Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Silica algae reveal how ecosystems react to climate changes

09.03.2009
A newly published dissertation by Linda Ampel from the Department of Physical Geography and Quaternary Geology at Stockholm University in Sweden examined how rapid climate changes during the most recent ice age affected ecosystems in an area in continental Europe.

Rapid and extensive climate changes have taken place on several occasions in the past. For example, the latest ice age (lasting from about 115,000 to 11,500 years ago) is characterized by several rapid and dramatic climate swings.

These swings recurred in cycles of roughly 1,500 years and were originally discovered through studies of ice cores from Greenland in the early 1990s. These cycles started with an extremely rapid rise in temperatures, over just a few years or decades, of as much as 8-16o C over Greenland.

Linda Ampel studied how these rapid cycles in the climate affected ecosystems in an area in continental Europe. The study was based on analyses of sediment cores from an overgrown lake named Les Echets in eastern France and focuses on a time interval between 40,000 and 16,000 ago.

The findings are based on analyses of fossil silica algae, diatoms. Various species of diatoms prefer different water conditions relating to physical and chemical parameters such as temperature, salinity, access to nutrients, light, water depth, or available types of places to grow. These parameters, in turn, are affected by climate. Different species of diatoms can therefore indicate how the water environment changed as a consequence of the climate in the past.

Diatom analyses of the environmental archive from Les Echets, together with further analyses of chemical and biological parameters such as content of organic material and pollen grains from trees and other plants preserved in the lake, show that the ecosystems in the lake and its surroundings underwent marked changes during the latest ice age as a consequence of these 1,500-year cycles. The adaptation of the ecosystems prompted by the recurring warm periods took place as quickly as within 50 to 200 years.

"These findings show that ecosystems have changed rapidly in reaction to climate changes in the past, which indicates that quick adaptations could also take place in the future as a consequence of global warming, for instance," says Linda Ampel.

Contact: Linda Ampel, linda.ampel@geo.su.se, phone: +46 (0)8-674 75 95 or cell phone: +46 (0)70-366 32 82

Pressofficer Maria Sandqvist: maria.sandqvist@kommunikation.su.se;+46-70664 22 64

Pictures are available of diatoms, the landscape in France, and Linda at http://www.su.se/pub/jsp/polopoly.jsp?d=5833&a=59203

Maria Sandqvist | idw
Further information:
http://www.vr.se
http://www.su.se/pub/jsp/polopoly.jsp?d=5833&a=59203

More articles from Earth Sciences:

nachricht World’s oldest known oxygen oasis discovered
18.01.2018 | Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen

nachricht A close-up look at an uncommon underwater eruption
11.01.2018 | Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution

All articles from Earth Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Scientists decipher key principle behind reaction of metalloenzymes

So-called pre-distorted states accelerate photochemical reactions too

What enables electrons to be transferred swiftly, for example during photosynthesis? An interdisciplinary team of researchers has worked out the details of how...

Im Focus: The first precise measurement of a single molecule's effective charge

For the first time, scientists have precisely measured the effective electrical charge of a single molecule in solution. This fundamental insight of an SNSF Professor could also pave the way for future medical diagnostics.

Electrical charge is one of the key properties that allows molecules to interact. Life itself depends on this phenomenon: many biological processes involve...

Im Focus: Paradigm shift in Paris: Encouraging an holistic view of laser machining

At the JEC World Composite Show in Paris in March 2018, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT will be focusing on the latest trends and innovations in laser machining of composites. Among other things, researchers at the booth shared with the Aachen Center for Integrative Lightweight Production (AZL) will demonstrate how lasers can be used for joining, structuring, cutting and drilling composite materials.

No other industry has attracted as much public attention to composite materials as the automotive industry, which along with the aerospace industry is a driver...

Im Focus: Room-temperature multiferroic thin films and their properties

Scientists at Tokyo Institute of Technology (Tokyo Tech) and Tohoku University have developed high-quality GFO epitaxial films and systematically investigated their ferroelectric and ferromagnetic properties. They also demonstrated the room-temperature magnetocapacitance effects of these GFO thin films.

Multiferroic materials show magnetically driven ferroelectricity. They are attracting increasing attention because of their fascinating properties such as...

Im Focus: A thermometer for the oceans

Measurement of noble gases in Antarctic ice cores

The oceans are the largest global heat reservoir. As a result of man-made global warming, the temperature in the global climate system increases; around 90% of...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

10th International Symposium: “Advanced Battery Power – Kraftwerk Batterie” Münster, 10-11 April 2018

08.01.2018 | Event News

See, understand and experience the work of the future

11.12.2017 | Event News

Innovative strategies to tackle parasitic worms

08.12.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Polymers Based on Boron?

18.01.2018 | Life Sciences

Bioengineered soft microfibers improve T-cell production

18.01.2018 | Life Sciences

World’s oldest known oxygen oasis discovered

18.01.2018 | Earth Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>