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https://doi.org/10.5194/bg-2016-471
© Author(s) 2016. This work is distributed under
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Research article 03 Nov 2016

Research article | 03 Nov 2016

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This discussion paper is a preprint. It has been under review for the journal Biogeosciences (BG). The manuscript was not accepted for further review after discussion.

Quantification of basal ice microbial cell delivery to the glacier margin

Mario Toubes-Rodrigo1,2, Simon J. Cook1,2, David Elliott3, and Robin Sen1 Mario Toubes-Rodrigo et al.
  • 1School of Science and the Environment, Manchester Metropolitan University, Manchester, M1 5GD, United Kingdom
  • 2Cryosphere Research at Manchester, Oxford Road, Manchester, United Kingdom
  • 3Environmental Sustainability Research Centre, University of Derby, Derby, DE22 1GB, United Kingdom

Abstract. We present the first assessment of microbial cell discharge from sediment-laden glacier basal ice. At Svínafellsjökull, a temperate valley glacier in Iceland, approximately 1017 cells a−1 are transferred through basal ice to the proglacial environment, and between 101 and 106 cells g−1 basal ice were cultured from our samples under laboratory conditions. We suggest that the delivery of viable cells and dead microbial matter to proglacial ecosystems could be playing a crucial role in soil formation and primary succession during deglaciation, but further quantification of cell transfer from a range of glacier contexts is required.

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Mario Toubes-Rodrigo et al.
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Mario Toubes-Rodrigo et al.
Mario Toubes-Rodrigo et al.
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For the first time, we have quantified the amount of cells exported from sediment-rich glacier basal ice to the glacier margin. Approximately 1017 cells per year are being released to the forefront of Svínafellsökull (SE Iceland), and in laboratory conditions between 101 and 106 cells per gram of sediment were able to proliferate. These cells may trigger the process of soil formation that will end up with the establishment of vegetation in the bare sediment the glacier leave after its retreat
For the first time, we have quantified the amount of cells exported from sediment-rich glacier...
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