Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/bgd-11-14531-2014
https://doi.org/10.5194/bgd-11-14531-2014

  13 Oct 2014

13 Oct 2014

Review status: this preprint was under review for the journal BG but the revision was not accepted.

Influence of aeolian activities on the distribution of microbial abundance in glacier ice

Y. Chen1, X.-K. Li1, J. Si2, G.-J. Wu3, L.-D. Tian3, and S.-R. Xiang1,3 Y. Chen et al.
  • 1School of Life Science, Lanzhou University, Lanzhou, Gansu 730000, China
  • 2Instituten of Modern Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Lanzhou 730000, China
  • 3Key Laboratory of Tibetan Environment Changes and Land Surface Processes, Institute of Tibetan Plateau Research, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100085, China

Abstract. Microorganisms are continuously blown onto the glacier snow, and thus the glacial depth profiles provide excellent archives of microbial communities and climatic and environmental changes. However, it is uncertain about how aeolian processes that cause climatic changes control the distribution of microorganisms in the glacier ice. In the present study, microbial density, stable isotopic ratios, 18O / 16O in the precipitation, and mineral particle concentrations along the glacial depth profiles were collected from ice cores from the Muztag Ata glacier and the Dunde ice cap. The ice core data showed that microbial abundance was often, but not always associated with high concentrations of particles. Results also revealed clear seasonal patterning with high microbial abundance occurring in both the cooling autumn and warming spring-summer seasons. Microbial comparisons among the neighbouring glaciers display a heterogeneous spatial pattern, with the highest microbial cell density in the glaciers lying adjacent to the central Asian deserts and lowest microbial density in the southwestern margin of the Tibetan Plateau. In conclusion, microbial data of the glaciers indicates the aeolian deposits of microorganisms in the glacier ice and that the spatial patterns of microorgansisms are related to differences in sources of microbial flux and intensity of aeolian activities in the current regions. The results strongly support our hypothesis of aeolian activities being the main agents controlling microbial load in the glacier ice.

Y. Chen et al.

 
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Status: closed
Status: closed
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Y. Chen et al.

Y. Chen et al.

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