Diversity and changes on temporal and spatial scales of the cyanobacterial community in the high arctic environment of Spitsbergen, Svalbard Islands

Updated 2003-01-27

The structure and role of the cyanobacterial communities that colonise bare soils and fix nitrogen in the arctic ecosystem will be studied. The planned activities will focus on the isolation, identification and characterisation of cyanobacteria from arctic habitats and on the changes of the cyanobacterial community along a transect from a retreating glacier front to a more stable habitat characterised by the presence of mature vegetation. For these purposes, a polyphasic approach encompassing microbiological, morphological and molecular techniques will be applied to environmental samples and isolated cultures. The obtained results will give new insights on the diversity and role of nitrogen fixing cyanobacteria in the arctic and, in more general terms, on ecosystem development under changing climatic conditions.

Time frame

Project time span
2002 - 2006
Data collection
not specified
Data processing
not specified
Data reporting
not specified

Contact information

Contact person
Bjørn Solheim
Department of Biology University of Tromsø 9037 Tromsø Norway
+47 77 64 44 24
+47 77 64 63 33
Other project contacts
Dr. Stefano Ventura, CNR - Istituto per lo Studio degli Ecosistemi, Sezione di Firenze, Italy Cand. scient. Ursel Schütte, UNIS/University of Tromsø, Norway Cand. scient. Matthias Zielke, UNIS/University of Tromsø, Norway Prof. Larry Forney, University of Idaho, USA Prof. Rolf A. Olsen, UNIS, Norway

Parameters and Media

Not specified


Regions studied
Sverdrup Research Station, Ny-Ålesund
Sverdrup Research Station, Ny-Ålesund
Sverdrup Research Station, Ny-Ålesund

Data availability

Samples/specimens archived in specimen banks?

Methods & Procedures

Not specified

Additional Information

Is this a bi- AND multi-lateral project (i.e. a project involving cooperation between different countries)?
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