New publication: Global and local-scale variation in bacterial community structure of snow from the Swiss and Australian Alps


The online version of our latest article published in FEMS Microbiology Ecology is now available. Here is the abstract:

Seasonally, snow environments cover up to 50% of the lands surface, yet the microbial diversity and ecosystem functioning within snow, particularly from alpine regions is not well described. This study explores the bacterial diversity in snow using next generation sequencing technology. Our data expands the global inventory of snow microbiomes by focusing on two understudied regions, the Swiss Alps and the Australian Alps. A total biomass similar to cell numbers in polar snow was detected, with 5.2 to 10.5×103 cells mL−1 of snow. We found that microbial community structure of surface snow varied by country and site and along the altitudinal range (alpine and sub-alpine). The bacterial communities present were diverse, spanning 25 distinct phyla, but the six phyla Proteobacteria (Alpha– and Betaproteobacteria), Acidobacteria, Actinobacteria, Bacteroidetes, Cyanobacteria, and Firmicutes, accounted for 72–98% of the total relative abundance. Taxa such as Acidobacteriaceae and Methylocystaceae, associated with cold soils, may be part of the atmospherically sourced snow community, while families like Sphingomonadaceae were detected in every snow sample and are likely part of the common snow biome.

You can access the pdf of the advanced publication here.


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