Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/bg-2022-198
https://doi.org/10.5194/bg-2022-198
 
11 Oct 2022
11 Oct 2022
Status: this preprint is currently under review for the journal BG.

Spatio-temporal changes in cryoconite community, isotopic, and elemental composition over the ablation season of an alpine glacier

Tereza Novotná Jaroměřská1, Roberto Ambrosini2, Dorota Richter3, Miroslawa Pietryka3, Przemyslaw Niedzielski4, Juliana Souza-Kasprzyk4, Piotr Klimaszyk5, Andrea Franzetti6, Francesca Pittino7, Lenka Vondrovicová8, Tyler Kohler1, and Krzysztof Zawierucha9 Tereza Novotná Jaroměřská et al.
  • 1Department of Ecology, Faculty of Science, Charles University, Praha, Czech Republic
  • 2Department of Environmental Science and Policy, University of Milan, Milan, Italy
  • 3Department of Botany and Plant Ecology, Wrocław University of Environmental and Life Science, Wrocław, Poland
  • 4Department of Analytical Chemistry, Faculty of Chemistry, Adam Mickiewicz University, Poznań, Poland
  • 5Department of Water Protection, Faculty of Biology, Adam Mickiewicz University, Poznań, Poland
  • 6Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, University of Milano-Bicocca, Milan, Italy
  • 7Biodivers. Conserv.Biology, Swiss Federal Research Institute WSL, Birmensdorf, Switzerland
  • 8Institute of Geochemistry, Mineralogy and Mineral Resources, Faculty of Science, Charles University, Prague, Czech Republic
  • 9Department of Animal Taxonomy and Ecology, Faculty of Biology, Adam Mickiewicz University, Poznań, Poland

Abstract. Cryoconite holes (water-filled reservoirs) on glacier surfaces are important biodiversity hotspots and biogeochemical factories within terrestrial cryosphere. In this study, we collected cryoconite from the ablation zone of the Forni Glacier (Central Italian Alps) over the whole ablation season. We aimed to describe spatial and temporal patterns in: (i) biomass and community structure of photoautotrophs (cyanobacteria, diatoms, and eukaryotic green algae) and invertebrates; (ii) carbon and nitrogen stable isotopic composition of invertebrates and their potential food; and (iii) the organic matter content and general elemental composition of cryoconite. Structure and biomass of cryoconite biota showed spatio-temporal changes over the season. Dominant cyanobacteria were Oscillatoriaceae and Leptolyngbyaceae, while dominant eukaryotic green algae were Mesotaeniaceae and Chlorellaceae. Eukaryotic green algae dominated in the upper part of the ablation zone, while a seasonal shift from algae- to cyanobacteria-dominated communities was observed in the lower part. Some taxa of photoautotrophs appeared only during specific sampling days. Dominant grazers were tardigrades (Cryobiotus klebelsbergi). The biomass of tardigrades in the upper part was significantly related to the biomass of eukaryotic green algae indicating that algal communities are likely controlled by grazing. The δ13C of tardigrades followed fluctuations of δ13C in organic matter. We did not observe spatial and temporal changes in the general elemental composition of cryoconite. Thus, changes in community structure and biomass are likely dependent on the interplay between phenology, stochastic events (e.g. rainfall), top-down, or bottom-up controls. Our study shows that understanding the ecology of biota in cryoconite holes requires a spatially explicit and seasonal approach.

Tereza Novotná Jaroměřská et al.

Status: open (extended)

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • CC1: 'Comment on bg-2022-198', Łukasz Kaczmarek, 02 Nov 2022 reply
    • AC1: 'Reply on CC1', Krzysztof Zawierucha, 24 Nov 2022 reply
  • CC2: 'Comment on bg-2022-198', Łukasz Kaczmarek, 02 Nov 2022 reply
    • AC2: 'Reply on CC2', Krzysztof Zawierucha, 24 Nov 2022 reply
  • RC1: 'Comment on bg-2022-198', Anonymous Referee #1, 03 Nov 2022 reply
    • AC3: 'Reply on RC1', Krzysztof Zawierucha, 24 Nov 2022 reply

Tereza Novotná Jaroměřská et al.

Tereza Novotná Jaroměřská et al.

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Short summary
Changes in the composition and biomass of photoautotrophs and consumers on glacier indicated phenological or ecological controls over their communities. We demonstrated that the recognition of the community structure of cryoconite holes requires a broad-scale and seasonal approach since biological communities vary in time and space on the glacier surface.
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