Microbial ecology and biogeochemistry in glacial ecosystems – University of Copenhagen

Center for Permafrost (CENPERM) > Events > Events 2012 > Microbial ecology and ...

Microbial ecology and biogeochemistry in glacial ecosystems

Marek Stibal, Post doc., CENPERM/GEUS

Microbial life associated with glaciers and ice sheets has been known for years; however, it has typically been considered a curiosity rather than a fully‑fledged part of an ecosystem, and the contribution of living organisms to the functioning of glacial systems is still not widely appreciated. Following a shift in focus from purely descriptive and exploratory to process‑based and explanatory, recent research suggests that biological processes in the environments found on the surface of glaciers and ice sheets and at the glacier bed interact closely with the physical processes in glacial systems, and that they can play important roles in biogeochemical processes in the cryosphere. This talk will provide a preview of the progress in the understanding of biological processes in glacial ecosystems and the challenges and perspectives of future research in glacial microbiology and biogeochemistry.