Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Silica Algae Reveal How Ecosystems React To Climate Changes

Date:
March 14, 2009
Source:
Vetenskapsrådet (The Swedish Research Council)
Summary:
New research examines how rapid climate changes during the most recent ice age affected ecosystems in an area in continental Europe.

Cyclotella, a fossil silica algae.
Credit: Linda Ampel

A newly published dissertation by Linda Ampel from the Department of Physical Geography and Quaternary Geology at Stockholm University in Sweden examined how rapid climate changes during the most recent ice age affected ecosystems in an area in continental Europe.

Rapid and extensive climate changes have taken place on several occasions in the past.  For example, the latest ice age (lasting from about 115,000 to 11,500 years ago) is characterized by several rapid and dramatic climate swings. These swings recurred in cycles of roughly 1,500 years and were originally discovered through studies of ice cores from Greenland in the early 1990s. These cycles started with an extremely rapid rise in temperatures, over just a few years or decades, of as much as 8-16o C over Greenland.

Linda Ampel studied how these rapid cycles in the climate affected ecosystems in an area in continental Europe. The study was based on analyses of sediment cores from an overgrown lake named Les Echets in eastern France and focuses on a time interval between 40,000 and 16,000 ago.

The findings are based on analyses of fossil silica algae, diatoms. Various species of diatoms prefer different water conditions relating to physical and chemical parameters such as temperature, salinity, access to nutrients, light, water depth, or available types of places to grow.  These parameters, in turn, are affected by climate.  Different species of diatoms can therefore indicate how the water environment changed as a consequence of the climate in the past.

Diatom analyses of the environmental archive from Les Echets, together with further analyses of chemical and biological parameters such as content of organic material and pollen grains from trees and other plants preserved in the lake, show that the ecosystems in the lake and its surroundings underwent marked changes during the latest ice age as a consequence of these 1,500-year cycles.  The adaptation of the ecosystems prompted by the recurring warm periods took place as quickly as within 50 to 200 years.

“These findings show that ecosystems have changed rapidly in reaction to climate changes in the past, which indicates that quick adaptations could also take place in the future as a consequence of global warming, for instance,” says Linda Ampel.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Vetenskapsrådet (The Swedish Research Council). Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Vetenskapsrådet (The Swedish Research Council). "Silica Algae Reveal How Ecosystems React To Climate Changes." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 14 March 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/03/090309093155.htm>.
Vetenskapsrådet (The Swedish Research Council). (2009, March 14). Silica Algae Reveal How Ecosystems React To Climate Changes. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 24, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/03/090309093155.htm
Vetenskapsrådet (The Swedish Research Council). "Silica Algae Reveal How Ecosystems React To Climate Changes." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/03/090309093155.htm (accessed September 24, 2014).

Share This



More Fossils & Ruins News

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Raw: Ice Age Wooly Mammoth Remains for Sale

Raw: Ice Age Wooly Mammoth Remains for Sale

AP (Sep. 23, 2014) — A rare, well-preserved skeleton of a woolly mammoth is going on sale at Summers Place Auctions hope the 11.5-foot tall, almost intact specimen will fetch between $245,000 to $409,000. (Sept. 23) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Dinosaur With Mysteriously Large Nose Discovered In Utah

Dinosaur With Mysteriously Large Nose Discovered In Utah

Newsy (Sep. 23, 2014) — Rhinorex condrupus had a nose so big it was dubbed "King Nose," but scientists aren't sure what purpose it served. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Iconic 'Easy Rider' Chopper Bike to Go on Auction Block

Iconic 'Easy Rider' Chopper Bike to Go on Auction Block

AFP (Sep. 19, 2014) — The iconic Harley-Davidson motorbike ridden by Peter Fonda in the 1969 classic "Easy Rider" is to go under the hammer in California, and auctioneers predict it will make at least $1 million. Duration: 01:09 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Chocolate Museum Opens in Brussels

Chocolate Museum Opens in Brussels

AFP (Sep. 19, 2014) — Considered a "national heritage" in Belgium, chocolate now has a new museum in Brussels. In a former chocolate factory, visitors to the permanent exhibition spaces, workshops and tastings can discover derivatives of the cocoa bean. Duration: 01:00 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins