Roundup: A Melting Iceberg, Cryoconites, and Lichens

Drifting Icebergs, Bacterial Activity and Aquatic Ecosystems

From BioOne Complete: “The number of icebergs produced from ice-shelf disintegration has increased over the past decade in Antarctica. These drifting icebergs mix the water column, influence stratification and nutrient condition, and can affect local productivity and food web composition. Data on whether icebergs affect bacterioplankton function and composition are scarce, however. We assessed the influence of iceberg drift on bacterial community composition and on their ability to exploit carbon substrates during summer in the coastal Southern Ocean. An elevated bacterial production and a different community composition were observed in iceberg-influenced waters relative to the undisturbed water column nearby.”

Read the research paper here.

Antarctic Peninsula
Antarctic Peninsula (Source: GRID Arendal/Flickr).

The Tibetan Plateau and Cryoconite Bacterial Communities

From Oxford Academic: “Cryoconite holes, water-filled pockets containing biological and mineralogical deposits that form on glacier surfaces, play important roles in glacier mass balance, glacial geochemistry and carbon cycling. The presence of cryoconite material decreases surface albedo and accelerates glacier mass loss, a problem of particular importance in the rapidly melting Tibetan Plateau.”

Learn more about the research here.

Cryoconites (Source: Joseph Dsilva/Flickr).

Lichen Diversity on Glacier Moraines in Svalbard

From BioOne Complete: “This paper contributes to studies on the lichen biota of Arctic glacier forelands. The research was carried out in the moraines of three different glaciers in Svalbard: Longyearbreen, Irenebreen and Rieperbreen. In total, 132 lichen taxa and three lichenicolous lichens were recorded. Eight species were recorded for the first time in the Svalbard archipelago: Arthonia gelidae, Buellia elegans, Caloplaca lactea, Cryptodiscus pallidus, Fuscidea kochiana, Merismatium deminutum, Physconia distorta, and Polyblastia schaereriana. One species, Staurothele arctica, was observed for the first time in Spitsbergen (previously recorded only on Hopen island).”

Read the research paper here.

Lichen in Svalberg (Source: Tim Ellis/Flickr).