The boreal forests play a central role in global carbon cycling, storing 37 percent of the total carbon present in the terrestrial biosphere. Owing to the high density of lakes in the boreal forest, these freshwater systems play a particularly important role in the carbon cycle. Often boreal lakes are supersaturated in carbon dioxide, resulting in greenhouse gas emission to the atmosphere. Since climate change is anticipated to be more prominent at northern latitudes relative to other regions, researchers are concerned about the effects of climate change on the rates of carbon cycling in the boreal forest and the role of freshwater systems there. The project is expected to produce fundamental genomic information on microbial communities inhabiting northern boreal lakes, which play an integral role in global carbon cycling processes, including the production of greenhouse gases.
Proposer’s Name: David Walsh, Concordia University (Canada)