Aquatic Bacteria: Possible markers for monitoring arctic climate change

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Source: ScienceDaily

The study, published this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences Early Edition, shows that bacterial communities in the six rivers shifted synchronously over time, correlating with seasonal shifts in hydrology and biogeochemistry.

The research team documents these patterns through a three-year, circumpolar study of planktonic bacterial communities in the six largest rivers of the pan-arctic watershed: the Ob', Yenisey, Lena, Kolyma, Yukon, and Mackenzie Rivers.

'Our results demonstrate that synchrony, seasonality and annual reassembly in planktonic bacterial communities occur on global scales,' said lead author Dr. Byron Crump of the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science Horn Point Laboratory. 'Since bacterial communities in big arctic rivers shift predictably with circumpolar seasonal changes in environmental conditions, they may serve as sensitive indicators of climate change in the Arctic.'

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