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Vast expanses of Earth's surface are covered by ice, with microorganisms in these systems affecting local and global biogeochemical cycles. We examined microbial assemblages from habitats fed by glacial meltwater within the McMurdo Dry Valleys, Antarctica, and on the west Greenland Ice Sheet, (GrIS) evaluating potential physicochemical factors explaining trends in community structure. Microbial assemblages present in the different Antarctic dry valley habitats were dominated by Sphingobacteria and Flavobacteria, while Gammaproteobacteria and Sphingobacteria prevailed in west GrIS supraglacial environments. Microbial assemblages clustered by location (Canada Glacier, Cotton Glacier, west GrIS) and were separated by habitat type (i.e. ice, cryoconite holes, supraglacial lakes, sediment, and stream water). Community dissimilarities were strongly correlated with dissolved organic matter (DOM) quality. Microbial meltwater assemblages were most closely associated with different protein-like components of the DOM pool. Microbes in environments with mineral particles (i.e. stream sediments, cryoconite holes) were linked to DOM containing more humic-like fluorescence. Our results demonstrate the establishment of distinct microbial communities within ephemeral glacial meltwater habitats, with DOM-microbe interactions playing an integral role in shaping communities on local and polar spatial scales.
This article was published in the following journal.
Name: FEMS microbiology ecology
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