[Press Release] Colored snow in alpine: an ecosystem that algae and bacteria weave

[Press Release] Colored snow in alpine: an ecosystem that algae and bacteria weave

We can see colored snow during the melt season in alpine snowfields. This coloring is known to be due to pigments of snow algae, which can grow even under low temperature. On the other hand, whole microbial community in colored snow have little understanding. A research group that includes Assist. Prof. Mia Terashima, Kazuhiro Umezawa, a Ph.D. student, Assist. Prof. Hisaya Kojima, and Prof. Manabu Fukui (Division of Biosphere Science) analyzed the microbial community of green and red-colored snow containing snow algae from Mount Asahi, Japan. They found that bacteria belonging to the subphylum Betaproteobacteria were frequently detected in both green and red snow. Further results of this paper suggest that the bacteria can utilize the available carbon source in algae-rich environments and may in turn promote algal growth.

This research outcome is published in Frontiers in Microbiology.

Please visit links below to view the press release (Japanese ver. only).
Research Press Release (PDF)

Graduate School of Environmental Sceince, Hokkaido University