Diversity of subterranean invertebrates in block glaciers and glacier forelands affected by climate change

Josť†Domingo Gilgado , Bruno Baur

Climate change affects glaciers and melting permafrost worldwide. Block glaciers, consisting of rocky debris and ice, are a characteristic type of glacier, which was first described in the Swiss National Park. However, nothing is known yet about the arthropod fauna (arthropods) that lives in the scree- and soil-layer under the surface of block glaciers. It is very likely that block glaciers are inhabited by a specialized fauna. Melting block glaciers and the thawing permafrost leave new soil for the fauna in the glacier foreland. Re-colonization by surface-active arthropods has been studied in these newly available habitats, whereas the subterranean fauna (living deeper than 10 cm) is so far unknown. We study the subterranean fauna on block glaciers and glacier foreland in the Swiss National Park.

Keywords: Myriapoda - global warming - block glaciers - Swiss National Park


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