Preprint Article Version 1 Preserved in Portico This version is not peer-reviewed

Glacier Retreat Results in Loss of Fungal Diversity

Version 1 : Received: 12 January 2022 / Approved: 14 January 2022 / Online: 14 January 2022 (15:02:53 CET)

How to cite: Tsuji, M.; Vincent, W.F.; Tanabe, Y.; Uchida, M. Glacier Retreat Results in Loss of Fungal Diversity. Preprints 2022, 2022010216 (doi: 10.20944/preprints202201.0216.v1). Tsuji, M.; Vincent, W.F.; Tanabe, Y.; Uchida, M. Glacier Retreat Results in Loss of Fungal Diversity. Preprints 2022, 2022010216 (doi: 10.20944/preprints202201.0216.v1).

Abstract

Walker Glacier near the northern coast of Ellesmere Island in the High Canadian Arctic (terrestrial margin of the ‘Last Ice Area’) is undergoing rapid ice attrition in response to climate change. We applied culture and molecular methods to investigate fungal diversity in sediments at the terminus of this glacier. Analysis of the mycoflora composition showed that the Walker Glacier isolates separated into two clusters: the surface of the glacier ice and the glacier foreland. The recently exposed soils of the foreland had a lower fungal diversity and different species from those on the ice, with the exception of five species that occurred in both habitats. This loss of glacial ice in the Arctic is therefore resulting in the loss of habitats for cold-dwelling fungal species. Fungal diversity is a potentially rich biological resource of glacial ecosystems, with unique taxa. The rapid loss of these glacial habitats underscores the urgency for more detailed surveys of fungal diversity in the High Arctic, and the need for further isolation of strains as well as cryopreservation of environmental microbiome samples for future research and conservation.

Keywords

glacial retreat; Walker Glacier; endangered fungi; climate change; mycoflora

Subject

EARTH SCIENCES, Environmental Sciences

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