Title Elevated bacterial abundance and exopolymers in saline frost flowers and implications for atmospheric chemistry and microbial dispersal
Author Bowman, J.S.; Deming, J.W.
Author Affil Bowman, J.S., University of Washington, School of Oceanography, Seattle, WA
Source Geophysical Research Letters, 37(13), Citation L13501. Publisher: American Geophysical Union, Washington, DC, United States. ISSN: 0094-8276
Publication Date 2010
Notes In English. 32 refs. GeoRef Acc. No: 310660
Index Terms bacteria; animals; brines; ice; polymers; salinity; Arctic Ocean; atmosphere; biota; frost flowers; nutrients; photochemistry; photolysis; sea ice; sea water
Abstract Frost flowers (FF) have been studied for their potential influence on ice-surface reflectivity and roles in atmospheric chemistry, but not as microbial habitats. We examined FF grown in a freezer laboratory from a bacteria-containing saline solution and FF formed naturally in the coastal (April) and central Arctic Ocean (September). All FF contained bacteria (up to 3.46 106 ml-1 in natural FF) with densities 3-6-fold higher than in underlying ice. Bacterial abundance correlated strongly with salinity in FF (p values <= 0.001), a correlation that held for all components of the surface-ice environment (p 0.0001, coastal samples). Concentrations of extracellular polysaccharides were also elevated in FF and brine skim relative to underlying ice (up to 74-fold higher). Here we consider implications of finding microbes and exopolymers within the chemically reactive surface-ice environment to the photolytic production of oxidants and long-range transport of potential ice-nucleating particles in the atmosphere.
URL http://hdl.handle.net/10.1029/2010GL043020
Publication Type journal article
Record ID 66000015