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.
|Number of pages||8|
|Publication status||Published - 3 Nov 2016|