Permafrost Soils

  • Rosa Margesin

Part of the Soil Biology book series (SOILBIOL, volume 16)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xiv
  2. Geological, Chemical and Physical Properties of Permafrost

    1. Charles Tarnocai
      Pages 3-16
    2. Iain B. Campbell, Graeme G. C. Claridge
      Pages 17-31
    3. Stephan Gruber, Wilfried Haeberli
      Pages 33-44
  3. Biodiversity in Permafrost

    1. Martin B. Hebsgaard, Eske Willerslev
      Pages 47-57
    2. Blaire Steven, Thomas D. Niederberger, Lyle G. Whyte
      Pages 59-72
    3. Svetlana Ozerskaya, Galina Kochkina, Natalia Ivanushkina, David A. Gilichinsky
      Pages 85-95
    4. Anastassia V. Shatilovich, Lubov A. Shmakova, Alexander P. Mylnikov, David A. Gilichinsky
      Pages 97-115
  4. Biological Activity in Permafrost

    1. Nicolai S. Panikov
      Pages 119-147
    2. C. Ryan Penton
      Pages 149-158
    3. Corien Bakermans, Peter W. Bergholz, Hector Ayala-del-Río, James Tiedje
      Pages 159-168
    4. Yinghua Qiu, Tatiana A. Vishnivetskaya, David M. Lubman
      Pages 169-181
  5. Impact of Global Warming On Permafrost Properties

    1. Julian B. Murton
      Pages 185-203
    2. Wilfried Haeberli, Stephan Gruber
      Pages 205-218
    3. Anatoly S. Prokushkin, Masayuki Kawahigashi, Irina V. Tokareva
      Pages 237-250
    4. Yuri Shur, Douglas J. Goering
      Pages 251-260
  6. Contaminants in Frozen Ground

    1. David L. Barnes, Evgeny Chuvilin
      Pages 263-278
    2. Dennis M. Filler, Dale R. Van Stempvoort, Mary B. Leigh
      Pages 279-301
  7. Permafrost on Earth – A Model for Extraterrestrial Habitats

  8. Back Matter
    Pages 343-348

About this book


Most of the Earth’s biosphere is characterized by low temperatures. Vast areas (>20%) of the soil ecosystem are permanently frozen or are unfrozen for only a few weeks in summer. Permafrost regions occur at high latitudes and also at high ele- tions; a significant part of the global permafrost area is represented by mountains. Permafrost soils are of global interest, since a significant increase in temperature is predicted for polar regions. Global warming will have a great impact on these soils, especially in northern regions, since they contain large amounts of organic carbon and act as carbon sinks, and a temperature increase will result in a release of carbon into the atmosphere. Additionally, the intensified release of the clima- relevant tracer gas methane represents a potential environmental harzard. Significant numbers of viable microorganisms, including bacteria, archaea, p- totrophic cyanobacteria and green algae, fungi and protozoa, are present in per- frost, and the characteristics of these microorganisms reflect the unique and extreme conditions of the permafrost environment. Remarkably, these microorg- isms have been reported to be metabolically active at subzero temperatures, even down to ?20°C.


Biodiversity Global warming Permafrost ecosystem geomorphology microorganism soil

Editors and affiliations

  • Rosa Margesin
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute of MicrobiologyUniversity of InnsbruckInnsbruckAustria

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