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Viral dynamics in cryoconite holes on a high Arctic glacier (Svalbard)

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Anesio, AM and Mind, B and Laybourn-Parry, J and Sattler, B and Hodson, A (2007) Viral dynamics in cryoconite holes on a high Arctic glacier (Svalbard). Journal of Geophysical Research, 112 (G04S31). ISSN 0148-0227

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Abstract

Viruses are an abundant and dynamic constituent of microbial communities in aquatic ecosystems. In this study we characterized the abundance of viruses associated first with the bottom sediment and overlying water of cryoconite holes and second with shallow ice cores of two different glaciers in Svalbard. Viral abundances were ca. 10–100 times lower than the average for marine and freshwater ecosystems in temperate regions. Virus to bacterium ratios (VBR) (average > 10, range between 0.7 and 74 in the water and ice samples) and a strong positive correlation between viral and bacterial abundance (r = 0.93, p < 0.01, N = 57) indicate that viruses most probably play an important role in controlling bacterial mortality and hence biogeochemical cycling on glaciers. Samples taken along a transect from the glacier ablation area to proglacial ponds in its forefield showed that viral abundance increased in response to a higher host availability, which in turn probably resulted from an increase in temperature and higher mineral levels in the ponds. In a transplantation experiment, viruses from cryoconite holes were incubated with a bacterial community from a proglacial lake. Results from the transplantation experiment showed that viruses from cryoconite holes were able to infect bacteria from proglacial lakes and thus influence biogeochemical cycles across different glacial ecosystems. Our data therefore suggest that viruses in cryoconite holes may be able to infect a broad range of bacterial species.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: cryoconite; virus; glacier; Svalbard; Biogeosciences: Life in extreme environments; Biogeosciences: Microbiology: ecology, physiology and genomics; Cryosphere: Cryobiology; Biogeosciences: Food webs and trophodynamics; Biogeosciences: Nutrients and nutrient cycling.
Journal or Publication Title: Journal of Geophysical Research
Publisher: American Geophysical Union
ISSN: 0148-0227
Identification Number - DOI: 10.1029/2006JG000350
Additional Information:

Copyright 2007 by the American Geophysical Union.

Date Deposited: 07 Apr 2008 14:13
Last Modified: 18 Nov 2014 03:33
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