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Carbon cycling in glacier forelands and the microbial terrestrial-atmospheric coupling


Project start
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Type of project
Project theme
Project topic
Climate research

Fieldwork / Study

Fieldwork country
Greenland (DK)
Fieldwork region
Greenland, South-West
Fieldwork location

Geolocation is 65.182568121173, -50.396767632812

Fieldwork start
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Project details

Science / project plan

In this multidisciplinary project we plan to study carbon mineralization in general and methane cycling in particular as a function of the glacial chronosequence and soil development. Recent studies have shown that sediments underneath glaciers and ice sheets represent large reservoirs of methane that add to the global emission of methane when the sediments are deglaciated.

Our investigations will contribute to estimating the release and local consumption of methane in glacier forelands. Using next generation sequencing methods of the mRNA of key enzyme functional genes such as methyl coenzyme M reductase and methane monoxygenase, we will be able to link activity to specific functional communities. This will provide input data for global greenhouse models as well as contribute to an in-depth understanding of functional microbial communities and their interactions. In addition, we collect air samples along the glacial chronosequence and compare the atmospheric microbial community with the communities found in soil and on plants. This comparison will provide insight into the mechanisms behind the succession of microbial communities in glacial environments as well as the atmospheric transport of microorganisms in general.

Site: Isua area, Nuuk, Greenland

PI: Kai Finster

Fieldwork summary / photo blog: Link to ARC photo blog