22. 3. 2016 - substitute seminar
Life at a glacial pace:
Biological processes in glacial ecosystems.
Mgr. Marek Stibal, Ph. D
(Department of Ecology, PřF UK)
The cryosphere – the portion of the Earth where water is present in the solid phase – is an important and rapidly changing yet relatively unknown part of the planet, and a biome that contains distinct ecosystems and communities.
Our new Cryosphere Ecology Group based at the Department of Ecology, Charles University in Prague, is focussing on the ecology and biogeochemistry of glacial ecosystems. The melting and retreat of glaciers are causing significant changes in carbon flows through affecting the principal carbon sources and sinks for the glacial ecosystem, mobilising glacial carbon stores and promoting microbial activity. Microbial activity at the surface of glaciers and ice sheets may feed back into the melting process by producing dark substances and reducing albedo. Microbial cells and products of their metabolism are also exported from glacial environments downstream such as coastal waters, where they can significantly alter the local communities and processes.
This talk will introduce glaciers and ice sheets as an ecosystem harbouring distinct microbial communities and will present recent and current glacier ecology research by the group.
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