Project Dashboard


  • NIRB File No:


  • Application No.:


  • Project Type:

    Scientific Research

  • Project Name:

    Effects of permafrost thaw on microbial organic matter utilization in Arctic streams

Completed Screening

  • Aarhus University
  • Ada
  • Ole Worms Allé 1 bygning 1135
  • Aarhus, Denmark 8000 Denmark
Primary Contact
Regulatory Authorities

Effects of Permafrost Thaw on Microbial Organic Matter Utilization in Arctic StreamsAda Pastor -Postdoc Researcher Aarhus University (Denmark)Why?The soil organic carbon (OC) pools in the northern circumpolar permafrost region account for approximately 50% of the belowground OC global sinks, mostly in perennial frozen soils (i.e. permafrost). Due to climate change, the permafrost melt both through gradual extensive deepening of the active layer and through development of thermokarst landforms. Fluvial networks are well known to efficiently mineralize terrestrial OC, however to what extend the fraction of remobilized OC would be mineralized or stored in-stream, rather than being exported to the sea, is still unclear.Microorganisms are key responsible for efficient transformation of fluvial OC, in part, due to their ability to synthesize extracellular enzymes. Enzyme capabilities allow microbes obtaining OC from a diverse array of compounds, degrading complex organic compounds into assimilable smaller molecules. Despite the importance of the extracellular enzymatic activities for OC processing, studies in Arctic are scarce and limited to seawater and river water. Our current research in High-Arctic streams in North-East Greenland has shown differences on the OC usage of the aquatic microbiota depending on the landscape features. What?The overall aim of this project is to determine how climate-induced changes in permafrost thaw will influence OC stream biogeochemical processing among Arctic ecosystems regions. We will address the effects of permafrost thaw in microbial organic matter utilization in Arctic freshwaters by measuring in-stream OC and microbial extracellular enzymatic. We will provide paramount information on how transported OC is processed in-stream, identify the key drivers of biological OC degradation, and thus contributing on our understanding on the OC-permafrost fate either being mineralized in-stream, contributing to C-climate feedback, or exported downstream to the sea. The dramatic impacts of climatic changes in the Arctic region makes this research essential to address unexplored aspects of the biogeochemical role of streams and assess the fate of remobilized OC from permafrost melting.When?Field work will be conducted during summer 2019, with an expected duration of three weeks.Where?My work will be conducted at Cambridge Bay close to Canadian High Arctic Research Station (CHARS) Samples will be obtained from Freshwater Creek and nearby freshwater bodies (streams, ponds…) close to the Environment Canada gauging station (10TF001; 69.1311 N; 104.996 W). I will collect water samples for nutrient and carbon analyses, and small amounts of moss, microbes and microalgae on cobbles (biofilm), sediment and riparian soil and bring back to Aarhus University (Denmark) for analyses. The access to the field location will be either walking, fat bikes or ATV. Who?The applicant (Dr. Pastor) is postdoc researcher at Aarhus University (Denmark). The field work will be conducted by the applicant and an accompanying person. This project was awarded by the first call of Canada-Denmark Arctic Research Station Early Career Scientist Exchange Program.

Assessment Phase / Activity
  • Application screening started 2019-04-15
  • Technical advisor assigned 2019-04-15
  • Commenting period 2019-04-29
  • Received Comment submissions from Parties: Notice re comments received 2019-04-30
  • Board voting 2019-05-13
  • Board voting Extended 2019-05-22
  • Board voting 2019-05-23
  • SDR Issued 2019-05-27
  • NOI Issued 2019-05-27
  • Application screening completed 2019-05-27
  • Received Project Licences, Permits and Authorizations from AA 2019-05-29
  • Kitikmeot
Project Images
Comment Form for NIRB Screenings

We appreciate your feedback/input. However you are currently not registered on the site (or your session has expired).

Registering for an account takes only moments and will provide you with more options/opportunities to participate in the NIRB process...

Register an Account