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Spatial patterns of methane-oxidizing bacteria in a riparian wetland in relation to ecosystem function

Krause, S. and Meima-Franke, M. and Bodelier, P.L.E. (2012) Spatial patterns of methane-oxidizing bacteria in a riparian wetland in relation to ecosystem function.

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Microbes form a major part of earth biomass and biodiversity and have an important role for biogeochemistry and ecosystem functioning. However, microbial communities are still hardly considered in debates about biodiversity loss, global change and conservation strategies although they can be very sensitive to environmental disturbances. Hence, there cannot be longer ignored in conservation and management issues. Here we focus on aerobic methane oxidizing bacteria (MOB) as a model system because they have a well-characterized physiology, can be targeted specifically with molecular tools and catalyze an important ecosystem function. Since more extreme weather events such as rainfall will increase due to climate change flooded soils will appear more frequently. This process can turn a soil from a methane sink to a methane source. The amount of methane emission is strongly dependent on oxidation by MOB. Characterizing spatial patterns of the MOB community could facilitate to understand the relationships between their ecology, their biogeochemical process, their ecosystem function and consequently give implications for conservation and management strategies. We first applied geostatistical modeling to map and predict the spatial distribution of MOB in a riparian wetland along a hydrological gradient, and second correlated these spatial patterns to soil properties and distribution of methane fluxes/ oxidation rates as a proxy for their ecosystem function. Preliminary results indicate that the MOB community was clearly correlated to the hydrological gradient as expressed in moisture content of the soil. Spatial patterns for different groups of MOB were both contrasting and overlapping. Finally, results indicated a relationship between MOB community and their ecosystem function.

Item Type:Lecture
Institutes:Nederlands Instituut voor Ecologie (NIOO)
ID Code:12834
Deposited On:04 Dec 2012 13:40
Last Modified:04 Dec 2012 13:40

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