Variation in Snow Algae Blooms in the Coast Range of British Columbia

Resource type
Date created
2020-04-15
Authors/Contributors
Abstract
Snow algae blooms cover vast areas of summer snowfields worldwide, reducing albedo and increasing snow melt. Despite their global prevalence, little is known about the algae species that comprise these blooms. We used 18S and rbcL metabarcoding and light microscopy to characterize algae species composition in 31 snow algae blooms in the Coast Range of British Columbia, Canada. This study is the first to thoroughly document regional variation between blooms. We found all blooms were dominated by the genera Sanguina, Chloromonas, and Chlainomonas. There was considerable variation between blooms, most notably species assemblages above treeline were distinct from forested sites. In contrast to previous studies, the snow algae genus Chlainomonas was abundant and widespread in snow algae blooms. We found few taxa using traditional 18S metabarcoding, but the high taxonomic resolution of rbcL revealed substantial diversity, including OTUs that likely represent unnamed species of snow algae. These three cross-referenced datasets (rbcL, 18S, and microscopy) reveal that alpine snow algae blooms are more diverse than previously thought, with different species of algae dominating different elevations.
Document
Published as
Engstrom CB, Yakimovich KM and Quarmby LM (2020) Variation in Snow Algae Blooms in the Coast Range of British Columbia. Front. Microbiol. 11:569. DOI: 10.3389/fmicb.2020.00569.
Publication title
Front. Microbiol.
Document title
Variation in Snow Algae Blooms in the Coast Range of British Columbia
Date
2020
Volume
11
Issue
569
Publisher DOI
10.3389/fmicb.2020.00569
Copyright statement
Copyright is held by the author(s).
Scholarly level
Peer reviewed?
Yes
Funder
Funder: Genome BC
Language
Member of collection
Attachment Size
fmicb-11-00569.pdf 1.11 MB