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  • Authors: Esper Oliver; Gersonde Rainer;
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  • Authors: Jessen Gerdhard L; Lichtschlag Anna; Struck Ulrich; Boetius Antje;
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  • Authors: Li Wei; Gao Kunshan;
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  • Authors: Dupont Sam; Havenhand Jon N; Thorndyke William; Peck Loyd S; +1 Authors
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    Authors: Westermann, Sebastian;

    Arctic permafrost may be adversely affected by climate change in a number of ways, so that establishing a world-wide monitoring program seems imperative. This thesis evaluates possibilities for permafrost monitoring at the example of a permafrost site on Svalbard, Norway. An energy balance model for permafrost temperatures is developed that evaluates the different components of the surface energy budget in analogy to climate models. The surface energy budget, consisting of radiation components, sensible and latent heat fluxes as well as the ground heat flux, is measured over the course of one year, which has not been accomplished for arctic land areas so far. A considerable small-scale heterogeneity of the summer surface temperature is observed in long-term measurements with a thermal imaging system, which can be reproduced in the energy balance model. The model can also simulate the impact of different snow depths on the soil temperature, that has been documented in field measurements. Furthermore, time series of terrestrial surface temperature measurements are compared to satellite-borne measurements, for which a significant cold-bias is observed during winter. Finally, different possibilities for a world-wide monitoring scheme are assessed. Energy budget models can incorporate different satellite data sets as training data sets for parameter estimation, so that they may constitute an alternative to purely satellite-based schemes.

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    Authors: Felden, Janine; Wenzhöfer, Frank; Boetius, Antje;

    The Hakon Mosby Mud Volcano is a highly active methane seep hosting different chemosynthetic communities such as thiotrophic bacterial mats and siboglinid tubeworm assemblages. This study focuses on in situ measurements of methane fluxes to and from these different habitats, in comparison to benthic methane and oxygen consumption rates. By quantifying in situ oxygen, methane, and sulfide fluxes in different habitats, a spatial budget covering areas of 10-1000 -m diameter was established. The range of dissolved methane efflux (770-2 mmol m-2 d-1) from the center to the outer rim was associated with a decrease in temperature gradients from 46°C to < 1°C m-1, indicating that spatial variations in fluid flow control the distribution of benthic habitats and activities. Accordingly, total oxygen uptake (TOU) varied between the different habitats by one order of magnitude from 15 mmol m-2 d-1 to 161 mmol m-2 d-1. High fluid flow rates appeared to suppress benthic activities by limiting the availability of electron acceptors. Accordingly, the highest TOU was associated with the lowest fluid flow and methane efflux. This was most likely due to the aerobic oxidation of methane, which may be more relevant as a sink for methane as previously considered in submarine ecosystems.

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    Authors: Bartsch Annett; Widhalm Barbara; Kuhry Peter; Hugelius Gustaf; +2 Authors

    A new approach for the estimation of soil organic carbon (SOC) pools north of the tree line has been developed based on synthetic aperture radar (SAR; ENVISAT Advanced SAR Global Monitoring mode) data. SOC values are directly determined from backscatter values instead of upscaling using land cover or soil classes. The multi-mode capability of SAR allows application across scales. It can be shown that measurements in C band under frozen conditions represent vegetation and surface structure properties which relate to soil properties, specifically SOC. It is estimated that at least 29 Pg C is stored in the upper 30 cm of soils north of the tree line. This is approximately 25 % less than stocks derived from the soil-map-based Northern Circumpolar Soil Carbon Database (NCSCD). The total stored carbon is underestimated since the established empirical relationship is not valid for peatlands or strongly cryoturbated soils. The approach does, however, provide the first spatially consistent account of soil organic carbon across the Arctic. Furthermore, it could be shown that values obtained from 1 km resolution SAR correspond to accounts based on a high spatial resolution (2 m) land cover map over a study area of about 7 × 7 km in NE Siberia. The approach can be also potentially transferred to medium-resolution C-band SAR data such as ENVISAT ASAR Wide Swath with ∼ 120 m resolution but it is in general limited to regions without woody vegetation. Global Monitoring-mode-derived SOC increases with unfrozen period length. This indicates the importance of this parameter for modelling of the spatial distribution of soil organic carbon storage.

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  • Authors: Martin, Marjolaine;

    Macroalgae, and particularly their lignin-free polysaccharides, are increasingly used for their gelling and therapeutic properties and for the production of biofuels and renewable chemical compounds. To extract, hydrolyze and purify this biomass, algae hydrolyzing enzymes are needed. Our work aims to identify and characterize algal biomass hydrolyzing enzymes expressed by microorganisms living on the surface of algae, by functional metagenomics. Therefore, a microbial DNA extraction method was developed to isolate the gDNA from the microorganisms of the brown algae Ascophyllum nodosum and a metagenomic library was constructed in Escherichia coli. The library was screened for diverse enzymatic activities (esterases, xylanases, cellulases, α-amylases, arabinanases, caseinases and β-glucosidases) on agar plates with specific enzymes substrates. Several new microbial enzymes (esterases, β-glucosidases, α-amylases and cellulases) were identified revealing the wealth of our library. Furthermore, those enzymes had less than 50% sequence identity with known protein sequences; meaning that our approach allows to identify new microbial enzymes expressed by uncultured microorganisms. Plate tests for medium-throughput screening of specific enzymes hydrolyzing algal polysaccharides (agarases, carrageenases and alginate lyases) are currently being developed. Our approach will probably allow us to identify new families of those ill-known enzymes, with particular enzymatic activities.

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    Authors: Steinacher, M.; Joos, F.; Frölicher, T. L.; Bopp, L.; +8 Authors

    Changes in marine net primary productivity (PP) and export of particulate organic carbon (EP) are projected over the 21st century with four global coupled carbon cycle-climate models. These include representations of marine ecosystems and the carbon cycle of different structure and complexity. All four models show a decrease in global mean PP and EP between 2 and 20% by 2100 relative to preindustrial conditions, for the SRES A2 emission scenario. Two different regimes for productivity changes are consistently identified in all models. The first chain of mechanisms is dominant in the low- and mid-latitude ocean and in the North Atlantic: reduced input of macro-nutrients into the euphotic zone related to enhanced stratification, reduced mixed layer depth, and slowed circulation causes a decrease in macro-nutrient concentrations and in PP and EP. The second regime is projected for parts of the Southern Ocean: an alleviation of light and/or temperature limitation leads to an increase in PP and EP as productivity is fueled by a sustained nutrient input. A region of disagreement among the models is the Arctic, where three models project an increase in PP while one model projects a decrease. Projected changes in seasonal and interannual variability are modest in most regions. Regional model skill metrics are proposed to generate multi-model mean fields that show an improved skill in representing observation-based estimates compared to a simple multi-model average. Model results are compared to recent productivity projections with three different algorithms, usually applied to infer net primary production from satellite observations.

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  • Authors: Kisakürek B; Eisenhauer Anton; Böhm Florian; Hathorne Ed C; +1 Authors
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  • Authors: Esper Oliver; Gersonde Rainer;
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  • Authors: Jessen Gerdhard L; Lichtschlag Anna; Struck Ulrich; Boetius Antje;
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  • Authors: Li Wei; Gao Kunshan;
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  • Authors: Dupont Sam; Havenhand Jon N; Thorndyke William; Peck Loyd S; +1 Authors
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    Authors: Westermann, Sebastian;

    Arctic permafrost may be adversely affected by climate change in a number of ways, so that establishing a world-wide monitoring program seems imperative. This thesis evaluates possibilities for permafrost monitoring at the example of a permafrost site on Svalbard, Norway. An energy balance model for permafrost temperatures is developed that evaluates the different components of the surface energy budget in analogy to climate models. The surface energy budget, consisting of radiation components, sensible and latent heat fluxes as well as the ground heat flux, is measured over the course of one year, which has not been accomplished for arctic land areas so far. A considerable small-scale heterogeneity of the summer surface temperature is observed in long-term measurements with a thermal imaging system, which can be reproduced in the energy balance model. The model can also simulate the impact of different snow depths on the soil temperature, that has been documented in field measurements. Furthermore, time series of terrestrial surface temperature measurements are compared to satellite-borne measurements, for which a significant cold-bias is observed during winter. Finally, different possibilities for a world-wide monitoring scheme are assessed. Energy budget models can incorporate different satellite data sets as training data sets for parameter estimation, so that they may constitute an alternative to purely satellite-based schemes.

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    Authors: Felden, Janine; Wenzhöfer, Frank; Boetius, Antje;

    The Hakon Mosby Mud Volcano is a highly active methane seep hosting different chemosynthetic communities such as thiotrophic bacterial mats and siboglinid tubeworm assemblages. This study focuses on in situ measurements of methane fluxes to and from these different habitats, in comparison to benthic methane and oxygen consumption rates. By quantifying in situ oxygen, methane, and sulfide fluxes in different habitats, a spatial budget covering areas of 10-1000 -m diameter was established. The range of dissolved methane efflux (770-2 mmol m-2 d-1) from the center to the outer rim was associated with a decrease in temperature gradients from 46°C to < 1°C m-1, indicating that spatial variations in fluid flow control the distribution of benthic habitats and activities. Accordingly, total oxygen uptake (TOU) varied between the different habitats by one order of magnitude from 15 mmol m-2 d-1 to 161 mmol m-2 d-1. High fluid flow rates appeared to suppress benthic activities by limiting the availability of electron acceptors. Accordingly, the highest TOU was associated with the lowest fluid flow and methane efflux. This was most likely due to the aerobic oxidation of methane, which may be more relevant as a sink for methane as previously considered in submarine ecosystems.

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    Authors: Bartsch Annett; Widhalm Barbara; Kuhry Peter; Hugelius Gustaf; +2 Authors

    A new approach for the estimation of soil organic carbon (SOC) pools north of the tree line has been developed based on synthetic aperture radar (SAR; ENVISAT Advanced SAR Global Monitoring mode) data. SOC values are directly determined from backscatter values instead of upscaling using land cover or soil classes. The multi-mode capability of SAR allows application across scales. It can be shown that measurements in C band under frozen conditions represent vegetation and surface structure properties which relate to soil properties, specifically SOC. It is estimated that at least 29 Pg C is stored in the upper 30 cm of soils north of the tree line. This is approximately 25 % less than stocks derived from the soil-map-based Northern Circumpolar Soil Carbon Database (NCSCD). The total stored carbon is underestimated since the established empirical relationship is not valid for peatlands or strongly cryoturbated soils. The approach does, however, provide the first spatially consistent account of soil organic carbon across the Arctic. Furthermore, it could be shown that values obtained from 1 km resolution SAR correspond to accounts based on a high spatial resolution (2 m) land cover map over a study area of about 7 × 7 km in NE Siberia. The approach can be also potentially transferred to medium-resolution C-band SAR data such as ENVISAT ASAR Wide Swath with ∼ 120 m resolution but it is in general limited to regions without woody vegetation. Global Monitoring-mode-derived SOC increases with unfrozen period length. This indicates the importance of this parameter for modelling of the spatial distribution of soil organic carbon storage.

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  • Authors: Martin, Marjolaine;

    Macroalgae, and particularly their lignin-free polysaccharides, are increasingly used for their gelling and therapeutic properties and for the production of biofuels and renewable chemical compounds. To extract, hydrolyze and purify this biomass, algae hydrolyzing enzymes are needed. Our work aims to identify and characterize algal biomass hydrolyzing enzymes expressed by microorganisms living on the surface of algae, by functional metagenomics. Therefore, a microbial DNA extraction method was developed to isolate the gDNA from the microorganisms of the brown algae Ascophyllum nodosum and a metagenomic library was constructed in Escherichia coli. The library was screened for diverse enzymatic activities (esterases, xylanases, cellulases, α-amylases, arabinanases, caseinases and β-glucosidases) on agar plates with specific enzymes substrates. Several new microbial enzymes (esterases, β-glucosidases, α-amylases and cellulases) were identified revealing the wealth of our library. Furthermore, those enzymes had less than 50% sequence identity with known protein sequences; meaning that our approach allows to identify new microbial enzymes expressed by uncultured microorganisms. Plate tests for medium-throughput screening of specific enzymes hydrolyzing algal polysaccharides (agarases, carrageenases and alginate lyases) are currently being developed. Our approach will probably allow us to identify new families of those ill-known enzymes, with particular enzymatic activities.

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    Authors: Steinacher, M.; Joos, F.; Frölicher, T. L.; Bopp, L.; +8 Authors

    Changes in marine net primary productivity (PP) and export of particulate organic carbon (EP) are projected over the 21st century with four global coupled carbon cycle-climate models. These include representations of marine ecosystems and the carbon cycle of different structure and complexity. All four models show a decrease in global mean PP and EP between 2 and 20% by 2100 relative to preindustrial conditions, for the SRES A2 emission scenario. Two different regimes for productivity changes are consistently identified in all models. The first chain of mechanisms is dominant in the low- and mid-latitude ocean and in the North Atlantic: reduced input of macro-nutrients into the euphotic zone related to enhanced stratification, reduced mixed layer depth, and slowed circulation causes a decrease in macro-nutrient concentrations and in PP and EP. The second regime is projected for parts of the Southern Ocean: an alleviation of light and/or temperature limitation leads to an increase in PP and EP as productivity is fueled by a sustained nutrient input. A region of disagreement among the models is the Arctic, where three models project an increase in PP while one model projects a decrease. Projected changes in seasonal and interannual variability are modest in most regions. Regional model skill metrics are proposed to generate multi-model mean fields that show an improved skill in representing observation-based estimates compared to a simple multi-model average. Model results are compared to recent productivity projections with three different algorithms, usually applied to infer net primary production from satellite observations.

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  • Authors: Kisakürek B; Eisenhauer Anton; Böhm Florian; Hathorne Ed C; +1 Authors
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