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

All articles from Earth Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Researchers Imitate Molecular Crowding in Cells

Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to simulate these confined natural conditions in artificial vesicles for the first time. As reported in the academic journal Small, the results are offering better insight into the development of nanoreactors and artificial organelles.

Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to...

Im Focus: Safe glide at total engine failure with ELA-inside

On January 15, 2009, Chesley B. Sullenberger was celebrated world-wide: after the two engines had failed due to bird strike, he and his flight crew succeeded after a glide flight with an Airbus A320 in ditching on the Hudson River. All 155 people on board were saved.

On January 15, 2009, Chesley B. Sullenberger was celebrated world-wide: after the two engines had failed due to bird strike, he and his flight crew succeeded...

Im Focus: Breakthrough with a chain of gold atoms

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

Im Focus: DNA repair: a new letter in the cell alphabet

Results reveal how discoveries may be hidden in scientific “blind spots”

Cells need to repair damaged DNA in our genes to prevent the development of cancer and other diseases. Our cells therefore activate and send “repair-proteins”...

Im Focus: Dresdner scientists print tomorrow’s world

The Fraunhofer IWS Dresden and Technische Universität Dresden inaugurated their jointly operated Center for Additive Manufacturing Dresden (AMCD) with a festive ceremony on February 7, 2017. Scientists from various disciplines perform research on materials, additive manufacturing processes and innovative technologies, which build up components in a layer by layer process. This technology opens up new horizons for component design and combinations of functions. For example during fabrication, electrical conductors and sensors are already able to be additively manufactured into components. They provide information about stress conditions of a product during operation.

The 3D-printing technology, or additive manufacturing as it is often called, has long made the step out of scientific research laboratories into industrial...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Booth and panel discussion – The Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings at the AAAS 2017 Annual Meeting

13.02.2017 | Event News

Complex Loading versus Hidden Reserves

10.02.2017 | Event News

International Conference on Crystal Growth in Freiburg

09.02.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

A better way to measure the stiffness of cancer cells

01.03.2017 | Health and Medicine

Exploring the mysteries of supercooled water

01.03.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Research team of the HAW Hamburg reanimated ancestral microbe from the depth of the earth

01.03.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>