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https://doi.org/10.5194/bg-2020-46
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/bg-2020-46
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

  24 Feb 2020

24 Feb 2020

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A revised version of this preprint is currently under review for the journal BG.

Stable isotopic composition of top consumers in Arctic cryoconite holes: revealing different position in supraglacial trophic network

Tereza Jaroměřská1, Jakub Trubač2, Krzysztof Zawierucha3, Lenka Vondrovicová2, Miloslav Devetter4,5, and Jakub D. Žárský1 Tereza Jaroměřská et al.
  • 1Department of Ecology, Charles University, Prague, 128 44, Czech Republic
  • 2Institute of Geochemistry, Mineralogy and Mineral Resources, Charles University, Prague, 128 43, Czech Republic
  • 3Department of Animal Taxonomy and Ecology, Adam Mickiewicz University, Poznań, 61-614, Poland
  • 4Biology Centre, Institute of Soil Biology, Czech Academy of Sciences, České Budějovice, 370 05, Czech Republic
  • 5Centre for Polar Ecology, University of South Bohemia, České Budějovice, 370 05, Czech Republic

Abstract. Cryoconite holes are ecosystems on the glacier surface characterized by dynamic nature and truncated food webs. It is acknowledged that cryoconite holes play an important role being biodiversity hot-spots and factories for organic matter on glaciers. The most common cryoconite apex consumers are the cosmopolitan invertebrates – tardigrades and rotifers. Several studies have highlighted the relevance of cryoconite tardigrades and rotifers to cryoconite holes’ ecosystem functioning. However, due to the dominant occurrence of prokaryotes on glaciers, these consumers are usually out of the major scope of most studies aiming at biological processes on glaciers. The aim of this study is to present data about isotopic composition of tardigrades, rotifers and cryoconite from three High Arctic glaciers in Svalbard and discuss their potential trophic relations. We found that tardigrades have lower δ15N values than rotifers, which indicates different food requirements of both consumers. The δ13C values revealed similarities among the consumers from the same glaciers and differences between consumers and cryoconite among glaciers. The resulted δ13C values point to similar carbon requirement of consumers within a glacier but differences in carbon input between glaciers. The results comprise the first observation of cryoconite holes’ consumers through stable isotopic analyses using an improved method of cryoconite sample processing and pave the way for further studies of the supraglacial trophic network.

Tereza Jaroměřská et al.

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Tereza Jaroměřská et al.

Tereza Jaroměřská et al.

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Short summary
Cryoconite holes are ponds on the glacier surface playing an important role in glacier nutrient pathways. This paper presents the first description of carbon and nitrogen isotopic composition of cryoconite consumers (tardigrades and rotifers) and their potential food. We showed that consumers differ in nitrogen isotopes and carbon isotopes vary between taxa and between glaciers. The study contributes to improving the knowledge about cryoconite hole functioning and its trophic network.
Cryoconite holes are ponds on the glacier surface playing an important role in glacier nutrient...
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