Diatomee Groenlandia

November 4, 2013

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Researchers try to determine how much this “canary in a coal mine” can say about the impact of a warming climate on the Arctic region

With support from the National Science Foundation (NSF), lake ecologist Jasmine Saros and her team from the University of Maine are plying the lake waters of southwestern Greenland, gathering samples of “diatoms” to study how climate change is affecting this Arctic ecosystem. Diatoms are a type of algae that responds rapidly to environmental change and leaves a fossil in lake sediments.

Striking changes in communities of diatoms have occurred over the last 150 years. Diatom species generally associated with warmer conditions are increasing at unprecedented rates in the sediment record.

However, changes in diatom assemblages in lake sediments from west Greenland are different from those in the rest of the Arctic in that they are already rich in these ‘warmer’ water diatoms throughout the Holocene (the last 11,700 years of geologic time). This difference has raised questions about what diatoms can tell us about environmental change in the Arctic, and suggests the need to clarify the ecological traits of diatoms in order to advance our understanding of drivers of change.

http://www.wateronline.com/doc/diatom-algae-populations-tell-a-story-about-climate-change-in-greenland-0001

 

 

 

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