Roundup: Fungus, Hydropower, and Microbes

Each week, we highlight three stories from the forefront of glacier news.


Fungal Biodiversity in the Periglacial Soil of Dosdè Glacier

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An example of a Northern Italian Glacier (Credit: Wikimedia)

From The Journal of Basic Microbiology:

“Periglacial areas are one of the least studied habitats on Earth, especially in terms of their fungal communities. In this work, both molecular and culture-dependent methods have been used to analyse the microfungi in soils sampled on the front of the East Dosdè Glacier (Valtellina, Northern Italy). Although this survey revealed a community that was rich in fungal species, a distinct group of psychrophilic microfungi has not been detected. Most of the isolated microfungi were mesophiles, which are well adapted to the sensitive climatic changes that occur in this alpine environment. A discrepancy in the results that were obtained by means of the two diagnostic approaches suggests that the used molecular methods cannot entirely replace traditional culture-dependent methods, and vice versa.”

Read more here.


Review of Climate Change and the Impacts on Cryosphere, Hydrological Regimes and Glacier Lakes

From FutureWater Report:

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Kabul, situated 5,900 feet (1,800 m) above sea level in a narrow valley, wedged between the Hindu Kush mountains (Credit: Wikimedia)

“The climate, cryosphere and hydrology of the Hindu Kush Himalaya (HKH) region have been changing in the past and will change in the future. In this literature review, the state of knowledge regarding climate change and its connections to changes in the cryosphere and hydrology has been investigated, with a specific focus on impacts for hydropower development. From historical trends in climate it is clear that air temperature has been increasing in the HKH region over the past decades. Rates of increase are different for daily mean air temperature, maximum air temperature and minimum air temperature. Temperature in the higher elevations increased more over time than temperature in lower elevations. Historical precipitation trends on the other hand show no significant increasing or decreasing trends overall, but the trends vary locally.”

 Read more here.

Microbial Communities in Alpine Soils

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Air temperature, precipitation, and snow depth measured for the sampling period of this study. (Data collected from the IDAWEB database of the Swiss Meteorological Institute)

From Frontiers in Microbiology:

“Microbial communities in alpine environments are exposed to several environmental factors related to elevation and local site conditions and to extreme seasonal variations. However, little is known on the combined impact of such factors on microbial community structure. We assessed the effects of seasonal variations on soil fungal and bacterial communities along an elevational gradient (from alpine meadows to a glacier forefield, 1930–2519 m a.s.l.) over 14 months.”

Read more about microbial communities found on glaciers here.