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River bacteria may reflect climate changes

U.S. scientists say bacteria in six large arctic river ecosystems might be used as markers for monitoring climate change in the polar region.

Researchers at the University of Maryland's Horn Point Laboratory said their study of bacterial communities in the ecosystems reveals predictable temporal patterns showing the bacteria shifted synchronously over time, correlating with seasonal shifts in hydrology and biogeochemistry.

The researchers documented the patterns during a three-year, circumpolar study of planktonic bacterial communities in the six largest rivers of the pan-arctic watershed: the Ob', Yenisey, Lena, Kolyma, Yukon and Mackenzie rivers.
 
 

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