In this paper we quantified for the first time the abundance of microbial cells in surface ice from geographically distinct sites on the Greenland Ice Sheet, using three enumeration methods: epifluorescence microscopy, flow cytometry and qPCR. The lowest cell abundances were found in ice sampled from the accumulation area of the ice sheet and in samples affected by fresh snow; these samples may be considered as a reference point of the cell abundance of precipitants that are deposited on the ice sheet surface. Dust content was the most significant variable to explain the variation in the abundance data, which suggests a direct association between deposited dust particles and cells and/or by their provision of limited nutrients to microbial communities on the Greenland Ice Sheet.
Stibal M., Gözdereliler E., Cameron K.A., Box J.E., Stevens I.T., Gokul J.K., Schostag M., Zarsky J.D., Edwards A., Irvine-Fynn T.D.L., Jacobsen C.S. (2015) Microbial abundance in surface ice on the Greenland Ice Sheet. Frontiers in Microbiology 6: 225 (doi:10.3389/fmicb.2015.00225)