Tardigrades, and other cryoconite biota, on the Greenland Ice Sheet
Cryoconite holes, supraglacial ponds and moulins of the Greenland Ice Sheet were surveyed for microbiota and meiofauna. These habitats are colonised by depauperate communities of widespread/cosmopolitan microbes, microalgae, rotifers and tardigrades. All colonists are generalists, pre-adapted to cope with the extreme environmental conditions of, and are effectively stranded in, cryoconite deposits. Cryoconite biota may seed similar local habitats, though it is unlikely that they can escape to colonise new ones, and so they survive in situ until they are ultimately washed into the glacial drainage system.
Authors: Grongaard, Anette, Pugh, Philip J.A., McInnes, Sandra J. ORCID record for Sandra J. McInnes