Received: 01 Nov 2016 – Discussion started: 03 Nov 2016
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.
How to cite. Toubes-Rodrigo, M., Cook, S. J., Elliott, D., and Sen, R.: Quantification of basal ice microbial cell delivery to the glacier margin, Biogeosciences Discuss. [preprint], https://doi.org/10.5194/bg-2016-471, 2016.
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...