Quantification of basal ice microbial cell delivery to the glacier margin

M. Toubes-Rodrigo, S. J. Cook, D. Elliott, R. Sen

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    2 Citations (Scopus)
    127 Downloads (Pure)


    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.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1-8
    Number of pages8
    JournalBiogeosciences Discussions
    Publication statusPublished - 3 Nov 2016


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