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Building a Lab by the Arctic Circle: Images From the Field Research Station

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University of Arizona ecologists Scott Saleska and Virginia Rich lead an international collaboration funded by a $3.9 million grant from the U.S. Department of Energy to study how microbes release greenhouse gases as they access nutrients in thawing permafrost soils under the influence of a warmer climate. As the soils thaw, massive stockpiles of organic material become available to microbes, which metabolize the nutrients and release carbon dioxide and methane. The project aims to explain how microbe-driven processes influence climate change, and in what ways climate-driven changes, such as changes in soil chemistry and changes in plant communities, feed back on those microbial processes. To answer those questions, the team is measuring both soil gas emissions and the microbes that produce those gases at Stordalen Mire in Abisko National Park in Sweden, just north of the Arctic Circle. Read the full story here