Glacier Biology

Glacier Biology Home

Pictures of glacier organisms

Glacier ecosystem

Study subjects

Ice core analysis
Biotic albedo reduction
What are Cryoconite holes ?
Debris-covered glaciers

Study fields

Recent expeditions

Abstracts of graduate thesis

Links of glaciology


Kohshima lab.

(C) Copyright 1997-2000, Kohshima-lab.

Glacier Biology

[Here Japanese]

The glacier has long been believied to be an almost non-biological environment. However, recently, various cold-tolerant animals and micro-plants which spend their entire lives in the glacier were discovered. Our studies aim to clarify the eco-system of glaciers and relationship between organisms and glacier environment.

Pictures of glacier organisms

Here we introduce the organisms on glaciers with pictures. There are a lot of beautiful organisms !
You can see QuickTime Movies of the copepods and the midge of a Himalayan glacier.

Glacier ecosystem

In glaciers, there are plants (producers), animals (cunsumers) and bacteria (decomposers). They form a close and simple eco-system in the glaciers.

Study subjects

Ice cores from glaciers are sources of ancient climete infomation. We are trying to analysis the ice cores with the glacier organisms such as algae and bacteria. The analysis would give us new informations of the past environment.

The snow algae play an important role in melting process of the glaciers; they accelerated glacier melting and affected glacial mass balance by forming dark-colored materials (cryoconite) on the glaciers and reducing albedo.

Cryoconite holes are tiny water-filled depression on glacier surface. They are suitable habitat for the glacier organisms.

In Himalayan region there are many debris-covered glaciers with rock debris covering the ablation area. In this type of glaciers the habitats of the glacier organisms are the supraglacial lakes and englacieal melt water channel.

Introduction of our study fields
We investgate in Japanese alps, and in overseas glaciers: Himalayas, Tibets, Arctic, Patagonia....

Recent expedition of glacier biology
Reports and plans of recent field work of glacier biology.

Abstracts of graduate thesis of this lab.

Link of glaciology and biology
If you want know about glaciology, biology, or japanese activities, more.

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