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  • ASLO (Association for the Sciences of Limnology and Oceanography)  (1)
  • 1
    Publication Date: 2017-11-10
    Description: The Lena River is one of the largest Russian rivers draining into the Laptev Sea. The predicted increases in global temperatures are expected to cause the permafrost areas surrounding the Lena Delta to melt at increasing rates. This melting will result in high amounts of methane reaching the waters of the Lena and the adjacent Laptev Sea. The only biological sink that can lower methane concentrations within this system is methane oxidation by methanotrophic bacteria. However, the polar estuary of the Lena River, due to its strong fluctuations in salinity and temperature, is a challenging environment for bacteria. We determined the activity and abundance of aerobic methanotrophic bacteria by a tracer method and by the quantitative polymerase chain reaction. We described the methanotrophic population with a molecular fingerprinting method (monooxygenase intergenic spacer analysis), as well as the methane distribution (via a headspace method) and other abiotic parameters, in the Lena Delta in September 2013. The median methane concentrations were 22 nmol L−1 for riverine water (salinity (S)  〈 5), 19 nmol L−1 for mixed water (5 〈 S 〈 20) and 28 nmol L−1 for polar water (S 〉 20). The Lena River was not the source of methane in surface water, and the methane concentrations of the bottom water were mainly influenced by the methane concentration in surface sediments. However, the bacterial populations of the riverine and polar waters showed similar methane oxidation rates (0.419 and 0.400 nmol L−1 d−1), despite a higher relative abundance of methanotrophs and a higher estimated diversity in the riverine water than in the polar water. The methane turnover times ranged from 167 days in mixed water and 91 days in riverine water to only 36 days in polar water. The environmental parameters influencing the methane oxidation rate and the methanotrophic population also differed between the water masses. We postulate the presence of a riverine methanotrophic population that is limited by sub-optimal temperatures and substrate concentrations and a polar methanotrophic population that is well adapted to the cold and methane-poor polar environment but limited by a lack of nitrogen. The diffusive methane flux into the atmosphere ranged from 4 to 163 µmol m2 d−1 (median 24). The diffusive methane flux accounted for a loss of 8 % of the total methane inventory of the investigated area, whereas the methanotrophic bacteria consumed only 1 % of this methane inventory. Our results underscore the importance of measuring the methane oxidation activities in polar estuaries, and they indicate a population-level differentiation between riverine and polar water methanotrophs.
    Repository Name: EPIC Alfred Wegener Institut
    Type: Article , NonPeerReviewed
    Format: application/pdf
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  • 2
    Publication Date: 2019-07-17
    Description: The Lena River is one of the largest Russian rivers draining into the Laptev Sea. The permafrost areas surrounding the Lena are predicted to thaw at increasing rates due to global temperature increases. With this thawing, large amounts of carbon—either organic or in the gaseous forms, carbon dioxide and methane—will reach the waters of the Lena and the adjacent Buor Khaya Bay (Laptev Sea). Methane concentrations and the isotopic signal of methane in the waters of the Lena Delta and estuary were monitored from 2008 to 2010. Creeks draining from permafrost soils produced hotspots for methane input into the river system (median concentration 1500 nM) compared with concentrations of 30 – 85 nM observed in the main channels of the Lena. No microbial methane oxidation could be detected, thus diffusion is the main process of methane removal. We estimated that the riverine diffusive methane flux is 3 – 10 times higher than the flux from surrounding terrestric environment. To maintain the observed methane concentrations in the river, additional methane sources are necessary. The methane rich creeks could be responsible for this input. In the estuary of Buor Khaya Bay, methane concentrations decreased to 26 – 33 nM. However, within the bay no consistent temporal and spatial pattern could be observed. The methane rich waters of the river were not diluted with marine water, because of a strong stratification of the water column. Thus, methane is released from the estuary and from the river mainly by diffusion into the atmosphere
    Repository Name: EPIC Alfred Wegener Institut
    Type: Article , NonPeerReviewed
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  • 3
    Publication Date: 2019-09-24
    Description: Large quantities of methane are stored in hydrates and permafrost within shallow marine sediments in the Arctic Ocean. These reservoirs are highly sensitive to climate warming, but the fate of methane released from sediments is uncertain. Here, we review the principal physical and biogeochemical processes that regulate methane fluxes across the seabed, the fate of this methane in the water column, and potential for its release to the atmosphere. We find that, at present, fluxes of dissolved methane are significantly moderated by anaerobic and aerobic oxidation of methane. If methane fluxes increase then a greater proportion of methane will be transported by advection or in the gas phase, which reduces the efficiency of the methanotrophic sink. Higher freshwater discharge to Arctic shelf seas may increase stratification and inhibit transfer of methane gas to surface waters, although there is some evidence that increased stratification may lead to warming of sub-pycnocline waters, increasing the potential for hydrate dissociation. Loss of sea-ice is likely to increase wind speeds and seaair exchange of methane will consequently increase. Studies of the distribution and cycling of methane beneath and within sea ice are limited, but it seems likely that the sea-air methane flux is higher during melting in seasonally ice-covered regions. Our review reveals that increased observations around especially the anaerobic and aerobic oxidation of methane, bubble transport, and the effects of ice cover, are required to fully understand the linkages and feedback pathways between climate warming and release of methane from marine sediments.
    Type: Article , PeerReviewed , info:eu-repo/semantics/article
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