurally indicating distinct successional trajectories of bacterial communities in this ecosystem.

  19. 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)

  20. Cellulose digestion and metabolism induced biocatalytic transitions in anaerobic microbial ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Yamazawa, Akira; Iikura, Tomohiro; Morioka, Yusuke; Shino, Amiu; Ogata, Yoshiyuki; Date, Yasuhiro; Kikuchi, Jun

    2013-12-31

    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.

  1. Chronic Exposure Effects of Silver Nanoparticles on Stream Microbial Decomposer Communities and Ecosystem Functions.

    PubMed

    Tlili, Ahmed; Jabiol, Jérémy; Behra, Renata; Gil-Allué, Carmen; Gessner, Mark O

    2017-02-21

    With the accelerated use of silver nanoparticles (AgNP) in commercial products, streams will increasingly serve as recipients of, and repositories for, AgNP. This raises concerns about the potential toxicity of these nanomaterials in the environment. Here we aimed to assess the impacts of chronic AgNP exposure on the metabolic activities and community structure of fungal and bacterial plant litter decomposers as central players in stream ecosystems. Minimal variation in the size and surface charge of AgNP indicated that nanoparticles were rather stable during the experiment. Five days of exposure to 0.05 and 0.5 μM AgNP in microcosms shifted bacterial community structure but had no effect on a suite of microbial metabolic activities, despite silver accumulation in the decomposing leaf litter. After 25 days, however, a broad range of microbial endpoints, as well as rates of litter decomposition, were strongly affected. Declines matched with the total silver concentration in the leaves and were accompanied by changes in fungal and bacterial community structure. These results highlight a distinct sensitivity of litter-associated microbial communities in streams to chronic AgNP exposure, with effects on both microbial functions and community structure resulting in notable ecosystem consequences through impacts on litter decomposition and further biogeochemical processes.

  2. Spatial and successional dynamics of microbial biofilm communities in a grassland stream ecosystem

    SciTech Connect

    Veach, Allison M.; Stegen, James C.; Brown, Shawn P.; Dodds, Walter K.; Jumpponen, Ari

    2016-09-06

    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. In this study, 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. Finally, our data suggest that microbial biofilms predictably develop both functionally and structurally indicating distinct successional trajectories of bacterial communities in this ecosystem.

  3. 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).

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. Increases in Growing Season Length and Changes in Precipitation at Six Different Arctic and Subarctic Ecosystems from 1906-Present

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Culler, L. E.; Finger, R.; Plane, E.; Ayres, M.; Virginia, R. A.

    2015-12-01

    Ecological dynamics across the Arctic are responding to rapid changes in climate. As a whole, the Arctic has warmed at approximately twice the rate of the rest of the world, but changes in temperature and precipitation experienced at regional and local scales are most important for coupled human-natural systems. In addition, biologically-relevant climate indices are necessary for quantifying ecological responses of terrestrial and aquatic systems to varying climate. We compared climatic changes at six different Arctic and sub-Arctic locations, including two in Greenland (Kangerlussuaq, Sisimiut), one in Sweden (Abisko), and three in Alaska (Barrow, Nome, Fairbanks). We amassed weather data (daily temperature and precipitation), dating as far back as 1906, from public-access databases and used these data to calculate indices such as length of growing season, growing season degree days (GDD), and growing season precipitation. Annual GDD increased at all locations (average of 13% increase in GDD since 1980), but especially in western Greenland (16 and 37% in Kangerlussuaq and Sisimiut, respectively). Changes in growing season precipitation were more variable, with only Barrow, AK and Abisko, Sweden experiencing increased precipitation. All other sites experienced stable or slightly declining precipitation. Increasing temperatures and relatively stable precipitation translates to increased evapotranspiration potential, which influences soil moisture, lake depth, vegetation, carbon emissions, and fire susceptibility. Understanding local and regional trends in temperature and precipitation can help explain observed phenological changes and other processes at population, community, and ecosystem levels. In addition, identification of locations most susceptible to future change will allow scientists to closely monitor their ecological dynamics, anticipate changes in coupled human-natural systems, and consider adaptation plans for the most rapidly changing systems.

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. An all-taxon microbial inventory of the Moorea coral reef ecosystem

    PubMed Central

    McCliment, Elizabeth A; Nelson, Craig E; Carlson, Craig A; Alldredge, Alice L; Witting, Jan; Amaral-Zettler, Linda A

    2012-01-01

    The Moorea Coral Reef Long Term Ecological Research (LTER) Site (17.50°S, 149.83°W) comprises the fringe of coral reefs and lagoons surrounding the volcanic island of Moorea in the Society Islands of French Polynesia. As part of our Microbial Inventory Research Across Diverse Aquatic LTERS biodiversity inventory project, we characterized microbial community composition across all three domains of life using amplicon pyrosequencing of the V6 (bacterial and archaeal) and V9 (eukaryotic) hypervariable regions of small-subunit ribosomal RNA genes. Our survey spanned eight locations along a 130-km transect from the reef lagoon to the open ocean to examine changes in communities along inshore to offshore gradients. Our results illustrate consistent community differentiation between inshore and offshore ecosystems across all three domains, with greater richness in all domains in the reef-associated habitats. Bacterial communities were more homogenous among open ocean sites spanning >100 km than among inshore sites separated by <1 km, whereas eukaryotic communities varied more offshore than inshore, and archaea showed more equal levels of dissimilarity among subhabitats. We identified signature communities representative of specific geographic and geochemical milieu, and characterized co-occurrence patterns of specific microbial taxa within the inshore ecosystem including several bacterial groups that persist in geographical niches across time. Bacter