Alaskan Glacier’s Moss Balls
Journal of Geology & Geophysics

Journal of Geology & Geophysics
Open Access

ISSN: 2381-8719


Short Communication - (2021) Volume 10, Issue 8

Alaskan Glacier’s Moss Balls

Genet Lovreglio*
*Correspondence: Genet Lovreglio, Biodiversity Conservation and Research Center, College of Natural Science, Arba Minch University, Arba Minch University, Arba Minch, Ethiopia, P. O. Box 21, Ethiopia, Email:

Author info »


Glaciers support numerous ecosystems that are mostly comprised of microbial life. However, at larger, macroscopic scales, ice mass bryophyte balls (sometimes known as “glacier mice”) will develop from impurities on ice surfaces and represent a comparatively rare biological development [1]. These ovoidshaped conglomerations of dirt and bryophyte are solely found on some ice mass surfaces and supply key habitats for invertebrate organization. Yet, despite their development and presence being wide rumoured, no targeted studies of their movement and persistence across years are conducted. This information gap is especially necessary once considering the degree to that ice mass bryophyte balls might represent viable, long organic phenomenon habitats on glaciers, maybe complete with their own natural action dynamics. Here, we have a tendency to describe the movement and persistence of ice mass bryophyte balls on the basis ice mass in south-central American state, USA [2]. We have a tendency to show that ice mass bryophyte balls move a median of two.5 cm per day in herd-like fashion, and their movements are completely correlate with ice mass ablation. Amazingly, the dominant bryophyte ball movement direction doesn't align with the wind or decline directions, or with any dominant direction of radiation. When attaining a mature size, ice mass bryophyte balls persist for several years, seemingly in way over half dozen years. Finally, we have a tendency to discovered bryophyte ball formation on the basis ice mass to occur at intervals a slender, low reflective power stripe downwind of a nunatuk, a possible key supply of bryophyte spores and/or fine-grained sediment that move to market their formation. Glaciers have long been unnoticed as necessary elements of worldwide variety; however it's currently clear that they host thriving, multi-trophic system, supporting taxa from microbes to vertebrates [3].

Most biological activity on glaciers happens at intervals surface ice wherever microorganisms profit of nutrients that are either wind-delivered or generated in place. Additionally to a nutrient input, impurities on the ice mass surface will drive the event of a minimum of 2 potential “hotspots” of biological diversity on glaciers: well-studied cryoconite holes (depressions within the ice surface caused by native soften, and ice mass bryophyte balls (ovular conglomerations of bryophyte and sediment that progress the ice mass surface. Often a tiny low piece of rock or alternative impurity sets in motion the formation of an ice mass bryophyte ball. On an area scale, ice mass bryophyte balls are usually distributed with some extent of native agglomeration. Whereas immobile bryophyte aggregations are discovered on glaciers elsewhere (e.g., East Africa), true ice mass bryophyte balls seem to be notably rare, having solely been delineated on a number of geographically disparate glaciers in American state, Iceland, archipelago and South America. Many alternative bryophyte species are found in ice mass bryophyte balls, suggesting that they're not keen about specific taxa, however instead their development is driven by the interaction of appropriate organic phenomenon (e.g., accessibility of bryophyte spores) and abiotic (e.g., growth substrate) factors. However, the particular steps and timeline of ice mass bryophyte ball genesis remains unclear. a) Our study web site (solid inexperienced square) on the basis ice mass in southcentral American state, USA, at intervals Wrangell-St. Elias parkland [4]. Contour lines are spaced each a hundred m in elevation. The dotted sq. represents the sphere of read shown in panel (b). The inset map shows the placement of the basis ice mass (white star) at intervals American state. b) Satellite image of the study web site (green square) showing the confluence of the basis and Kennicott Glaciers with the Donoho nunatak to the northwest. The image was recorded on nineteen Gregorian calendar month 2013. c) A landscape read wanting northwest of the study web site dotted with ice mass bryophyte balls. d) A close-up read of an ice mass bryophyte ball with the kind of bracelet tag utilized in this study [5].


An intriguing facet of ice mass bryophyte balls, and one that's nearly definitely partly answerable for their “glacier mice” human, is their movement. It’s been posited that bryophyte balls move by causing the formation of Associate in Nursing ice pedestal, then rolling or slippery off of it. Below this method, bryophyte balls 1st scale back native reflective power by shielding the ice below them from daylight and regionally reducing the ablation rate. Because the encompassing ice melts, the ice mass bryophyte ball is left on Associate in nursing elevated pedestal. Eventually, a threshold is reached wherever the bryophyte ball falls from its pedestal and therefore the method begins afresh, probably together with a “flip” of the bryophyte ball that exposes what was antecedently their undersurface. Although the speed and direction of bryophyte ball movement has not been measured, although it's been recommended that their movements usually track the decline direction of their native environs. Where they occur, ice mass bryophyte balls contribute to ice mass variety by providing thermally buffered, island-like environs on the ice mass surface that hosts Associate in Nursing array of invertebrates. On Icelandic glaciers, bryophyte balls contain invertebrate communities dominated by springtails (Collembola), tardigrades (Tardigrada), and nematodes. Whereas several potential food resources are accessible on glaciers, these are usually solely exploited by invertebrates on the margins (e.g., springtails, spiders, grylloblattids), seemingly as a result of appropriate on-glacier environs is lacking. ice mass bryophyte balls might so give key livable islands on the ice mass that facilitate wider resource exploitation versus glaciers while not bryophyte balls. It’s additionally doable that ice mass bryophyte balls, that haven't been shown to be populous by larger predatory insects, might give prey refuge that is sufficiently aloof from the standard search areas of their predators. Either way, it's clear that ice mass bryophyte balls represent necessary environs for glacier-associated fauna however basic aspects of their ecology (e.g., longevity and movement) are unknown.


Author Info

Genet Lovreglio*
Biodiversity Conservation and Research Center, College of Natural Science, Arba Minch University, Arba Minch, Ethiopia

Citation: Lovreglio G (2021) Alaskan Glacier’s Moss Balls. J Geol Geophy. 10: 1007.

Received Date: Nov 03, 2021 / Accepted Date: Nov 17, 2021 / Published Date: Nov 24, 2021

Copyright: © 2021 Lovreglio G. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.