Bulletin of Glacier Research, 1998, 16, 43-50.
Snow Algae Community on a Himalayan Glacier, Glacier AX010 East Nepal: Relationship with Glacier Summer Mass Balance
Nozomu Takeuchi, Shiro KOHSHIMA
Basic biology, Faculty of Bioscience and Biotechnology, (c/o Faculty of Science), Tokyo Institute of Technology, 2-12-1, O-okayama, Meguro-ku, Tokyo 152-8551, Japan.
Institute for Hydrospheric-Atmospheric Sciences, Nagoya University, Nagoya 464-8601, Japan
An altitudinal change of the snow algae community on a Himalayan
glacier, Glacier AX010 (4950-5380 m a. s. l.), Shorong region
of East Nepal, was quantitatively analyzed to clarify the relationship
between the glacier algal community and glacier summer mass balance.
The results were compared with that of another Himalayan Clean
Type glacier, Yala glacier (Yoshimura et al., 1997).
In this glacier, 5 species of snow algae including 4 species
reported from Yala glacier were observed. In both glacier, the
algal biomass was in a similar level at the same altitude and
decreased as the altitude increase at a similar rate.
The structure of algal community represented by the proportion
of each species to the total algal biomass differed by altitude
and summer mass balance estimated by stake measurement. The algal
community on this glacier could be divided into the following
two types: Type 1 community with 5 species highly dominated by
C. brébissonii observed in the minus mass balance area
from terminus to 5180 m a. s. l. and Type 2 community with 4
species dominated by the Oscillatoriacean alga observed in the
plus mass balance area above 5200 m a. s. l. In community structure,
Type 1 and Type 2 community corresponded to the community observed
in the lower part (5100-5200 m a. s. l.) and the middle part
(5200-5300 m a. s. l.) of Yala glacier, respectively. Relationship
between snow algal community and summer mass balance was discussed.
The results suggest that the snow algal community could be useful
as an indicator of summer mass balance and equilibrium line of
this type of glaciers.