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Sample records for ice-bubble microbial ecosystems

  1. Toward Understanding, Managing, and Protecting Microbial Ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bodelier, Paul L. E.

    2011-01-01

    Microbial communities are at the very basis of life on earth, catalyzing biogeochemical reactions driving global nutrient cycles. However, unlike for plants and animals, microbial diversity is not on the biodiversity–conservation agenda. The latter, however, would imply that microbial diversity is not under any threat by anthropogenic disturbance or climate change. This maybe a misconception caused by the rudimentary knowledge we have concerning microbial diversity and its role in ecosystem functioning. This perspective paper identifies major areas with knowledge gaps within the field of environmental microbiology that preclude a comprehension of microbial ecosystems on the level we have for plants and animals. Opportunities and challenges are pointed out to open the microbial black box and to go from descriptive to predictive microbial ecology. PMID:21747797

  2. Towards understanding, managing and protecting microbial ecosystems

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Paul eBodelier

    2011-04-01

    Full Text Available Microbial communities are at the very basis of life on earth, catalysing biogeochemical reactions driving global nutrient cycles. However, unlike for plants and animals, microbial diversity is not on the biodiversity conservation agenda. The latter, however, would imply that microbial diversity is not under any threat by anthropogenic disturbance or climate change. This maybe a misconception caused by the rudimentary knowledge we have concerning microbial diversity and its role in ecosystem functioning. This perspective paper indentifies major areas with knowledge gaps within the field of environmental microbiology that preclude a comprehension of microbial ecosystems on the level we have for plants and animals. Opportunities and challenges are pointed out to open the microbial black box and to go from descriptive to predictive microbial ecology.

  3. Toward understanding, managing, and protecting microbial ecosystems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bodelier, Paul L E

    2011-01-01

    Microbial communities are at the very basis of life on earth, catalyzing biogeochemical reactions driving global nutrient cycles. However, unlike for plants and animals, microbial diversity is not on the biodiversity-conservation agenda. The latter, however, would imply that microbial diversity is not under any threat by anthropogenic disturbance or climate change. This maybe a misconception caused by the rudimentary knowledge we have concerning microbial diversity and its role in ecosystem functioning. This perspective paper identifies major areas with knowledge gaps within the field of environmental microbiology that preclude a comprehension of microbial ecosystems on the level we have for plants and animals. Opportunities and challenges are pointed out to open the microbial black box and to go from descriptive to predictive microbial ecology.

  4. Microbial biodiversity of Sardinian oleic ecosystems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Santona, Mario; Sanna, Maria Lina; Multineddu, Chiara; Fancello, Francesco; de la Fuente, Sara Audije; Dettori, Sandro; Zara, Severino

    2018-04-01

    The olives are rich in microorganisms that, during the extraction process may persist in the oils and can influence their physicochemical and sensory characteristics. In this work, and for the first time, we isolated and identified microbial species, yeast and bacteria, present during the production process in four Sardinian (Italy) oleic ecosystems. Among these varieties, we found that Nera di Gonnos was associated to the highest microbial biodiversity, which was followed by Bosana, Nocellara del Belice and Semidana. Among the different microbial species isolated, some are specific of olive ecological niches, such as Cryptococcus spp and Serratia spp; and others to olive oils such as Candida spp and Saccharomyces. Some other species identified in this work were not found before in oleic ecosystems. The enzymatic analyses of yeast and bacteria showed that they have good β-glucosidase activity and yeast also showed good β-glucanase activity. The majority of bacteria presented lipolytic and catalase activities while in yeast were species-specific. Interestingly, yeast and bacteria isolates presented a high resistance to bile acid, and about 65% of the yeast were able to resist at pH 2.5 for 2 h. Finally, bacteria showed no biofilm activity compared to yeast. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  5. Microbial Functional Gene Diversity Predicts Groundwater Contamination and Ecosystem Functioning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    He, Zhili; Zhang, Ping; Wu, Linwei; Rocha, Andrea M; Tu, Qichao; Shi, Zhou; Wu, Bo; Qin, Yujia; Wang, Jianjun; Yan, Qingyun; Curtis, Daniel; Ning, Daliang; Van Nostrand, Joy D; Wu, Liyou; Yang, Yunfeng; Elias, Dwayne A; Watson, David B; Adams, Michael W W; Fields, Matthew W; Alm, Eric J; Hazen, Terry C; Adams, Paul D; Arkin, Adam P; Zhou, Jizhong

    2018-02-20

    Contamination from anthropogenic activities has significantly impacted Earth's biosphere. However, knowledge about how environmental contamination affects the biodiversity of groundwater microbiomes and ecosystem functioning remains very limited. Here, we used a comprehensive functional gene array to analyze groundwater microbiomes from 69 wells at the Oak Ridge Field Research Center (Oak Ridge, TN), representing a wide pH range and uranium, nitrate, and other contaminants. We hypothesized that the functional diversity of groundwater microbiomes would decrease as environmental contamination (e.g., uranium or nitrate) increased or at low or high pH, while some specific populations capable of utilizing or resistant to those contaminants would increase, and thus, such key microbial functional genes and/or populations could be used to predict groundwater contamination and ecosystem functioning. Our results indicated that functional richness/diversity decreased as uranium (but not nitrate) increased in groundwater. In addition, about 5.9% of specific key functional populations targeted by a comprehensive functional gene array (GeoChip 5) increased significantly ( P contamination and ecosystem functioning. This study indicates great potential for using microbial functional genes to predict environmental contamination and ecosystem functioning. IMPORTANCE Disentangling the relationships between biodiversity and ecosystem functioning is an important but poorly understood topic in ecology. Predicting ecosystem functioning on the basis of biodiversity is even more difficult, particularly with microbial biomarkers. As an exploratory effort, this study used key microbial functional genes as biomarkers to provide predictive understanding of environmental contamination and ecosystem functioning. The results indicated that the overall functional gene richness/diversity decreased as uranium increased in groundwater, while specific key microbial guilds increased significantly as

  6. Microbial ecosystem constructed in water for successful organic hydroponics

    OpenAIRE

    Makoto Shinohara; Hiromi Ohmori; Yoichi Uehara

    2008-01-01

    Conventional hydroponics systems generally use only chemical fertilisers, not organic ones, since there are no microbial ecosystems present in such systems to mineralise organic compounds to inorganic nutrients. Addition of organic compounds to the hydroponic solution generally has phytotoxic effects and causes poor plant growth. We developed a novel hydroponic culture method using organic fertiliser. A microbial ecosystem was constructed in hydroponic solution by regulating the amounts of or...

  7. Soil microbial community successional patterns during forest ecosystem restoration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Banning, Natasha C; Gleeson, Deirdre B; Grigg, Andrew H; Grant, Carl D; Andersen, Gary L; Brodie, Eoin L; Murphy, D V

    2011-09-01

    Soil microbial community characterization is increasingly being used to determine the responses of soils to stress and disturbances and to assess ecosystem sustainability. However, there is little experimental evidence to indicate that predictable patterns in microbial community structure or composition occur during secondary succession or ecosystem restoration. This study utilized a chronosequence of developing jarrah (Eucalyptus marginata) forest ecosystems, rehabilitated after bauxite mining (up to 18 years old), to examine changes in soil bacterial and fungal community structures (by automated ribosomal intergenic spacer analysis [ARISA]) and changes in specific soil bacterial phyla by 16S rRNA gene microarray analysis. This study demonstrated that mining in these ecosystems significantly altered soil bacterial and fungal community structures. The hypothesis that the soil microbial community structures would become more similar to those of the surrounding nonmined forest with rehabilitation age was broadly supported by shifts in the bacterial but not the fungal community. Microarray analysis enabled the identification of clear successional trends in the bacterial community at the phylum level and supported the finding of an increase in similarity to nonmined forest soil with rehabilitation age. Changes in soil microbial community structure were significantly related to the size of the microbial biomass as well as numerous edaphic variables (including pH and C, N, and P nutrient concentrations). These findings suggest that soil bacterial community dynamics follow a pattern in developing ecosystems that may be predictable and can be conceptualized as providing an integrated assessment of numerous edaphic variables.

  8. Nitrogen transformations in stratified aquatic microbial ecosystems

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Revsbech, N. P.; Risgaard-Petersen, N.; Schramm, A.

    2006-01-01

    Abstract  New analytical methods such as advanced molecular techniques and microsensors have resulted in new insights about how nitrogen transformations in stratified microbial systems such as sediments and biofilms are regulated at a µm-mm scale. A large and ever-expanding knowledge base about n...

  9. Microbial mat ecosystems: Structure types, functional diversity, and biotechnological application

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cristina M. Prieto-Barajas

    2018-01-01

    Full Text Available Microbial mats are horizontally stratified microbial communities, exhibiting a structure defined by physiochemical gradients, which models microbial diversity, physiological activities, and their dynamics as a whole system. These ecosystems are commonly associated with aquatic habitats, including hot springs, hypersaline ponds, and intertidal coastal zones and oligotrophic environments, all of them harbour phototrophic mats and other environments such as acidic hot springs or acid mine drainage harbour non-photosynthetic mats. This review analyses the complex structure, diversity, and interactions between the microorganisms that form the framework of different types of microbial mats located around the globe. Furthermore, the many tools that allow studying microbial mats in depth and their potential biotechnological applications are discussed.

  10. Biogeography of serpentinite-hosted microbial ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brazelton, W.; Cardace, D.; Fruh-Green, G.; Lang, S. Q.; Lilley, M. D.; Morrill, P. L.; Szponar, N.; Twing, K. I.; Schrenk, M. O.

    2012-12-01

    Ultramafic rocks in the Earth's mantle represent a tremendous reservoir of carbon and reducing power. Upon tectonic uplift and exposure to fluid flow, serpentinization of these materials generates copious energy, sustains abiogenic synthesis of organic molecules, and releases hydrogen gas (H2). To date, however, the "serpentinite microbiome" is poorly constrained- almost nothing is known about the microbial diversity endemic to rocks actively undergoing serpentinization. Through the Census of Deep Life, we have obtained 16S rRNA gene pyrotag sequences from fluids and rocks from serpentinizing ophiolites in California, Canada, and Italy. The samples include high pH serpentinite springs, presumably representative of deeper environments within the ophiolite complex, wells which directly access subsurface aquifers, and rocks obtained from drill cores into serpentinites. These data represent a unique opportunity to examine biogeographic patterns among a restricted set of microbial taxa that are adapted to similar environmental conditions and are inhabiting sites with related geological histories. In general, our results point to potentially H2-utilizing Betaproteobacteria thriving in shallow, oxic-anoxic transition zones and anaerobic Clostridia thriving in anoxic, deep subsurface habitats. These general taxonomic and biogeochemical trends were also observed in seafloor Lost City hydrothermal chimneys, indicating that we are beginning to identify a core serpentinite microbial community that spans marine and continental settings.

  11. Nitrogen transformations in stratified aquatic microbial ecosystems

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Revsbech, Niels Peter; Risgaard-Petersen, N.; Schramm, Andreas

    2006-01-01

    Abstract  New analytical methods such as advanced molecular techniques and microsensors have resulted in new insights about how nitrogen transformations in stratified microbial systems such as sediments and biofilms are regulated at a µm-mm scale. A large and ever-expanding knowledge base about n...... performing dissimilatory reduction of nitrate to ammonium have given new dimensions to the understanding of nitrogen cycling in nature, and the occurrence of these organisms and processes in stratified microbial communities will be described in detail.......Abstract  New analytical methods such as advanced molecular techniques and microsensors have resulted in new insights about how nitrogen transformations in stratified microbial systems such as sediments and biofilms are regulated at a µm-mm scale. A large and ever-expanding knowledge base about...... nitrogen fixation, nitrification, denitrification, and dissimilatory reduction of nitrate to ammonium, and about the microorganisms performing the processes, has been produced by use of these techniques. During the last decade the discovery of anammmox bacteria and migrating, nitrate accumulating bacteria...

  12. Microbial Functional Gene Diversity Predicts Groundwater Contamination and Ecosystem Functioning

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Ping; Wu, Linwei; Rocha, Andrea M.; Shi, Zhou; Wu, Bo; Qin, Yujia; Wang, Jianjun; Yan, Qingyun; Curtis, Daniel; Ning, Daliang; Van Nostrand, Joy D.; Wu, Liyou; Watson, David B.; Adams, Michael W. W.; Alm, Eric J.; Adams, Paul D.; Arkin, Adam P.

    2018-01-01

    ABSTRACT Contamination from anthropogenic activities has significantly impacted Earth’s biosphere. However, knowledge about how environmental contamination affects the biodiversity of groundwater microbiomes and ecosystem functioning remains very limited. Here, we used a comprehensive functional gene array to analyze groundwater microbiomes from 69 wells at the Oak Ridge Field Research Center (Oak Ridge, TN), representing a wide pH range and uranium, nitrate, and other contaminants. We hypothesized that the functional diversity of groundwater microbiomes would decrease as environmental contamination (e.g., uranium or nitrate) increased or at low or high pH, while some specific populations capable of utilizing or resistant to those contaminants would increase, and thus, such key microbial functional genes and/or populations could be used to predict groundwater contamination and ecosystem functioning. Our results indicated that functional richness/diversity decreased as uranium (but not nitrate) increased in groundwater. In addition, about 5.9% of specific key functional populations targeted by a comprehensive functional gene array (GeoChip 5) increased significantly (P contamination and ecosystem functioning. This study indicates great potential for using microbial functional genes to predict environmental contamination and ecosystem functioning. PMID:29463661

  13. Microbial Functional Gene Diversity Predicts Groundwater Contamination and Ecosystem Functioning

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zhili He

    2018-02-01

    Full Text Available Contamination from anthropogenic activities has significantly impacted Earth’s biosphere. However, knowledge about how environmental contamination affects the biodiversity of groundwater microbiomes and ecosystem functioning remains very limited. Here, we used a comprehensive functional gene array to analyze groundwater microbiomes from 69 wells at the Oak Ridge Field Research Center (Oak Ridge, TN, representing a wide pH range and uranium, nitrate, and other contaminants. We hypothesized that the functional diversity of groundwater microbiomes would decrease as environmental contamination (e.g., uranium or nitrate increased or at low or high pH, while some specific populations capable of utilizing or resistant to those contaminants would increase, and thus, such key microbial functional genes and/or populations could be used to predict groundwater contamination and ecosystem functioning. Our results indicated that functional richness/diversity decreased as uranium (but not nitrate increased in groundwater. In addition, about 5.9% of specific key functional populations targeted by a comprehensive functional gene array (GeoChip 5 increased significantly (P < 0.05 as uranium or nitrate increased, and their changes could be used to successfully predict uranium and nitrate contamination and ecosystem functioning. This study indicates great potential for using microbial functional genes to predict environmental contamination and ecosystem functioning.

  14. Soil Microbial Community Successional Patterns during Forest Ecosystem Restoration ▿†

    OpenAIRE

    Banning, Natasha C.; Gleeson, Deirdre B.; Grigg, Andrew H.; Grant, Carl D.; Andersen, Gary L.; Brodie, Eoin L.; Murphy, D. V.

    2011-01-01

    Soil microbial community characterization is increasingly being used to determine the responses of soils to stress and disturbances and to assess ecosystem sustainability. However, there is little experimental evidence to indicate that predictable patterns in microbial community structure or composition occur during secondary succession or ecosystem restoration. This study utilized a chronosequence of developing jarrah (Eucalyptus marginata) forest ecosystems, rehabilitated after bauxite mini...

  15. Effect of peristalsis in balance of intestinal microbial ecosystem

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mirbagheri, Seyed Amir; Fu, Henry C.

    2017-11-01

    A balance of microbiota density in gastrointestinal tracts is necessary for health of the host. Although peristaltic flow made by intestinal muscles is constantly evacuating the lumen, bacterial density stay balanced. Some of bacteria colonize in the secreted mucus where there is no flow, but the rest resist the peristaltic flow in lumen and maintain their population. Using a coupled two-dimensional model of flow induced by large amplitude peristaltic waves, bacterial motility, reproduction, and diffusion, we address how bacterial growth and motility combined with peristaltic flow affect the balance of the intestinal microbial ecosystem.

  16. Microbial communities, processes and functions in acid mine drainage ecosystems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Lin-xing; Huang, Li-nan; Méndez-García, Celia; Kuang, Jia-liang; Hua, Zheng-shuang; Liu, Jun; Shu, Wen-sheng

    2016-04-01

    Acid mine drainage (AMD) is generated from the oxidative dissolution of metal sulfides when water and oxygen are available largely due to human mining activities. This process can be accelerated by indigenous microorganisms. In the last several decades, culture-dependent researches have uncovered and validated the roles of AMD microorganisms in metal sulfides oxidation and acid generation processes, and culture-independent studies have largely revealed the diversity and metabolic potentials and activities of AMD communities, leading towards a full understanding of the microbial diversity, functions and interactions in AMD ecosystems. This review describes the diversity of microorganisms and their functions in AMD ecosystems, and discusses their biotechnological applications in biomining and AMD bioremediation according to their capabilities. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  17. Soil microbial responses to nitrogen addition in arid ecosystems

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Robert L Sinsabaugh

    2015-08-01

    Full Text Available The N cycle of arid ecosystems is influenced by low soil organic matter, high soil pH and extremes in water potential and temperature that lead to open canopies and development of biological soil crusts (biocrusts. We investigated the effects of N amendment on soil microbial dynamics in a Larrea tridentata-Ambrosia dumosa shrubland site in southern Nevada USA. Sites were fertilized with a NO3-NH4 mix at 0, 7, and 15 kg ha-1 yr-1 from March 2012 to March 2013. In March 2013, biocrust (0-0.5 cm and bulk soils (0-10 cm were collected beneath Ambrosia canopies and in the interspaces between plants. Biomass responses were assessed as bacterial and fungal SSU rRNA gene copy number and chlorophyll a concentration. Metabolic responses were measured by five ecoenzyme activities (EEA and rates of N transformation. By most measures, nutrient availability, microbial biomass and process rates were greater in soils beneath the shrub canopy compared to the interspace between plants, and greater in the surface biocrust horizon compared to the deeper 10 cm soil profile. Most measures responded positively to experimental N addition. Effect sizes were generally greater for bulk soil than biocrust. Results were incorporated into a meta-analysis of arid ecosystem responses to N.

  18. Effect of ecosystems substitutions and CO2 increase of the atmosphere on the microbial ecosystems of forests

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Martin, F.

    2007-01-01

    Biological diversity is often exclusively considered at the level of plants and animals, whereas the bulk of global biodiversity is in fact at the microbial level. Although it is clear that the ecology of our planet is driven by microbial ecosystems, we are severely hampered by our limited understanding of the diversity and function of such microbial ecosystems. In the present project, teams in the disciplines of geochemistry, soil microbiology, genomics and ecosystem processes are assembled to study the relationship between environmental change, land use changes, biodiversity, and functioning of forest ecosystems. The network has a strong focus on developing and applying biochemical and genotyping methodologies to address key scientific issues in soil microbial ecology. These include assessing the impact of environmental- and land use changes on microbial diversity and function and exploring the evolutionary and mechanistic links between biological diversity and ecosystem function. In the present study, we have shown that: (1) The native mixed forest showed the highest microbial diversity (2) The mono specific plantations of tree species (e.g., oak, beech, pine, spruce) strikingly alter genetic and functional diversities of soil bacterial and fungal species. (3) Bacterial denitrification rates were dramatically modified by the planted species. Only by taking into account the impact of forest management on below-ground microbial diversity can one hope to get a full ecosystem-based understanding, and this must be addressed via modelling in order to provide relevant and useful information for conservation and policy making. (author)

  19. Does microbial biomass affect pelagic ecosystem efficiency? An experimental study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wehr, J D; Le, J; Campbell, L

    1994-01-01

    Bacteria and other microorganisms in the pelagic zone participate in the recycling of organic matter and nutrients within the water column. The microbial loop is thought to enhance ecosystem efficiency through rapid recycling and reduced sinking rates, thus reducing the loss of nutrients contained in organisms remaining within the photic zone. We conducted experiments with lake communities in 5400-liter mesocosms, and measured the flux of materials and nutrients out of the water column. A factorial design manipulated 8 nutrient treatments: 4 phosphorus levels × 2 nitrogen levels. Total sedimentation rates were greatest in high-N mesocosms; within N-surplus communities, [Symbol: see text]1 µM P resulted in 50% increase in total particulate losses. P additions without added N had small effects on nutrient losses from the photic zone; +2 µM P tanks received 334 mg P per tank, yet after 14 days lost only 69 mg more particulate-P than did control communities. Nutrient treatments resulted in marked differences in phytoplankton biomass (twofold N effect, fivefold P effect in +N mesocosms only), bacterioplankton densities (twofold N-effect, twofold P effects in -N and +N mesocosms), and the relative importance of autotrophic picoplankton (maximum in high NY mesocosms). Multiple regression analysis found that of 8 plankton and water chemistry variables, the ratio of autotrophic picoplankton to total phytoplankton (measured as chlorophyll α) explained the largest portion of the total variation in sedimentation loss rates (65% of P-flux, 57% of N-flux, 26% of total flux). In each case, systems with greater relative importance of autotrophic picoplankton had significantly reduced loss rates. In contrast, greater numbers of planktonic bacteria were associated with increased sedimentation rates and lower system efficiency. We suggest that different microbial components may have contrasting effects on the presumed enhanced efficiency provided by the microbial loop.

  20. Insights into the Processing of Carbon by Early Microbial Ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    DesMarais, D.; Bebout, B.; Carpenter, S.; Discipulo, S.; Londry, K.; Habicht, K.; Turk, K.

    2003-01-01

    Interactions between Earth and the biosphere that were crucial for early biological evolution also influenced substantially the processes that circulate C between its reservoirs in the atmosphere, ocean, crust and mantle. The C-13 C-12 values of crustal carbonates and organics have recorded changes both in biological discrimination and in the relative rates of burial of organics and carbonates. A full interpretation of these patterns needs further isotopic studies of microbial ecosystems and individual anaerobes. Thus we measured carbon isotope discrimination during autotrophic and heterotrophic growth of pure cultures of sulfate-reducing bacteria and archaea (SRB and SRA). Discrimination during CO2 assimilation is significantly larger than during heterotrophic growth on lactate or acetate. SRB grown lithoautotrophically consumed less than 3% of available CO2 and exhibited substantial discrimination, as follows: Desulfobacterium autotrophicum (alpha 1.0100 to 1.0123), Desulfobacter hydrogenophilus (alpha = 0.0138), and Desulfotomuculum acetoxidans (alpha = 1.0310). Mixotrophic growth of Desulfovibrio desulfuricans on acetate and CO2 resulted in biomass with delta C-13 composition intermediate to that of the substrates. We have recently extended these experiments to include the thermophilic SRA Archeoglobus spp. Ecological forces also influence isotopic discrimination. Accordingly, we quantified the flow of C and other constituents in modern marine cyanobacterial mats, whose ancestry extends back billions of years. Such ecosystem processes shaped the biosignatures that entered sediments and atmospheres. At Guerrero Negro, BCS, Mexico, we examined mats dominated by Microcoleus (subtidal) and Lyngbya (intertidal to supratidal) cyanobacteria. During 24 hour cycles, we observed the exchange of O2 and dissolved inorganic C (DIC) between mats and the overlying water. Microcoleus mats assimilated near-equal amounts of DIC during the day as they released at night, but

  1. An open source platform for multi-scale spatially distributed simulations of microbial ecosystems

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Segre, Daniel [Boston Univ., MA (United States)

    2014-08-14

    The goal of this project was to develop a tool for facilitating simulation, validation and discovery of multiscale dynamical processes in microbial ecosystems. This led to the development of an open-source software platform for Computation Of Microbial Ecosystems in Time and Space (COMETS). COMETS performs spatially distributed time-dependent flux balance based simulations of microbial metabolism. Our plan involved building the software platform itself, calibrating and testing it through comparison with experimental data, and integrating simulations and experiments to address important open questions on the evolution and dynamics of cross-feeding interactions between microbial species.

  2. Environmental regulation in a network of simulated microbial ecosystems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Williams, Hywel T P; Lenton, Timothy M

    2008-07-29

    The Earth possesses a number of regulatory feedback mechanisms involving life. In the absence of a population of competing biospheres, it has proved hard to find a robust evolutionary mechanism that would generate environmental regulation. It has been suggested that regulation must require altruistic environmental alterations by organisms and, therefore, would be evolutionarily unstable. This need not be the case if organisms alter the environment as a selectively neutral by-product of their metabolism, as in the majority of biogeochemical reactions, but a question then arises: Why should the combined by-product effects of the biota have a stabilizing, rather than destabilizing, influence on the environment? Under certain conditions, selection acting above the level of the individual can be an effective adaptive force. Here we present an evolutionary simulation model in which environmental regulation involving higher-level selection robustly emerges in a network of interconnected microbial ecosystems. Spatial structure creates conditions for a limited form of higher-level selection to act on the collective environment-altering properties of local communities. Local communities that improve their environmental conditions achieve larger populations and are better colonizers of available space, whereas local communities that degrade their environment shrink and become susceptible to invasion. The spread of environment-improving communities alters the global environment toward the optimal conditions for growth and tends to regulate against external perturbations. This work suggests a mechanism for environmental regulation that is consistent with evolutionary theory.

  3. Shifts of microbial communities of wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) cultivation in a closed artificial ecosystem.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Qin, Youcai; Fu, Yuming; Dong, Chen; Jia, Nannan; Liu, Hong

    2016-05-01

    The microbial communities of plant ecosystems are in relation to plant growing environment, but the alteration in biodiversity of rhizosphere and phyllosphere microbial communities in closed and controlled environments is unknown. The purpose of this study is to analyze the change regularity of microbial communities with wheat plants dependent-cultivated in a closed artificial ecosystem. The microbial community structures in closed-environment treatment plants were investigated by a culture-dependent approach, polymerase chain reaction-denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (PCR-DGGE), and Illumina Miseq high-throughput sequencing. The results indicated that the number of microbes decreased along with time, and the magnitude of bacteria, fungi, and actinomycetes were 10(7)-10(8), 10(5), and 10(3)-10(4) CFU/g (dry weight), respectively. The analysis of PCR-DGGE and Illumina Miseq revealed that the wheat leaf surface and near-root substrate had different microbial communities at different periods of wheat ecosystem development and showed that the relative highest diversity of microbial communities appeared at late and middle periods of the plant ecosystem, respectively. The results also indicated that the wheat leaf and substrate had different microbial community compositions, and the wheat substrate had higher richness of microbial community than the leaf. Flavobacterium, Pseudomonas, Paenibacillus, Enterobacter, Penicillium, Rhodotorula, Acremonium, and Alternaria were dominant in the wheat leaf samples, and Pedobacter, Flavobacterium, Halomonas, Marinobacter, Salinimicrobium, Lysobacter, Pseudomonas, Halobacillus, Xanthomonas, Acremonium, Monographella, and Penicillium were dominant populations in the wheat near-root substrate samples.

  4. Comparison of seasonal soil microbial process in snow-covered temperate ecosystems of northern China.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xinyue Zhang

    Full Text Available More than half of the earth's terrestrial surface currently experiences seasonal snow cover and soil frost. Winter compositional and functional investigations in soil microbial community are frequently conducted in alpine tundra and boreal forest ecosystems. However, little information on winter microbial biogeochemistry is known from seasonally snow-covered temperate ecosystems. As decomposer microbes may differ in their ability/strategy to efficiently use soil organic carbon (SOC within different phases of the year, understanding seasonal microbial process will increase our knowledge of biogeochemical cycling from the aspect of decomposition rates and corresponding nutrient dynamics. In this study, we measured soil microbial biomass, community composition and potential SOC mineralization rates in winter and summer, from six temperate ecosystems in northern China. Our results showed a clear pattern of increased microbial biomass C to nitrogen (N ratio in most winter soils. Concurrently, a shift in soil microbial community composition occurred with higher fungal to bacterial biomass ratio and gram negative (G- to gram positive (G+ bacterial biomass ratio in winter than in summer. Furthermore, potential SOC mineralization rate was higher in winter than in summer. Our study demonstrated a distinct transition of microbial community structure and function from winter to summer in temperate snow-covered ecosystems. Microbial N immobilization in winter may not be the major contributor for plant growth in the following spring.

  5. Allee effect: the story behind the stabilization or extinction of microbial ecosystem.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goswami, Madhurankhi; Bhattacharyya, Purnita; Tribedi, Prosun

    2017-03-01

    A population exhibiting Allee effect shows a positive correlation between population fitness and population size or density. Allee effect decides the extinction or conservation of a microbial population and thus appears to be an important criterion in population ecology. The underlying factor of Allee effect that decides the stabilization and extinction of a particular population density is the threshold or the critical density of their abundance. According to Allee, microbial populations exhibit a definite, critical or threshold density, beyond which the population fitness of a particular population increases with the rise in population density and below it, the population fitness goes down with the decrease in population density. In particular, microbial population displays advantageous traits such as biofilm formation, expression of virulence genes, spore formation and many more only at a high population density. It has also been observed that microorganisms exhibiting a lower population density undergo complete extinction from the residual microbial ecosystem. In reference to Allee effect, decrease in population density or size introduces deleterious mutations among the population density through genetic drift. Mutations are carried forward to successive generations resulting in its accumulation among the population density thus reducing its microbial fitness and thereby increasing the risk of extinction of a particular microbial population. However, when the microbial load is high, the chance of genetic drift is less, and through the process of biofilm formation, the cooperation existing among the microbial population increases that increases the microbial fitness. Thus, the high microbial population through the formation of microbial biofilm stabilizes the ecosystem by increasing fitness. Taken together, microbial fitness shows positive correlation with the ecosystem conservation and negative correlation with ecosystem extinction.

  6. Stimulation of microbial nitrogen cycling in aquatic ecosystems by benthic macrofauna: mechanisms and environmental implications

    OpenAIRE

    P. Stief

    2013-01-01

    Invertebrate animals that live at the bottom of aquatic ecosystems (i.e., benthic macrofauna) are important mediators between nutrients in the water column and microbes in the benthos. The presence of benthic macrofauna stimulates microbial nutrient dynamics through different types of animal–microbe interactions, which potentially affect the trophic status of aquatic ecosystems. This review contrasts three types of animal–microbe interactions in the benthos of aquatic ecosystems: (i) e...

  7. Microbial ecology of fermentative hydrogen producing bioprocesses: useful insights for driving the ecosystem function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cabrol, Lea; Marone, Antonella; Tapia-Venegas, Estela; Steyer, Jean-Philippe; Ruiz-Filippi, Gonzalo; Trably, Eric

    2017-03-01

    One of the most important biotechnological challenges is to develop environment friendly technologies to produce new sources of energy. Microbial production of biohydrogen through dark fermentation, by conversion of residual biomass, is an attractive solution for short-term development of bioH2 producing processes. Efficient biohydrogen production relies on complex mixed communities working in tight interaction. Species composition and functional traits are of crucial importance to maintain the ecosystem service. The analysis of microbial community revealed a wide phylogenetic diversity that contributes in different-and still mostly unclear-ways to hydrogen production. Bridging this gap of knowledge between microbial ecology features and ecosystem functionality is essential to optimize the bioprocess and develop strategies toward a maximization of the efficiency and stability of substrate conversion. The aim of this review is to provide a comprehensive overview of the most up-to-date biodata available and discuss the main microbial community features of biohydrogen engineered ecosystems, with a special emphasis on the crucial role of interactions and the relationships between species composition and ecosystem service. The elucidation of intricate relationships between community structure and ecosystem function would make possible to drive ecosystems toward an improved functionality on the basis of microbial ecology principles. © FEMS 2017. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  8. Soil Microbial Community Successional Patterns during Forest Ecosystem Restoration ▿†

    Science.gov (United States)

    Banning, Natasha C.; Gleeson, Deirdre B.; Grigg, Andrew H.; Grant, Carl D.; Andersen, Gary L.; Brodie, Eoin L.; Murphy, D. V.

    2011-01-01

    Soil microbial community characterization is increasingly being used to determine the responses of soils to stress and disturbances and to assess ecosystem sustainability. However, there is little experimental evidence to indicate that predictable patterns in microbial community structure or composition occur during secondary succession or ecosystem restoration. This study utilized a chronosequence of developing jarrah (Eucalyptus marginata) forest ecosystems, rehabilitated after bauxite mining (up to 18 years old), to examine changes in soil bacterial and fungal community structures (by automated ribosomal intergenic spacer analysis [ARISA]) and changes in specific soil bacterial phyla by 16S rRNA gene microarray analysis. This study demonstrated that mining in these ecosystems significantly altered soil bacterial and fungal community structures. The hypothesis that the soil microbial community structures would become more similar to those of the surrounding nonmined forest with rehabilitation age was broadly supported by shifts in the bacterial but not the fungal community. Microarray analysis enabled the identification of clear successional trends in the bacterial community at the phylum level and supported the finding of an increase in similarity to nonmined forest soil with rehabilitation age. Changes in soil microbial community structure were significantly related to the size of the microbial biomass as well as numerous edaphic variables (including pH and C, N, and P nutrient concentrations). These findings suggest that soil bacterial community dynamics follow a pattern in developing ecosystems that may be predictable and can be conceptualized as providing an integrated assessment of numerous edaphic variables. PMID:21724890

  9. A multi-objective constraint-based approach for modeling genome-scale microbial ecosystems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Budinich, Marko; Bourdon, Jérémie; Larhlimi, Abdelhalim; Eveillard, Damien

    2017-01-01

    Interplay within microbial communities impacts ecosystems on several scales, and elucidation of the consequent effects is a difficult task in ecology. In particular, the integration of genome-scale data within quantitative models of microbial ecosystems remains elusive. This study advocates the use of constraint-based modeling to build predictive models from recent high-resolution -omics datasets. Following recent studies that have demonstrated the accuracy of constraint-based models (CBMs) for simulating single-strain metabolic networks, we sought to study microbial ecosystems as a combination of single-strain metabolic networks that exchange nutrients. This study presents two multi-objective extensions of CBMs for modeling communities: multi-objective flux balance analysis (MO-FBA) and multi-objective flux variability analysis (MO-FVA). Both methods were applied to a hot spring mat model ecosystem. As a result, multiple trade-offs between nutrients and growth rates, as well as thermodynamically favorable relative abundances at community level, were emphasized. We expect this approach to be used for integrating genomic information in microbial ecosystems. Following models will provide insights about behaviors (including diversity) that take place at the ecosystem scale.

  10. A multi-objective constraint-based approach for modeling genome-scale microbial ecosystems.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marko Budinich

    Full Text Available Interplay within microbial communities impacts ecosystems on several scales, and elucidation of the consequent effects is a difficult task in ecology. In particular, the integration of genome-scale data within quantitative models of microbial ecosystems remains elusive. This study advocates the use of constraint-based modeling to build predictive models from recent high-resolution -omics datasets. Following recent studies that have demonstrated the accuracy of constraint-based models (CBMs for simulating single-strain metabolic networks, we sought to study microbial ecosystems as a combination of single-strain metabolic networks that exchange nutrients. This study presents two multi-objective extensions of CBMs for modeling communities: multi-objective flux balance analysis (MO-FBA and multi-objective flux variability analysis (MO-FVA. Both methods were applied to a hot spring mat model ecosystem. As a result, multiple trade-offs between nutrients and growth rates, as well as thermodynamically favorable relative abundances at community level, were emphasized. We expect this approach to be used for integrating genomic information in microbial ecosystems. Following models will provide insights about behaviors (including diversity that take place at the ecosystem scale.

  11. Linking microbial and ecosystem ecology using ecological stoichiometry: a synthesis of conceptual and empirical approaches

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hall, E.K.; Maixner, F.; Franklin, O.; Daims, H.; Richter, A.; Battin, T.

    2011-01-01

    Currently, one of the biggest challenges in microbial and ecosystem ecology is to develop conceptual models that organize the growing body of information on environmental microbiology into a clear mechanistic framework with a direct link to ecosystem processes. Doing so will enable development of testable hypotheses to better direct future research and increase understanding of key constraints on biogeochemical networks. Although the understanding of phenotypic and genotypic diversity of microorganisms in the environment is rapidly accumulating, how controls on microbial physiology ultimately affect biogeochemical fluxes remains poorly understood. We propose that insight into constraints on biogeochemical cycles can be achieved by a more rigorous evaluation of microbial community biomass composition within the context of ecological stoichiometry. Multiple recent studies have pointed to microbial biomass stoichiometry as an important determinant of when microorganisms retain or recycle mineral nutrients. We identify the relevant cellular components that most likely drive changes in microbial biomass stoichiometry by defining a conceptual model rooted in ecological stoichiometry. More importantly, we show how X-ray microanalysis (XRMA), nanoscale secondary ion mass spectroscopy (NanoSIMS), Raman microspectroscopy, and in situ hybridization techniques (for example, FISH) can be applied in concert to allow for direct empirical evaluation of the proposed conceptual framework. This approach links an important piece of the ecological literature, ecological stoichiometry, with the molecular front of the microbial revolution, in an attempt to provide new insight into how microbial physiology could constrain ecosystem processes.

  12. Mapping microbial ecosystems and spoilage-gene flow in breweries highlights patterns of contamination and resistance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bokulich, Nicholas A; Bergsveinson, Jordyn; Ziola, Barry; Mills, David A

    2015-03-10

    Distinct microbial ecosystems have evolved to meet the challenges of indoor environments, shaping the microbial communities that interact most with modern human activities. Microbial transmission in food-processing facilities has an enormous impact on the qualities and healthfulness of foods, beneficially or detrimentally interacting with food products. To explore modes of microbial transmission and spoilage-gene frequency in a commercial food-production scenario, we profiled hop-resistance gene frequencies and bacterial and fungal communities in a brewery. We employed a Bayesian approach for predicting routes of contamination, revealing critical control points for microbial management. Physically mapping microbial populations over time illustrates patterns of dispersal and identifies potential contaminant reservoirs within this environment. Habitual exposure to beer is associated with increased abundance of spoilage genes, predicting greater contamination risk. Elucidating the genetic landscapes of indoor environments poses important practical implications for food-production systems and these concepts are translatable to other built environments.

  13. Microbial diversity in sediment ecosystems (evaporites domes, microbial mats and crusts of hypersaline Laguna Tebenquiche, Salar de Atacama, Chile

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ana Beatriz Fernandez

    2016-08-01

    Full Text Available We combined nucleic acid-based molecular methods, biogeochemical measurements and physicochemical characteristics to investigate microbial sedimentary ecosystems of Laguna Tebenquiche, Atacama Desert, Chile. Molecular diversity and biogeochemistry of hypersaline microbial mats, rhizome-associated concretions and an endoevaporite were compared with: The V4 hypervariable region of the 16S rRNA gene was amplified by pyrosequencing to analyze the total microbial diversity (i.e., bacteria and archaea in bulk samples and, in addition, in detail on a millimeter scale in one microbial mat and in one evaporite. Archaea were more abundant than bacteria. Euryarchaeota was one of the most abundant phyla in all samples, and particularly dominant (97% of total diversity in the most lithified ecosystem, the evaporite. Most of the euryarchaeal OTUs could be assigned to the class Halobacteria or anaerobic and methanogenic archaea. Planctomycetes potentially also play a key role in mats and rhizome-associated concretions, notably the aerobic organoheterotroph members of the class Phycisphaerae. In addition to cyanobacteria, members of Chromatiales and possibly the candidate family Chlorotrichaceae contributed to photosynthetic carbon fixation. Other abundant uncultured taxa such as the candidate division MSBL1, the uncultured MBGB and the phylum Acetothermia potentially play an important metabolic role in these ecosystems. Lithifying microbial mats contained calcium carbonate precipitates, whereas endoevoporites consisted of gypsum and halite. Biogeochemical measurements revealed that based on depth profiles of O2 and sulfide, metabolic activities were much higher in the non-lithifying mat (peaking in the least lithified systems than in lithifying mats with the lowest activity in endoevaporites. This trend in decreasing microbial activity reflects the increase in salinity, which may play an important role in the biodiversity.

  14. Diversity and Function of Microbial Community in Chinese Strong-Flavor Baijiu Ecosystem: A Review

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    Wei Zou

    2018-04-01

    Full Text Available Strong flavor baijiu (SFB, also called Luzhou-flavor liquor, is the most popular Chinese baijiu. It is manufactured via solid fermentation, with daqu as the starter. Microbial diversity of the SFB ecosystem and the synergistic effects of the enzymes and compounds produced by them are responsible for the special flavor and mouthfeel of SFB. The present review covers research studies focused on microbial community analysis of the SFB ecosystem, including the culturable microorganisms, their metabolic functions, microbial community diversity and their interactions. The review specifically emphasizes on the most recently conducted culture-independent analysis of SFB microbial community diversity. Furthermore, the possible application of systems biology approaches for elucidating the molecular mechanisms of SFB production were also reviewed and prospected.

  15. Microbial ecology and nematode control in natural ecosystems

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Costa, S.R.; Van der Putten, W.H.; Kerry, B.R.

    2011-01-01

    Plant-parasitic nematodes have traditionally been studied in agricultural systems, where they can be pests of importance on a wide range of crops. Nevertheless, nematode ecology in natural ecosystems is receiving increasing interest because of the role of nematodes in soil food webs, nutrient

  16. Linking Soil Microbial Ecology to Ecosystem Functioning in Integrated Crop-Livestock Systems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Enhanced soil stability, nutrient cycling and C sequestration potential are important ecosystem functions driven by soil microbial processes and are directly influenced by agricultural management. Integrated crop-livestock agroecosystems (ICL) can enhance these functions via high-residue returning c...

  17. Microbial Community Activity And Plant Biomass Are Insensitive To Passive Warming In A Semiarid Ecosystem

    Science.gov (United States)

    Espinosa, N. J.; Fehmi, J. S.; Rasmussen, C.; Gallery, R. E.

    2017-12-01

    Soil microorganisms drive biogeochemical and nutrient cycling through the production of extracellular enzymes that facilitate organic matter decomposition and the flux of large amounts of carbon dioxide to the atmosphere. Although dryland ecosystems occupy over 40% of land cover and are projected to expand due to climate change, much of our current understanding of these processes comes from mesic temperate ecosystems. Understanding the responses of these globally predominant dryland ecosystems is therefore important yet complicated by co-occurring environmental changes. For example, the widespread and pervasive transition from grass to woody dominated landscapes is changing the hydrology, fire regimes, and carbon storage potential of semiarid ecosystems. In this study, we used a novel passive method of warming to conduct a warming experiment with added plant debris as either woodchip or biochar, to simulate different long-term carbon additions that accompany woody plant encroachment in semiarid ecosystems. The response of heterotrophic respiration, plant biomass, and microbial activity was monitored bi-annually. We hypothesized that the temperature manipulations would have direct and indirect effects on microbial activity. Warmer soils directly reduce the activity of soil extracellular enzymes through denaturation and dehydration of soil pores and indirectly through reducing microbe-available substrates and plant inputs. Overall, reduction in extracellular enzyme activity may reduce decomposition of coarse woody debris and potentially enhance soil carbon storage in semiarid ecosystems. For all seven hydrolytic enzymes examined as well as heterotrophic respiration, there was no consistent or significant response to experimental warming, regardless of seasonal climatic and soil moisture variation. The enzyme results observed here are consistent with the few other experimental results for warming in semiarid ecosystems and indicate that the controls over soil

  18. Plant, microbial and ecosystem carbon use efficiencies interact to stabilize microbial growth as a fraction of gross primary production.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sinsabaugh, Robert L; Moorhead, Daryl L; Xu, Xiaofeng; Litvak, Marcy E

    2017-06-01

    The carbon use efficiency of plants (CUE a ) and microorganisms (CUE h ) determines rates of biomass turnover and soil carbon sequestration. We evaluated the hypothesis that CUE a and CUE h counterbalance at a large scale, stabilizing microbial growth (μ) as a fraction of gross primary production (GPP). Collating data from published studies, we correlated annual CUE a , estimated from satellite imagery, with locally determined soil CUE h for 100 globally distributed sites. Ecosystem CUE e , the ratio of net ecosystem production (NEP) to GPP, was estimated for each site using published models. At the ecosystem scale, CUE a and CUE h were inversely related. At the global scale, the apparent temperature sensitivity of CUE h with respect to mean annual temperature (MAT) was similar for organic and mineral soils (0.029°C -1 ). CUE a and CUE e were inversely related to MAT, with apparent sensitivities of -0.009 and -0.032°C -1 , respectively. These trends constrain the ratio μ : GPP (= (CUE a  × CUE h )/(1 - CUE e )) with respect to MAT by counterbalancing the apparent temperature sensitivities of the component processes. At the ecosystem scale, the counterbalance is effected by modulating soil organic matter stocks. The results suggest that a μ : GPP value of c. 0.13 is a homeostatic steady state for ecosystem carbon fluxes at a large scale. © 2017 The Authors. New Phytologist © 2017 New Phytologist Trust.

  19. Microbial community dynamics and transformation of vascular plant detritus in two wetland ecosystems

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Moran, M.A.

    1987-01-01

    The microbial ecology of two wetland ecosystems in southeastern Georgia, USA, was studied with respect to microbial community dynamics and microbially-mediated transformations of vascular plant detritus. In the Okefenokee Swamp, biomass of microorganisms in the water column and sediments was generally lower in winter months and higher during spring and summer. Biomass and activity (measured as 14 C-lignocellulose mineralization) differed significantly among five habitats within the Okefenokee, and also among locations within each habitat. Significant heterogeneity in the structure of Okefenokee microbial communities was found at scales from 30 cm to 150 m. In field and laboratory studies of vascular plant decomposition in the Okefenokee and a salt marsh on Sapelo Island, the mathematical model which best describes decomposition kinetics is the decaying coefficient model

  20. From cultured to uncultured genome sequences: metagenomics and modeling microbial ecosystems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Garza, Daniel R; Dutilh, Bas E

    2015-11-01

    Microorganisms and the viruses that infect them are the most numerous biological entities on Earth and enclose its greatest biodiversity and genetic reservoir. With strength in their numbers, these microscopic organisms are major players in the cycles of energy and matter that sustain all life. Scientists have only scratched the surface of this vast microbial world through culture-dependent methods. Recent developments in generating metagenomes, large random samples of nucleic acid sequences isolated directly from the environment, are providing comprehensive portraits of the composition, structure, and functioning of microbial communities. Moreover, advances in metagenomic analysis have created the possibility of obtaining complete or nearly complete genome sequences from uncultured microorganisms, providing important means to study their biology, ecology, and evolution. Here we review some of the recent developments in the field of metagenomics, focusing on the discovery of genetic novelty and on methods for obtaining uncultured genome sequences, including through the recycling of previously published datasets. Moreover we discuss how metagenomics has become a core scientific tool to characterize eco-evolutionary patterns of microbial ecosystems, thus allowing us to simultaneously discover new microbes and study their natural communities. We conclude by discussing general guidelines and challenges for modeling the interactions between uncultured microorganisms and viruses based on the information contained in their genome sequences. These models will significantly advance our understanding of the functioning of microbial ecosystems and the roles of microbes in the environment.

  1. Dynamics of microbial communities during decomposition of litter from pioneering plants in initial soil ecosystems

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J. Esperschütz

    2013-07-01

    Full Text Available In initial ecosystems, concentrations of all macro- and micronutrients can be considered as extremely low. Plant litter therefore strongly influences the development of a degrader's food web and is an important source for C and N input into soil in such ecosystems. In the present study, a 13C litter decomposition field experiment was performed for 30 weeks in initial soils from a post-mining area near the city of Cottbus (Germany. Two of this region's dominant but contrasting pioneering plant species (Lotus corniculatus L. and Calamagrostis epigejos L. were chosen to investigate the effects of litter quality on the litter decomposing microbial food web in initially nutrient-poor substrates. The results clearly indicate the importance of litter quality, as indicated by its N content, its bioavailability for the degradation process and the development of microbial communities in the detritusphere and soil. The degradation of the L. corniculatus litter, which had a low C / N ratio, was fast and showed pronounced changes in the microbial community structure 1–4 weeks after litter addition. The degradation of the C. epigejos litter material was slow and microbial community changes mainly occurred between 4 and 30 weeks after litter addition to the soil. However, for both litter materials a clear indication of the importance of fungi for the degradation process was observed both in terms of fungal abundance and activity (13C incorporation activity

  2. Stimulation of microbial nitrogen cycling in aquatic ecosystems by benthic macrofauna: mechanisms and environmental implications

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stief, P.

    2013-12-01

    Invertebrate animals that live at the bottom of aquatic ecosystems (i.e., benthic macrofauna) are important mediators between nutrients in the water column and microbes in the benthos. The presence of benthic macrofauna stimulates microbial nutrient dynamics through different types of animal-microbe interactions, which potentially affect the trophic status of aquatic ecosystems. This review contrasts three types of animal-microbe interactions in the benthos of aquatic ecosystems: (i) ecosystem engineering, (ii) grazing, and (iii) symbiosis. Their specific contributions to the turnover of fixed nitrogen (mainly nitrate and ammonium) and the emission of the greenhouse gas nitrous oxide are evaluated. Published data indicate that ecosystem engineering by sediment-burrowing macrofauna stimulates benthic nitrification and denitrification, which together allows fixed nitrogen removal. However, the release of ammonium from sediments is enhanced more strongly than the sedimentary uptake of nitrate. Ecosystem engineering by reef-building macrofauna increases nitrogen retention and ammonium concentrations in shallow aquatic ecosystems, but allows organic nitrogen removal through harvesting. Grazing by macrofauna on benthic microbes apparently has small or neutral effects on nitrogen cycling. Animal-microbe symbioses provide abundant and distinct benthic compartments for a multitude of nitrogen-cycle pathways. Recent studies reveal that ecosystem engineering, grazing, and symbioses of benthic macrofauna significantly enhance nitrous oxide emission from shallow aquatic ecosystems. The beneficial effect of benthic macrofauna on fixed nitrogen removal through coupled nitrification-denitrification can thus be offset by the concurrent release of (i) ammonium that stimulates aquatic primary production and (ii) nitrous oxide that contributes to global warming. Overall, benthic macrofauna intensifies the coupling between benthos, pelagial, and atmosphere through enhanced turnover and

  3. Hadal biosphere: insight into the microbial ecosystem in the deepest ocean on Earth.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nunoura, Takuro; Takaki, Yoshihiro; Hirai, Miho; Shimamura, Shigeru; Makabe, Akiko; Koide, Osamu; Kikuchi, Tohru; Miyazaki, Junichi; Koba, Keisuke; Yoshida, Naohiro; Sunamura, Michinari; Takai, Ken

    2015-03-17

    Hadal oceans at water depths below 6,000 m are the least-explored aquatic biosphere. The Challenger Deep, located in the western equatorial Pacific, with a water depth of ∼11 km, is the deepest ocean on Earth. Microbial communities associated with waters from the sea surface to the trench bottom (0∼10,257 m) in the Challenger Deep were analyzed, and unprecedented trench microbial communities were identified in the hadal waters (6,000∼10,257 m) that were distinct from the abyssal microbial communities. The potentially chemolithotrophic populations were less abundant in the hadal water than those in the upper abyssal waters. The emerging members of chemolithotrophic nitrifiers in the hadal water that likely adapt to the higher flux of electron donors were also different from those in the abyssal waters that adapt to the lower flux of electron donors. Species-level niche separation in most of the dominant taxa was also found between the hadal and abyssal microbial communities. Considering the geomorphology and the isolated hydrotopographical nature of the Mariana Trench, we hypothesized that the distinct hadal microbial ecosystem was driven by the endogenous recycling of organic matter in the hadal waters associated with the trench geomorphology.

  4. Microbial communities in dark oligotrophic volcanic ice cave ecosystems of Mt. Erebus, Antarctica

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    Bradley M. Tebo

    2015-03-01

    Full Text Available The Earth’s crust hosts a subsurface, dark, and oligotrophic biosphere that is poorly understood in terms of the energy supporting its biomass production and impact on food webs at the Earth’s surface. Dark oligotrophic volcanic ecosystems (DOVEs are good environments for investigations of life in the absence of sunlight as they are poor in organics, rich in chemical reactants and well known for chemical exchange with Earth’s surface systems. Ice caves near the summit of Mt. Erebus (Antarctica offer DOVEs in a polar alpine environment that is starved in organics and with oxygenated hydrothermal circulation in highly reducing host rock. We surveyed the microbial communities using PCR, cloning, sequencing and analysis of the small subunit (16S ribosomal and Ribulose-1,5-bisphosphate Carboxylase/Oxygenase (RubisCO genes in sediment samples from three different caves, two that are completely dark and one that receives snow-filtered sunlight seasonally. The microbial communities in all three caves are composed primarily of Bacteria and fungi; Archaea were not detected. The bacterial communities from these ice caves display low phylogenetic diversity, but with a remarkable diversity of RubisCO genes including new deeply branching Form I clades, implicating the Calvin-Benson-Bassham cycle as a pathway of CO2 fixation. The microbial communities in one of the dark caves, Warren Cave, which has a remarkably low phylogenetic diversity, were analyzed in more detail to gain a possible perspective on the energetic basis of the microbial ecosystem in the cave. Atmospheric carbon (CO2 and CO, including from volcanic emissions, likely supplies carbon and/or some of the energy requirements of chemoautotrophic microbial communities in Warren Cave and probably other Mt. Erebus ice caves. Our work casts a first glimpse at Mt. Erebus ice caves as natural laboratories for exploring carbon, energy and nutrient sources in the subsurface biosphere and the

  5. Burning fire-prone Mediterranean shrublands: immediate changes in soil microbial community structure and ecosystem functions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goberna, M; García, C; Insam, H; Hernández, M T; Verdú, M

    2012-07-01

    Wildfires subject soil microbes to extreme temperatures and modify their physical and chemical habitat. This might immediately alter their community structure and ecosystem functions. We burned a fire-prone shrubland under controlled conditions to investigate (1) the fire-induced changes in the community structure of soil archaea, bacteria and fungi by analysing 16S or 18S rRNA gene amplicons separated through denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis; (2) the physical and chemical variables determining the immediate shifts in the microbial community structure; and (3) the microbial drivers of the change in ecosystem functions related to biogeochemical cycling. Prokaryotes and eukaryotes were structured by the local environment in pre-fire soils. Fire caused a significant shift in the microbial community structure, biomass C, respiration and soil hydrolases. One-day changes in bacterial and fungal community structure correlated to the rise in total organic C and NO(3)(-)-N caused by the combustion of plant residues. In the following week, bacterial communities shifted further forced by desiccation and increasing concentrations of macronutrients. Shifts in archaeal community structure were unrelated to any of the 18 environmental variables measured. Fire-induced changes in the community structure of bacteria, rather than archaea or fungi, were correlated to the enhanced microbial biomass, CO(2) production and hydrolysis of C and P organics. This is the first report on the combined effects of fire on the three biological domains in soils. We concluded that immediately after fire the biogeochemical cycling in Mediterranean shrublands becomes less conservative through the increased microbial biomass, activity and changes in the bacterial community structure.

  6. Mammalian engineers drive soil microbial communities and ecosystem functions across a disturbance gradient.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eldridge, David J; Delgado-Baquerizo, Manuel; Woodhouse, Jason N; Neilan, Brett A

    2016-11-01

    The effects of mammalian ecosystem engineers on soil microbial communities and ecosystem functions in terrestrial ecosystems are poorly known. Disturbance from livestock has been widely reported to reduce soil function, but disturbance by animals that forage in the soil may partially offset these negative effects of livestock, directly and/or indirectly by shifting the composition and diversity of soil microbial communities. Understanding the role of disturbance from livestock and ecosystem engineers in driving soil microbes and functions is essential for formulating sustainable ecosystem management and conservation policies. We compared soil bacterial community composition and enzyme concentrations within four microsites: foraging pits of two vertebrates, the indigenous short-beaked echidna (Tachyglossus aculeatus) and the exotic European rabbit (Oryctolagus cuniculus), and surface and subsurface soils along a gradient in grazing-induced disturbance in an arid woodland. Microbial community composition varied little across the disturbance gradient, but there were substantial differences among the four microsites. Echidna pits supported a lower relative abundance of Acidobacteria and Cyanobacteria, but a higher relative abundance of Proteobacteria than rabbit pits and surface microsites. Moreover, these microsite differences varied with disturbance. Rabbit pits had a similar profile to the subsoil or the surface soils under moderate and high, but not low disturbance. Overall, echidna foraging pits had the greatest positive effect on function, assessed as mean enzyme concentrations, but rabbits had the least. The positive effects of echidna foraging on function were indirectly driven via microbial community composition. In particular, increasing activity was positively associated with increasing relative abundance of Proteobacteria, but decreasing Acidobacteria. Our study suggests that soil disturbance by animals may offset, to some degree, the oft-reported negative

  7. Soil microbial metabolic quotient (qCO2) of twelve ecosystems of Mt. Kilimanjaro

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pabst, Holger; Gerschlauer, Friederike; Kiese, Ralf; Kuzyakov, Yakov

    2014-05-01

    Soil organic carbon, microbial biomass carbon (MBC) and the metabolic quotient qCO2 - as sensitive and important parameters for soil fertility and C turnover - are strongly affected by land-use changes all over the world. These effects are particularly distinct upon conversion of natural to agricultural ecosystems due to very fast carbon (C) and nutrient cycles and high vulnerability, especially in the tropics. In this study, we used an elevational gradient on Mt. Kilimanjaro to investigate the effects of land-use change and elevation on Corg, MBC and qCO2. Down to a soil depth of 18 cm we compared 4 natural (Helichrysum, Erica forest, Podocarpus forest, Ocotea forest), 5 seminatural (disturbed Podocarpus forest, disturbed Ocotea forest, lower montane forest, grassland, savannah), 1 sustainably used (homegarden) and 2 intensively used ecosystems (coffee plantation, maize field) on an elevation gradient from 950 to 3880 m a.s.l.. Using an incubation device, soil CO2-efflux of 18 cm deep soil cores was measured under field moist conditions and mean annual temperature. MBC to Corg ratios varied between 0.7 and 2.3%. qCO2 increased with magnitude of the disturbance, albeit this effect decreased with elevation. Following the annual precipitation of the ecosystems, both, Corg and MBC showed a hum-shaped distribution with elevation, whereas their maxima were between 2500 and 3000 m a.s.l.. Additionaly, Corg and MBC contents were significantly reduced in intensively used agricultural systems. We conclude that the soil microbial biomass and its activity in Mt. Kilimanjaro ecosystems are strongly altered by land-use. This effect is more distinct in lower than in higher elevated ecosystems and strongly dependent on the magnitude of disturbance.

  8. Microbial characterization of toluene-degrading denitrifying consortia obtained from terrestrial and marine ecosystems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    An, Y-J; Joo, Y-H; Hong, I-Y; Ryu, H-W; Cho, K-S

    2004-10-01

    The degradation characteristics of toluene coupled to nitrate reduction were investigated in enrichment culture and the microbial communities of toluene-degrading denitrifying consortia were characterized by denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE) technique. Anaerobic nitrate-reducing bacteria were enriched from oil-contaminated soil samples collected from terrestrial (rice field) and marine (tidal flat) ecosystems. Enriched consortia degraded toluene in the presence of nitrate as a terminal electron acceptor. The degradation rate of toluene was affected by the initial substrate concentration and co-existence of other hydrocarbons. The types of toluene-degrading denitrifying consortia depended on the type of ecosystem. The clone RS-7 obtained from the enriched consortium of the rice field was most closely related to a toluene-degrading and denitrifying bacterium, Azoarcus denitrificians (A. tolulyticus sp. nov.). The clone TS-11 detected in the tidal flat enriched consortium was affiliated to Thauera sp. strain S2 (T. aminoaromatica sp. nov.) that was able to degrade toluene under denitrifying conditions. This indicates that environmental factors greatly influence microbial communities obtained from terrestrial (rice field) and marine (tidal flat) ecosystems.

  9. Population cycles and species diversity in dynamic Kill-the-Winner model of microbial ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maslov, Sergei; Sneppen, Kim

    2017-01-01

    Determinants of species diversity in microbial ecosystems remain poorly understood. Bacteriophages are believed to increase the diversity by the virtue of Kill-the-Winner infection bias preventing the fastest growing organism from taking over the community. Phage-bacterial ecosystems are traditionally described in terms of the static equilibrium state of Lotka-Volterra equations in which bacterial growth is exactly balanced by losses due to phage predation. Here we consider a more dynamic scenario in which phage infections give rise to abrupt and severe collapses of bacterial populations whenever they become sufficiently large. As a consequence, each bacterial population in our model follows cyclic dynamics of exponential growth interrupted by sudden declines. The total population of all species fluctuates around the carrying capacity of the environment, making these cycles cryptic. While a subset of the slowest growing species in our model is always driven towards extinction, in general the overall ecosystem diversity remains high. The number of surviving species is inversely proportional to the variation in their growth rates but increases with the frequency and severity of phage-induced collapses. Thus counter-intuitively we predict that microbial communities exposed to more violent perturbations should have higher diversity. PMID:28051127

  10. Biodegradable Plastic Mulch Films: Impacts on Soil Microbial Communities and Ecosystem Functions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sreejata Bandopadhyay

    2018-04-01

    Full Text Available Agricultural plastic mulch films are widely used in specialty crop production systems because of their agronomic benefits. Biodegradable plastic mulches (BDMs offer an environmentally sustainable alternative to conventional polyethylene (PE mulch. Unlike PE films, which need to be removed after use, BDMs are tilled into soil where they are expected to biodegrade. However, there remains considerable uncertainty about long-term impacts of BDM incorporation on soil ecosystems. BDMs potentially influence soil microbial communities in two ways: first, as a surface barrier prior to soil incorporation, indirectly affecting soil microclimate and atmosphere (similar to PE films and second, after soil incorporation, as a direct input of physical fragments, which add carbon, microorganisms, additives, and adherent chemicals. This review summarizes the current literature on impacts of plastic mulches on soil biological and biogeochemical processes, with a special emphasis on BDMs. The combined findings indicated that when used as a surface barrier, plastic mulches altered soil microbial community composition and functioning via microclimate modification, though the nature of these alterations varied between studies. In addition, BDM incorporation into soil can result in enhanced microbial activity and enrichment of fungal taxa. This suggests that despite the fact that total carbon input from BDMs is minuscule, a stimulatory effect on microbial activity may ultimately affect soil organic matter dynamics. To address the current knowledge gaps, long term studies and a better understanding of impacts of BDMs on nutrient biogeochemistry are needed. These are critical to evaluating BDMs as they relate to soil health and agroecosystem sustainability.

  11. Biodegradable Plastic Mulch Films: Impacts on Soil Microbial Communities and Ecosystem Functions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bandopadhyay, Sreejata; Martin-Closas, Lluis; Pelacho, Ana M; DeBruyn, Jennifer M

    2018-01-01

    Agricultural plastic mulch films are widely used in specialty crop production systems because of their agronomic benefits. Biodegradable plastic mulches (BDMs) offer an environmentally sustainable alternative to conventional polyethylene (PE) mulch. Unlike PE films, which need to be removed after use, BDMs are tilled into soil where they are expected to biodegrade. However, there remains considerable uncertainty about long-term impacts of BDM incorporation on soil ecosystems. BDMs potentially influence soil microbial communities in two ways: first, as a surface barrier prior to soil incorporation, indirectly affecting soil microclimate and atmosphere (similar to PE films) and second, after soil incorporation, as a direct input of physical fragments, which add carbon, microorganisms, additives, and adherent chemicals. This review summarizes the current literature on impacts of plastic mulches on soil biological and biogeochemical processes, with a special emphasis on BDMs. The combined findings indicated that when used as a surface barrier, plastic mulches altered soil microbial community composition and functioning via microclimate modification, though the nature of these alterations varied between studies. In addition, BDM incorporation into soil can result in enhanced microbial activity and enrichment of fungal taxa. This suggests that despite the fact that total carbon input from BDMs is minuscule, a stimulatory effect on microbial activity may ultimately affect soil organic matter dynamics. To address the current knowledge gaps, long term studies and a better understanding of impacts of BDMs on nutrient biogeochemistry are needed. These are critical to evaluating BDMs as they relate to soil health and agroecosystem sustainability.

  12. The YNP Metagenome Project: Environmental Parameters Responsible for Microbial Distribution in the Yellowstone Geothermal Ecosystem

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    William P. Inskeep

    2013-05-01

    Full Text Available The Yellowstone geothermal complex contains over 10,000 diverse geothermal features that host numerous phylogenetically deeply-rooted and poorly understood archaea, bacteria and viruses. Microbial communities in high-temperature environments are generally less diverse than soil, marine, sediment or lake habitats and therefore offer a tremendous opportunity for studying the structure and function of different model microbial communities using environmental metagenomics. One of the broader goals of this study was to establish linkages among microbial distribution, metabolic potential and environmental variables. Twenty geochemically distinct geothermal ecosystems representing a broad spectrum of Yellowstone hot-spring environments were used for metagenomic and geochemical analysis and included approximately equal numbers of: (1 phototrophic mats, (2 ‘filamentous streamer’ communities, and (3 archaeal-dominated sediments. The metagenomes were analyzed using a suite of complementary and integrative bioinformatic tools, including phylogenetic and functional analysis of both individual sequence reads and assemblies of predominant phylotypes. This volume identifies major environmental determinants of a large number of thermophilic microbial lineages, many of which have not been fully described in the literature nor previously cultivated to enable functional and genomic analyses. Moreover, protein family abundance comparisons and in-depth analyses of specific genes and metabolic pathways relevant to these hot-spring environments reveal hallmark signatures of metabolic capabilities that parallel the distribution of phylotypes across specific types of geochemical environments.

  13. Meta genome-wide network from functional linkages of genes in human gut microbial ecosystems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ji, Yan; Shi, Yixiang; Wang, Chuan; Dai, Jianliang; Li, Yixue

    2013-03-01

    The human gut microbial ecosystem (HGME) exerts an important influence on the human health. In recent researches, meta-genomics provided deep insights into the HGME in terms of gene contents, metabolic processes and genome constitutions of meta-genome. Here we present a novel methodology to investigate the HGME on the basis of a set of functionally coupled genes regardless of their genome origins when considering the co-evolution properties of genes. By analyzing these coupled genes, we showed some basic properties of HGME significantly associated with each other, and further constructed a protein interaction map of human gut meta-genome to discover some functional modules that may relate with essential metabolic processes. Compared with other studies, our method provides a new idea to extract basic function elements from meta-genome systems and investigate complex microbial environment by associating its biological traits with co-evolutionary fingerprints encoded in it.

  14. An examination of the biodiversity-ecosystem function relationship in arable soil microbial communities

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Griffiths, B.S.; Ritz, Karl; Wheatley, R.

    2001-01-01

    , nitrate accumulation, respiratory growth response, community level physiological profile and decomposition). Neither was there a direct effect of biodiversity on the variability of the processes, nor on the stability of decomposition when the soils were perturbed by heat or copper. The biodiversity of......Microbial communities differing in biodiversity were established by inoculating sterile agricultural soil with serially diluted soil suspensions prepared from the parent soil. Three replicate communities of each dilution were allowed to establish an equivalent microbial biomass by incubation for 9...... months at 15°C, after which the biodiversity-ecosystem function relationship was examined for a range of soil processes. Biodiversity was determined by monitoring cultivable bacterial and fungal morphotypes, directly extracted eubacterial DNA and protozoan taxa. In the context of this study biodiversity...

  15. Microbial Community Dynamics in Soil Depth Profiles Over 120,000 Years of Ecosystem Development

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stephanie Turner

    2017-05-01

    Full Text Available Along a long-term ecosystem development gradient, soil nutrient contents and mineralogical properties change, therefore probably altering soil microbial communities. However, knowledge about the dynamics of soil microbial communities during long-term ecosystem development including progressive and retrogressive stages is limited, especially in mineral soils. Therefore, microbial abundances (quantitative PCR and community composition (pyrosequencing as well as their controlling soil properties were investigated in soil depth profiles along the 120,000 years old Franz Josef chronosequence (New Zealand. Additionally, in a microcosm incubation experiment the effects of particular soil properties, i.e., soil age, soil organic matter fraction (mineral-associated vs. particulate, O2 status, and carbon and phosphorus additions, on microbial abundances (quantitative PCR and community patterns (T-RFLP were analyzed. The archaeal to bacterial abundance ratio not only increased with soil depth but also with soil age along the chronosequence, coinciding with mineralogical changes and increasing phosphorus limitation. Results of the incubation experiment indicated that archaeal abundances were less impacted by the tested soil parameters compared to Bacteria suggesting that Archaea may better cope with mineral-induced substrate restrictions in subsoils and older soils. Instead, archaeal communities showed a soil age-related compositional shift with the Bathyarchaeota, that were frequently detected in nutrient-poor, low-energy environments, being dominant at the oldest site. However, bacterial communities remained stable with ongoing soil development. In contrast to the abundances, the archaeal compositional shift was associated with the mineralogical gradient. Our study revealed, that archaeal and bacterial communities in whole soil profiles are differently affected by long-term soil development with archaeal communities probably being better adapted to

  16. Impacts of radiation exposure on the experimental microbial ecosystem: a particle-based model simulation approach

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Doi, M.; Tanaka, N.; Fuma, S.; Kawabata, Z.

    2004-01-01

    Well-designed experimental model ecosystem could be a simple reference of the actual environment and complex ecological systems. For ecological toxicity test of radiation and other environmental toxicants, we investigated and aquatic microbial ecosystem (closed microcosm) in the test tube with initial substrates,autotroph flagellate algae (Euglena, G.), heterotroph ciliate protozoa (Tetrahymena T.) and saprotroph bacteria (E, coli). These species organizes by itself to construct the ecological system, that keeps the sustainable population dynamics for more than 2 years after inoculation only by adding light diurnally and controlling temperature at 25 degree Celsius. Objective of the study is to develop the particle-based computer simulation by reviewing interactions among microbes and environment, and analyze the ecological toxicities of radiation on the microcosm by replicating experimental results in the computer simulation. (Author) 14 refs

  17. Too big or too narrow? Disturbance characteristics determine the functional resilience in virtual microbial ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    König, Sara; Firle, Anouk-Letizia; Koehnke, Merlin; Banitz, Thomas; Frank, Karin

    2017-04-01

    In general ecology, there is an ongoing debate about the influence of fragmentation on extinction thresholds. Whether this influence is positive or negative depends on the considered type of fragmentation: whereas habitat fragmentation often has a negative influence on population extinction thresholds, spatially fragmented disturbances are observed to have mostly positive effects on the extinction probability. Besides preventing population extinction, in soil systems ecology we are interested in analyzing how ecosystem functions are maintained despite disturbance events. Here, we analyzed the influence of disturbance size and fragmentation on the functional resilience of a microbial soil ecosystem. As soil is a highly heterogeneous environment exposed to disturbances of different spatial configurations, the identification of critical disturbance characteristics for maintaining its functions is crucial. We used the numerical simulation model eColony considering bacterial growth, degradation and dispersal for analyzing the dynamic response of biodegradation examplary for an important microbial ecosystem service to disturbance events of different spatial configurations. We systematically varied the size and the degree of fragmentation of the affected area (disturbance pattern). We found that the influence of the disturbance size on functional recovery and biodegradation performance highly depends on the spatial fragmentation of the disturbance. Generally, biodegradation performance decreases with increasing clumpedness and increasing size of the affected area. After spatially correlated disturbance events, biodegradation performance decreases linear with increasing disturbance size. After spatially fragmented disturbance events, on the other hand, an increase in disturbance size has no influence on the biodegradation performance until a critical disturbance size is reached. Is the affected area bigger than this critical size, the functional performance decreases

  18. Microbial ecology of mountain glacier ecosystems: biodiversity, ecological connections and implications of a warming climate.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hotaling, Scott; Hood, Eran; Hamilton, Trinity L

    2017-08-01

    Glacier ecosystems are teeming with life on, beneath, and to a lesser degree, within their icy masses. This conclusion largely stems from polar research, with less attention paid to mountain glaciers that overlap environmentally and ecologically with their polar counterparts in some ways, but diverge in others. One difference lies in the susceptibility of mountain glaciers to the near-term threat of climate change, as they tend to be much smaller in both area and volume. Moreover, mountain glaciers are typically steeper, more dependent upon basal sliding for movement, and experience higher seasonal precipitation. Here, we provide a modern synthesis of the microbial ecology of mountain glacier ecosystems, and particularly those at low- to mid-latitudes. We focus on five ecological zones: the supraglacial surface, englacial interior, subglacial bedrock-ice interface, proglacial streams and glacier forefields. For each, we discuss the role of microbiota in biogeochemical cycling and outline ecological and hydrological connections among zones, underscoring the interconnected nature of these ecosystems. Collectively, we highlight the need to: better document the biodiversity and functional roles of mountain glacier microbiota; describe the ecological implications of rapid glacial retreat under climate change and resolve the relative contributions of ecological zones to broader ecosystem function. © 2017 The Authors. Environmental Microbiology published by Society for Applied Microbiology and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  19. Rhizosphere soil microbial index of tree species in a coal mining ecosystem

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Sinha, S.; Masto, R.E.; Ram, L.C.; Selvi, V.A.; Srivastava, N.K.; Tripathi, R.C.; George, J. [Central Institute of Mining & Fuel Research, Dhanbad (India)

    2009-09-15

    Microbial characterization of the tree rhizosphere provides important information relating to the screening of tree species for re-vegetation of degraded land. Rhizosphere soil samples collected from a few predominant tree species growing in the coal mining ecosystem of Dhanbad, India, were analyzed for soil organic carbon (SOC), mineralizable N, microbial biomass carbon (MBC), active microbial biomass carbon (AMBC), basal soil respiration (BSR), and soil enzyme activities (dehydrogenase, urease, catalase, phenol oxidase, and peroxidase). Principal component analysis was employed to derive a rhizosphere soil microbial index (RSMI) and accordingly, dehydrogenase, BSR/MBC, MBC/SOC, EC, phenol oxidase and AMBC were found to be the most critical properties. The observed values for the above properties were converted into a unitless score (0-1.00) and the scores were integrated into RSMI. The tree species could be arranged in decreasing order of the RSMI as: A. marmelos (0.718), A. indica (0.715), Bauhinia bauhinia (0.693), B. monosperma (0.611), E. jambolana (0.601), Moringa oleifera (0.565), Dalbergia sissoo (0.498), T indica (0.488), Morus alba (0.415), F religiosa (0.291), Eucalyptus sp. (0.232) and T grandis (0.181). It was concluded that tree species in coal mining areas had diverse effects on their respective rhizosphere microbial processes, which could directly or indirectly determine the survival and performance of the planted tree species in degraded coal mining areas. Tree species with higher RSMI values could be recommended for re-vegetation of degraded coal mining area.

  20. Soil Microbial Activity Responses to Fire in a Semi-arid Savannah Ecosystem Pre- and Post-Monsoon Season

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jimenez, J. R.; Raub, H. D.; Jong, E. L.; Muscarella, C. R.; Smith, W. K.; Gallery, R. E.

    2017-12-01

    Extracellular enzyme activities (EEA) of soil microorganisms can act as important proxies for nutrient limitation and turnover in soil and provide insight into the biochemical requirements of microbes in terrestrial ecosystems. In semi-arid ecosystems, microbial activity is influenced by topography, disturbances such as fire, and seasonality from monsoon rains. Previous studies from forest ecosystems show that microbial communities shift to similar compositions after severe fires despite different initial conditions. In semi-arid ecosystems with high spatial heterogeniety, we ask does fire lead to patch intensification or patch homogenization and how do monsoon rains influence the successional trajectories of microbial responses? We analyzed microbial activity and soil biogeochemistry throughout the monsoon season in paired burned and unburned sites in the Santa Rita Experimental Range, AZ. Surface soil (5cm) from bare-ground patches, bole, canopy drip line, and nearby grass patches for 5 mesquite trees per site allowed tests of spatiotemporal responses to fire and monsoon rain. Microbial activity was low during the pre-monsoon season and did not differ between the burned and unburned sites. We found greater activity near mesquite trees that reflects soil water and nutrient availability. Fire increased soil alkalinity, though soils near mesquite trees were less affected. Soil water content was significantly higher in the burned sites post-monsoon, potentially reflecting greater hydrophobicity of burned soils. Considering the effects of fire in these semi-arid ecosystems is especially important in the context of the projected changing climate regime in this region. Assessing microbial community recovery pre-, during, and post-monsoon is important for testing predictions about whether successional pathways post-fire lead to recovery or novel trajectories of communities and ecosystem function.

  1. A Synthesis of the Effects of Pesticides on Microbial Persistence in Aquatic Ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Staley, Zachery R.; Harwood, Valerie J.; Rohr, Jason R.

    2016-01-01

    Pesticides are a pervasive presence in aquatic ecosystems throughout the world. While pesticides are intended to control fungi, insects, and other pests, their mechanisms of action are often not specific enough to prevent unintended effects, such as on non-target microbial populations. Microorganisms, including algae and cyanobacteria, protozoa, aquatic fungi, and bacteria, form the basis of many food webs and are responsible for crucial aspects of biogeochemical cycling; therefore, the potential for pesticides to alter microbial community structures must be understood to preserve ecosystem services. This review examines studies that focused on direct population-level effects and indirect community-level effects of pesticides on microorganisms. Generally, insecticides, herbicides, and fungicides were found to have adverse direct effects on algal and fungal species. Insecticides and fungicides also had deleterious direct effects in the majority of studies examining protozoa species, although herbicides were found to have inconsistent direct effects on protozoans. Our synthesis revealed mixed or no direct effects on bacterial species among all pesticide categories, with results highly dependent on the target species, chemical, and concentration used in the study. Examination of community-level, indirect effects revealed that all pesticide categories had a tendency to reduce higher trophic levels, thereby diminishing top-down pressures and favoring lower trophic levels. Often, indirect effects exerted greater influence than direct effects. However, few studies have been conducted to specifically address community-level effects of pesticides on microorganisms and further research is necessary to better understand and predict the net effects of pesticides on ecosystem health. PMID:26565685

  2. Soil microbial communities drive the resistance of ecosystem multifunctionality to global change in drylands across the globe.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Delgado-Baquerizo, Manuel; Eldridge, David J; Ochoa, Victoria; Gozalo, Beatriz; Singh, Brajesh K; Maestre, Fernando T

    2017-10-01

    The relationship between soil microbial communities and the resistance of multiple ecosystem functions linked to C, N and P cycling (multifunctionality resistance) to global change has never been assessed globally in natural ecosystems. We collected soils from 59 dryland ecosystems worldwide to investigate the importance of microbial communities as predictor of multifunctionality resistance to climate change and nitrogen fertilisation. Multifunctionality had a lower resistance to wetting-drying cycles than to warming or N deposition. Multifunctionality resistance was regulated by changes in microbial composition (relative abundance of phylotypes) but not by richness, total abundance of fungi and bacteria or the fungal: bacterial ratio. Our results suggest that positive effects of particular microbial taxa on multifunctionality resistance could potentially be controlled by altering soil pH. Together, our work demonstrates strong links between microbial community composition and multifunctionality resistance in dryland soils from six continents, and provides insights into the importance of microbial community composition for buffering effects of global change in drylands worldwide. © 2017 John Wiley & Sons Ltd/CNRS.

  3. Determining the specific microbial populations and their spatial distribution within the stromatolite ecosystem of Shark Bay.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goh, Falicia; Allen, Michelle A; Leuko, Stefan; Kawaguchi, Tomohiro; Decho, Alan W; Burns, Brendan P; Neilan, Brett A

    2009-04-01

    The stromatolites at Shark Bay, Western Australia, are analogues of some of the oldest evidence of life on Earth. The aim of this study was to identify and spatially characterize the specific microbial communities associated with Shark Bay intertidal columnar stromatolites. Conventional culturing methods and construction of 16S rDNA clone libraries from community genomic DNA with both universal and specific PCR primers were employed. The estimated coverage, richness and diversity of stromatolite microbial populations were compared with earlier studies on these ecosystems. The estimated coverage for all clone libraries indicated that population coverage was comprehensive. Phylogenetic analyses of stromatolite and surrounding seawater sequences were performed in ARB with the Greengenes database of full-length non-chimaeric 16S rRNA genes. The communities identified exhibited extensive diversity. The most abundant sequences from the stromatolites were alpha- and gamma-proteobacteria (58%), whereas the cyanobacterial community was characterized by sequences related to the genera Euhalothece, Gloeocapsa, Gloeothece, Chroococcidiopsis, Dermocarpella, Acaryochloris, Geitlerinema and Schizothrix. All clones from the archaeal-specific clone libraries were related to the halophilic archaea; however, no archaeal sequence was identified from the surrounding seawater. Fluorescence in situ hybridization also revealed stromatolite surfaces to be dominated by unicellular cyanobacteria, in contrast to the sub-surface archaea and sulphate-reducing bacteria. This study is the first to compare the microbial composition of morphologically similar stromatolites over time and examine the spatial distribution of specific microorganismic groups in these intertidal structures and the surrounding seawater at Shark Bay. The results provide a platform for identifying the key microbial physiology groups and their potential roles in modern stromatolite morphogenesis and ecology.

  4. Monitoring the fibrolytic potential of microbial ecosystems from domestic and wild ruminants browsing tanniferous forages

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nokwethemba Nqobile Philile Msimango

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available Although the rumen microbiome has been reported to synthesize a rich source of symbiotic enzymes (exocellulase, endocellulase, hemicellulase and cellobiase, the digestion of tropical C4 grasses and browses by ruminants is still limited. Therefore, this study aimed to unveil potential fibrolytic microbial ecosystems from giraffe, kudu, impala and consortia (A1 [giraffe + kudu], A2 [giraffe + impala], A3 [kudu + impala], and A4 [giraffe + kudu + impala] browsing tanniferous plants, which can be used to improve forage utilization in domesticated goat. Crude protein enzyme extracts (CPZ from fresh faecal samples were precipitated by 60% ammonium sulphate and assayed for exocellulase, endocellulase and hemicellulase by incubating with crystalline cellulose, carboxymethyl cellulose and xylan at 38 °C with optimum pH of 5.5 to 6.5 for 1, 2, and 48 h, respectively. Enzyme specific activities were defined as μg of reducing sugar/mg CPZ. In vitro fermentation study was done by transferring 33 mL of fresh faecal inoculum into 67 mL of salivary buffer containing 1 g Acacia sieberiana and incubating for 72 h at 38 °C. Apparent degradability (APDeg, true degradability (TD, neutral detergent fibre degradability (NDFdeg, acid detergent fibre degradability (ADFdeg, microbial yield (MY, metabolizable energy (ME and total gas emitted (Gas were measured. Exocellulase activities were higher (P < 0.05 in all wild animals and consortia than those in goat except for A4. Minimal differences in hemicellulase activities (P < 0.05 were observed among goat and wild animals and consortia, while endocellulase activity was generally higher (P < 0.05 in goat than that in the rest of the systems. Apart from A3, TDeg, NDFdeg and ADFdeg were higher (P < 0.05 in all microbial ecosystems from wild animals and consortia than those in goat. Apparent degradability, MY and ME also varied (P < 0.05 among these systems. Giraffe, Kudu and A3 produced lower (P

  5. Functional resilience of microbial ecosystems in soil: How important is a spatial analysis?

    Science.gov (United States)

    König, Sara; Banitz, Thomas; Centler, Florian; Frank, Karin; Thullner, Martin

    2015-04-01

    Microbial life in soil is exposed to fluctuating environmental conditions influencing the performance of microbially mediated ecosystem services such as biodegradation of contaminants. However, as this environment is typically very heterogeneous, spatial aspects can be expected to play a major role for the ability to recover from a stress event. To determine key processes for functional resilience, simple scenarios with varying stress intensities were simulated within a microbial simulation model and the biodegradation rate in the recovery phase monitored. Parameters including microbial growth and dispersal rates were varied over a typical range to consider microorganisms with varying properties. Besides an aggregated temporal monitoring, the explicit observation of the spatio-temporal dynamics proved essential to understand the recovery process. For a mechanistic understanding of the model system, scenarios were also simulated with selected processes being switched-off. Results of the mechanistic and the spatial view show that the key factors for functional recovery with respect to biodegradation after a simple stress event depend on the location of the observed habitats. The limiting factors near unstressed areas are spatial processes - the mobility of the bacteria as well as substrate diffusion - the longer the distance to the unstressed region the more important becomes the process growth. Furthermore, recovery depends on the stress intensity - after a low stress event the spatial configuration has no influence on the key factors for functional resilience. To confirm these results, we repeated the stress scenarios but this time including an additional dispersal network representing a fungal network in soil. The system benefits from an increased spatial performance due to the higher mobility of the degrading microorganisms. However, this effect appears only in scenarios where the spatial distribution of the stressed area plays a role. With these simulations we

  6. Carrot Juice Fermentations as Man-Made Microbial Ecosystems Dominated by Lactic Acid Bacteria.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wuyts, Sander; Van Beeck, Wannes; Oerlemans, Eline F M; Wittouck, Stijn; Claes, Ingmar J J; De Boeck, Ilke; Weckx, Stefan; Lievens, Bart; De Vuyst, Luc; Lebeer, Sarah

    2018-06-15

    Spontaneous vegetable fermentations, with their rich flavors and postulated health benefits, are regaining popularity. However, their microbiology is still poorly understood, therefore raising concerns about food safety. In addition, such spontaneous fermentations form interesting cases of man-made microbial ecosystems. Here, samples from 38 carrot juice fermentations were collected through a citizen science initiative, in addition to three laboratory fermentations. Culturing showed that Enterobacteriaceae were outcompeted by lactic acid bacteria (LAB) between 3 and 13 days of fermentation. Metabolite-target analysis showed that lactic acid and mannitol were highly produced, as well as the biogenic amine cadaverine. High-throughput 16S rRNA gene sequencing revealed that mainly species of Leuconostoc and Lactobacillus (as identified by 8 and 20 amplicon sequence variants [ASVs], respectively) mediated the fermentations in subsequent order. The analyses at the DNA level still detected a high number of Enterobacteriaceae , but their relative abundance was low when RNA-based sequencing was performed to detect presumptive metabolically active bacterial cells. In addition, this method greatly reduced host read contamination. Phylogenetic placement indicated a high LAB diversity, with ASVs from nine different phylogenetic groups of the Lactobacillus genus complex. However, fermentation experiments with isolates showed that only strains belonging to the most prevalent phylogenetic groups preserved the fermentation dynamics. The carrot juice fermentation thus forms a robust man-made microbial ecosystem suitable for studies on LAB diversity and niche specificity. IMPORTANCE The usage of fermented food products by professional chefs is steadily growing worldwide. Meanwhile, this interest has also increased at the household level. However, many of these artisanal food products remain understudied. Here, an extensive microbial analysis was performed of spontaneous fermented

  7. Earth's Earliest Ecosystems in the C: The Use of Microbial Mats to Demonstrate General Principles of Scientific Inquiry and Microbial Ecology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bebout, Brad M.; Bucaria, Robin

    2006-01-01

    Microbial mats are living examples of the most ancient biological communities on Earth. As Earth's earliest ecosystems, they are centrally important to understanding the history of life on our planet and are useful models for the search for life elsewhere. As relatively compact (but complete) ecosystems, microbial mats are also extremely useful for educational activities. Mats may be used to demonstrate a wide variety of concepts in general and microbial ecology, including the biogeochemical cycling of elements, photosynthesis and respiration, and the origin of the Earth's present oxygen containing atmosphere. Microbial mats can be found in a number of common environments accessible to teachers, and laboratory microbial mats can be constructed using materials purchased from biological supply houses. With funding from NASA's Exobiology program, we have developed curriculum and web-based activities centered on the use of microbial mats as tools for demonstrating general principles in ecology, and the scientific process. Our web site (http://microbes.arc.nasa.gov) includes reference materials, lesson plans, and a "Web Lab", featuring living mats maintained in a mini-aquarium. The site also provides information as to how research on microbial mats supports NASA's goals, and various NASA missions. A photo gallery contains images of mats, microscopic views of the organisms that form them, and our own research activities. An animated educational video on the web site uses computer graphic and video microscopy to take students on a journey into a microbial mat. These activities are targeted to a middle school audience and are aligned with the National Science Standards.

  8. Bayesian analysis of non-linear differential equation models with application to a gut microbial ecosystem.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lawson, Daniel J; Holtrop, Grietje; Flint, Harry

    2011-07-01

    Process models specified by non-linear dynamic differential equations contain many parameters, which often must be inferred from a limited amount of data. We discuss a hierarchical Bayesian approach combining data from multiple related experiments in a meaningful way, which permits more powerful inference than treating each experiment as independent. The approach is illustrated with a simulation study and example data from experiments replicating the aspects of the human gut microbial ecosystem. A predictive model is obtained that contains prediction uncertainty caused by uncertainty in the parameters, and we extend the model to capture situations of interest that cannot easily be studied experimentally. Copyright © 2011 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

  9. Effects of mushroom and herb polysaccharides, as alternative for an antibiotic, on the cecal microbial ecosystem in broiler chickens

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Guo, F.; Williams, B.A.; Kwakkel, R.P.; Li, H.S.; Li, X.P.; Luo, J.Y.; Li, W.K.; Verstegen, M.W.A.

    2004-01-01

    An in vivo experiment was conducted to study the potential prebiotic effects of mushroom and herb polysaccharide extracts, Lentinus edodes extract (LenE), Tremella fuciformis extract, and Astragalus membranaceus Radix extract, on chicken growth and the cecal microbial ecosystem, as compared with the

  10. Soil microbial responses to climate warming in Northern Andean alpine ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gallery, R. E.; Lasso, E.

    2017-12-01

    The historically cooler temperatures and waterlogged soils of tropical alpine grasslands (páramo) have resulted in low decomposition rates and a large buildup of organic matter, making páramo one of the most important carbon sinks in tropical biomes. The climatic factors that favored the carbon accumulation are changing, and as a result páramo could play a disproportionate role in driving climate feedbacks through increased carbon released from these large soil carbon stores. Open top chamber warming experiments were established in the Colombian Andes in 2016 to quantify the magnitude of climate change on carbon balance and identify microbial and plant traits that regulate these impacts. Two focal sites differ in mean annual temperature, precipitation, and plant community richness. Heterotrophic respiration (RH,) was measured from soil cores incubated at temperatures representing current and projected warming. The warming effect on RH was sensitive to soil moisture, which could reflect shifts in microbial community composition and/or extracellular enzyme production or efficiency as soils dry. Bacterial, archaeal, and fungal communities in ambient and warmed plots were measured through high-throughput amplicon sequencing of the 16S rRNA and ITS1 rRNA gene regions. Communities showed strong spatial structuring both within and among páramo, reflecting the topographic heterogeneity of these ecosystems. Significant differences in relative abundance of dominant microbial taxa between páramo could be largely explained by soil bulk density, water holding capacity, and non-vascular plant cover. Phototrophs common to anoxic soils (e.g., Rhodospirillaceae, Hyphomicrobiaceae) were abundant. Taxa within Euryarchaeota were recovered, suggesting methanogenesis potential. Exploration of the magnitude and temperature sensitivity of methane flux is needed in these seasonally anoxic soils whose dynamics could have significant implications for the global climate system.

  11. Stable isotope probing to study functional components of complex microbial ecosystems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mazard, Sophie; Schäfer, Hendrik

    2014-01-01

    This protocol presents a method of dissecting the DNA or RNA of key organisms involved in a specific biochemical process within a complex ecosystem. Stable isotope probing (SIP) allows the labelling and separation of nucleic acids from community members that are involved in important biochemical transformations, yet are often not the most numerically abundant members of a community. This pure culture-independent technique circumvents limitations of traditional microbial isolation techniques or data mining from large-scale whole-community metagenomic studies to tease out the identities and genomic repertoires of microorganisms participating in biological nutrient cycles. SIP experiments can be applied to virtually any ecosystem and biochemical pathway under investigation provided a suitable stable isotope substrate is available. This versatile methodology allows a wide range of analyses to be performed, from fatty-acid analyses, community structure and ecology studies, and targeted metagenomics involving nucleic acid sequencing. SIP experiments provide an effective alternative to large-scale whole-community metagenomic studies by specifically targeting the organisms or biochemical transformations of interest, thereby reducing the sequencing effort and time-consuming bioinformatics analyses of large datasets.

  12. Diversity of key players in the microbial ecosystems of the human body.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jordán, Ferenc; Lauria, Mario; Scotti, Marco; Nguyen, Thanh-Phuong; Praveen, Paurush; Morine, Melissa; Priami, Corrado

    2015-10-30

    Coexisting bacteria form various microbial communities in human body parts. In these ecosystems they interact in various ways and the properties of the interaction network can be related to the stability and functional diversity of the local bacterial community. In this study, we analyze the interaction network among bacterial OTUs in 11 locations of the human body. These belong to two major groups. One is the digestive system and the other is the female genital tract. In each local ecosystem we determine the key species, both the ones being in key positions in the interaction network and the ones that dominate by frequency. Beyond identifying the key players and discussing their biological relevance, we also quantify and compare the properties of the 11 networks. The interaction networks of the female genital system and the digestive system show totally different architecture. Both the topological properties and the identity of the key groups differ. Key groups represent four phyla of prokaryotes. Some groups appear in key positions in several locations, while others are assigned only to a single body part. The key groups of the digestive and the genital tracts are totally different.

  13. Reconstructing the Genetic Potential of the Microbially-Mediated Nitrogen Cycle in a Salt Marsh Ecosystem.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dini-Andreote, Francisco; Brossi, Maria Julia de L; van Elsas, Jan Dirk; Salles, Joana F

    2016-01-01

    Coastal ecosystems are considered buffer zones for the discharge of land-derived nutrients without accounting for potential negative side effects. Hence, there is an urgent need to better understand the ecological assembly and dynamics of the microorganisms that are involved in nitrogen (N) cycling in such systems. Here, we employed two complementary methodological approaches (i.e., shotgun metagenomics and quantitative PCR) to examine the distribution and abundance of selected microbial genes involved in N transformations. We used soil samples collected along a well-established pristine salt marsh soil chronosequence that spans over a century of ecosystem development at the island of Schiermonnikoog, The Netherlands. Across the examined soil successional stages, the structure of the populations of genes involved in N cycling processes was strongly related to (shifts in the) soil nitrogen levels (i.e., [Formula: see text], [Formula: see text]), salinity and pH (explaining 73.8% of the total variation, R (2) = 0.71). Quantification of the genes used as proxies for N fixation, nitrification and denitrification revealed clear successional signatures that corroborated the taxonomic assignments obtained by metagenomics. Notably, we found strong evidence for niche partitioning, as revealed by the abundance and distribution of marker genes for nitrification (ammonia-oxidizing bacteria and archaea) and denitrification (nitrite reductase nirK, nirS and nitrous oxide reductase nosZ clades I and II). This was supported by a distinct correlation between these genes and soil physico-chemical properties, such as soil physical structure, pH, salinity, organic matter, total N, [Formula: see text], [Formula: see text] and [Formula: see text], across four seasonal samplings. Overall, this study sheds light on the successional trajectories of microbial N cycle genes along a naturally developing salt marsh ecosystem. The data obtained serve as a foundation to guide the formulation of

  14. Effect of salinity on carbon and sulfur cycles in Umm Alhool sabkha microbial mat ecosystem in Qatar

    KAUST Repository

    Alnajjar, Mohammad Ahmad

    2012-10-19

    Microbial mats are only present under extreme conditions, where grazing by higher organisms is limited. Therefore, microbial mats may provide insight into extraterrestrial life, due to their adaptations to extreme temperatures, desiccation or salinity. They are faced with a diurnal cycle with variable length based on their location, which exposes them to extreme salinity conditions (i.e., water withdrawal and high evaporation). Cyanobacteria in the photic zone of a mat ecosystem supply the other microorganism with the required organic material to produce energy and grow. Subsequently, this will reproduce the nutrients needed by the phototrophs through elemental re-mineralization. In this work, we investigated the effect of water salinity that covers the microbial mat ecosystem of Umm Alhool sabkha, Qatar, regarding the most important processes within microbial mats: photosynthesis and sulfate reduction (SR). Our results showed that both photosynthetic and sulfate reduction rates decreased with increasing the salinity. The microbial community structure, assessed by 454 pyro-sequencing, revealed that the cyanobacterial community structure changed in response to the change in salinity. This was not the case for the sulfate reducer community structure, which stayed as it is in the mats incubated at different salinities. Therefore, we speculate that salinity affects the photosynthetic community structure, and consequently affects the photosynthetic activity of the whole ecosystem. However, sulfate reduction rates decreased due to less organic material supply from the upper layers and not due to change in microbial community structure of SR. Other factors such as the activity of the enzymes could also have an effect on SRR, but it was not investigated in this study.

  15. Deep Microbial Ecosystems in the U.S. Great Basin: A Second Home for Desulforudis audaxviator?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moser, D. P.

    2012-12-01

    Deep subsurface microbial ecosystems have attracted scientific and public interest in recent years. Of deep habitats so far investigated, continental hard rock environments may be the least understood. Our Census of Deep Life (CoDL) project targets deep microbial ecosystems of three little explored (for microbiology), North American geological provinces: the Basin and Range, Black Hills, and Canadian Shield. Here we focus on the Basin and Range, specifically radioactive fluids from nuclear device test cavities (U12N.10 tunnel and ER-EC-11) at the Nevada National Security Site (NNSS) and non-radioactive samples from a deep dolomite aquifer associated with Death Valley, CA (BLM-1 and Nevares Deep Well 2). Six pyrotag sequencing runs were attempted at the Marine Biology Lab (MBL) (bacterial v6v4 amplification for all sites and archaeal v6v4 amplification for BLM-1 and Nevares DW2). Of these, DNA extracts from five samples (all but Nevares DW2 Arch) successfully amplified. Bacterial libraries were generally dominated by Proteobacteria, Firmicutes, and Nitrospirae (ER-EC-11: Proteobacteria (45%), Deinococcus-Thermus (35%), Firmicutes (15%); U12N.10: Proteobacteria (37%), Firmicutes (32%), Nitrospirae (15%), Bacteroidetes (11%); BLM-1 (Bact): Firmicutes (93%); and Nevares DW2: Firmicutes (51%), Proteobacteria (16%), Nitrospirae (15%)). The BLM-1 (Arch) library contained >99% Euryarchaeota, with 98% of sequences represented by a single uncharacterized species of Methanothermobacter. Alpha diversity was calculated using the MBL VAMPS (Visualization and Analysis of Microbial Population Structures) system; showing the highest richness at both the phylum and genus levels in U12N.10 (Sp = 42; Sg = 341), and the lowest (Sp = 3; Sg = 11) in the BLM-1(Arch) library. Diversity was covered well at this depth of sequencing (~20,000 reads per sample) based on rarefaction analysis. One Firmicute lineage, candidatus D. audaxviator, has been shown to dominate microbial communities from

  16. Environmental and Microbial Features Affecting Denitrification and Anammox Hotspots in an Estuarine Ecosystem

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lisa, J.; Song, B.; Lefcheck, J. S.; Tobias, C. R.

    2016-02-01

    Biogeochemical hotspots are characterized as a few sites that exhibit extremely high reaction rates relative to surrounding area, and often account for a high percentage of the overall reaction rates in an ecosystem. Criteria for quantitatively identifying these sites have not been well established. Further, the underlying mechanisms of hotspots have been described in terms of environmental conditions, with little attention paid to the microbial community. The objectives of this study were to establish quantitative criteria to identify denitrification and anammox hotspots, and determine the underlying microbial and environmental factors responsible for elevated N2 production. We used 15N isotope pairing incubation experiments to measure denitrification and anammox rates in the New River Estuary, NC. Quantitative PCR assays of nitrous oxide reductase (nosZ Clades I and II) and hydrazine oxidoreductase (hzo) genes were conducted to estimate denitrifier and anammox abundance. Structural Equation Modeling (SEM) was used to elucidate complex causal relationships between environmental and biological variables. Denitrification hotspots, quantitatively defined as statistical outliers, accounted for 35.6% total denitrification while comprising only 7.3% of the sites. Anammox hotspots,10.6% of the sites, accounted for 60.9% of total anammox. SEM revealed increased sediment organics at lower salinities supported higher functional gene abundance, which in turn resulted in higher N2 production. Surprisingly, denitrification rates were significantly and positively correlated with nosZ Clade II gene abundance, after accounting for the non-significant contributions of the naturally more abundant nosZ Clade I, and other environmental covariates. This is the first time that a quantitative definition of biogeochemical hotspots was put forth and used to determine the importance of anammox and denitrification hotspots in estuarine nitrogen removal capacity. Despite the low area

  17. Microbial Communities in the Vertical Atmosphere: Effects of Urbanization and the Natural Environment in Four North American Ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Docherty, K. M.; Lemmer, K. M.; Domingue, K. D.; Spring, A.; Kerber, T. V.; Mooney, M. M.

    2017-12-01

    Airborne transport of microbial communities is a key component of the global ecosystem because it serves as a mechanism for dispersing microbial life between all surface habitats on the planet. However, most of our understanding of airborne microbial distribution is derived from samples collected near the ground. Little is understood about how the vertical layers of the air may act as a habitat filter or how local terrestrial ecosystems contribute to a vast airborne microbial seedbank. Specifically, urbanization may fundamentally alter the terrestrial sources of airborne microbial biodiversity. To address this question, we conducted airborne sampling at minimally disturbed natural sites and paired urban sites in 4 different North American ecosystems: shortgrass steppe, desert scrub, eastern deciduous forest, and northern mesic forest. All natural area sites were co-located with NEON/Ameriflux tower sites collecting atmospheric data. We developed an airborne sampling platform that uses tethered helikites at 3 replicate locations within each ecosystem to launch remote-controlled sampler payloads. We designed sampler payloads to collect airborne bacteria and fungi from 150, 30 and 2 m above the ground. Payload requirements included: ability to be disinfected and remain contaminant-free during transport, remote open/close functionality, payload weight under 6 lbs and automated collection of weather data. After sampling for 6 hours at each location, we extracted DNA collected by the samplers. We also extracted DNA from soil and plant samples collected from each location, and characterized ground vegetation. We conducted bacterial 16S amplicon-based sequencing using Mi-Seq and sequence analysis using QIIME. We used ArcGIS to determine percent land use coverage. Our results demonstrate that terrestrial ecosystem type is the most important factor contributing to differences in airborne bacterial community composition, and that communities differed by ecosystem. The

  18. Representing Microbial Dormancy in Soil Decomposition Models Improves Model Performance and Reveals Key Ecosystem Controls on Microbial Activity

    Science.gov (United States)

    He, Y.; Yang, J.; Zhuang, Q.; Wang, G.; Liu, Y.

    2014-12-01

    Climate feedbacks from soils can result from environmental change and subsequent responses of plant and microbial communities and nutrient cycling. Explicit consideration of microbial life history traits and strategy may be necessary to predict climate feedbacks due to microbial physiology and community changes and their associated effect on carbon cycling. In this study, we developed an explicit microbial-enzyme decomposition model and examined model performance with and without representation of dormancy at six temperate forest sites with observed soil efflux ranged from 4 to 10 years across different forest types. We then extrapolated the model to all temperate forests in the Northern Hemisphere (25-50°N) to investigate spatial controls on microbial and soil C dynamics. Both models captured the observed soil heterotrophic respiration (RH), yet no-dormancy model consistently exhibited large seasonal amplitude and overestimation in microbial biomass. Spatially, the total RH from temperate forests based on dormancy model amounts to 6.88PgC/yr, and 7.99PgC/yr based on no-dormancy model. However, no-dormancy model notably overestimated the ratio of microbial biomass to SOC. Spatial correlation analysis revealed key controls of soil C:N ratio on the active proportion of microbial biomass, whereas local dormancy is primarily controlled by soil moisture and temperature, indicating scale-dependent environmental and biotic controls on microbial and SOC dynamics. These developments should provide essential support to modeling future soil carbon dynamics and enhance the avenue for collaboration between empirical soil experiment and modeling in the sense that more microbial physiological measurements are needed to better constrain and evaluate the models.

  19. Microbial Fingerprints of Community Structure Correlate with Changes in Ecosystem Function Induced by Perturbing the Redox Environment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mills, A. L.; Ford, R. M.; Vallino, J. J.; Herman, J. S.; Hornberger, G. M.

    2001-12-01

    Restoration of high-quality groundwater has been an elusive engineering goal. Consequently, natural microbially-mediated reactions are increasingly relied upon to degrade organic contaminants, including hydrocarbons and many synthetic compounds. Of concern is how the introduction of an organic chemical contaminant affects the indigenous microbial communities, the geochemistry of the aquifer, and the function of the ecosystem. The presence of functional redundancy in microbial communities suggests that recovery of the community after a disturbance such as a contamination event could easily result in a community that is similar in function to that which existed prior to the contamination, but which is compositionally quite different. To investigate the relationship between community structure and function we observed the response of a diverse microbial community obtained from raw sewage to a dynamic redox environment using an aerobic/anaerobic/aerobic cycle. To evaluate changes in community function CO2, pH, ammonium and nitrate levels were monitored. A phylogenetically-based DNA technique (tRFLP) was used to assess changes in microbial community structure. Principal component analysis of the tRFLP data revealed significant changes in the composition of the microbial community that correlated well with changes in community function. Results from our experiments will be discussed in the context of a metabolic model based the biogeochemistry of the system. The governing philosophy of this thermodynamically constrained metabolic model is that living systems synthesize and allocate cellular machinery in such a way as to "optimally" utilize available resources in the environment. The robustness of this optimization-based approach provides a powerful tool for studying relationships between microbial diversity and ecosystem function.

  20. Impact of ecosystem management on microbial community level physiological profiles of postmining forest rehabilitation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cookson, W R; O'Donnell, A J; Grant, C D; Grierson, P F; Murphy, D V

    2008-02-01

    acids also tended to increase with increasing soil total C and organic C contents but decreased with increasing nitrate content, whereas the opposite was true for carboxylic acids. Only 45% of the variance in CLPP was explained using a multivariate multiple regression model, but soil C and N pools and litter mass were significant predictors of CLPP. Differences in soil textural components between treatments were also correlated with CLPP; likely causes of these differences are discussed. Our results suggest that 1 year after treatment, CLPP from this mined forest ecosystem are resilient to a spring prescribed fire but not forest thinning. We conclude that differences in CLPP are likely to result from complex interactions among soil properties that mediate substrate availability, microbial nutrient demand, and microbial community composition.

  1. The use of controlled microbial cenoses in producers' link to increase steady functioning of artificial ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Somova, Lydia; Mikheeva, Galina; Somova, Lydia

    The life support systems (LSS) for long-term missions are to use cycling-recycling systems, including biological recycling. Simple ecosystems include 3 links: producers (plants), consumers (man, animals) and reducers (microorganisms). Microorganisms are substantial component of every link of LSS. Higher plants are the traditional regenerator of air and producer of food. They should be used in many successive generations of their reproduction in LSS. Controlled microbiocenoses can increase productivity of producer's link and protect plants from infections. The goal of this work was development of methodological bases of formation of stable, controlled microbiocenoses, intended for increase of productivity of plants and for obtaining ecologically pure production of plants. Main results of our investigations: 1. Experimental microbiocenoses, has been produced in view of the developed methodology on the basis of natural association of microorganisms by long cultivation on specially developed medium. Dominating groups are bacteria of genera: Lactobacillus, Streptococcus, Leuconostoc, Bifidobacterium, Rhodopseudomonas and yeast of genera: Kluyveromyces, Saccharomyces, Torulopsis. 2. Optimal parameters of microbiocenosis cultivation (t, pH, light exposure, biogenic elements concentrations) were experimentally established. Conditions of cultivation on which domination of different groups of microbiocenosis have been found. 3. It was shown, that processing of seeds of wheat, oats, bulbs and plants Allium cepa L. (an onions) with microbial association raised energy of germination of seeds and bulbs and promoted the increase (on 20-30 %) of growth green biomass and root system of plants in comparison with the control. This work is supported by grant, Yenissey , 07-04-96806

  2. Abundance and genetic diversity of microbial polygalacturonase and pectate lyase in the sheep rumen ecosystem.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Peng Yuan

    Full Text Available Efficient degradation of pectin in the rumen is necessary for plant-based feed utilization. The objective of this study was to characterize the diversity, abundance, and functions of pectinases from microorganisms in the sheep rumen.A total of 103 unique fragments of polygalacturonase (PF00295 and pectate lyase (PF00544 and PF09492 genes were retrieved from microbial DNA in the rumen of a Small Tail Han sheep, and 66% of the sequences of these fragments had low identities (<65% with known sequences. Phylogenetic tree building separated the PF00295, PF00544, and PF09492 sequences into five, three, and three clades, respectively. Cellulolytic and noncellulolytic Butyrivibrio, Prevotella, and Fibrobacter species were the major sources of the pectinases. The two most abundant pectate lyase genes were cloned, and their protein products, expressed in Escherichia coli, were characterized. Both enzymes probably act extracellularly as their nucleotide sequences contained signal sequences, and they had optimal activities at the ruminal physiological temperature and complementary pH-dependent activity profiles.This study reveals the specificity, diversity, and abundance of pectinases in the rumen ecosystem and provides two additional ruminal pectinases for potential industrial use under physiological conditions.

  3. Soil ecology of a rock outcrop ecosystem: Abiotic stresses, soil respiration, and microbial community profiles in limestone cedar glades

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cartwright, Jennifer M.; Advised by Dzantor, E. Kudjo

    2015-01-01

    Limestone cedar glades are a type of rock outcrop ecosystem characterized by shallow soil and extreme hydrologic conditions—seasonally ranging from xeric to saturated—that support a number of plant species of conservation concern. Although a rich botanical literature exists on cedar glades, soil biochemical processes and the ecology of soil microbial communities in limestone cedar glades have largely been ignored. This investigation documents the abiotic stress regime of this ecosystem (shallow soil, extreme hydrologic fluctuations and seasonally high soil surface temperatures) as well as soil physical and chemical characteristics, and relates both types of information to ecological structures and functions including vegetation, soil respiration, and soil microbial community metabolic profiles and diversity. Methods used in this investigation include field observations and measurements of soil physical and chemical properties and processes, laboratory analyses, and microbiological assays of soil samples.

  4. The perils and promises of microbial abundance: novel natures and model ecosystems, from artisanal cheese to alien seas.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Paxson, Heather; Helmreich, Stefan

    2014-04-01

    Microbial life has been much in the news. From outbreaks of Escherichia coli to discussions of the benefits of raw and fermented foods to recent reports of life forms capable of living in extreme environments, the modest microbe has become a figure for thinking through the presents and possible futures of nature, writ large as well as small. Noting that dominant representations of microbial life have shifted from an idiom of peril to one of promise, we argue that microbes--especially when thriving as microbial communities--are being upheld as model ecosystems in a prescriptive sense, as tokens of how organisms and human ecological relations with them could, should, or might be. We do so in reference to two case studies: the regulatory politics of artisanal cheese and the speculative research of astrobiology. To think of and with microbial communities as model ecosystems offers a corrective to the scientific determinisms we detect in some recent calls to attend to the materiality of scientific objects.

  5. Geochemical and physical drivers of microbial community structure in hot spring ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Havig, J. R.; Hamilton, T. L.; Boyd, E. S.; Meyer-Dombard, D. R.; Shock, E.

    2012-12-01

    Microbial communities in natural systems are typically characterized using samples collected from a single time point, thereby neglecting the temporal dynamics that characterize natural systems. The composition of these communities obtained from single point samples is then related to the geochemistry and physical parameters of the environment. Since most microbial life is adapted to a relatively narrow ecological niche (multiplicity of physical and chemical parameters that characterize a local habitat), these assessments provide only modest insight into the controls on community composition. Temporal variation in temperature or geochemical composition would be expected to add another dimension to the complexity of niche space available to support microbial diversity, with systems that experience greater variation supporting a greater biodiversity until a point where the variability is too extreme. . Hot springs often exhibit significant temporal variation, both in physical as well as chemical characteristics. This is a result of subsurface processes including boiling, phase separation, and differential mixing of liquid and vapor phase constituents. These characteristics of geothermal systems, which vary significantly over short periods of time, provide ideal natural laboratories for investigating how i) the extent of microbial community biodiversity and ii) the composition of those communities are shaped by temporal fluctuations in geochemistry. Geochemical and molecular samples were collected from 17 temporally variable hot springs across Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming. Temperature measurements using data-logging thermocouples, allowing accurate determination of temperature maximums, minimums, and ranges for each collection site, were collected in parallel, along with multiple geochemical characterizations as conditions varied. There were significant variations in temperature maxima (54.5 to 90.5°C), minima (12.5 to 82.5°C), and range (3.5 to 77.5°C) for

  6. Long-term reactive nitrogen loading alters soil carbon and microbial community properties in a subalpine forest ecosystem

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boot, Claudia M.; Hall, Ed K.; Denef, Karolien; Baron, Jill S.

    2016-01-01

    Elevated nitrogen (N) deposition due to increased fossil fuel combustion and agricultural practices has altered global carbon (C) cycling. Additions of reactive N to N-limited environments are typically accompanied by increases in plant biomass. Soil C dynamics, however, have shown a range of different responses to the addition of reactive N that seem to be ecosystem dependent. We evaluated the effect of N amendments on biogeochemical characteristics and microbial responses of subalpine forest organic soils in order to develop a mechanistic understanding of how soils are affected by N amendments in subalpine ecosystems. We measured a suite of responses across three years (2011–2013) during two seasons (spring and fall). Following 17 years of N amendments, fertilized soils were more acidic (control mean 5.09, fertilized mean 4.68), and had lower %C (control mean 33.7% C, fertilized mean 29.8% C) and microbial biomass C by 22% relative to control plots. Shifts in biogeochemical properties in fertilized plots were associated with an altered microbial community driven by reduced arbuscular mycorrhizal (control mean 3.2 mol%, fertilized mean 2.5 mol%) and saprotrophic fungal groups (control mean 17.0 mol%, fertilized mean 15.2 mol%), as well as a decrease in N degrading microbial enzyme activity. Our results suggest that decreases in soil C in subalpine forests were in part driven by increased microbial degradation of soil organic matter and reduced inputs to soil organic matter in the form of microbial biomass.

  7. Assessing Impacts of Unconventional Natural Gas Extraction on Microbial Communities in Headwater Stream Ecosystems in Northwestern Pennsylvania

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ryan eTrexler

    2014-11-01

    Full Text Available Hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling have increased dramatically in Pennsylvania Marcellus shale formations, however the potential for major environmental impacts are still incompletely understood. High-throughput sequencing of the 16S rRNA gene was performed to characterize the microbial community structure of water, sediment, bryophyte, and biofilm samples from 26 headwater stream sites in northwestern Pennsylvania with different histories of fracking activity within Marcellus shale play. Further, we describe the relationship between microbial community structure and environmental parameters measured. Approximately 3.2 million 16S rRNA gene sequences were retrieved from a total of 58 samples. Microbial community analyses showed significant reductions in species richness as well as evenness in sites with Marcellus shale activity (MSA+. Beta diversity analyses revealed distinct microbial community structure between sites with and without Marcellus shale activity (MSA-. For example, OTUs within the Acetobacteracea, Methylocystaceae, Acidobacteriaceae, and Phenylobacterium were greater than three log-fold more abundant in MSA+ sites as compared to MSA- sites. Further, several of these OTUs were strongly negatively correlated with pH and positively correlated with the number of wellpads in a watershed. It should be noted that many of the OTUs enriched in MSA+ sites are putative acidophilic and/or methanotrophic populations. This study revealed apparent shifts in the autochthonous microbial communities and highlighted potential members that could be responding to changing stream conditions as a result of nascent industrial activity in these aquatic ecosystems.

  8. Assessing impacts of unconventional natural gas extraction on microbial communities in headwater stream ecosystems in Northwestern Pennsylvania

    Science.gov (United States)

    Trexler, Ryan; Solomon, Caroline; Brislawn, Colin J.; Wright, Justin R.; Rosenberger, Abigail; McClure, Erin E.; Grube, Alyssa M.; Peterson, Mark P.; Keddache, Mehdi; Mason, Olivia U.; Hazen, Terry C.; Grant, Christopher J.; Lamendella, Regina

    2014-01-01

    Hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling have increased dramatically in Pennsylvania Marcellus shale formations, however the potential for major environmental impacts are still incompletely understood. High-throughput sequencing of the 16S rRNA gene was performed to characterize the microbial community structure of water, sediment, bryophyte, and biofilm samples from 26 headwater stream sites in northwestern Pennsylvania with different histories of fracking activity within Marcellus shale formations. Further, we describe the relationship between microbial community structure and environmental parameters measured. Approximately 3.2 million 16S rRNA gene sequences were retrieved from a total of 58 samples. Microbial community analyses showed significant reductions in species richness as well as evenness in sites with Marcellus shale activity. Beta diversity analyses revealed distinct microbial community structure between sites with and without Marcellus shale activity. For example, operational taxonomic units (OTUs) within the Acetobacteracea, Methylocystaceae, Acidobacteriaceae, and Phenylobacterium were greater than three log-fold more abundant in MSA+ sites as compared to MSA− sites. Further, several of these OTUs were strongly negatively correlated with pH and positively correlated with the number of wellpads in a watershed. It should be noted that many of the OTUs enriched in MSA+ sites are putative acidophilic and/or methanotrophic populations. This study revealed apparent shifts in the autochthonous microbial communities and highlighted potential members that could be responding to changing stream conditions as a result of nascent industrial activity in these aquatic ecosystems. PMID:25408683

  9. Diversity and seasonal fluctuation of predominant microbial communities in Bhitarkanika, a tropical mangrove ecosystem in India

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rashmi Ranjan Mishra

    2012-06-01

    Full Text Available Different groups of microorganisms are present in mangrove areas, and they perform complex interactions for nutrient and ecological balances. Since little is known about microbial populations in mangroves, this study analyzed the microbial community structure and function in relation to soil physico-chemical properties in Bhitarkanika, a tropical mangrove ecosystem in India. Spatial and seasonal fluctuations of thirteen important groups of microorganisms were evaluated from the mangrove forest sediments during different seasons, along with soil physico-chemical parameters. The overall microbial load (x10(5cfu/g soil in soil declined in the order of heterotrophic, free living N2 fixing, Gram-negative nitrifying, sulphur oxidizing, Gram-positive, spore forming, denitrifying, anaerobic, phosphate solubilizing, cellulose degrading bacteria, fungi and actinomycetes. Populations of the heterotrophic, phosphate solubilizing, sulphur oxidizing bacteria and fungi were more represented in the rainy season, while, Gram-negative, Gram-positive, nitrifying, denitrifying, cellulose decomposing bacteria and actinomycetes in the winter season. The pool size of most of other microbes either declined or maintained throughout the season. Soil nutrients such as N, P, K (Kg/ha and total C (% contents were higher in the rainy season and they did not follow any common trend of changes throughout the study period. Soil pH and salinity (mS/cm varied from 6-8 and 6.4-19.5, respectively, and they normally affected the microbial population dynamics. Determination of bacterial diversity in Bhitarkanika mangrove soil by culture method showed the predominance of bacterial genera such as Bacillus, Pseudomonas, Desulfotomaculum, Desulfovibrio, Desulfomonas, Methylococcus, Vibrio, Micrococcus, Klebsiella and Azotobacter. Principal component analysis (PCA revealed a correlation among local environmental variables with the sampling locations on the microbial community in the

  10. Microbial and Functional Diversity within the Phyllosphere of Espeletia Species in an Andean High-Mountain Ecosystem.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ruiz-Pérez, Carlos A; Restrepo, Silvia; Zambrano, María Mercedes

    2016-01-08

    Microbial populations residing in close contact with plants can be found in the rhizosphere, in the phyllosphere as epiphytes on the surface, or inside plants as endophytes. Here, we analyzed the microbiota associated with Espeletia plants, endemic to the Páramo environment of the Andes Mountains and a unique model for studying microbial populations and their adaptations to the adverse conditions of high-mountain neotropical ecosystems. Communities were analyzed using samples from the rhizosphere, necromass, and young and mature leaves, the last two analyzed separately as endophytes and epiphytes. The taxonomic composition determined by performing sequencing of the V5-V6 region of the 16S rRNA gene indicated differences among populations of the leaf phyllosphere, the necromass, and the rhizosphere, with predominance of some phyla but only few shared operational taxonomic units (OTUs). Functional profiles predicted on the basis of taxonomic affiliations differed from those obtained by GeoChip microarray analysis, which separated community functional capacities based on plant microenvironment. The identified metabolic pathways provided insight regarding microbial strategies for colonization and survival in these ecosystems. This study of novel plant phyllosphere microbiomes and their putative functional ecology is also the first step for future bioprospecting studies in search of enzymes, compounds, or microorganisms relevant to industry or for remediation efforts. Copyright © 2016, American Society for Microbiology. All Rights Reserved.

  11. The feasibility of automated online flow cytometry for in-situ monitoring of microbial dynamics in aquatic ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Besmer, Michael D.; Weissbrodt, David G.; Kratochvil, Bradley E.; Sigrist, Jürg A.; Weyland, Mathias S.; Hammes, Frederik

    2014-01-01

    Fluorescent staining coupled with flow cytometry (FCM) is often used for the monitoring, quantification and characterization of bacteria in engineered and environmental aquatic ecosystems including seawater, freshwater, drinking water, wastewater, and industrial bioreactors. However, infrequent grab sampling hampers accurate characterization and subsequent understanding of microbial dynamics in all of these ecosystems. A logic technological progression is high throughput and full automation of the sampling, staining, measurement, and data analysis steps. Here we assess the feasibility and applicability of automated FCM by means of actual data sets produced with prototype instrumentation. As proof-of-concept we demonstrate examples of microbial dynamics in (i) flowing tap water from a municipal drinking water supply network and (ii) river water from a small creek subject to two rainfall events. In both cases, automated measurements were done at 15-min intervals during 12–14 consecutive days, yielding more than 1000 individual data points for each ecosystem. The extensive data sets derived from the automated measurements allowed for the establishment of baseline data for each ecosystem, as well as for the recognition of daily variations and specific events that would most likely be missed (or miss-characterized) by infrequent sampling. In addition, the online FCM data from the river water was combined and correlated with online measurements of abiotic parameters, showing considerable potential for a better understanding of cause-and-effect relationships in aquatic ecosystems. Although several challenges remain, the successful operation of an automated online FCM system and the basic interpretation of the resulting data sets represent a breakthrough toward the eventual establishment of fully automated online microbiological monitoring technologies. PMID:24917858

  12. Primary productivity as a control over soil microbial diversity along environmental gradients in a polar desert ecosystem

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kevin M. Geyer

    2017-07-01

    Full Text Available Primary production is the fundamental source of energy to foodwebs and ecosystems, and is thus an important constraint on soil communities. This coupling is particularly evident in polar terrestrial ecosystems where biological diversity and activity is tightly constrained by edaphic gradients of productivity (e.g., soil moisture, organic carbon availability and geochemical severity (e.g., pH, electrical conductivity. In the McMurdo Dry Valleys of Antarctica, environmental gradients determine numerous properties of soil communities and yet relatively few estimates of gross or net primary productivity (GPP, NPP exist for this region. Here we describe a survey utilizing pulse amplitude modulation (PAM fluorometry to estimate rates of GPP across a broad environmental gradient along with belowground microbial diversity and decomposition. PAM estimates of GPP ranged from an average of 0.27 μmol O2/m2/s in the most arid soils to an average of 6.97 μmol O2/m2/s in the most productive soils, the latter equivalent to 217 g C/m2/y in annual NPP assuming a 60 day growing season. A diversity index of four carbon-acquiring enzyme activities also increased with soil productivity, suggesting that the diversity of organic substrates in mesic environments may be an additional driver of microbial diversity. Overall, soil productivity was a stronger predictor of microbial diversity and enzymatic activity than any estimate of geochemical severity. These results highlight the fundamental role of environmental gradients to control community diversity and the dynamics of ecosystem-scale carbon pools in arid systems.

  13. Coastal microbial mats: the physiology of a small-scale ecosystem

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Stal, L.J.

    2001-01-01

    Coastal inter-tidal sandy sediments, salt marshes and mangrove forests often support the development of microbial mats. Microbial mats are complex associations of one or several functional groups of microorganisms and their formation usually starts with the growth of a cyanobacterial population on a

  14. A multitrophic model to quantify the effects of marine viruses on microbial food webs and ecosystem processes

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Weitz, Joshua S.; Stock, Charles A.; Wilhelm, Steven W.

    2015-01-01

    Viral lysis of microbial hosts releases organic matter that can then be assimilated by nontargeted microorganisms. Quantitative estimates of virus-mediated recycling of carbon in marine waters, first established in the late 1990s, were originally extrapolated from marine host and virus densities......, host carbon content and inferred viral lysis rates. Yet, these estimates did not explicitly incorporate the cascade of complex feedbacks associated with virus-mediated lysis. To evaluate the role of viruses in shaping community structure and ecosystem functioning, we extend dynamic multitrophic...

  15. Divergence of dominant factors in soil microbial communities and functions in forest ecosystems along a climatic gradient

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xu, Zhiwei; Yu, Guirui; Zhang, Xinyu; He, Nianpeng; Wang, Qiufeng; Wang, Shengzhong; Xu, Xiaofeng; Wang, Ruili; Zhao, Ning

    2018-03-01

    Soil microorganisms play an important role in regulating nutrient cycling in terrestrial ecosystems. Most of the studies conducted thus far have been confined to a single forest biome or have focused on one or two controlling factors, and few have dealt with the integrated effects of climate, vegetation, and soil substrate availability on soil microbial communities and functions among different forests. In this study, we used phospholipid-derived fatty acid (PLFA) analysis to investigate soil microbial community structure and extracellular enzymatic activities to evaluate the functional potential of soil microbes of different types of forests in three different climatic zones along the north-south transect in eastern China (NSTEC). Both climate and forest type had significant effects on soil enzyme activities and microbial communities with considerable interactive effects. Except for soil acid phosphatase (AP), the other three enzyme activities were much higher in the warm temperate zone than in the temperate and the subtropical climate zones. The soil total PLFAs and bacteria were much higher in the temperate zone than in the warm temperate and the subtropical zones. The soil β-glucosidase (BG) and N-acetylglucosaminidase (NAG) activities were highest in the coniferous forest. Except for the soil fungi and fungi-bacteria (F/B), the different groups of microbial PLFAs were much higher in the conifer broad-leaved mixed forests than in the coniferous forests and the broad-leaved forests. In general, soil enzyme activities and microbial PLFAs were higher in primary forests than in secondary forests in temperate and warm temperate regions. In the subtropical region, soil enzyme activities were lower in the primary forests than in the secondary forests and microbial PLFAs did not differ significantly between primary and secondary forests. Different compositions of the tree species may cause variations in soil microbial communities and enzyme activities. Our results

  16. Distinct responses of soil microbial communities to elevated CO2 and O3 in a soybean agro-ecosystem.

    Science.gov (United States)

    He, Zhili; Xiong, Jinbo; Kent, Angela D; Deng, Ye; Xue, Kai; Wang, Gejiao; Wu, Liyou; Van Nostrand, Joy D; Zhou, Jizhong

    2014-03-01

    The concentrations of atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) and tropospheric ozone (O3) have been rising due to human activities. However, little is known about how such increases influence soil microbial communities. We hypothesized that elevated CO2 (eCO2) and elevated O3 (eO3) would significantly affect the functional composition, structure and metabolic potential of soil microbial communities, and that various functional groups would respond to such atmospheric changes differentially. To test these hypotheses, we analyzed 96 soil samples from a soybean free-air CO2 enrichment (SoyFACE) experimental site using a comprehensive functional gene microarray (GeoChip 3.0). The results showed the overall functional composition and structure of soil microbial communities shifted under eCO2, eO3 or eCO2+eO3. Key functional genes involved in carbon fixation and degradation, nitrogen fixation, denitrification and methane metabolism were stimulated under eCO2, whereas those involved in N fixation, denitrification and N mineralization were suppressed under eO3, resulting in the fact that the abundance of some eO3-supressed genes was promoted to ambient, or eCO2-induced levels by the interaction of eCO2+eO3. Such effects appeared distinct for each treatment and significantly correlated with soil properties and soybean yield. Overall, our analysis suggests possible mechanisms of microbial responses to global atmospheric change factors through the stimulation of C and N cycling by eCO2, the inhibition of N functional processes by eO3 and the interaction by eCO2 and eO3. This study provides new insights into our understanding of microbial functional processes in response to global atmospheric change in soybean agro-ecosystems.

  17. A global analysis of soil microbial biomass carbon, nitrogen and phosphorus in terrestrial ecosystems

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Xu, Xiaofeng [ORNL; Thornton, Peter E [ORNL; Post, Wilfred M [ORNL

    2013-01-01

    Soil microbes play a pivotal role in regulating land-atmosphere interactions; the soil microbial biomass carbon (C), nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P) and C:N:P stoichiometry are important regulators for soil biogeochemical processes; however, the current knowledge on magnitude, stoichiometry, storage, and spatial distribution of global soil microbial biomass C, N, and P is limited. In this study, 3087 pairs of data points were retrieved from 281 published papers and further used to summarize the magnitudes and stoichiometries of C, N, and P in soils and soil microbial biomass at global- and biome-levels. Finally, global stock and spatial distribution of microbial biomass C and N in 0-30 cm and 0-100 cm soil profiles were estimated. The results show that C, N, and P in soils and soil microbial biomass vary substantially across biomes; the fractions of soil nutrient C, N, and P in soil microbial biomass are 1.6% in a 95% confidence interval of (1.5%-1.6%), 2.9% in a 95% confidence interval of (2.8%-3.0%), and 4.4% in a 95% confidence interval of (3.9%-5.0%), respectively. The best estimates of C:N:P stoichiometries for soil nutrients and soil microbial biomass are 153:11:1, and 47:6:1, respectively, at global scale, and they vary in a wide range among biomes. Vertical distribution of soil microbial biomass follows the distribution of roots up to 1 m depth. The global stock of soil microbial biomass C and N were estimated to be 15.2 Pg C and 2.3 Pg N in the 0-30 cm soil profiles, and 21.2 Pg C and 3.2 Pg N in the 0-100 cm soil profiles. We did not estimate P in soil microbial biomass due to data shortage and insignificant correlation with soil total P and climate variables. The spatial patterns of soil microbial biomass C and N were consistent with those of soil organic C and total N, i.e. high density in northern high latitude, and low density in low latitudes and southern hemisphere.

  18. Nutrient limitation of soil microbial activity during the earliest stages of ecosystem development.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Castle, Sarah C; Sullivan, Benjamin W; Knelman, Joseph; Hood, Eran; Nemergut, Diana R; Schmidt, Steven K; Cleveland, Cory C

    2017-11-01

    A dominant paradigm in ecology is that plants are limited by nitrogen (N) during primary succession. Whether generalizable patterns of nutrient limitation are also applicable to metabolically and phylogenetically diverse soil microbial communities, however, is not well understood. We investigated if measures of N and phosphorus (P) pools inform our understanding of the nutrient(s) most limiting to soil microbial community activities during primary succession. We evaluated soil biogeochemical properties and microbial processes using two complementary methodological approaches-a nutrient addition microcosm experiment and extracellular enzyme assays-to assess microbial nutrient limitation across three actively retreating glacial chronosequences. Microbial respiratory responses in the microcosm experiment provided evidence for N, P and N/P co-limitation at Easton Glacier, Washington, USA, Puca Glacier, Peru, and Mendenhall Glacier, Alaska, USA, respectively, and patterns of nutrient limitation generally reflected site-level differences in soil nutrient availability. The activities of three key extracellular enzymes known to vary with soil N and P availability developed in broadly similar ways among sites, increasing with succession and consistently correlating with changes in soil total N pools. Together, our findings demonstrate that during the earliest stages of soil development, microbial nutrient limitation and activity generally reflect soil nutrient supply, a result that is broadly consistent with biogeochemical theory.

  19. Effect of ecosystems substitutions and CO{sub 2} increase of the atmosphere on the microbial ecosystems of forests; Effet de substitutions d'essence et de l'augmentation en CO{sub 2} de l'atmosphere sur les communautes microbiennes intervenant dans le fonctionnement d'un ecosysteme forestier

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Martin, F

    2007-07-01

    Biological diversity is often exclusively considered at the level of plants and animals, whereas the bulk of global biodiversity is in fact at the microbial level. Although it is clear that the ecology of our planet is driven by microbial ecosystems, we are severely hampered by our limited understanding of the diversity and function of such microbial ecosystems. In the present project, teams in the disciplines of geochemistry, soil microbiology, genomics and ecosystem processes are assembled to study the relationship between environmental change, land use changes, biodiversity, and functioning of forest ecosystems. The network has a strong focus on developing and applying biochemical and genotyping methodologies to address key scientific issues in soil microbial ecology. These include assessing the impact of environmental- and land use changes on microbial diversity and function and exploring the evolutionary and mechanistic links between biological diversity and ecosystem function. In the present study, we have shown that: (1) The native mixed forest showed the highest microbial diversity (2) The mono specific plantations of tree species (e.g., oak, beech, pine, spruce) strikingly alter genetic and functional diversities of soil bacterial and fungal species. (3) Bacterial denitrification rates were dramatically modified by the planted species. Only by taking into account the impact of forest management on below-ground microbial diversity can one hope to get a full ecosystem-based understanding, and this must be addressed via modelling in order to provide relevant and useful information for conservation and policy making. (author)

  20. Stimulation of microbial nitrogen cycling in aquatic ecosystems by benthic macrofauna: mechanisms and environmental implications

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Stief, P.

    2013-01-01

    (mainly nitrate and ammonium) and the emission of the greenhouse gas nitrous oxide are evaluated. Published data indicate that ecosystem engineering by sediment-burrowing macrofauna stimulates benthic nitrification and denitrification, which together allows fixed nitrogen removal. However, the release...... enhance nitrous oxide emission from shallow aquatic ecosystems. The beneficial effect of benthic macrofauna on fixed nitrogen removal through coupled nitrification-denitrification can thus be offset by the concurrent release of (i) ammonium that stimulates aquatic primary production and (ii) nitrous oxide...... of ammonium from sediments is enhanced more strongly than the sedimentary uptake of nitrate. Ecosystem engineering by reef-building macrofauna increases nitrogen retention and ammonium concentrations in shallow aquatic ecosystems, but allows organic nitrogen removal through harvesting. Grazing by macrofauna...

  1. Methane- and dissolved organic carbon-fueled microbial loop supports a tropical subterranean estuary ecosystem

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Brankovits, D.; Pohlman, J.W.; Niemann, H.; Leigh, M.B.; Leewis, M.C.; Becker, K.W.; Iliffe, T.M.; Alvarez, F.; Lehmann, M.F.; Phillips, B.

    2017-01-01

    Subterranean estuaries extend inland into density-stratified coastal carbonate aquifers containing a surprising diversity of endemic animals (mostly crustaceans) within a highly oligotrophic habitat. How complex ecosystems (termed anchialine) thrive in this globally distributed, cryptic environment

  2. Diffuse flow environments within basalt- and sediment-based hydrothermal vent ecosystems harbor specialized microbial communities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Campbell, Barbara J; Polson, Shawn W; Zeigler Allen, Lisa; Williamson, Shannon J; Lee, Charles K; Wommack, K Eric; Cary, S Craig

    2013-01-01

    Hydrothermal vents differ both in surface input and subsurface geochemistry. The effects of these differences on their microbial communities are not clear. Here, we investigated both alpha and beta diversity of diffuse flow-associated microbial communities emanating from vents at a basalt-based hydrothermal system along the East Pacific Rise (EPR) and a sediment-based hydrothermal system, Guaymas Basin. Both Bacteria and Archaea were targeted using high throughput 16S rRNA gene pyrosequencing analyses. A unique aspect of this study was the use of a universal set of 16S rRNA gene primers to characterize total and diffuse flow-specific microbial communities from varied deep-sea hydrothermal environments. Both surrounding seawater and diffuse flow water samples contained large numbers of Marine Group I (MGI) Thaumarchaea and Gammaproteobacteria taxa previously observed in deep-sea systems. However, these taxa were geographically distinct and segregated according to type of spreading center. Diffuse flow microbial community profiles were highly differentiated. In particular, EPR dominant diffuse flow taxa were most closely associated with chemolithoautotrophs, and off axis water was dominated by heterotrophic-related taxa, whereas the opposite was true for Guaymas Basin. The diversity and richness of diffuse flow-specific microbial communities were strongly correlated to the relative abundance of Epsilonproteobacteria, proximity to macrofauna, and hydrothermal system type. Archaeal diversity was higher than or equivalent to bacterial diversity in about one third of the samples. Most diffuse flow-specific communities were dominated by OTUs associated with Epsilonproteobacteria, but many of the Guaymas Basin diffuse flow samples were dominated by either OTUs within the Planctomycetes or hyperthermophilic Archaea. This study emphasizes the unique microbial communities associated with geochemically and geographically distinct hydrothermal diffuse flow environments.

  3. Microbial community production, respiration, and structure of the microbial food web of an ecosystem in the northeastern Atlantic Ocean

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maixandeau, Anne; LefèVre, Dominique; Karayanni, Hera; Christaki, Urania; van Wambeke, France; Thyssen, Melilotus; Denis, Michel; FernáNdez, Camila I.; Uitz, Julia; Leblanc, Karine; QuéGuiner, Bernard

    2005-07-01

    Gross community production (GCP), dark community respiration (DCR), and the biomass of the different size classes of organisms in the microbial community were measured in the northeastern Atlantic basin as part of the Programme Océan Multidisciplinaire Méso Echelle (POMME) project. The field experiment was conducted during three seasons (winter, spring, and late summer-fall) in 2001. Samples were collected from four different mesoscale structures within the upper 100 m. GCP rates increased from winter (101 ± 24 mmol O2 m-2 d-1) to spring (153 ± 27 mmol O2 m-2 d-1) and then decreased from spring to late summer (44 ± 18 mmol O2 m-2 d-1). DCR rates increased from winter (-47 ± 18 mmol O2 m-2 d-1) to spring (-97 ± 7 mmol O2 m-2 d-1) and then decreased from spring to late summer (50 ± 7 mmol O2 m-2 d-1). The onset of stratification depended on latitude as well as on the presence of mesoscale structures (eddies), and this largely contributed to the variability of GCP. The trophic status of the POMME area was defined as net autotrophic, with a mean annual net community production rate of +38 ± 18 mmol O2 m-2 d-1, exhibiting a seasonal variation from +2 ± 20 mmol O2 m-2 d-1 to +57 ± 20 mmol O2 m-2 d-1. This study highlights that small organisms (picoautotrophs, nanoautotrophs, and bacteria) are the main organisms contributing to biological fluxes throughout the year and that episodic blooms of microphytoplankton are related to mesoscale structures.

  4. Quantifying the Importance of the Rare Biosphere for Microbial Community Response to Organic Pollutants in a Freshwater Ecosystem.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Yuanqi; Hatt, Janet K; Tsementzi, Despina; Rodriguez-R, Luis M; Ruiz-Pérez, Carlos A; Weigand, Michael R; Kizer, Heidi; Maresca, Gina; Krishnan, Raj; Poretsky, Rachel; Spain, Jim C; Konstantinidis, Konstantinos T

    2017-04-15

    value of this astonishing biodiversity for ecosystem functioning remains poorly understood, primarily due to the fact that microbial community analysis frequently focuses on abundant organisms. Using a combination of culture-dependent and culture-independent (metagenomics) techniques, we showed that rare taxa and genes commonly contribute to the microbial community response to organic pollutants. Our findings should have implications for future studies that aim to study the role of rare species in environmental processes, including environmental bioremediation efforts of oil spills or other contaminants. Copyright © 2017 American Society for Microbiology.

  5. Detrital microbial community development and phosphorus dynamics in a stream ecosystem

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Perkins, R.E.; Elwood, J.W.; Sayler, G.S.

    1986-06-01

    Detrital microbial community development and phosphorus dynamics in a lotic system were investigated in non-recirculating laboratory streams contains leaf detritus. Temporal patterns of microbial colonization, as determined by scanning electron microscopy, indicate leaf species dependency and that bacteria were the first colonizers followed by fungi. An extensive glycocalyx layer developed. Phosphorus incorporation rates of both the whole community and intracellular components were determined by time-course measurements of /sup 33/PO/sub 4/ or /sup 32/PO/sub 4/. Phosphorus turnover rates were determined by a sequential double-labeling procedure using /sup 33/PO/sub 4/ and /sup 32/PO/sub 4/, in which the microbiota were labeled with /sup 33/P until in isotopic equilibrium, then /sup 32/P was added. The turnover rate was determined by time-course measurements of the ratio /sup 32/P to /sup 33/P. Snail grazing resulted in an increase in phosphorus metabolism per unit microbial biomass; however, per unit area of leaf surface no increase was observed. Grazing also caused a two-fold reduction in microbial biomass. The results indicate that microbiota associated with decomposing leaves slowly recycle phosphorus, are slowly growing, and have a low metabolic activity. The spiraling length is shortened by microbiota on a short-term basis; however, it may increase on a long-term basis due to hydrological transport of detritus downstream.

  6. Microbial community assembly in an evolving ecosystem : Ecological succession and functional properties of soil microbes

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Dini Andreote, Francisco

    2016-01-01

    Thema’s omtrent “gemeenschapssamenstelling” en “ecologische successie in bodems” zijn traditionele concepten binnen de ecologie, doch minder gewaardeerd in bodemmicrobiologie. Dit proefschrift is gericht op integratie van deze thema’s in microbiële ecologie door gebruik te maken van een natuurlijk

  7. Linking the Gut Microbial Ecosystem with the Environment: Does Gut Health Depend on Where We Live?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nishat Tasnim

    2017-10-01

    Full Text Available Global comparisons reveal a decrease in gut microbiota diversity attributed to Western diets, lifestyle practices such as caesarian section, antibiotic use and formula-feeding of infants, and sanitation of the living environment. While gut microbial diversity is decreasing, the prevalence of chronic inflammatory diseases such as inflammatory bowel disease, diabetes, obesity, allergies and asthma is on the rise in Westernized societies. Since the immune system development is influenced by microbial components, early microbial colonization may be a key factor in determining disease susceptibility patterns later in life. Evidence indicates that the gut microbiota is vertically transmitted from the mother and this affects offspring immunity. However, the role of the external environment in gut microbiome and immune development is poorly understood. Studies show that growing up in microbe-rich environments, such as traditional farms, can have protective health effects on children. These health-effects may be ablated due to changes in the human lifestyle, diet, living environment and environmental biodiversity as a result of urbanization. Importantly, if early-life exposure to environmental microbes increases gut microbiota diversity by influencing patterns of gut microbial assembly, then soil biodiversity loss due to land-use changes such as urbanization could be a public health threat. Here, we summarize key questions in environmental health research and discuss some of the challenges that have hindered progress toward a better understanding of the role of the environment on gut microbiome development.

  8. Detrital microbial community development and phosphorus dynamics in a stream ecosystem

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Perkins, R.E.; Elwood, J.W.; Sayler, G.S.

    1986-06-01

    Detrital microbial community development and phosphorus dynamics in a lotic system were investigated in non-recirculating laboratory streams contains leaf detritus. Temporal patterns of microbial colonization, as determined by scanning electron microscopy, indicate leaf species dependency and that bacteria were the first colonizers followed by fungi. An extensive glycocalyx layer developed. Phosphorus incorporation rates of both the whole community and intracellular components were determined by time-course measurements of 33 PO 4 or 32 PO 4 . Phosphorus turnover rates were determined by a sequential double-labeling procedure using 33 PO 4 and 32 PO 4 , in which the microbiota were labeled with 33 P until in isotopic equilibrium, then 32 P was added. The turnover rate was determined by time-course measurements of the ratio 32 P to 33 P. Snail grazing resulted in an increase in phosphorus metabolism per unit microbial biomass; however, per unit area of leaf surface no increase was observed. Grazing also caused a two-fold reduction in microbial biomass. The results indicate that microbiota associated with decomposing leaves slowly recycle phosphorus, are slowly growing, and have a low metabolic activity. The spiraling length is shortened by microbiota on a short-term basis; however, it may increase on a long-term basis due to hydrological transport of detritus downstream

  9. Reconstructing the genetic potential of the microbially-mediated nitrogen cycle in a salt marsh ecosystem

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Dini-Andreote, Francisco; de L. Brossi, Maria Julia; van Elsas, Jan Dirk; Salles, Joana F

    2016-01-01

    Coastal ecosystems are considered buffer zones for the discharge of land-derived nutrients without accounting for potential negative side effects. Hence, there is an urgent need to better understand the ecological assembly and dynamics of the microorganisms that are involved in nitrogen (N) cycling

  10. CORRELATIONS BETWEEN PESTICIDE TRANSFORMATION RATE AND MICROBIAL RESPIRATION ACTIVITY IN SOIL OF DIFFERENT ECOSYSTEMS

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cecil sandy loam soils (ultisol) from forest (coniferous and deciduous), pasture, and arable ecosystems were sampled (0-10 cm) in the vicinity of Athens, GA, USA. Soil from each site was subdivided into three portions, consisting of untreated soil (control) as well as live and s...

  11. Microbial eukaryotic diversity and distribution in a river plume and cyclonic eddy-influenced ecosystem in the South China Sea.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wu, Wenxue; Wang, Lei; Liao, Yu; Huang, Bangqin

    2015-10-01

    To evaluate microbial eukaryotic diversity and distribution in mesoscale processes, we investigated 18S rDNA diversity in a river plume and cyclonic eddy-influenced ecosystem in the southwestern South China Sea (SCS). Restriction fragment length polymorphism analysis was carried out using multiple primer sets. Relative to a wide range of previous similar studies, we observed a significantly higher proportion of sequences of pigmented taxa. Among the photosynthetic groups, Haptophyta accounted for 27.7% of the sequenced clones, which belonged primarily to Prymnesiophyceae. Unexpectedly, five operational taxonomic units of Cryptophyta were closely related to freshwater species. The Chlorophyta mostly fell within the Prasinophyceae, which was comprised of six clades, including Clade III, which is detected in the SCS for the first time in this study. Among the photosynthetic stramenopiles, Chrysophyceae was the most diverse taxon, which included seven clades. The majority of 18S rDNA sequences affiliated with the Dictyochophyceae, Eustigmatophyceae, and Pelagophyceae were closely related to those of pure cultures. The results of redundancy analysis and the permutation Mantel test based on unweighted UniFrac distances, conducted for spatial analyses of the Haptophyta subclades suggested that the Mekong River plume and cyclonic eddy play important roles in regulating microbial eukaryotic diversity and distribution in the southwestern SCS. © 2015 The Authors. MicrobiologyOpen published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  12. Evolution of microbial activity in a mediterranean ecosystem submitted to chronic gamma irradiation. Investigation of nitrogen transfer with isotopic tracers

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Castet, R.

    1987-07-01

    A mediterranean ecosystem located on the site of Cadarache (France) has been experimentally by irradiated over the past fifteen years. The potential effects of ionizing radiations for different doses of its ecological system has been studied. The objective of the work was to demonstrate the level of soil microbial population and its activity. Chronic exposures reduced the biomass and the dehydrogenase activity by a factor of 50% and increased the amount of nitrate in the soil. To measure the direct impact of irradiations on soil microorganisms, we have irradiated soil sample in laboratory at 0.1; 0.5; 1 kGy, and observed its evolution during a period of six weeks thereafter. We have a reduction of the dehydrogenase activity and an increase of nitrate being proportionaly to the dose delivered. Using nitrogen labelled, we state that this high rate of nitrate production is due to an inhibition of the organization of this form of nitrogen. Conversely, the ammonification and the nitrification are not affected. Also, for anaerobic conditions created by glucose, the nitrate labelled (15N) permitted us to show that in untreated soil, 45% of nitrate was reduced to nitrogen gas by denitrification and 24% of nitrate was reduced to ammonium by dissimilation in the irradiated soil. These experiments show that gamma irradiations are of great interest for studying soil microorganisms. As of now, very little is known on the effects of this kind of stress for attention and need to be pursued on such ecosystems. Further investigations call [fr

  13. Tropical forest carbon balance in a warmer world: a critical review spanning microbial- to ecosystem-scale processes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wood, Tana E.; Cavaleri, Molly A.; Reed, Sasha C.

    2012-01-01

    Tropical forests play a major role in regulating global carbon (C) fluxes and stocks, and even small changes to C cycling in this productive biome could dramatically affect atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) concentrations. Temperature is expected to increase over all land surfaces in the future, yet we have a surprisingly poor understanding of how tropical forests will respond to this significant climatic change. Here we present a contemporary synthesis of the existing data and what they suggest about how tropical forests will respond to increasing temperatures. Our goals were to: (i) determine whether there is enough evidence to support the conclusion that increased temperature will affect tropical forest C balance; (ii) if there is sufficient evidence, determine what direction this effect will take; and, (iii) establish what steps should to be taken to resolve the uncertainties surrounding tropical forest responses to increasing temperatures. We approach these questions from a mass-balance perspective and therefore focus primarily on the effects of temperature on inputs and outputs of C, spanning microbial- to ecosystem-scale responses. We found that, while there is the strong potential for temperature to affect processes related to C cycling and storage in tropical forests, a notable lack of data combined with the physical, biological and chemical diversity of the forests themselves make it difficult to resolve this issue with certainty. We suggest a variety of experimental approaches that could help elucidate how tropical forests will respond to warming, including large-scale in situ manipulation experiments, longer term field experiments, the incorporation of a range of scales in the investigation of warming effects (both spatial and temporal), as well as the inclusion of a diversity of tropical forest sites. Finally, we highlight areas of tropical forest research where notably few data are available, including temperature effects on: nutrient cycling

  14. Formate as an energy source for microbial metabolism in chemosynthetic zones of hydrothermal ecosystems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Windman, Todd; Zolotova, Natalya; Schwandner, Florian; Shock, Everett L

    2007-12-01

    Formate, a simple organic acid known to support chemotrophic hyperthermophiles, is found in hot springs of varying temperature and pH. However, it is not yet known how metabolic strategies that use formate could contribute to primary productivity in hydrothermal ecosystems. In an effort to provide a quantitative framework for assessing the role of formate metabolism, concentration data for dissolved formate and many other solutes in samples from Yellowstone hot springs were used, together with data for coexisting gas compositions, to evaluate the overall Gibbs energy for many reactions involving formate oxidation or reduction. The result is the first rigorous thermodynamic assessment of reactions involving formate oxidation to bicarbonate and reduction to methane coupled with various forms of iron, nitrogen, sulfur, hydrogen, and oxygen for hydrothermal ecosystems. We conclude that there are a limited number of reactions that can yield energy through formate reduction, in contrast to numerous formate oxidation reactions that can yield abundant energy for chemosynthetic microorganisms. Because the energy yields are so high, these results challenge the notion that hydrogen is the primary energy source of chemosynthetic microbes in hydrothermal ecosystems.

  15. Living microbial ecosystems within the active zone of catagenesis: Implications for feeding the deep biosphere

    Science.gov (United States)

    Horsfield, B.; Schenk, H. J.; Zink, K.; Ondrak, R.; Dieckmann, V.; Kallmeyer, J.; Mangelsdorf, K.; di Primio, R.; Wilkes, H.; Parkes, R. J.; Fry, J.; Cragg, B.

    2006-06-01

    Earth's largest reactive carbon pool, marine sedimentary organic matter, becomes increasingly recalcitrant during burial, making it almost inaccessible as a substrate for microorganisms, and thereby limiting metabolic activity in the deep biosphere. Because elevated temperature acting over geological time leads to the massive thermal breakdown of the organic matter into volatiles, including petroleum, the question arises whether microorganisms can directly utilize these maturation products as a substrate. While migrated thermogenic fluids are known to sustain microbial consortia in shallow sediments, an in situ coupling of abiotic generation and microbial utilization has not been demonstrated. Here we show, using a combination of basin modelling, kinetic modelling, geomicrobiology and biogeochemistry, that microorganisms inhabit the active generation zone in the Nankai Trough, offshore Japan. Three sites from ODP Leg 190 have been evaluated, namely 1173, 1174 and 1177, drilled in nearly undeformed Quaternary and Tertiary sedimentary sequences seaward of the Nankai Trough itself. Paleotemperatures were reconstructed based on subsidence profiles, compaction modelling, present-day heat flow, downhole temperature measurements and organic maturity parameters. Today's heat flow distribution can be considered mainly conductive, and is extremely high in places, reaching 180 mW/m 2. The kinetic parameters describing total hydrocarbon generation, determined by laboratory pyrolysis experiments, were utilized by the model in order to predict the timing of generation in time and space. The model predicts that the onset of present day generation lies between 300 and 500 m below sea floor (5100-5300 m below mean sea level), depending on well location. In the case of Site 1174, 5-10% conversion has taken place by a present day temperature of ca. 85 °C. Predictions were largely validated by on-site hydrocarbon gas measurements. Viable organisms in the same depth range have been

  16. Microbial diversity in The Cedars, an ultrabasic, ultrareducing, and low salinity serpentinizing ecosystem.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Suzuki, Shino; Ishii, Shun'ichi; Wu, Angela; Cheung, Andrea; Tenney, Aaron; Wanger, Greg; Kuenen, J Gijs; Nealson, Kenneth H

    2013-09-17

    The Cedars, in coastal northern California, is an active site of peridotite serpentinization. The spring waters that emerge from this system feature very high pH, low redox potential, and low ionic concentrations, making it an exceptionally challenging environment for life. We report a multiyear, culture-independent geomicrobiological study of three springs at The Cedars that differ with respect to the nature of the groundwater feeding them. Within each spring, both geochemical properties and microbial diversity in all three domains of life remained stable over a 3-y period, with multiple samples each year. Between the three springs, however, the microbial communities showed considerable differences that were strongly correlated with the source of the serpentinizing groundwater. In the spring fed solely by deep groundwater, phylum Chloroflexi, class Clostridia, and candidate division OD1 were the major taxa with one phylotype in Euryarchaeota. Less-abundant phylotypes include several minor members from other candidate divisions and one phylotype that was an outlier of candidate division OP3. In the springs fed by the mixture of deep and shallow groundwater, organisms close to the Hydrogenophaga within Betaproteobacteria dominated and coexisted with the deep groundwater community members. The shallow groundwater community thus appears to be similar to those described in other terrestrial serpentinizing sites, whereas the deep community is distinctly different from any other previously described terrestrial serpentinizing community. These unique communities have the potential to yield important insights into the development and survival of life in these early-earth analog environments.

  17. Bioreactor microbial ecosystems for thiocyanate and cyanide degradation unravelled with genome-resolved metagenomics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kantor, Rose S; van Zyl, A Wynand; van Hille, Robert P; Thomas, Brian C; Harrison, Susan T L; Banfield, Jillian F

    2015-12-01

    Gold ore processing uses cyanide (CN(-) ), which often results in large volumes of thiocyanate- (SCN(-) ) contaminated wastewater requiring treatment. Microbial communities can degrade SCN(-) and CN(-) , but little is known about their membership and metabolic potential. Microbial-based remediation strategies will benefit from an ecological understanding of organisms involved in the breakdown of SCN(-) and CN(-) into sulfur, carbon and nitrogen compounds. We performed metagenomic analysis of samples from two laboratory-scale bioreactors used to study SCN(-) and CN(-) degradation. Community analysis revealed the dominance of Thiobacillus spp., whose genomes harbour a previously unreported operon for SCN(-) degradation. Genome-based metabolic predictions suggest that a large portion of each bioreactor community is autotrophic, relying not on molasses in reactor feed but using energy gained from oxidation of sulfur compounds produced during SCN(-) degradation. Heterotrophs, including a bacterium from a previously uncharacterized phylum, compose a smaller portion of the reactor community. Predation by phage and eukaryotes is predicted to affect community dynamics. Genes for ammonium oxidation and denitrification were detected, indicating the potential for nitrogen removal, as required for complete remediation of wastewater. These findings suggest optimization strategies for reactor design, such as improved aerobic/anaerobic partitioning and elimination of organic carbon from reactor feed. © 2015 Society for Applied Microbiology and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  18. Prokaryotic diversity, composition structure, and phylogenetic analysis of microbial communities in leachate sediment ecosystems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Jingjing; Wu, Weixiang; Chen, Chongjun; Sun, Faqian; Chen, Yingxu

    2011-09-01

    In order to obtain insight into the prokaryotic diversity and community in leachate sediment, a culture-independent DNA-based molecular phylogenetic approach was performed with archaeal and bacterial 16S rRNA gene clone libraries derived from leachate sediment of an aged landfill. A total of 59 archaeal and 283 bacterial rDNA phylotypes were identified in 425 archaeal and 375 bacterial analyzed clones. All archaeal clones distributed within two archaeal phyla of the Euryarchaeota and Crenarchaeota, and well-defined methanogen lineages, especially Methanosaeta spp., are the most numerically dominant species of the archaeal community. Phylogenetic analysis of the bacterial library revealed a variety of pollutant-degrading and biotransforming microorganisms, including 18 distinct phyla. A substantial fraction of bacterial clones showed low levels of similarity with any previously documented sequences and thus might be taxonomically new. Chemical characteristics and phylogenetic inferences indicated that (1) ammonium-utilizing bacteria might form consortia to alleviate or avoid the negative influence of high ammonium concentration on other microorganisms, and (2) members of the Crenarchaeota found in the sediment might be involved in ammonium oxidation. This study is the first to report the composition of the microbial assemblages and phylogenetic characteristics of prokaryotic populations extant in leachate sediment. Additional work on microbial activity and contaminant biodegradation remains to be explored.

  19. Anthropogenic effects on interaction outcomes: examples from insect-microbial symbioses in forest and savanna ecosystems

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Six, Diana L.; Thomas-Poulsen, Michael; Hansen, Allison K.

    2011-01-01

    The influence of humans on ecosystem dynamics has been, and continues to be, profound. Anthropogenic effects are expected to amplify as human populations continue to increase. Concern over these effects has given rise to a large number of studies focusing on impacts of human activities...... of mutualisms can be to an equally varied set of anthropogenic influences. We also show how alterations of mutualisms may ramify throughout affected systems. We stress that researchers must be cognizant that many observed changes in the behaviors, abundances, and distributions of organisms due to human...... activities are likely to be mediated by mutualists which may alter predictions and actual outcomes in significant ways....

  20. A metaproteomic approach to study human-microbial ecosystems at the mucosal luminal interface.

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    Xiaoxiao Li

    Full Text Available Aberrant interactions between the host and the intestinal bacteria are thought to contribute to the pathogenesis of many digestive diseases. However, studying the complex ecosystem at the human mucosal-luminal interface (MLI is challenging and requires an integrative systems biology approach. Therefore, we developed a novel method integrating lavage sampling of the human mucosal surface, high-throughput proteomics, and a unique suite of bioinformatic and statistical analyses. Shotgun proteomic analysis of secreted proteins recovered from the MLI confirmed the presence of both human and bacterial components. To profile the MLI metaproteome, we collected 205 mucosal lavage samples from 38 healthy subjects, and subjected them to high-throughput proteomics. The spectral data were subjected to a rigorous data processing pipeline to optimize suitability for quantitation and analysis, and then were evaluated using a set of biostatistical tools. Compared to the mucosal transcriptome, the MLI metaproteome was enriched for extracellular proteins involved in response to stimulus and immune system processes. Analysis of the metaproteome revealed significant individual-related as well as anatomic region-related (biogeographic features. Quantitative shotgun proteomics established the identity and confirmed the biogeographic association of 49 proteins (including 3 functional protein networks demarcating the proximal and distal colon. This robust and integrated proteomic approach is thus effective for identifying functional features of the human mucosal ecosystem, and a fresh understanding of the basic biology and disease processes at the MLI.

  1. The effects of high dose of two manganese supplements (organic and inorganic) on the rumen microbial ecosystem.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kišidayová, Svetlana; Pristaš, Peter; Zimovčáková, Michaela; Blanár Wencelová, Monika; Homol'ová, Lucia; Mihaliková, Katarína; Čobanová, Klaudia; Grešáková, Ľubomíra; Váradyová, Zora

    2018-01-01

    Little is known about the effects of the high dose and types of manganese supplements on rumen environment at manganese intake level close above the limit of 150 mg/kg of dry feed matter. The effects of high dose of two manganese supplements (organic and inorganic) on rumen microbial ecosystem after four months of treatment of 18 lambs divided into three treatment groups were studied. We examined the enzyme activities (α-amylase, xylanase, and carboxymethyl cellulase), total and differential microscopic counts of rumen ciliates, total microscopic counts of bacteria, and fingerprinting pattern of the eubacterial and ciliates population analyzed by PCR-DGGE. Lambs were fed a basal diet with a basal Mn content (34.3 mg/kg dry matter; control) and supplemented either with inorganic manganous sulfate or organic Mn-chelate hydrate (daily 182.7, 184 mg/kg dry matter of feed, respectively). Basal diet, offered twice daily, consisted of ground barley and hay (268 and 732 g/kg dry matter per animal and day). The rumens of the lambs harbored ciliates of the genera of Entodinium, Epidinium, Diplodinium, Eudiplodinium, Dasytricha, and Isotricha. No significant differences between treatment groups were observed in the total ciliate number, the number of ciliates at the genus level, as well as the total number of bacteria. Organic Mn did decrease the species richness and diversity of the eubacterial population examined by PCR-DGGE. No effects of type of Mn supplement on the enzyme activities were observed. In comparison to the control, α-amylase specific activities were decreased and carboxymethyl-cellulase specific activities were increased by the Mn supplements. Xylanase activities were not influenced. In conclusion, our results suggested that the intake of tested inorganic and organic manganese supplements in excess may affect the specific groups of eubacteria. More studies on intake of Mn supplements at a level close to the limit can reveal if the changes in microbial

  2. Short-term Effect of Nitrogen Addition on Microbial and Root Respiration in an Alpine Spruce Ecosystem

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    Jian Wang1

    2017-03-01

    Full Text Available Soil respiration plays an important role in the carbon (C flux of the global C cycle and is greatly affected by nitrogen (N additions in the form of deposition or fertilization. The aim of this study was to investigate the response of total soil respiration (Rs, microbial respiration (Rm, and root respiration (Rr to short-term N addition and the potential mechanisms of short-term N deposition influencing soil respiration in an alpine spruce ecosystem. Four N treatment levels (0, 50, 100, 150 kg N ha-1 year-1 were applied monthly in a Picea balfouriana (commonly known as "alpine spruce" plantation beginning in November 2013 and Rs, Rm, and Rr were measured from May to November 2014. The results show that simulated N depositions stimulate Rs, Rm, and Rr and the beneficial effects decreased along N gradients from hourly to seasonal scales. The seasonal temperature coefficients (Q10 of Rs, Rm, and Rr ranged from 2.50 to 3.8, 2.99 to 4.63, and 1.86 to 2.96, while the diurnal Q10 ranged from 1.71 to 2.04, 1.89 to 2.32, 1.42 to 1.75, and there was a similar trend with soil respiration along N gradients. In addition, Rr showed significant positive correlation with fine root biomass, and Rm was likely driven by soil enzyme related to the microbial C cycle in the growing season. Our results indicate that short-term N addition stimulated fine root biomass and soil enzymatic activity to bring about a potential increase in soil respiration rates under low-N addition, while the opposite occurred under high-N addition.

  3. Lessons from Suiyo Seamount studies, for understanding extreme (ancient?) microbial ecosystems in the deep-sea hydrothermal fields

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maruyama, A.; Higashi, Y.; Sunamura, M.; Urabe, T.

    2004-12-01

    Deep-sea hydrothermal ecosystems are driven with various geo-thermally modified, mainly reduced, compounds delivered from extremely hot subsurface environments. To date, several unique microbes including thermophilic archaeons have been isolated from/around vent chimneys. However, there is little information about microbes in over-vent and sub-vent fields. Here, we report several new findings on microbial diversity and ecology of the Suiyo Seamount that locates on the Izu-Bonin Arc in the northwest Pacific Ocean, as a result of the Japanese Archaean Park project, with special concern to the sub-vent biosphere. At first, we succeeded to reveal a very unique microbial ecosystem in hydrothermal plume reserved within the outer rim of the seamount crater, that is, it consisted of almost all metabolically active microbes belonged to only two Bacteria phylotypes, probably of sulfur oxidizers. In the center of the caldera seafloor (ca. 1,388-m deep) consisted mainly of whitish sands and pumices, we found many small chimneys (ca. 5-10 cm) and bivalve colonies distributed looking like gray to black patches. These geo/ecological features of the seafloor were supposed to be from a complex mixing of hydrothermal venting and strong water current near the seafloor. Through quantitative FISH analysis for various environmental samples, one of the two representative groups in the plume was assessed to be from some of the bivalve colonies. Using the Benthic Multi-coring System (BMS), total 10 points were drilled and 6 boreholes were maintained with stainless or titanium casing pipes. In the following submersible surveys, newly developed catheter- and column-type in situ growth chambers were deployed in and on the boreholes, respectively, for collecting indigenous sub-vent microbes. Finally, we succeeded to detect several new phylotypes of microbes in these chamber samples, e.g., within epsilon-Proteobacteria, a photosynthetic group of alpha-Proteobacteria, and hyperthermophile

  4. Co-Flocculation of Yeast Species, a New Mechanism to Govern Population Dynamics in Microbial Ecosystems.

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    Debra Rossouw

    Full Text Available Flocculation has primarily been studied as an important technological property of Saccharomyces cerevisiae yeast strains in fermentation processes such as brewing and winemaking. These studies have led to the identification of a group of closely related genes, referred to as the FLO gene family, which controls the flocculation phenotype. All naturally occurring S. cerevisiae strains assessed thus far possess at least four independent copies of structurally similar FLO genes, namely FLO1, FLO5, FLO9 and FLO10. The genes appear to differ primarily by the degree of flocculation induced by their expression. However, the reason for the existence of a large family of very similar genes, all involved in the same phenotype, has remained unclear. In natural ecosystems, and in wine production, S. cerevisiae growth together and competes with a large number of other Saccharomyces and many more non-Saccharomyces yeast species. Our data show that many strains of such wine-related non-Saccharomyces species, some of which have recently attracted significant biotechnological interest as they contribute positively to fermentation and wine character, were able to flocculate efficiently. The data also show that both flocculent and non-flocculent S. cerevisiae strains formed mixed species flocs (a process hereafter referred to as co-flocculation with some of these non-Saccharomyces yeasts. This ability of yeast strains to impact flocculation behaviour of other species in mixed inocula has not been described previously. Further investigation into the genetic regulation of co-flocculation revealed that different FLO genes impact differently on such adhesion phenotypes, favouring adhesion with some species while excluding other species from such mixed flocs. The data therefore strongly suggest that FLO genes govern the selective association of S. cerevisiae with specific species of non-Saccharomyces yeasts, and may therefore be drivers of ecosystem organisational

  5. The role of the local microbial ecosystem in respiratory health and disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Steenhuijsen Piters, Wouter A A; Sanders, Elisabeth A M; Bogaert, Debby

    2015-08-19

    Respiratory tract infections are a major global health concern, accounting for high morbidity and mortality, especially in young children and elderly individuals. Traditionally, highly common bacterial respiratory tract infections, including otitis media and pneumonia, were thought to be caused by a limited number of pathogens including Streptococcus pneumoniae and Haemophilus influenzae. However, these pathogens are also frequently observed commensal residents of the upper respiratory tract (URT) and form-together with harmless commensal bacteria, viruses and fungi-intricate ecological networks, collectively known as the 'microbiome'. Analogous to the gut microbiome, the respiratory microbiome at equilibrium is thought to be beneficial to the host by priming the immune system and providing colonization resistance, while an imbalanced ecosystem might predispose to bacterial overgrowth and development of respiratory infections. We postulate that specific ecological perturbations of the bacterial communities in the URT can occur in response to various lifestyle or environmental effectors, leading to diminished colonization resistance, loss of containment of newly acquired or resident pathogens, preluding bacterial overgrowth, ultimately resulting in local or systemic bacterial infections. Here, we review the current body of literature regarding niche-specific upper respiratory microbiota profiles within human hosts and the changes occurring within these profiles that are associated with respiratory infections. © 2015 The Author(s) Published by the Royal Society. All rights reserved.

  6. Long-term effects of irrigation with waste water on soil AM fungi diversity and microbial activities: the implications for agro-ecosystem resilience.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maria del Mar Alguacil

    Full Text Available The effects of irrigation with treated urban wastewater (WW on the arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF diversity and soil microbial activities were assayed on a long-term basis in a semiarid orange-tree orchard. After 43 years, the soil irrigated with fresh water (FW had higher AMF diversity than soils irrigated with WW. Microbial activities were significantly higher in the soils irrigated with WW than in those irrigated with FW. Therefore, as no negative effects were observed on crop vitality and productivity, it seems that the ecosystem resilience gave rise to the selection of AMF species better able to thrive in soils with higher microbial activity and, thus, to higher soil fertility.

  7. Microbial Life in the Subseafloor at Mid-Ocean Ridges: A Key to Understanding Ancient Ecosystems on Earth and Elsewhere?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baross, J. A.; Delaney, J. R.

    2001-12-01

    indicates that they originated from a hot subseafloor habitat. Based on the 16S rRNA sequences and the RFLP patterns of the 500 base sequence between the 16S and 23S rRNA genes (intergenic spacer region), these heterotrophic archaea represent new species, and a new genus, within the Thermococcales (Summit and Baross, 1998; 2001). These isolates grow over an unusually wide temperature range and in low levels of organic material. While Thermococcus and Methanococcus species are the most commonly isolated species of hyperthermophiles from subseafloor biotopes, preliminary phylogenetic analyses based on 16S rRNA sequences of microbial communities in the diffuse flow fluids at new eruption sites show a high diversity of archaea that are not related to cultured organisms. Results to date support the hypothesis that subseafloor microbes associated with hydrothermal systems have nutritional, physiological and bioenergetic characteristics that reflect the physical and geochemical properties of their habitat. Moreover, we propose that deep-sea subsurface environments are analogs of ecosystems on other solar bodies. Thus, by examining the chemical and microbial ecology and energetics of the subsurface, and particularly the subsurface associated with hydrothermal systems, a framework for studying the prospects of extraterrestrial life can be developed. It is predicted that if there were life on other hydrothermally active solar bodies, the same energy sources would fuel microbial metabolism even though the molecular characteristics of these life forms may not resemble Earth organisms having identical metabolisms.

  8. Vertical structure and pH as factors for chitinolytic and pectinolytic microbial community of soils and terrestrial ecosystems of different climatic zones

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lukacheva, Evgeniya; Natalia, Manucharova

    2016-04-01

    Chitin is a naturally occurring fibre-forming polymer that plays a protective role in many lower animals similar to that of cellulose in plants. Also it's a compound of cell walls of fungi. Chemically it is a long-chain unbranched polysaccharide made of N-acetylglucosamine residues; it is the second most abundant organic compound in nature, after cellulose. Pectin is a structural heteropolysaccharide contained in the primary cell walls of terrestrial plants. Roots of the plants and root crops contain pectin. Chitin and pectin are widely distributed throughout the natural world. Structural and functional features of the complex microbial degradation of biopolymers one of the most important direction in microbial ecology. But there is no a lot of data concerns degradation in vertical structure of terrestrial ecosystems and detailed studies concerning certain abiotic features as pH. Microbial complexes of natural areas were analyzed only as humus horizons (A1) of the soil profile. Only small part of microbial community could be studied with this approach. It is known that ecosystems have their own structure. It is possible to allocate some vertical tiers: phylloplane, litter (soil covering), soil. We investigated chitinolytic and pectinolytic microbial communities dedicated to different layers of the ecosystems. Also it was described depending on pH dominated in certain ecosystem with certain conditions. Quantity of eukaryote and procaryote organisms increased in the test samples with chitin and pectin. Increasing of eukaryote in samples with pectin was more then in samples with chitin. Also should be noted the significant increasing of actinomycet's quantity in the samples with chitin in comparison with samples with pectin. The variety and abundance of bacteria in the litter samples increased an order of magnitude as compared to other probes. Further prokaryote community was investigated by method FISH (fluorescence in situ hybridization). FISH is a cytogenetic

  9. Modern Microbial Ecosystems are a Key to Understanding Our Biosphere's Early Evolution and its Contributions To The Atmosphere and Rock Record

    Science.gov (United States)

    DesMarais, David J.; DeVincenzi, Donald L. (Technical Monitor)

    2000-01-01

    The survival of our early biosphere depended upon efficient coordination anion- diverse microbial populations. Microbial mats exhibit a 3.46-billion-year fossil record, thus they are the oldest known ecosystems. Photosynthetic microbial mats were key because, today, sunlight powers more than 99 percent of global primary productivity. Thus photosynthetic ecosystems have affected the atmosphere profoundly and have created the most pervasive, easily-detected fossils. Photosynthetic biospheres elsewhere will be most detectible via telescopes or spacecraft. As a part of the Astrobiology Institute, our Ames Microbial Ecosystems group examines the roles played by ecological processes in the early evolution of our biosphere, as recorded in geologic fossils and in the macromolecules of living cells: (1) We are defining the microbial mat microenvironment, which was an important milieu for early evolution. (2) We are comparing mats in contrasting environments to discern strategies of adaptation and diversification, traits that were key for long-term survival. (3) We have selected sites that mimic key environmental attributes of early Earth and thereby focus upon evolutionary adaptations to long-term changes in the global environment. (4) Our studies of gas exchange contribute to better estimates of biogenic gases in Earth's early atmosphere. This group therefore directly addresses the question: How have the Earth and its biosphere influenced each other over time Our studies strengthen the systematics for interpreting the microbial fossil record and thereby enhance astrobiological studies of martian samples. Our models of biogenic gas emissions will enhance models of atmospheres that might be detected on inhabited extrasolar planets. This work therefore also addresses the question: How can other biospheres be recogniZed" Our choice of field sites helps us explore Earth's evolving early environment. For example, modern mats that occupy thermal springs and certain freshwater

  10. Adaptive long-term monitoring of soil health in metal phytostabilization: ecological attributes and ecosystem services based on soil microbial parameters.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Epelde, Lur; Becerril, José M; Alkorta, Itziar; Garbisu, Carlos

    2014-01-01

    Phytostabilization is a promising option for the remediation of metal contaminated soils which requires the implementation of long-term monitoring programs. We here propose to incorporate the paradigm of "adaptive monitoring", which enables monitoring programs to evolve iteratively as new information emerges and research questions change, to metal phytostabilization. Posing good questions that cover the chemical, toxicological and ecological concerns associated to metal contaminated soils is critical for an efficient long-term phytostabilization monitoring program. Regarding the ecological concerns, soil microbial parameters are most valuable indicators of the effectiveness of metal phytostabilization processes in terms of recovery of soil health. We suggest to group soil microbial parameters in higher-level categories such as "ecological attributes" (vigor, organization, stability) or "ecosystem services" in order to facilitate interpretation and, most importantly, to provide long-term phytostabilization monitoring programs with the required stability through time against changes in techniques, methods, interests, etc. that will inevitably occur during the monitoring program. Finally, a Phytostabilization Monitoring Card, based on both ecological attributes and ecosystem services, for soil microbial properties is provided.

  11. Contrasting genomic properties of free-living and particle-attached microbial assemblages within a coastal ecosystem

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maria W Smith

    2013-05-01

    Full Text Available The Columbia River (CR is a powerful economic and environmental driver in the US Pacific Northwest. Microbial communities in the water column were analyzed from four diverse habitats: 1 an estuarine turbidity maximum (ETM; 2 a chlorophyll maximum of the river plume; 3 an upwelling-associated hypoxic zone; and 4 the deep ocean bottom. Three size fractions, 0.1-0.8, 0.8-3 and 3-200 μm were collected for each habitat in August 2007, and used for DNA isolation and 454 sequencing, resulting in 12 metagenomes of >5 million reads (>1.6 Gbp. To characterize the dominant microorganisms and metabolisms contributing to coastal biogeochemistry, we used predicted peptide and rRNA data. The 3- and 0.8-μm metagenomes, representing particulate fractions, were taxonomically diverse across habitats. The 3-μm size fractions contained a high abundance of eukaryota with diatoms dominating the hypoxic water and plume, while cryptophytes were more abundant in the ETM. The 0.1-μm metagenomes represented mainly free-living bacteria and archaea. The most abundant archaeal hits were observed in the deep ocean and hypoxic water (19% of prokaryotic peptides in the 0.1-μm metagenomes, and were homologous to Nitrosopumilus maritimus (ammonia-oxidizing Thaumarchaeota. Bacteria dominated metagenomes of all samples. In the euphotic zone (estuary, plume and hypoxic ocean, the most abundant bacterial taxa (≥40 % of prokaryotic peptides represented aerobic photoheterotrophs. In contrast, the low-oxygen, deep water metagenome was enriched with sequences for strict and facultative anaerobes. Interestingly, many of the same anaerobic bacterial families were enriched in the 3-μm size fraction of the ETM (2-10X more abundant relative to the 0.1-μm metagenome, indicating possible formation of anoxic microniches within particles. Results from this study provide a metagenome perspective on ecosystem-scale metabolism in an upwelling-influenced river-dominated coastal margin.

  12. Seasonal microbial and nutrient responses during a 5-year reduction in the daily temperature range of soil in a Chihuahuan Desert ecosystem.

    Science.gov (United States)

    van Gestel, Natasja C; Dhungana, Nirmala; Tissue, David T; Zak, John C

    2016-01-01

    High daily temperature range of soil (DTRsoil) negatively affects soil microbial biomass and activity, but its interaction with seasonal soil moisture in regulating ecosystem function remains unclear. For our 5-year field study in the Chihuahuan Desert, we suspended shade cloth 15 cm above the soil surface to reduce daytime temperature and increase nighttime soil temperature compared to unshaded plots, thereby reducing DTRsoil (by 5 ºC at 0.2 cm depth) without altering mean temperatures. Microbial biomass production was primarily regulated by seasonal precipitation with the magnitude of the response dependent on DTRsoil. Reduced DTRsoil more consistently increased microbial biomass nitrogen (MBN; +38%) than microbial biomass carbon (MBC) with treatment responses being similar in spring and summer. Soil respiration depended primarily on soil moisture with responses to reduced DTRsoil evident only in wetter summer soils (+53%) and not in dry spring soils. Reduced DTRsoil had no effect on concentrations of dissolved organic C, soil organic matter (SOM), nor soil inorganic N (extractable NO3 (-)-N + NH4 (+)-N). Higher MBN without changes in soil inorganic N suggests faster N cycling rates or alternate sources of N. If N cycling rates increased without a change to external N inputs (atmospheric N deposition or N fixation), then productivity in this desert system, which is N-poor and low in SOM, could be negatively impacted with continued decreases in daily temperature range. Thus, the future N balance in arid ecosystems, under conditions of lower DTR, seems linked to future precipitation regimes through N deposition and regulation of soil heat load dynamics.

  13. Earth's Earliest Ecosystems in the Classroom: The Use of Microbial Mats to Teach General Principles in Microbial Ecology, and Scientific Inquiry

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beboutl, Brad M.; Bucaria, Robin

    2004-01-01

    Microbial mats are living examples of the most ancient biological communities on earth, and may also be useful models for the search for life elsewhere. They are centrally important to Astrobiology. In this lecture, we will present an introduction to microbial mats, as well as an introduction to our web-based educational module on the subject of microbial ecology, featuring living mats maintained in a mini "Web Lab" complete with remotely-operable instrumentation. We have partnered with a number of outreach specialists in order to produce an informative and educational web-based presentation, aspects of which will be exported to museum exhibits reaching a wide audience. On our web site, we will conduct regularly scheduled experimental manipulations, linking the experiments to our research activities, and demonstrating fundamental principles of scientific research.

  14. Changes in soil microbial community structure influenced by agricultural management practices in a mediterranean agro-ecosystem.

    Science.gov (United States)

    García-Orenes, Fuensanta; Morugán-Coronado, Alicia; Zornoza, Raul; Cerdà, Artemi; Scow, Kate

    2013-01-01

    Agricultural practices have proven to be unsuitable in many cases, causing considerable reductions in soil quality. Land management practices can provide solutions to this problem and contribute to get a sustainable agriculture model. The main objective of this work was to assess the effect of different agricultural management practices on soil microbial community structure (evaluated as abundance of phospholipid fatty acids, PLFA). Five different treatments were selected, based on the most common practices used by farmers in the study area (eastern Spain): residual herbicides, tillage, tillage with oats and oats straw mulching; these agricultural practices were evaluated against an abandoned land after farming and an adjacent long term wild forest coverage. The results showed a substantial level of differentiation in the microbial community structure, in terms of management practices, which was highly associated with soil organic matter content. Addition of oats straw led to a microbial community structure closer to wild forest coverage soil, associated with increases in organic carbon, microbial biomass and fungal abundances. The microbial community composition of the abandoned agricultural soil was characterised by increases in both fungal abundances and the metabolic quotient (soil respiration per unit of microbial biomass), suggesting an increase in the stability of organic carbon. The ratio of bacteria:fungi was higher in wild forest coverage and land abandoned systems, as well as in the soil treated with oat straw. The most intensively managed soils showed higher abundances of bacteria and actinobacteria. Thus, the application of organic matter, such as oats straw, appears to be a sustainable management practice that enhances organic carbon, microbial biomass and activity and fungal abundances, thereby changing the microbial community structure to one more similar to those observed in soils under wild forest coverage.

  15. Microbial metabolisms in a 2.5-km-deep ecosystem created by hydraulic fracturing in shales

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Daly, Rebecca A.; Borton, Mikayla A.; Wilkins, Michael J.; Hoyt, David W.; Kountz, Duncan J.; Wolfe, Richard A.; Welch, Susan A.; Marcus, Daniel N.; Trexler, Ryan V.; MacRae, Jean D.; Krzycki, Joseph A.; Cole, David R.; Mouser, Paula J.; Wrighton, Kelly C.

    2016-09-05

    Hydraulic fracturing is the industry standard for extracting hydrocarbons from shale formations. Attention has been paid to the economic benefits and environmental impacts of this process, yet the biogeochemical changes induced in the deep subsurface are poorly understood. Recent single-gene investigations revealed that halotolerant microbial communities were enriched after hydraulic fracturing. Here the reconstruction of 31 unique genomes coupled to metabolite data from the Marcellus and Utica shales revealed that methylamine cycling supports methanogenesis in the deep biosphere. Fermentation of injected chemical additives also sustains long-term microbial persistence, while sulfide generation from thiosulfate represents a poorly recognized corrosion mechanism in shales. Extensive links between viruses and microbial hosts demonstrate active viral predation, which may contribute to the release of labile cellular constituents into the extracellular environment. Our analyses show that hydraulic fracturing provides the organismal and chemical inputs for colonization and persistence in the deep terrestrial subsurface.

  16. Effects of litter addition and warming on soil carbon, nutrient pools and microbial communities in a subarctic heath ecosystem

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Rinnan, Riikka; Michelsen, Anders; Jonasson, Sven Evert

    2008-01-01

    in the uppermost 5 cm soil, while decreasing the pool of total P per unit area of the organic profile and having no significant effects on N concentrations or pools. Microbial biomass C and N were unaffected by the treatments, while the microbial biomass P increased significantly with litter addition. Soil...... proportion of biomarkers for Gram-positive bacteria. The combined warming plus litter addition treatment decreased the soil water content in the uppermost 5 cm soil, which was a likely reason for many interactions between the effects of warming and litter addition. The soil organic matter quality...... of the combined treatment was also clearly different from the control based on a near-infrared reflectance (NIR) spectroscopic analysis, implying that the treatment altered the composition of soil organic matter. However, it appears that the biological processes and the microbial community composition responded...

  17. Subtle shifts in microbial communities occur alongside the release of carbon induced by drought and rewetting in contrasting peatland ecosystems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Potter, Caitlin; Freeman, Chris; Golyshin, Peter N; Ackermann, Gail; Fenner, Nathalie; McDonald, James E; Ehbair, Abdassalam; Jones, Timothy G; Murphy, Loretta M; Creer, Simon

    2017-09-12

    Peat represents a globally significant pool of sequestered carbon. However, peatland carbon stocks are highly threatened by anthropogenic climate change, including drought, which leads to a large release of carbon dioxide. Although the enzymatic mechanisms underlying drought-driven carbon release are well documented, the effect of drought on peatland microbial communities has been little studied. Here, we carried out a replicated and controlled drought manipulation using intact peat 'mesocosm cores' taken from bog and fen habitats, and used a combination of community fingerprinting and sequencing of marker genes to identify community changes associated with drought. Community composition varied with habitat and depth. Moreover, community differences between mesocosm cores were stronger than the effect of the drought treatment, emphasising the importance of replication in microbial marker gene studies. While the effect of drought on the overall composition of prokaryotic and eukaryotic communities was weak, a subset of the microbial community did change in relative abundance, especially in the fen habitat at 5 cm depth. 'Drought-responsive' OTUs were disproportionately drawn from the phyla Bacteroidetes and Proteobacteria. Collectively, the data provide insights into the microbial community changes occurring alongside drought-driven carbon release from peatlands, and suggest a number of novel avenues for future research.

  18. How ecosystems change following invasion by Robinia pseudoacacia: Insights from soil chemical properties and soil microbial, nematode, microarthropod and plant communities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lazzaro, Lorenzo; Mazza, Giuseppe; d'Errico, Giada; Fabiani, Arturo; Giuliani, Claudia; Inghilesi, Alberto F; Lagomarsino, Alessandra; Landi, Silvia; Lastrucci, Lorenzo; Pastorelli, Roberta; Roversi, Pio Federico; Torrini, Giulia; Tricarico, Elena; Foggi, Bruno

    2018-05-01

    Biological invasions are a global threat to biodiversity. Since the spread of invasive alien plants may have many impacts, an integrated approach, assessing effects across various ecosystem components, is needed for a correct understanding of the invasion process and its consequences. The nitrogen-fixing tree Robinia pseudoacacia (black locust) is a major invasive species worldwide and is used in forestry production. While its effects on plant communities and soils are well known, there have been few studies on soil fauna and microbes. We investigated the impacts of the tree on several ecosystem components, using a multi-trophic approach to combine evidence of soil chemical properties and soil microbial, nematode, microarthropod and plant communities. We sampled soil and vegetation in managed forests, comparing those dominated by black locust with native deciduous oak stands. We found qualitative and quantitative changes in all components analysed, such as the well-known soil nitrification and acidification in stands invaded by black locust. Bacterial richness was the only component favoured by the invasion. On the contrary, abundance and richness of microarthropods, richness of nematodes, and richness and diversity of plant communities decreased significantly in invaded stands. The invasion process caused a compositional shift in all studied biotic communities and in relationships between the different ecosystem components. We obtained clear insights into the effects of invasion of managed native forests by black locust. Our data confirms that the alien species transforms several ecosystem components, modifying the plant-soil community and affecting biodiversity at different levels. Correct management of this aggressive invader in temperate forests is urgently required. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  19. Coupling of the spatial dynamic of picoplankton and nanoflagellate grazing pressure and carbon flow of the microbial food web in the subtropical pelagic continental shelf ecosystem

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chiang, K.-P.; Tsai, A.-Y.; Tsai, P.-J.; Gong, G.-C.; Tsai, S.-F.

    2013-01-01

    In order to investigate the mechanism of spatial dynamics of picoplankton community (bacteria and Synechococcus spp.) and estimate the carbon flux of the microbial food web in the oligotrophic Taiwan Warm Current Water of subtropical marine pelagic ecosystem, we conducted size-fractionation experiments in five cruises by the R/V Ocean Research II during the summers of 2010 and 2011 in the southern East China Sea. We carried out culture experiments using surface water which, according to a temperature-salinity (T-S) diagram, is characterized as oligotrophic Taiwan Current Warm Water. We found a negative correlation bettween bacteria growth rate and temperature, indicating that the active growth of heterotrophic bacteria might be induced by nutrients lifted from deep layer by cold upwelling water. This finding suggests that the area we studied was a bottom-up control pelagic ecosystem. We suggest that the microbial food web of an oligotrophic ecosystem may be changed from top-down control to resource supply (bottom-up control) when a physical force brings nutrient into the oligotrophic ecosystem. Upwelling brings nutrient-rich water to euphotic zone and promotes bacteria growth, increasing the picoplankton biomass which increased the consumption rate of nanoflagellate. The net growth rate (growth rate-grazing rate) becomes negative when the densities of bacteria and Synechococcus spp. are lower than the threshold values. The interaction between growth and grazing will limit the abundances of bacteria (105-106 cells mL-1 and Synechococcus spp. (104-105 cells mL-1) within a narrow range, forming a predator-prey eddy. Meanwhile, 62% of bacteria production and 55% of Synechococcus spp. production are transported to higher trophic level (nanoflagellate), though the cascade effect might cause an underestimation of both percentages of transported carbon. Based on the increasing number of sizes we found in the size-fractionation experiments, we estimated that the predation

  20. Combining Microbial Enzyme Kinetics Models with Light Use Efficiency Models to Predict CO2 and CH4 Ecosystem Exchange from Flooded and Drained Peatland Systems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oikawa, P. Y.; Jenerette, D.; Knox, S. H.; Sturtevant, C. S.; Verfaillie, J. G.; Baldocchi, D. D.

    2014-12-01

    Under California's Cap-and-Trade program, companies are looking to invest in land-use practices that will reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. The Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta is a drained cultivated peatland system and a large source of CO2. To slow soil subsidence and reduce CO2 emissions, there is growing interest in converting drained peatlands to wetlands. However, wetlands are large sources of CH4 that could offset CO2-based GHG reductions. The goal of our research is to provide accurate measurements and model predictions of the changes in GHG budgets that occur when drained peatlands are restored to wetland conditions. We have installed a network of eddy covariance towers across multiple land use types in the Delta and have been measuring CO2 and CH4 ecosystem exchange for multiple years. In order to upscale these measurements through space and time we are using these data to parameterize and validate a process-based biogeochemical model. To predict gross primary productivity (GPP), we are using a simple light use efficiency (LUE) model which requires estimates of light, leaf area index and air temperature and can explain 90% of the observed variation in GPP in a mature wetland. To predict ecosystem respiration we have adapted the Dual Arrhenius Michaelis-Menten (DAMM) model. The LUE-DAMM model allows accurate simulation of half-hourly net ecosystem exchange (NEE) in a mature wetland (r2=0.85). We are working to expand the model to pasture, rice and alfalfa systems in the Delta. To predict methanogenesis, we again apply a modified DAMM model, using simple enzyme kinetics. However CH4 exchange is complex and we have thus expanded the model to predict not only microbial CH4 production, but also CH4 oxidation, CH4 storage and the physical processes regulating the release of CH4 to the atmosphere. The CH4-DAMM model allows accurate simulation of daily CH4 ecosystem exchange in a mature wetland (r2=0.55) and robust estimates of annual CH4 budgets. The LUE

  1. The active microbial diversity drives ecosystem multifunctionality and is physiologically related to carbon availability in Mediterranean semi-arid soils

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Bastida, F.; Torres, I.F.; Moreno, J.L.; Baldrian, Petr; Ondono, S.; Ruiz-Navarro, A.; Hernández, T.; Richnow, H. H.; Starke, R.; Garcia, C.; Jehmlich, N.

    2016-01-01

    Roč. 25, č. 18 (2016), s. 4660-4673 ISSN 0962-1083 R&D Projects: GA MŠk(CZ) LM2015055 Institutional support: RVO:61388971 Keywords : bacteria * community ecology * ecosystem services Subject RIV: EE - Microbiology, Virology Impact factor: 6.086, year: 2016

  2. Different Land Use Intensities in Grassland Ecosystems Drive Ecology of Microbial Communities Involved in Nitrogen Turnover in Soil

    OpenAIRE

    Meyer, Annabel; Focks, Andreas; Radl, Viviane; Keil, Daniel; Welzl, Gerhard; Sch?ning, Ingo; Boch, Steffen; Marhan, Sven; Kandeler, Ellen; Schloter, Michael

    2013-01-01

    Understanding factors driving the ecology of N cycling microbial communities is of central importance for sustainable land use. In this study we report changes of abundance of denitrifiers, nitrifiers and nitrogen-fixing microorganisms (based on qPCR data for selected functional genes) in response to different land use intensity levels and the consequences for potential turnover rates. We investigated selected grassland sites being comparable with respect to soil type and climatic conditions,...

  3. Iron-based microbial ecosystem on and below the seafloor: a case study of hydrothermal fields of the southern mariana trough.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kato, Shingo; Nakamura, Kentaro; Toki, Tomohiro; Ishibashi, Jun-Ichiro; Tsunogai, Urumu; Hirota, Akinori; Ohkuma, Moriya; Yamagishi, Akihiko

    2012-01-01

    Microbial community structures in deep-sea hydrothermal vents fields are constrained by available energy yields provided by inorganic redox reactions, which are in turn controlled by chemical composition of hydrothermal fluids. In the past two decades, geochemical and microbiological studies have been conducted in deep-sea hydrothermal vents at three geographically different areas of the Southern Mariana Trough (SMT). A variety of geochemical data of hydrothermal fluids and an unparalleled microbiological dataset of various samples (i.e., sulfide structures of active vents, iron-rich mats, borehole fluids, and ambient seawater) are available for comparative analyses. Here, we summarize the geochemical and microbiological characteristics in the SMT and assess the relationship between the microbial community structures and the fluid geochemistry in the SMT by thermodynamic modeling. In the high temperature vent fluids, aerobic sulfide-oxidation has the potential to yield large amounts of bioavailable energy in the vent fluids, which is consistent with the detection of species related to sulfide-oxidizing bacteria (such as Thiomicrospira in the Gammaproteobacteria and Sulfurimonas in the Epsilonproteobacteria). Conversely, the bioavailable energy yield from aerobic iron-oxidation reactions in the low-temperature fluids collected from man-made boreholes and several natural vents were comparable to or higher than those from sulfide-oxidation. This is also consistent with the detection of species related to iron-oxidizing bacteria (Mariprofundus in the Zetaproteobacteria) in such low-temperature samples. The results of combination of microbiological, geochemical, and thermodynamic analyses in the SMT provide novel insights into the presence and significance of iron-based microbial ecosystems in deep-sea hydrothermal fields.

  4. TNT Degradation by Natural Microbial Assemblages at Frontal Boundaries Between Water Masses in Coastal Ecosystems (ER-2124)

    Science.gov (United States)

    2017-06-20

    receptor protein) and reduce substrate mineralization depending on how long it would take to disassociate the humic from the substrate upon dilution...geochemical samples . Anal. Chem. 72:3116-3121. Han, L., Sun, K., Jin, J., and B. Xing. 2016. Some concepts of soil organic carbon characteristics and...capacity for energetics released into hydrodynamically similar, UXO-impacted ecosystems where access to site samples may be limited. During samplings in

  5. Nitrogen, organic carbon and sulphur cycling in terrestrial ecosystems: linking nitrogen saturation to carbon limitation of soil microbial processes

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Kopáček, Jiří; Cosby, B. J.; Evans, C. D.; Hruška, J.; Moldan, F.; Oulehle, F.; Šantrůčková, H.; Tahovská, K.; Wright, R. F.

    2013-01-01

    Roč. 115, 1-3 (2013), s. 33-51 ISSN 0168-2563. [BIOGEOMON : international symposium on ecosystem behavior /7./. Northport, 15.07.2012-20.07.2012] R&D Projects: GA ČR(CZ) GAP504/12/1218 Institutional support: RVO:60077344 Keywords : nitrogen * carbon * sulphur * acidification * forest soil * modelling Subject RIV: DJ - Water Pollution ; Quality Impact factor: 3.730, year: 2013

  6. Molecular microbial ecology manual

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kowalchuk, G.A.; Bruijn, de F.J.; Head, I.M.; Akkermans, A.D.L.

    2004-01-01

    The field of microbial ecology has been revolutionized in the past two decades by the introduction of molecular methods into the toolbox of the microbial ecologist. This molecular arsenal has helped to unveil the enormity of microbial diversity across the breadth of the earth's ecosystems, and has

  7. Effects of Microbial and Heavy Metal Contaminants on Environmental/Ecological Health and Revitalization of Coastal Ecosystems in Delaware Bay

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gulnihal Ozbay

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available The presence of heavy metals, excess nutrients, and microbial contaminants in aquatic systems of coastal Delaware has become a public concern as human population increases and land development continues. Delaware's coastal lagoons have been subjected to problems commonly shared by other coastal Mid-Atlantic states: turbidity, sedimentation, eutrophication, periodic hypoxic/anoxic conditions, toxic substances, and high bacterial levels. The cumulative impact of pollutants from run-off and point sources has degraded water quality, reduced the diversity and abundance of various fish species, invertebrates, and submerged aquatic vegetation. The effects are especially pronounced within the manmade dead end canal systems. In this article, we present selected case studies conducted in the Delaware Inland Bays. Due to the ecological services provided by bivalves, our studies in Delaware Inland Bays are geared toward oysters with special focus on the microbial loads followed by the water quality assessments of the bay. The relationships between oysters (Crassostrea virginica, microbial loads and nutrient levels in the water were investigated. The heavy metal levels monitored further away from the waste water treatment plant in the inland bays are marginally higher than the recommended EPA limits. Also, our studies confirmed that aerobic bacteria and Vibrionaceae levels are salinity dependent. Total bacteria in oysters increased when nitrate and total suspended solids increased in the waters. Studies such as these are important because every year millions of Americans consume raw oysters. Data collected over the last 10 years from our studies may be used to build a predictive index of conditions that are favorable for the proliferation of human pathogenic bacteria. Results from this study will benefit the local community by helping them understand the importance of oyster aquaculture and safe consumption of oysters while making them appreciate their

  8. Efficient Low-pH Iron Removal by a Microbial Iron Oxide Mound Ecosystem at Scalp Level Run.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grettenberger, Christen L; Pearce, Alexandra R; Bibby, Kyle J; Jones, Daniel S; Burgos, William D; Macalady, Jennifer L

    2017-04-01

    Acid mine drainage (AMD) is a major environmental problem affecting tens of thousands of kilometers of waterways worldwide. Passive bioremediation of AMD relies on microbial communities to oxidize and remove iron from the system; however, iron oxidation rates in AMD environments are highly variable among sites. At Scalp Level Run (Cambria County, PA), first-order iron oxidation rates are 10 times greater than at other coal-associated iron mounds in the Appalachians. We examined the bacterial community at Scalp Level Run to determine whether a unique community is responsible for the rapid iron oxidation rate. Despite strong geochemical gradients, including a >10-fold change in the concentration of ferrous iron from 57.3 mg/liter at the emergence to 2.5 mg/liter at the base of the coal tailings pile, the bacterial community composition was nearly constant with distance from the spring outflow. Scalp Level Run contains many of the same taxa present in other AMD sites, but the community is dominated by two strains of Ferrovum myxofaciens , a species that is associated with high rates of Fe(II) oxidation in laboratory studies. IMPORTANCE Acid mine drainage pollutes more than 19,300 km of rivers and streams and 72,000 ha of lakes worldwide. Remediation is frequently ineffective and costly, upwards of $100 billion globally and nearly $5 billion in Pennsylvania alone. Microbial Fe(II) oxidation is more efficient than abiotic Fe(II) oxidation at low pH (P. C. Singer and W. Stumm, Science 167:1121-1123, 1970, https://doi.org/10.1126/science.167.3921.1121). Therefore, AMD bioremediation could harness microbial Fe(II) oxidation to fuel more-cost-effective treatments. Advances will require a deeper understanding of the ecology of Fe(II)-oxidizing microbial communities and the factors that control their distribution and rates of Fe(II) oxidation. We investigated bacterial communities that inhabit an AMD site with rapid Fe(II) oxidation and found that they were dominated by two

  9. Uncovering stability mechanisms in microbial ecosystems - combining microcosm experiments, computational modelling and ecological theory in a multidisciplinary approach

    Science.gov (United States)

    Worrich, Anja; König, Sara; Banitz, Thomas; Centler, Florian; Frank, Karin; Kästner, Matthias; Miltner, Anja; Thullner, Martin; Wick, Lukas

    2015-04-01

    Although bacterial degraders in soil are commonly exposed to fluctuating environmental conditions, the functional performance of the biodegradation processes can often be maintained by resistance and resilience mechanisms. However, there is still a gap in the mechanistic understanding of key factors contributing to the stability of such an ecosystem service. Therefore we developed an integrated approach combining microcosm experiments, simulation models and ecological theory to directly make use of the strengths of these disciplines. In a continuous interplay process, data, hypotheses, and central questions are exchanged between disciplines to initiate new experiments and models to ultimately identify buffer mechanisms and factors providing functional stability. We focus on drying and rewetting-cycles in soil ecosystems, which are a major abiotic driver for bacterial activity. Functional recovery of the system was found to depend on different spatial processes in the computational model. In particular, bacterial motility is a prerequisite for biodegradation if either bacteria or substrate are heterogeneously distributed. Hence, laboratory experiments focussing on bacterial dispersal processes were conducted and confirmed this finding also for functional resistance. Obtained results will be incorporated into the model in the next step. Overall, the combination of computational modelling and laboratory experiments identified spatial processes as the main driving force for functional stability in the considered system, and has proved a powerful methodological approach.

  10. Ecological impacts of environmental toxicants and radiation on the microbial ecosystem: a model simulation of computational microbiology

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Doi, Masahiro; Sakashita, Tetsuya; Ishii, Nobuyoshi; Fuma, Shoichi; Takeda, Hiroshi; Miyamoto, Kiriko; Yanagisawa, K.; Nakamura, Yuji; Kawabata, Zenichiro

    2000-01-01

    This study explores a microorganic closed-ecosystem by computer simulation to illustrate symbiosis among populations in the microcosm that consists of heterotroph protozoa, Tetrahymena thermophila B as a consumer, autotroph algae, Euglena gracilis Z as a primary producer and saprotroph Bacteria, Escherichia coli DH5 as decomposer. The simulation program is written as a procedure of StarLogoT1.5.1, which is developed by Center for Connected Learning and Computer-Based Modeling, Tufts University. The virtual microcosm is structured and operated by the following rules; 1) Environment is defined as a lattice model, which consists of 10,201 square patches, 300 micron Wide, 300 micron Length and 100 micron Hight. 2) Each patch has its own attributes, Nutrient, Detritus and absolute coordinates, 3) Components of the species, Tetrahymena, Euglena and E-coli are defined as sub-system, and each sub-system has its own attributes as location, heading direction, cell-age, structured biomass, reserves energy and demographic parameters (assimilation rate, breeding threshold, growth rate, etc.). 4) Each component of the species, Tetrahymena, Euglena and E-coli, lives by foraging (Tetrahymena eats E-coli), excreting its metabolic products to the environment (as a substrate of E-coli), breeding and dying according vital condition. 5) Euglena utilizes sunlight energy by photosynthesis process and produces organic compounds. E-coli breaks down the organic compounds of dead protoplasm or metabolic wastes (Detritus) and releases inorganic substances to construct down stream of food cycle. Virtual ecosystem in this study is named SIM-COSM, a parallel computing model for self-sustaining system of complexity. It found that SIM-COSM is a valuable to illustrate symbiosis among populations in the microcosm, where a feedback mechanism acts in response to disturbances and interactions among species and environment. In the simulation, microbes increased demographic and environmental

  11. Influence of liming substances and temperature on microbial activity and leaching of soil organic matter in coniferous forest ecosystems

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Andersson, Stefan

    1999-01-01

    Liming has been proposed as a means to counteract the anthropogenic acidification of forest soils in Sweden. The increased pH caused by liming may affect the production and leaching of dissolved organic matter (DOM) from the mor humus layer. The aim of this thesis was to assess changes in leaching of dissolved organic carbon (DOC) and nitrogen (DON) and microbial activity in relation to liming. Leaching experiments were carried out in the laboratory with incubated field-limed soils and by monitoring of dissolved components in lysimeter water collected in a field liming experiment in southern Sweden from 1992-1997. Liming increased the leaching of DOC and DON from the mor humus layer but in the B horizon there were indications of different adsorption properties of DON compared to DOC, which affected the leaching of DOC and DON from the B horizon. DOC leaching was mainly regulated by temperature in mor humus from a site in southern Sweden, while pH had a greater effect in mor humus from a site in northern Sweden. This may have been due to relatively higher bacterial growth in the limed mor humus from southern Sweden. The experiments indicated that bacteria had a decisive role in the microbial production of DOM and bacterial activity was stimulated more by the increase in pH than by the change in the chemical composition of DOM after liming. Field data indicated that increasedCO 2 respiration in the limed treatment decreased carbon storage in the mor humus layer. There may have been an increase in carbon and nitrogen storage in the B horizon due to an increased adsorption caused by the higher leaching of DOM from the mor humus layer. The changes in storage could not be confirmed statistically, but there was a significant decline in the C/N ratio in the mor humus layer in the limed treatment. The adsorption patterns of DOC and DON indicated in the field were confirmed in a laboratory experiment

  12. Response of the Eastern Mediterranean microbial ecosystem to dust and dust affected by acid processing in the atmosphere

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michael David Krom

    2016-08-01

    Full Text Available Acid processes in the atmosphere, particularly those caused by anthropogenic acid gases, increase the amount of bioavailable P in dust and hence are predicted to increase microbial biomass and primary productivity when supplied to oceanic surface waters. This is likely to be particularly important in the Eastern Mediterranean Sea (EMS, which is P limited during the winter bloom and N&P co-limited for phytoplankton in summer. However, it is not clear how the acid processes acting on Saharan dust will affect the microbial biomass and primary productivity in the EMS. Here, we carried out bioassay manipulations on EMS surface water on which Saharan dust was added as dust (Z, acid treated dust (ZA, dust plus excess N (ZN and acid treated dust with excess N (ZNA during springtime (May 2012 and measured bacterioplankton biomass, metabolic and other relevant chemical and biological parameters. We show that acid treatment of Saharan dust increased the amount of bioavailable P supplied by a factor of ~40 compared to non-acidified dust (18.4 nmoles P mg-1 dust vs. 0.45 nmoles P mg-1 dust, respectively. The increase in chlorophyll, primary and bacterial productivity for treatments Z and ZA were controlled by the amount of N added with the dust while those for treatments ZN and ZNA (in which excessive N was added were controlled by the amount of P added. These results confirm that the surface waters were N&P co-limited for phytoplankton during springtime. However, total chlorophyll and primary productivity in the acid treated dust additions (ZA and ZNA were less than predicted from that calculated from the amount of the potentially limiting nutrient added. This biological inhibition was interpreted as being due to labile trace metals being added with the acidified dust. A probable cause for this biological inhibition was the addition of dissolved Al, which forms potentially toxic Al nanoparticles when added to seawater. Thus, the effect of anthropogenic acid

  13. The influence of nanoflagellates on the spatial variety of picoplankton and the carbon flow of the microbial food web in the oligotrophic subtropical pelagic continental shelf ecosystem

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chiang, Kuo-Ping; Tsai, An-Yi; Tsai, Pei-Jung; Gong, Gwo-Ching; Huang, Bang-Qin; Tsai, Sheng-Fang

    2014-06-01

    To investigate the mechanism of the spatial dynamics of picoplankton community (bacteria and Synechococcus spp.) and to estimate the carbon flux of the microbial food web in the oligotrophic Taiwan Warm Current Water of the subtropical marine pelagic ecosystem, we conducted size-fractionation experiments during five cruises by the R/V Ocean Research II during the summers of 2010 and 2011 in the southern East China Sea. We carried out culture experiments using surface water, which according to a temperature-salinity (T-S) diagram, is characterized as oligotrophic Taiwan Current Warm Water. We found a negative correlation between bacteria growth rate and temperature, and another negative correlation between nitrate and temperature indicating that the active growth of heterotrophic bacteria might be induced by nutrients lifted from a deep layer by cold upwelling water. This finding suggests that the area we studied was a bottom-up control pelagic ecosystem. Upwelling brings nutrient-rich water to the euphotic zone and promotes bacterial growth, resulting in increased picoplankton biomass, which increases the consumption rate of nanoflagellates. The net growth rate (growth rate-grazing rate) becomes negative when the densities of bacteria and Synechococcus spp. are lower than the threshold values. The interaction between growth and grazing will limit the abundance of bacteria (105-106 cells ml-1) and Synechococcus spp. (104-105 cells ml-1) within a narrow range. Meanwhile, 61% of bacteria production and 54% of Synechococcus spp. production are transported to a higher trophic level (nanoflagellate), though the cascade effect might cause an underestimation of both percentages of transported carbon. Based on the successive size-fractionation experiments, we estimated that the predation values were underestimated and that the diet of nanoflagellates is composed of 64% bacteria and 36% Synechococcus spp.

  14. The database on transgenic luminescent microorganisms as an instrument of studying a microbial component of closed ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boyandin, A. N.; Lankin, Y. P.; Kargatova, T. V.; Popova, L. Y.; Pechurkin, N. S.

    Luminescent transgenic microorganisms are widely used for study of microbial communities' functioning including closed ones. Bioluminescence is of high sensitive to effects of different environmental factors. Integration of lux-genes into different metabolic ways allows studying many aspects of microorganisms' life permitting to carry out measurements in situ. There is much information about applications of bioluminescent bacteria in different researches. But for effective using these data their summarizing and accumulation in common source is required. Therefore an information system on characteristics of transgenic microorganisms with cloned lux-genes was created. The database and client software related were developed. A database structure includes information on common characteristics of cloned lux-genes, their sources and properties, on regulation of gene expression in bacterial cells, on dependence of bioluminescence manifestation on biotic, abiotic and anthropogenic environmental factors. The database also can store description of changes in bacterial populations depending on environmental changes. The database created allows storing and using bibliographic information and also links to web sites of world collections of microorganisms. Internet publishing software permitting to open access to the database through the Internet is developed.

  15. Different land use intensities in grassland ecosystems drive ecology of microbial communities involved in nitrogen turnover in soil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meyer, Annabel; Focks, Andreas; Radl, Viviane; Keil, Daniel; Welzl, Gerhard; Schöning, Ingo; Boch, Steffen; Marhan, Sven; Kandeler, Ellen; Schloter, Michael

    2013-01-01

    Understanding factors driving the ecology of N cycling microbial communities is of central importance for sustainable land use. In this study we report changes of abundance of denitrifiers, nitrifiers and nitrogen-fixing microorganisms (based on qPCR data for selected functional genes) in response to different land use intensity levels and the consequences for potential turnover rates. We investigated selected grassland sites being comparable with respect to soil type and climatic conditions, which have been continuously treated for many years as intensely used meadows (IM), intensely used mown pastures (IP) and extensively used pastures (EP), respectively. The obtained data were linked to above ground biodiversity pattern as well as water extractable fractions of nitrogen and carbon in soil. Shifts in land use intensity changed plant community composition from systems dominated by s-strategists in extensive managed grasslands to c-strategist dominated communities in intensive managed grasslands. Along the different types of land use intensity, the availability of inorganic nitrogen regulated the abundance of bacterial and archaeal ammonia oxidizers. In contrast, the amount of dissolved organic nitrogen determined the abundance of denitrifiers (nirS and nirK). The high abundance of nifH carrying bacteria at intensive managed sites gave evidence that the amounts of substrates as energy source outcompete the high availability of inorganic nitrogen in these sites. Overall, we revealed that abundance and function of microorganisms involved in key processes of inorganic N cycling (nitrification, denitrification and N fixation) might be independently regulated by different abiotic and biotic factors in response to land use intensity.

  16. Different land use intensities in grassland ecosystems drive ecology of microbial communities involved in nitrogen turnover in soil.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Annabel Meyer

    Full Text Available Understanding factors driving the ecology of N cycling microbial communities is of central importance for sustainable land use. In this study we report changes of abundance of denitrifiers, nitrifiers and nitrogen-fixing microorganisms (based on qPCR data for selected functional genes in response to different land use intensity levels and the consequences for potential turnover rates. We investigated selected grassland sites being comparable with respect to soil type and climatic conditions, which have been continuously treated for many years as intensely used meadows (IM, intensely used mown pastures (IP and extensively used pastures (EP, respectively. The obtained data were linked to above ground biodiversity pattern as well as water extractable fractions of nitrogen and carbon in soil. Shifts in land use intensity changed plant community composition from systems dominated by s-strategists in extensive managed grasslands to c-strategist dominated communities in intensive managed grasslands. Along the different types of land use intensity, the availability of inorganic nitrogen regulated the abundance of bacterial and archaeal ammonia oxidizers. In contrast, the amount of dissolved organic nitrogen determined the abundance of denitrifiers (nirS and nirK. The high abundance of nifH carrying bacteria at intensive managed sites gave evidence that the amounts of substrates as energy source outcompete the high availability of inorganic nitrogen in these sites. Overall, we revealed that abundance and function of microorganisms involved in key processes of inorganic N cycling (nitrification, denitrification and N fixation might be independently regulated by different abiotic and biotic factors in response to land use intensity.

  17. Different Land Use Intensities in Grassland Ecosystems Drive Ecology of Microbial Communities Involved in Nitrogen Turnover in Soil

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meyer, Annabel; Focks, Andreas; Radl, Viviane; Keil, Daniel; Welzl, Gerhard; Schöning, Ingo; Boch, Steffen; Marhan, Sven; Kandeler, Ellen; Schloter, Michael

    2013-01-01

    Understanding factors driving the ecology of N cycling microbial communities is of central importance for sustainable land use. In this study we report changes of abundance of denitrifiers, nitrifiers and nitrogen-fixing microorganisms (based on qPCR data for selected functional genes) in response to different land use intensity levels and the consequences for potential turnover rates. We investigated selected grassland sites being comparable with respect to soil type and climatic conditions, which have been continuously treated for many years as intensely used meadows (IM), intensely used mown pastures (IP) and extensively used pastures (EP), respectively. The obtained data were linked to above ground biodiversity pattern as well as water extractable fractions of nitrogen and carbon in soil. Shifts in land use intensity changed plant community composition from systems dominated by s-strategists in extensive managed grasslands to c-strategist dominated communities in intensive managed grasslands. Along the different types of land use intensity, the availability of inorganic nitrogen regulated the abundance of bacterial and archaeal ammonia oxidizers. In contrast, the amount of dissolved organic nitrogen determined the abundance of denitrifiers (nirS and nirK). The high abundance of nifH carrying bacteria at intensive managed sites gave evidence that the amounts of substrates as energy source outcompete the high availability of inorganic nitrogen in these sites. Overall, we revealed that abundance and function of microorganisms involved in key processes of inorganic N cycling (nitrification, denitrification and N fixation) might be independently regulated by different abiotic and biotic factors in response to land use intensity. PMID:24039974

  18. High pH microbial ecosystems in a newly discovered, ephemeral, serpentinizing fluid seep at Yanartaş (Chimera), Turkey.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meyer-Dombard, D'Arcy R; Woycheese, Kristin M; Yargıçoğlu, Erin N; Cardace, Dawn; Shock, Everett L; Güleçal-Pektas, Yasemin; Temel, Mustafa

    2014-01-01

    Gas seeps emanating from Yanartaş (Chimera), Turkey, have been documented for thousands of years. Active serpentinization produces hydrogen and a range of carbon gases that may provide fuel for life. Here we report a newly discovered, ephemeral fluid seep emanating from a small gas vent at Yanartaş. Fluids and biofilms were sampled at the source and points downstream. We describe site conditions, and provide microbiological data in the form of enrichment cultures, Scanning electron microscopy (SEM), carbon and nitrogen isotopic composition of solids, and PCR screens of nitrogen cycle genes. Source fluids are pH 11.95, with a Ca:Mg of ~200, and sediments under the ignited gas seep measure 60°C. Collectively, these data suggest the fluid is the product of active serpentinization at depth. Source sediments are primarily calcite and alteration products (chlorite and montmorillonite). Downstream, biofilms are mixed with montmorillonite. SEM shows biofilms distributed homogeneously with carbonates. Organic carbon accounts for 60% of the total carbon at the source, decreasing downstream to <15% as inorganic carbon precipitates. δ(13)C ratios of the organic carbon fraction of solids are depleted (-25 to -28‰) relative to the carbonates (-11 to -20‰). We conclude that heterotrophic processes are dominant throughout the surface ecosystem, and carbon fixation may be key down channel. δ(15)N ratios ~3‰, and absence of nifH in extracted DNA suggest that nitrogen fixation is not occurring in sediments. However, the presence of narG and nirS at most locations and in enrichments indicates genomic potential for nitrate and nitrite reduction. This small seep with shallow run-off is likely ephemeral, but abundant preserved microterracettes in the outflow and the surrounding area suggest it has been present for some time. This site and others like it present an opportunity for investigations of preserved deep biosphere signatures, and subsurface-surface interactions.

  19. High pH microbial ecosystems in a newly discovered, ephemeral, serpentinizing fluid seep at Yanartaş (Chimaera, Turkey

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    D'Arcy Renee Meyer-Dombard

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Gas seeps emanating from ophiolites at Yanartaş (Chimaera, Turkey, have been documented for thousands of years. Active serpentinization produces hydrogen and a range of carbon gases that may provide fuel for life. Here we report a newly discovered, ephemeral fluid seep emanating from a small gas vent at Yanartaş. Fluids and biofilms were sampled at the source and points downstream. We describe site conditions, and provide microbiological data in the form of enrichment cultures, scanning electron microscopy (SEM, carbon and nitrogen isotopic composition of solids, and PCR screens of nitrogen cycle genes. Source fluids are pH 11.95, with a Ca:Mg of ~200, and sediments under the ignited gas seep measure 60°C. Collectively, these data suggest the fluid is the product of active serpentinization at depth. Source sediments are primarily calcite and alteration products (chlorite and montmorillonite. Downstream, biofilms are mixed with montmorillonite. SEM shows biofilms distributed homogeneously with carbonates. Organic carbon accounts for 60% of the total carbon at the source, decreasing downstream to <15% as inorganic carbon precipitates. δ13C ratios of the organic carbon fraction of solids are depleted (−25 to −28 ‰ relative to the carbonates (−11 to −20‰. We conclude that heterotrophic processes are dominant throughout the surface ecosystem, and carbon fixation may be key down channel. δ15N ratios ~ 3‰, and absence of nifH in extracted DNA suggest that nitrogen fixation is not occurring in sediments. However, the presence of narG and nirS at most locations and in enrichments indicates genomic potential for nitrate and nitrite reduction. This small seep with shallow run-off is likely ephemeral, but abundant preserved microterracettes in the outflow and the surrounding area suggest it has been present for some time. This site and others like it present an opportunity for investigations of preserved deep biosphere signatures, and

  20. Unusually negative nitrogen isotopic compositions (δ15N) of mangroves and lichens in an oligotrophic, microbially-influenced ecosystem

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fogel, M. L.; Wooller, M. J.; Cheeseman, J.; Smallwood, B. J.; Roberts, Q.; Romero, I.; Meyers, M. J.

    2008-12-01

    Extremes in δ15N values in mangrove tissues and lichens (range =+4 to -22‰) were measured from a mangrove forest ecosystem located on Twin Cays, offshore islands in Belize, Central America. The N isotopic compositions and concentrations of NH4+/NH3 in porewater, rainwater, and atmospheric ammonia, and the δ15N of lichens, mangrove leaves, roots, stems, and wood were examined to study the biogeochemical processes important for establishing these unusual N isotopic ratios. Dwarfed Rhizophora mangle trees had the most negative δ15N, whereas fringing Rhizophora trees, the most positive δ15N values. Porewater ammonium concentrations had little relationship to N isotopic fractionation in mangrove tissues. In dwarfed mangroves, the δ15N of fine and coarse roots were 6-9‰ more positive than leaf tissue from the same tree, indicating different sources of N for root and leaf tissues. When P was added to dwarfed mangrove trees without added N, δ15N increased within one year from -12‰ to -2‰, approaching the δ15N of porewater ammonium (δ15N=+4‰). Isotopically depleted ammonia in the atmosphere (δ15N=-19‰) and in rainwater (δ15N=-10‰) were found on Twin Cays. We propose that foliar uptake of these atmospheric sources by P-stressed, dwarfed mangrove trees and lichens can explain their very negative δ15N values. In environments where P is limiting for growth, uptake of atmospheric N by Rhizophora mangle may be an important adaptive strategy.

  1. Unusually negative nitrogen isotopic compositions (δ15N of mangroves and lichens in an oligotrophic, microbially-influenced ecosystem

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    I. Romero

    2008-12-01

    Full Text Available Extremes in δ15N values in mangrove tissues and lichens (range =+4 to −22‰ were measured from a mangrove forest ecosystem located on Twin Cays, offshore islands in Belize, Central America. The N isotopic compositions and concentrations of NH4+/NH3 in porewater, rainwater, and atmospheric ammonia, and the δ15N of lichens, mangrove leaves, roots, stems, and wood were examined to study the biogeochemical processes important for establishing these unusual N isotopic ratios. Dwarfed Rhizophora mangle trees had the most negative δ15N, whereas fringing Rhizophora trees, the most positive δ15N values. Porewater ammonium concentrations had little relationship to N isotopic fractionation in mangrove tissues. In dwarfed mangroves, the δ15N of fine and coarse roots were 6–9‰ more positive than leaf tissue from the same tree, indicating different sources of N for root and leaf tissues. When P was added to dwarfed mangrove trees without added N, δ15N increased within one year from −12‰ to −2‰, approaching the δ15N of porewater ammonium (δ15N=+4‰. Isotopically depleted ammonia in the atmosphere (δ15N=−19‰ and in rainwater (δ15N=−10‰ were found on Twin Cays. We propose that foliar uptake of these atmospheric sources by P-stressed, dwarfed mangrove trees and lichens can explain their very negative δ15N values. In environments where P is limiting for growth, uptake of atmospheric N by Rhizophora mangle may be an important adaptive strategy.

  2. Proliferation of MISS-related microbial mats following the end-Permian mass extinction in terrestrial ecosystems: Evidence from the Lower Triassic of the Yiyang area, Henan Province, North China

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tu, Chenyi; Chen, Zhong-Qiang; Retallack, Gregory J.; Huang, Yuangeng; Fang, Yuheng

    2016-03-01

    Microbially induced sedimentary structures (MISSs) are commonly present in siliciclastic shallow marine settings following the end-Permian mass extinction, but have been rarely reported in the post-extinction terrestrial ecosystems. Here, we present six types of well-preserved MISSs from the upper Sunjiagou Formation and lower Liujiagou Formation of Induan (Early Triassic) age in the Yiyang area, Henan Province, North China. These MISSs include: polygonal sand cracks, worm-like structures, wrinkle structures, sponge pore fabrics, gas domes, and leveled ripple marks. Microanalysis shows that these MISSs are characterized by thin clayey laminae and filamentous mica grains arranged parallel to bedding plane as well as oriented matrix supported quartz grains, which are indicative of biogenic origin. Facies analysis suggests that the MISS-hosting sediments were deposited in a fluvial sedimentary system during the Early Triassic, including lake delta, riverbeds/point bars, and flood plain paleoenvironments. Abundant MISSs from Yiyang indicate that microbes also proliferated in terrestrial ecosystems in the aftermath of the Permian-Triassic (P-Tr) biocrisis, like they behaved in marine ecosystems. Microbial blooms, together with dramatic loss of metazoans, may reflect environmental stress and degradation of terrestrial ecosystems or arid climate immediately after the severe Permian-Triassic ecologic crisis.

  3. Microbial Population Dynamics and Ecosystem Functions of Anoxic/Aerobic Granular Sludge in Sequencing Batch Reactors Operated at Different Organic Loading Rates

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Enikö Szabó

    2017-05-01

    Full Text Available The granular sludge process is an effective, low-footprint alternative to conventional activated sludge wastewater treatment. The architecture of the microbial granules allows the co-existence of different functional groups, e.g., nitrifying and denitrifying communities, which permits compact reactor design. However, little is known about the factors influencing community assembly in granular sludge, such as the effects of reactor operation strategies and influent wastewater composition. Here, we analyze the development of the microbiomes in parallel laboratory-scale anoxic/aerobic granular sludge reactors operated at low (0.9 kg m-3d-1, moderate (1.9 kg m-3d-1 and high (3.7 kg m-3d-1 organic loading rates (OLRs and the same ammonium loading rate (0.2 kg NH4-N m-3d-1 for 84 days. Complete removal of organic carbon and ammonium was achieved in all three reactors after start-up, while the nitrogen removal (denitrification efficiency increased with the OLR: 0% at low, 38% at moderate, and 66% at high loading rate. The bacterial communities at different loading rates diverged rapidly after start-up and showed less than 50% similarity after 6 days, and below 40% similarity after 84 days. The three reactor microbiomes were dominated by different genera (mainly Meganema, Thauera, Paracoccus, and Zoogloea, but these genera have similar ecosystem functions of EPS production, denitrification and polyhydroxyalkanoate (PHA storage. Many less abundant but persistent taxa were also detected within these functional groups. The bacterial communities were functionally redundant irrespective of the loading rate applied. At steady-state reactor operation, the identity of the core community members was rather stable, but their relative abundances changed considerably over time. Furthermore, nitrifying bacteria were low in relative abundance and diversity in all reactors, despite their large contribution to nitrogen turnover. The results suggest that the OLR has

  4. Molecular ecology of microbial mats

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bolhuis, H.; Cretoiu, M.S.; Stal, L.J.

    2014-01-01

    Phototrophic microbial mats are ideal model systems for ecological and evolutionary analysis of highly diverse microbial communities. Microbial mats are small-scale, nearly closed, and self-sustaining benthic ecosystems that comprise the major element cycles, trophic levels, and food webs. The steep

  5. Ecosystem and physiological scales of microbial responses to nutrients in a detritus-based stream: results of a 5-year continuous enrichment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Keller Suberkropp; Vladislav Gulis; Amy D. Rosemond; Jonathan Benstead

    2010-01-01

    Our study examined the response of leaf detritus–associated microorganisms (both bacteria and fungi) to a 5-yr continuous nutrient enrichment of a forested headwater stream. Leaf litter dominates detritus inputs to such streams and, on a system wide scale, serves as the key substrate for microbial colonization. We determined physiological responses as microbial biomass...

  6. Determination of microbial versus root-produced CO2 in an agricultural ecosystem by means of δ13CO2 measurements in soil air

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Schüßler, Wolfram; Neubert, Rolf; Levin, Ingeborg; Fischer, Natalie; Sonntag, Christian

    2000-01-01

    The amounts of microbial and root-respired CO2 in a maize/winter wheat agricultural system in south western Germany were investigated by measurements of the CO2 mixing ratio and the 13C/12C ratio in soil air. CO2 fluxes at the soil surface for the period of investigation (1993–1995) were also

  7. Structural and functional analysis of a microbial mat ecosystem from a unique permanent hypersaline inland lake: ‘La Salada de Chiprana’ (NE Spain)

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jonkers, Henk M.; Ludwig, Rebecca; De Wit, Rutger

    2003-01-01

    The benthic microbial mat community of the only permanent hypersaline natural inland lake of Western Europe, ‘La Salada de Chiprana’, northeastern Spain, was structurally and functionally analyzed. The ionic composition of the lake water is characterized by high concentrations of magnesium...

  8. Millennium Ecosystem Assessment: MA Ecosystems

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — The Millennium Ecosystem Assessment: MA Ecosystems provides data and information on the extent and classification of ecosystems circa 2000, including coastal,...

  9. Soil organic carbon (SOC) accumulation in rice paddies under long-term agro-ecosystem experiments in southern China - VI. Changes in microbial community structure and respiratory activity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, D.; Liu, X.; Liu, Y.; Li, L.; Pan, G.; Crowley, D.; Tippkötter, R.

    2011-02-01

    Biological stabilization within accumulated soil organic carbon (SOC) has not been well understood, while its role in physical and chemical protection as well as of chemical recalcitrance had been addressed in Chinese rice paddies. In this study, topsoil samples were collected and respiratory activity measured in situ following rice harvest under different fertilization treatments of three long-term experimental sites across southern China in 2009. The SOC contents, microbial biomass carbon (SMBC) and nitrogen (SMBN) were analysed using chemical digestion and microbial community structure assessment via clony dilute plate counting methods. While SOC contents were consistently higher under compound chemical fertilization (Comp-Fert) or combined organic and inorganic fertilization (Comb-Fert) compared to N fertilization only (N-Fert), there was significantly higher fungal-bacterial ratio under Comb-Fert than under N-Fert and Comp-Fert. When subtracting the background effect under no fertilization treatment (Non-Fert), the increase both in SMBC and SMBN under fertilization treatment was found very significantly correlated to the increase in SOC over controls across the sites. Also, the ratio of culturable fungal to bacterial population numbers (F/B ratio) was well correlated with soil organic carbon contents in all samples across the sites studied. SOC accumulation favoured a build-up the microbial community with increasing fungal dominance in the rice paddies under fertilization treatments. While soil respiration rates were high under Comb-Fert as a result of enhanced microbial community build-up, the specific soil respiratory activity based on microbial biomass carbon was found in a significantly negatively correlation with the SOC contents for overall samples. Thus, a fungal-dominated microbial community seemed to slow SOC turnover, thereby favouring SOC accumulation under Comp-Fert or under Comb-Fert in the rice paddies. Therefore, the biological stabilization

  10. Microbial production and consumption of dimethyl sulfide (DMS) in a sea grass (Zostera noltii)-dominated marine intertidal sediment ecosystem (Bassin d'Arcachon, France)

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Jonkers, HM; van Bergeijk, SA; van Gemerden, H

    The relation between net dimethyl sulfide (DMS) production and changes in near surface (0-5 mm) oxygen concentrations in a sea grass (Zostera noltii Hornem)-covered intertidal sediment ecosystem was examined during a diel cycle. Sediment covered with Zostera was found to be more oxygenated than

  11. Diazotrophic microbial mats

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Severin, I.; Stal, L.J.; Seckbach, J.; Oren, A.

    2010-01-01

    Microbial mats have been the focus of scientific research for a few decades. These small-scale ecosystems are examples of versatile benthic communities of microorganisms, usually dominated by phototrophic bacteria (e.g., Krumbein et al., 1977; Jørgensen et al., 1983). They develop as vertically

  12. Structural and functional analysis of a microbial mat ecosystem from a unique permanent hypersaline inland lake: 'La Salada de Chiprana' (NE Spain).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jonkers, Henk M; Ludwig, Rebecca; Wit, Rutger; Pringault, Olivier; Muyzer, Gerard; Niemann, Helge; Finke, Niko; Beer, Dirk

    2003-05-01

    The benthic microbial mat community of the only permanent hypersaline natural inland lake of Western Europe, 'La Salada de Chiprana', northeastern Spain, was structurally and functionally analyzed. The ionic composition of the lake water is characterized by high concentrations of magnesium and sulfate, which were respectively 0.35 and 0.5 M at the time of sampling while the total salinity was 78 g l(-1). Community composition was analyzed by microscopy, high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) pigment analyses and by studying culturable bacteria from different functional groups. Therefore, denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE) was applied on most probable number (MPN) dilution cultures. Microscopy revealed that a thin layer of Chloroflexus-like bacteria overlaid various cyanobacteria-dominated layers each characterized by different morphotypes. DGGE analysis of MPN dilution cultures from distinct mat layers showed that various phylotypes of anoxygenic phototrophic, aerobic heterotrophic, colorless sulfur-, and sulfate-reducing bacteria were present. The mats were furthermore functionally studied and attention was focussed on the relationship between oxygenic primary production and the flow of carbon through the microbial community. Microsensor techniques, porewater and sediment photopigment analysis were applied in order to estimate oxygenic photosynthetic rates, daily dynamics of (in)organic carbon porewater concentration and migration behavior of phototrophs. Chiprana microbial mats produced dissolved organic carbon (DOC) both during the day and night. It was estimated that 14% of the mats gross photosynthetic production and 49% of the mats net photosynthetic production diffused out of the mat in the form of low molecular mass fatty acids, although these compounds made up only 2% of the total DOC pool. The high flux of dissolved fatty acids from the microbial mat to the water column may explain why in this system Chloroflexus-like bacteria

  13. Ecosystem Services

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ecosystem goods and services are the many life-sustaining benefits we receive from nature and contribute to environmental and human health and well-being. Ecosystem-focused research will develop methods to measure ecosystem goods and services.

  14. Chemical changes to leaf litter from trees grown under elevated CO2 and the implications for microbial utilization in a stream ecosystem

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Rier, S. T.; Tuchman, N. C.; Wetzel, R. G.

    2005-01-01

    The effects of elevated carbon dioxide on the chemistry and subsequent response of stream microorganisms growing on leaf litter of three riparian tree species (quaking aspen, white willow and sugar maple) were studied. Results showed that the effects were species-specific, i.e. aspen leaves contained high concentrations of lignin, maple leafs contained higher concentrations of soluble phenolic compounds and willow leaves contained higher concentrations of carbohydrate-bound condensed tannins. Initially, the higher concentrations of soluble phenolic compounds in maple leaves were rapidly leached in stream water, but overall, the impact of altered leaf chemistry on riparian trees grown under elevated carbon dioxide was clearly variable; no strongly suppressed microbial activity during stream incubation was observed. Any evidence of suppression observed, was species-specific. 49 refs., 2 tabs., 3 figs

  15. Statistical Physics Approaches to Microbial Ecology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mehta, Pankaj

    The unprecedented ability to quantitatively measure and probe complex microbial communities has renewed interest in identifying the fundamental ecological principles governing community ecology in microbial ecosystems. Here, we present work from our group and others showing how ideas from statistical physics can help us uncover these ecological principles. Two major lessons emerge from this work. First, large, ecosystems with many species often display new, emergent ecological behaviors that are absent in small ecosystems with just a few species. To paraphrase Nobel laureate Phil Anderson, ''More is Different'', especially in community ecology. Second, the lack of trophic layer separation in microbial ecology fundamentally distinguishes microbial ecology from classical paradigms of community ecology and leads to qualitative different rules for community assembly in microbes. I illustrate these ideas using both theoretical modeling and novel new experiments on large microbial ecosystems performed by our collaborators (Joshua Goldford and Alvaro Sanchez). Work supported by Simons Investigator in MMLS and NIH R35 R35 GM119461.

  16. Microbial immobilization and recycling of 137Cs in the organic layers of forest ecosystems: Relationship to environmental conditions, humification and invertebrate activity

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Brueckmann, Axel; Wolters, Volkmar

    1994-01-01

    The 137 Cs content of the microbial biomass in the organic layers of 10 German forest sites was quantified with a modified fumigation/extraction method. A K Cs factor was calculated for biomass 137 Cs from the difference between unfumigated and fumigated samples by means of laboratory cultures. The size of the estimated K Cs factors varied between 1.54 and 2.90 (mean, 2.17; S.D., 0.48). The microflora at the different forest sites contained between 1 and 56% of the total amount of 137 Cs found in the organic layers (mean, 13%). Litterbag experiments showed that 137 Cs was actively transported into the L layer by the microflora and that this effect was enhanced by the mesofauna. It is concluded that the immobilization and recycling of 137 Cs by the microflora in the organic layer of forest soils is determined by three major factors: 137 Cs availability, growth conditions of the microflora and biotic interactions

  17. Integrated site-specific quantification of faecal bacteria and detection of DNA markers in faecal contamination source tracking as a microbial risk tracking tool in urban Lake ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Donde, Oscar Omondi; Tian, Cuicui; Xiao, Bangding

    2017-11-01

    The presence of feacal-derived pathogens in water is responsible for several infectious diseases and deaths worldwide. As a solution, sources of fecal pollution in waters must be accurately assessed, properly determined and strictly controlled. However, the exercise has remained challenging due to the existing overlapping characteristics by different members of faecal coliform bacteria and the inadequacy of information pertaining to the contribution of seasonality and weather condition on tracking the possible sources of pollution. There are continued efforts to improve the Faecal Contamination Source Tracking (FCST) techniques such as Microbial Source Tracking (MST). This study aimed to make contribution to MST by evaluating the efficacy of combining site specific quantification of faecal contamination indicator bacteria and detection of DNA markers while accounting for seasonality and weather conditions' effects in tracking the major sources of faecal contamination in a freshwater system (Donghu Lake, China). The results showed that the use of cyd gene in addition to lacZ and uidA genes differentiates E. coli from other closely related faecal bacteria. The use of selective media increases the pollution source tracking accuracy. BSA addition boosts PCR detection and increases FCST efficiency. Seasonality and weather variability also influence the detection limit for DNA markers.

  18. Alpine ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    P.W. Rundel; C.I. Millar

    2016-01-01

    Alpine ecosystems are typically defined as those areas occurring above treeline, while recognizing that alpine ecosystems at a local scale may be found below this boundary for reasons including geology, geomorphology, and microclimate. The lower limit of the alpine ecosystems, the climatic treeline, varies with latitude across California, ranging from about 3500 m in...

  19. Ecosystem Jenga!

    Science.gov (United States)

    Umphlett, Natalie; Brosius, Tierney; Laungani, Ramesh; Rousseau, Joe; Leslie-Pelecky, Diandra L.

    2009-01-01

    To give students a tangible model of an ecosystem and have them experience what could happen if a component of that ecosystem were removed; the authors developed a hands-on, inquiry-based activity that visually demonstrates the concept of a delicately balanced ecosystem through a modification of the popular game Jenga. This activity can be…

  20. Psychrophilic and Psychrotolerant Microbial Extremophiles in Polar Environments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hoover, Richard B.; Pikuta, Elena V.

    2010-01-01

    The microbial extremophiles that inhabit the polar regions of our planet are of tremendous significance. The psychrophilic and psychrotolerant microorganisms, which inhabit all of the cold environments on Earth have important applications to Bioremediation, Medicine, Pharmaceuticals, and many other areas of Biotechnology. Until recently, most of the research on polar microorganisms was confined to studies of polar diatoms, yeast, fungi and cyanobacteria. However, within the past three decades, extensive studies have been conducted to understand the bacteria and archaea that inhabit the Arctic and Antarctic sea-ice, glaciers, ice sheets, permafrost and the cryptoendolithic, cryoconite and ice-bubble environments. These investigations have resulted in the discovery of many new genera and species of anaerobic and aerobic microbial extremophiles. Exotic enzymes, cold-shock proteins and pigments produced by some of the extremophiles from polar environments have the potential to be of great benefit to Mankind. Knowledge about microbial life in the polar regions is crucial to understanding the limitations and biodiversity of life on Earth and may provide valuable clues to the Origin of Life on Earth. The discovery of viable microorganisms in ancient ice from the Fox Tunnel, Alaska and the deep Vostok Ice has shown that microorganisms can remain alive while cryopreserved in ancient ice. The psychrophilic lithoautotrophic homoacetogen isolated from the deep anoxic trough of Lake Untersee is an ideal candidate for life that might inhabit comets or the polar caps of Mars. The spontaneous release of gas from within the Anuchin Glacier above Lake Untersee may provide clues to the ice geysers that erupt from the tiger stripe regions of Saturn s moon Enceladus. The methane productivity in the lower regimes of Lake Untersee may also provide insights into possible mechanisms for the recently discovered methane releases on Mars. Since most of the other water bearing bodies of our

  1. Microbes as engines of ecosystem function: when does community structure enhance predictions of ecosystem processes?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Emily B. Graham

    2016-02-01

    Full Text Available Microorganisms are vital in mediating the earth’s biogeochemical cycles; yet, despite our rapidly increasing ability to explore complex environmental microbial communities, the relationship between microbial community structure and ecosystem processes remains poorly understood. Here, we address a fundamental and unanswered question in microbial ecology: ‘When do we need to understand microbial community structure to accurately predict function?’ We present a statistical analysis investigating the value of environmental data and microbial community structure independently and in combination for explaining rates of carbon and nitrogen cycling processes within 82 global datasets. Environmental variables were the strongest predictors of process rates but left 44% of variation unexplained on average, suggesting the potential for microbial data to increase model accuracy. Although only 29% of our datasets were significantly improved by adding information on microbial community structure, we observed improvement in models of processes mediated by narrow phylogenetic guilds via functional gene data, and conversely, improvement in models of facultative microbial processes via community diversity metrics. Our results also suggest that microbial diversity can strengthen predictions of respiration rates beyond microbial biomass parameters, as 53% of models were improved by incorporating both sets of predictors compared to 35% by microbial biomass alone. Our analysis represents the first comprehensive analysis of research examining links between microbial community structure and ecosystem function. Taken together, our results indicate that a greater understanding of microbial communities informed by ecological principles may enhance our ability to predict ecosystem process rates relative to assessments based on environmental variables and microbial physiology.

  2. Microbial ecology-based engineering of Microbial Electrochemical Technologies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Koch, Christin; Korth, Benjamin; Harnisch, Falk

    2018-01-01

    Microbial ecology is devoted to the understanding of dynamics, activity and interaction of microorganisms in natural and technical ecosystems. Bioelectrochemical systems represent important technical ecosystems, where microbial ecology is of highest importance for their function. However, whereas aspects of, for example, materials and reactor engineering are commonly perceived as highly relevant, the study and engineering of microbial ecology are significantly underrepresented in bioelectrochemical systems. This shortfall may be assigned to a deficit on knowledge and power of these methods as well as the prerequisites for their thorough application. This article discusses not only the importance of microbial ecology for microbial electrochemical technologies but also shows which information can be derived for a knowledge-driven engineering. Instead of providing a comprehensive list of techniques from which it is hard to judge the applicability and value of information for a respective one, this review illustrates the suitability of selected techniques on a case study. Thereby, best practice for different research questions is provided and a set of key questions for experimental design, data acquisition and analysis is suggested. © 2017 The Authors. Microbial Biotechnology published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd and Society for Applied Microbiology.

  3. Tropical marine ecosystems: The microbial component

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    Chandramohan, D.

    for vital biogeochemical cycles. Although the bacteriology of fish has been extensively studied in connection with spoilage, comparatively little work has been done on the role of intestinal flora in fish nutrition. A number of plant and animal diseases have...

  4. Psychrophiles and astrobiology: microbial life of frozen worlds

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pikuta, Elena V.; Hoover, Richard B.

    2003-01-01

    Most bodies of our Solar System are "Frozen Worlds" where the prevailing surface temperature remains at or below freezing. On Earth there are vast permanently frozen regions of permafrost, polar ice sheets, and glaciers and the deep oceans and deep-sea marine sediments have remained at 2 - 4°C for eons. Psychrophilic and psychrotrophic microbiota that inhabit these regimes provide analogs for microbial life that might inhabit ice sheets and permafrost of Mars, comets, or the ice/water interfaces or sediments deep beneath the icy crusts of Europa, Callisto, or Ganymede. Cryopreserved micro-organisms can remain viable (in a deep anabiotic state) for millions of years frozen in permafrost and ice. Psychrophilic and psychrotrophic (cold-loving) microbes can carry out metabolic processes in water films and brine, acidic, or alkaline chanels in permafrost or ice at temperatures far below 0°C. These microbes of the cryosphere help define the thermal and temporal limits of life on Earth and may provide clues to where and how to search for evidence of life elsewhere in the Cosmos. Astrobiologists at the NASA Marshall Space Flight Center have collected microbial extremophiles from the Pleistocene ice wedges and frozen thermokarst ponds from the Fox Permafrost Tunnel of Alaska. Microbes have also been isolated from samples of Magellanic Penguin guano from Patagonia; deep-sea marine muds near hydrothermal vents; snow and permafrost from Siberia, and deep ice cores, ice-bubble and cryoconite rocks of the Central Antarctic Ice Sheet. These samples have yielded microbial extremophiles representing a wide variety of anaerobic bacteria and archaea. These microbes have been isolated, cultured, characterized and analyzed by phylogenetic and genomic methods. Images were obtained by Phase Contrast, Environmental, Field Emission Scanning and Transmission Electron Microscopes to study the ultra-microstructure and elemental distribution in the composition of these micro-organisms. We

  5. Entrepreneurial Ecosystems

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Stam, F.C.; Spigel, Ben

    2016-01-01

    This paper reviews and discusses the emergent entrepreneurial ecosystem approach. Entrepreneurial ecosystems are defined as a set of interdependent actors and factors coordinated in such a way that they enable productive entrepreneurship within a particular territory. The purpose of this paper is to

  6. Aerobic Granular Sludge: Effect of Salt and Insights into Microbial Ecology

    KAUST Repository

    Wang, Zhongwei

    2017-01-01

    Like other artificial microbial ecosystems (e.g. CAS plant and anaerobic digester), a firm understanding of the microbial ecology of AGS system is essential for process design and optimization. The second part

  7. Ecosystem thermodynamics

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gomez Palacio, German Rau

    1998-01-01

    Ecology is no more a descriptive and self-sufficient science. Many viewpoints are needed simultaneously to give a full coverage of such complex systems: ecosystems. These viewpoints come from physics, chemistry, and nuclear physics, without a new far from equilibrium thermodynamics and without new mathematical tools such as catastrophe theory, fractal theory, cybernetics and network theory, the development of ecosystem science would never have reached the point of today. Some ideas are presented about the importance that concept such as energy, entropy, exergy information and none equilibrium have in the analysis of processes taking place in ecosystems

  8. Urban ecosystem

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Duvigneaud, P

    1974-01-01

    The author considers the town as an ecosystem. He examines its various subdivisions (climate, soil, structure, human and non-human communities, etc.) for which he chooses examples with particular reference to the city of Brussels.

  9. Global microbialization of coral reefs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Haas, Andreas F; Fairoz, Mohamed F M; Kelly, Linda W; Nelson, Craig E; Dinsdale, Elizabeth A; Edwards, Robert A; Giles, Steve; Hatay, Mark; Hisakawa, Nao; Knowles, Ben; Lim, Yan Wei; Maughan, Heather; Pantos, Olga; Roach, Ty N F; Sanchez, Savannah E; Silveira, Cynthia B; Sandin, Stuart; Smith, Jennifer E; Rohwer, Forest

    2016-04-25

    Microbialization refers to the observed shift in ecosystem trophic structure towards higher microbial biomass and energy use. On coral reefs, the proximal causes of microbialization are overfishing and eutrophication, both of which facilitate enhanced growth of fleshy algae, conferring a competitive advantage over calcifying corals and coralline algae. The proposed mechanism for this competitive advantage is the DDAM positive feedback loop (dissolved organic carbon (DOC), disease, algae, microorganism), where DOC released by ungrazed fleshy algae supports copiotrophic, potentially pathogenic bacterial communities, ultimately harming corals and maintaining algal competitive dominance. Using an unprecedented data set of >400 samples from 60 coral reef sites, we show that the central DDAM predictions are consistent across three ocean basins. Reef algal cover is positively correlated with lower concentrations of DOC and higher microbial abundances. On turf and fleshy macroalgal-rich reefs, higher relative abundances of copiotrophic microbial taxa were identified. These microbial communities shift their metabolic potential for carbohydrate degradation from the more energy efficient Embden-Meyerhof-Parnas pathway on coral-dominated reefs to the less efficient Entner-Doudoroff and pentose phosphate pathways on algal-dominated reefs. This 'yield-to-power' switch by microorganism directly threatens reefs via increased hypoxia and greater CO2 release from the microbial respiration of DOC.

  10. New directions in coral reef microbial ecology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Garren, Melissa; Azam, Farooq

    2012-04-01

    Microbial processes largely control the health and resilience of coral reef ecosystems, and new technologies have led to an exciting wave of discovery regarding the mechanisms by which microbial communities support the functioning of these incredibly diverse and valuable systems. There are three questions at the forefront of discovery: What mechanisms underlie coral reef health and resilience? How do environmental and anthropogenic pressures affect ecosystem function? What is the ecology of microbial diseases of corals? The goal is to understand the functioning of coral reefs as integrated systems from microbes and molecules to regional and ocean-basin scale ecosystems to enable accurate predictions of resilience and responses to perturbations such as climate change and eutrophication. This review outlines recent discoveries regarding the microbial ecology of different microenvironments within coral ecosystems, and highlights research directions that take advantage of new technologies to build a quantitative and mechanistic understanding of how coral health is connected through microbial processes to its surrounding environment. The time is ripe for natural resource managers and microbial ecologists to work together to create an integrated understanding of coral reef functioning. In the context of long-term survival and conservation of reefs, the need for this work is immediate. © 2011 Society for Applied Microbiology and Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

  11. Strategic ecosystems of Colombia

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Marquez Calle German

    2002-01-01

    The author relates the ecosystems in Colombia, he makes a relationship between ecosystems and population, utility of the ecosystems, transformation of the ecosystems and poverty and he shows a methodology of identification of strategic ecosystems

  12. Microbial biosensors

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Le Yu; Chen, Wilfred; Mulchandani, Ashok

    2006-01-01

    A microbial biosensor is an analytical device that couples microorganisms with a transducer to enable rapid, accurate and sensitive detection of target analytes in fields as diverse as medicine, environmental monitoring, defense, food processing and safety. The earlier microbial biosensors used the respiratory and metabolic functions of the microorganisms to detect a substance that is either a substrate or an inhibitor of these processes. Recently, genetically engineered microorganisms based on fusing of the lux, gfp or lacZ gene reporters to an inducible gene promoter have been widely applied to assay toxicity and bioavailability. This paper reviews the recent trends in the development and application of microbial biosensors. Current advances and prospective future direction in developing microbial biosensor have also been discussed

  13. Glycoside Hydrolases across Environmental Microbial Communities.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Renaud Berlemont

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available Across many environments microbial glycoside hydrolases support the enzymatic processing of carbohydrates, a critical function in many ecosystems. Little is known about how the microbial composition of a community and the potential for carbohydrate processing relate to each other. Here, using 1,934 metagenomic datasets, we linked changes in community composition to variation of potential for carbohydrate processing across environments. We were able to show that each ecosystem-type displays a specific potential for carbohydrate utilization. Most of this potential was associated with just 77 bacterial genera. The GH content in bacterial genera is best described by their taxonomic affiliation. Across metagenomes, fluctuations of the microbial community structure and GH potential for carbohydrate utilization were correlated. Our analysis reveals that both deterministic and stochastic processes contribute to the assembly of complex microbial communities.

  14. Designer ecosystems

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Awasthi, Ashutosh; Singh, Kripal; O'Grady, Audrey; Courtney, Ronan; Kalra, Alok; Singh, Rana Pratap; Cerda Bolinches, Artemio; Steinberger, Yosef; Patra, D.D.

    2016-01-01

    Increase in human population is accelerating the rate of land use change, biodiversity loss and habitat degradation, triggering a serious threat to life supporting ecosystem services. Existing strategies for biological conservation remain insufficient to achieve a sustainable human-nature

  15. Microbial ecology of deep-sea hypersaline anoxic basins

    KAUST Repository

    Merlino, Giuseppe; Barozzi, Alan; Michoud, Gregoire; Ngugi, David; Daffonchio, Daniele

    2018-01-01

    of mixing and by extreme conditions of salinity, anoxia, and relatively high hydrostatic pressure and temperatures. Due to these combined selection factors, unique microbial assemblages thrive in these polyextreme ecosystems. The topological localization

  16. Microbial biotechnology addressing the plastic waste disaster.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Narancic, Tanja; O'Connor, Kevin E

    2017-09-01

    Oceans are a major source of biodiversity, they provide livelihood, and regulate the global ecosystem by absorbing heat and CO 2 . However, they are highly polluted with plastic waste. We are discussing here microbial biotechnology advances with the view to improve the start and the end of life of biodegradable polymers, which could contribute to the sustainable use of marine and coastal ecosystems (UN Sustainability development goal 14). © 2017 The Authors. Microbial Biotechnology published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd and Society for Applied Microbiology.

  17. What is microbial community ecology?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Konopka, Allan

    2009-11-01

    The activities of complex communities of microbes affect biogeochemical transformations in natural, managed and engineered ecosystems. Meaningfully defining what constitutes a community of interacting microbial populations is not trivial, but is important for rigorous progress in the field. Important elements of research in microbial community ecology include the analysis of functional pathways for nutrient resource and energy flows, mechanistic understanding of interactions between microbial populations and their environment, and the emergent properties of the complex community. Some emergent properties mirror those analyzed by community ecologists who study plants and animals: biological diversity, functional redundancy and system stability. However, because microbes possess mechanisms for the horizontal transfer of genetic information, the metagenome may also be considered as a community property.

  18. Strong linkage between active microbial communities and microbial carbon usage in a deglaciated terrain of the High Arctic

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, M.; Gyeong, H. R.; Lee, Y. K.

    2017-12-01

    Soil microorganisms play pivotal roles in ecosystem development and carbon cycling in newly exposed glacier forelands. However, little is known about carbon utilization pattern by metabolically active microbes over the course of ecosystem succession in these nutrient-poor environments. We investigated RNA-based microbial community dynamics and its relation to microbial carbon usage along the chronosequence of a High Arctic glacier foreland. Among microbial taxa surveyed (bacteria, archaea and fungi), bacteria are among the most metabolically active taxa with a dominance of Cyanobacteria and Actinobacteria. There was a strong association between microbial carbon usage and active Actinobacterial communities, suggesting that member of Actinobacteria are actively involved in organic carbon degradation in glacier forelands. Both bacterial community and microbial carbon usage are converged towards later stage of succession, indicating that the composition of soil organic carbon plays important roles in structuring bacterial decomposer communities during ecosystem development.

  19. The role of ecological theory in microbial ecology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Prosser, James I; Bohannan, Brendan J M; Curtis, Tom P; Ellis, Richard J; Firestone, Mary K; Freckleton, Rob P; Green, Jessica L; Green, Laura E; Killham, Ken; Lennon, Jack J; Osborn, A Mark; Solan, Martin; van der Gast, Christopher J; Young, J Peter W

    2007-05-01

    Microbial ecology is currently undergoing a revolution, with repercussions spreading throughout microbiology, ecology and ecosystem science. The rapid accumulation of molecular data is uncovering vast diversity, abundant uncultivated microbial groups and novel microbial functions. This accumulation of data requires the application of theory to provide organization, structure, mechanistic insight and, ultimately, predictive power that is of practical value, but the application of theory in microbial ecology is currently very limited. Here we argue that the full potential of the ongoing revolution will not be realized if research is not directed and driven by theory, and that the generality of established ecological theory must be tested using microbial systems.

  20. Microbial biotechnology addressing the plastic waste disaster

    OpenAIRE

    Narancic, Tanja; O'Connor, Kevin E.

    2017-01-01

    Oceans are a major source of biodiversity, they provide livelihood, and regulate the global ecosystem by absorbing heat and CO 2. However, they are highly polluted with plastic waste. We are discussing here microbial biotechnology advances with the view to improve the start and the end of life of biodegradable polymers, which could contribute to the sustainable use of marine and coastal ecosystems (UN Sustainability development goal 14).

  1. The contribution of microbial biotechnology to mitigating coral reef degradation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Damjanovic, Katarina; Blackall, Linda L; Webster, Nicole S; van Oppen, Madeleine J H

    2017-09-01

    The decline of coral reefs due to anthropogenic disturbances is having devastating impacts on biodiversity and ecosystem services. Here we highlight the potential and challenges of microbial manipulation strategies to enhance coral tolerance to stress and contribute to coral reef restoration and protection. © 2017 The Authors. Microbial Biotechnology published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd and Society for Applied Microbiology.

  2. Microbial bioenergetics of coral-algal interactions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ty N.F. Roach

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available Human impacts are causing ecosystem phase shifts from coral- to algal-dominated reef systems on a global scale. As these ecosystems undergo transition, there is an increased incidence of coral-macroalgal interactions. Mounting evidence indicates that the outcome of these interaction events is, in part, governed by microbially mediated dynamics. The allocation of available energy through different trophic levels, including the microbial food web, determines the outcome of these interactions and ultimately shapes the benthic community structure. However, little is known about the underlying thermodynamic mechanisms involved in these trophic energy transfers. This study utilizes a novel combination of methods including calorimetry, flow cytometry, and optical oxygen measurements, to provide a bioenergetic analysis of coral-macroalgal interactions in a controlled aquarium setting. We demonstrate that the energetic demands of microbial communities at the coral-algal interaction interface are higher than in the communities associated with either of the macroorganisms alone. This was evident through higher microbial power output (energy use per unit time and lower oxygen concentrations at interaction zones compared to areas distal from the interface. Increases in microbial power output and lower oxygen concentrations were significantly correlated with the ratio of heterotrophic to autotrophic microbes but not the total microbial abundance. These results suggest that coral-algal interfaces harbor higher proportions of heterotrophic microbes that are optimizing maximal power output, as opposed to yield. This yield to power shift offers a possible thermodynamic mechanism underlying the transition from coral- to algal-dominated reef ecosystems currently being observed worldwide. As changes in the power output of an ecosystem are a significant indicator of the current state of the system, this analysis provides a novel and insightful means to quantify

  3. Microbial glycoproteomics

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Halim, Adnan; Anonsen, Jan Haug

    2017-01-01

    Mass spectrometry-based "-omics" technologies are important tools for global and detailed mapping of post-translational modifications. Protein glycosylation is an abundant and important post translational modification widespread throughout all domains of life. Characterization of glycoproteins...... and research in this area is rapidly accelerating. Here, we review recent developments in glycoproteomic technologies with a special focus on microbial protein glycosylation....

  4. Effects of Elevated Carbon Dioxide and Salinity on the Microbial Diversity in Lithifying Microbial Mats

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Steven R. Ahrendt

    2014-03-01

    Full Text Available Atmospheric levels of carbon dioxide (CO2 are rising at an accelerated rate resulting in changes in the pH and carbonate chemistry of the world’s oceans. However, there is uncertainty regarding the impact these changing environmental conditions have on carbonate-depositing microbial communities. Here, we examine the effects of elevated CO2, three times that of current atmospheric levels, on the microbial diversity associated with lithifying microbial mats. Lithifying microbial mats are complex ecosystems that facilitate the trapping and binding of sediments, and/or the precipitation of calcium carbonate into organosedimentary structures known as microbialites. To examine the impact of rising CO2 and resulting shifts in pH on lithifying microbial mats, we constructed growth chambers that could continually manipulate and monitor the mat environment. The microbial diversity of the various treatments was compared using 16S rRNA gene pyrosequencing. The results indicated that elevated CO2 levels during the six month exposure did not profoundly alter the microbial diversity, community structure, or carbonate precipitation in the microbial mats; however some key taxa, such as the sulfate-reducing bacteria Deltasulfobacterales, were enriched. These results suggest that some carbonate depositing ecosystems, such as the microbialites, may be more resilient to anthropogenic-induced environmental change than previously thought.

  5. Pathogen self defense: mechanisms to counteract microbial antagonism

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Duffy, B.K.; Schouten, A.; Raaijmakers, J.M.

    2003-01-01

    Natural and agricultural ecosystems harbor a wide variety of microorganisms that play an integral role in plant health, crop productivity, and preservation of multiple ecosystem functions. Interactions within and among microbial communities are numerous and range from synergistic and mutualistic to

  6. Microbial ecology of artisanal italian cheese: Molecular microbial characterization by culture-independent method

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Colombo, E.; Scarpellini, M.; Franzatti, L.; Dioguardi, L.

    2009-01-01

    Present study will treat the next topics: ecology of the natural and man made environments and functional diversity of bacteria. The microbial communities in artisanal goat cheeses produced in mountain pastures (typical farms) in Piemonte mountain (North of Italy) change a lot during precessing and ripening time. Moreover cheese microbial ecosystems are different in each small dairy because adventitious microflora can come from the environment and contamination the milk before the cheese making process and the product during manufacture and ripening. (Author)

  7. Microbial ecology of artisanal italian cheese: Molecular microbial characterization by culture-independent method

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Colombo, E.; Scarpellini, M.; Franzatti, L.; Dioguardi, L.

    2009-07-01

    Present study will treat the next topics: ecology of the natural and man made environments and functional diversity of bacteria. The microbial communities in artisanal goat cheeses produced in mountain pastures (typical farms) in Piemonte mountain (North of Italy) change a lot during precessing and ripening time. Moreover cheese microbial ecosystems are different in each small dairy because adventitious microflora can come from the environment and contamination the milk before the cheese making process and the product during manufacture and ripening. (Author)

  8. Microbial xanthophylls.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bhosale, Prakash; Bernstein, Paul S

    2005-09-01

    Xanthophylls are oxygenated carotenoids abundant in the human food supply. Lutein, zeaxanthin, and cryptoxanthin are major xanthophyll carotenoids in human plasma. The consumption of these xanthophylls is directly associated with reduction in the risk of cancers, cardiovascular disease, age-related macular degeneration, and cataract formation. Canthaxanthin and astaxanthin also have considerable importance in aquaculture for salmonid and crustacean pigmentation, and are of commercial interest for the pharmaceutical and food industries. Chemical synthesis is a major source for the heavy demand of xanthophylls in the consumer market; however, microbial producers also have potential as commercial sources. In this review, we discuss the biosynthesis, commercial utility, and major microbial sources of xanthophylls. We also present a critical review of current research and technologies involved in promoting microbes as potential commercial sources for mass production.

  9. Microbial ecology of deep-water mid-Atlantic canyons

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kellogg, Christina A.

    2011-01-01

    The research described in this fact sheet will be conducted from 2012 to 2014 as part of the U.S. Geological Survey's DISCOVRE (DIversity, Systematics, and COnnectivity of Vulnerable Reef Ecosystems) Program. This integrated, multidisciplinary effort will be investigating a variety of topics related to unique and fragile deep-sea ecosystems from the microscopic level to the ecosystem level. One goal is to improve understanding, at the microbiological scale, of the benthic communities (including corals) that reside in and around mid-Atlantic canyon habitats and their associated environments. Specific objectives include identifying and characterizing the microbial associates of deep-sea corals, characterizing the microbial biofilms on hard substrates to better determine their role in engineering the ecosystem, and adding a microbial dimension to benthic community structure and function assessments by characterizing micro-eukaryotes, bacteria, and archaea in deep-sea sediments.

  10. Microbial ecology of terrestrial Antarctica: Are microbial systems at risk from human activities?

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    White, G.J.

    1996-08-01

    Many of the ecological systems found in continental Antarctica are comprised entirely of microbial species. Concerns have arisen that these microbial systems might be at risk either directly through the actions of humans or indirectly through increased competition from introduced species. Although protection of native biota is covered by the Protocol on Environmental Protection to the Antarctic Treaty, strict measures for preventing the introduction on non-native species or for protecting microbial habitats may be impractical. This report summarizes the research conducted to date on microbial ecosystems in continental Antarctica and discusses the need for protecting these ecosystems. The focus is on communities inhabiting soil and rock surfaces in non-coastal areas of continental Antarctica. Although current polices regarding waste management and other operations in Antarctic research stations serve to reduce the introduction on non- native microbial species, importation cannot be eliminated entirely. Increased awareness of microbial habitats by field personnel and protection of certain unique habitats from physical destruction by humans may be necessary. At present, small-scale impacts from human activities are occurring in certain areas both in terms of introduced species and destruction of habitat. On a large scale, however, it is questionable whether the introduction of non-native microbial species to terrestrial Antarctica merits concern.

  11. Metagenomics and Bioinformatics in Microbial Ecology: Current Status and Beyond.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hiraoka, Satoshi; Yang, Ching-Chia; Iwasaki, Wataru

    2016-09-29

    Metagenomic approaches are now commonly used in microbial ecology to study microbial communities in more detail, including many strains that cannot be cultivated in the laboratory. Bioinformatic analyses make it possible to mine huge metagenomic datasets and discover general patterns that govern microbial ecosystems. However, the findings of typical metagenomic and bioinformatic analyses still do not completely describe the ecology and evolution of microbes in their environments. Most analyses still depend on straightforward sequence similarity searches against reference databases. We herein review the current state of metagenomics and bioinformatics in microbial ecology and discuss future directions for the field. New techniques will allow us to go beyond routine analyses and broaden our knowledge of microbial ecosystems. We need to enrich reference databases, promote platforms that enable meta- or comprehensive analyses of diverse metagenomic datasets, devise methods that utilize long-read sequence information, and develop more powerful bioinformatic methods to analyze data from diverse perspectives.

  12. Comparison of the active and resident community of a coastal microbial mat

    OpenAIRE

    Cardoso, Daniela Clara; Sandionigi, Anna; Cretoiu, Mariana Silvia; Casiraghi, Maurizio; Stal, Lucas; Bolhuis, Henk

    2017-01-01

    Coastal microbial mats form a nearly closed micro-scale ecosystem harboring a complex microbial community. Previous DNA based analysis did not necessarily provide information about the active fraction of the microbial community because it includes dormant, inactive cells as well as a potential stable pool of extracellular DNA. Here we focused on the active microbial community by comparing 16S rRNA sequences obtained from the ribosomal RNA pool with gene sequences obtained from the DNA fractio...

  13. Guiding bioprocess design by microbial ecology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Volmer, Jan; Schmid, Andreas; Bühler, Bruno

    2015-06-01

    Industrial bioprocess development is driven by profitability and eco-efficiency. It profits from an early stage definition of process and biocatalyst design objectives. Microbial bioprocess environments can be considered as synthetic technical microbial ecosystems. Natural systems follow Darwinian evolution principles aiming at survival and reproduction. Technical systems objectives are eco-efficiency, productivity, and profitable production. Deciphering technical microbial ecology reveals differences and similarities of natural and technical systems objectives, which are discussed in this review in view of biocatalyst and process design and engineering strategies. Strategies for handling opposing objectives of natural and technical systems and for exploiting and engineering natural properties of microorganisms for technical systems are reviewed based on examples. This illustrates the relevance of considering microbial ecology for bioprocess design and the potential for exploitation by synthetic biology strategies. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  14. Microbial effects

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sharpe, V.J.

    1985-10-01

    The long term safety and integrity of radioactive waste disposal sites proposed for use by Ontario Hydro may be affected by the release of radioactive gases. Microbes mediate the primary pathways of waste degradation and hence an assessment of their potential to produce gaseous end products from the breakdown of low level waste was performed. Due to a number of unknown variables, assumptions were made regarding environmental and waste conditions that controlled microbial activity; however, it was concluded that 14 C and 3 H would be produced, albeit over a long time scale of about 1500 years for 14 C in the worst case situation

  15. Subsurface microbial habitats on Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boston, P. J.; Mckay, C. P.

    1991-01-01

    We developed scenarios for shallow and deep subsurface cryptic niches for microbial life on Mars. Such habitats could have considerably prolonged the persistence of life on Mars as surface conditions became increasingly inhospitable. The scenarios rely on geothermal hot spots existing below the near or deep subsurface of Mars. Recent advances in the comparatively new field of deep subsurface microbiology have revealed previously unsuspected rich aerobic and anaerobic microbal communities far below the surface of the Earth. Such habitats, protected from the grim surface conditions on Mars, could receive warmth from below and maintain water in its liquid state. In addition, geothermally or volcanically reduced gases percolating from below through a microbiologically active zone could provide the reducing power needed for a closed or semi-closed microbial ecosystem to thrive.

  16. Astronomical Ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Neuenschwander, D. E.; Finkenbinder, L. R.

    2004-05-01

    Just as quetzals and jaguars require specific ecological habitats to survive, so too must planets occupy a tightly constrained astronomical habitat to support life as we know it. With this theme in mind we relate the transferable features of our elementary astronomy course, "The Astronomical Basis of Life on Earth." Over the last five years, in a team-taught course that features a spring break field trip to Costa Rica, we have introduced astronomy through "astronomical ecosystems," emphasizing astronomical constraints on the prospects for life on Earth. Life requires energy, chemical elements, and long timescales, and we emphasize how cosmological, astrophysical, and geological realities, through stabilities and catastrophes, create and eliminate niches for biological life. The linkage between astronomy and biology gets immediate and personal: for example, studies in solar energy production are followed by hikes in the forest to examine the light-gathering strategies of photosynthetic organisms; a lesson on tides is conducted while standing up to our necks in one on a Pacific beach. Further linkages between astronomy and the human timescale concerns of biological diversity, cultural diversity, and environmental sustainability are natural and direct. Our experience of teaching "astronomy as habitat" strongly influences our "Astronomy 101" course in Oklahoma as well. This "inverted astrobiology" seems to transform our student's outlook, from the universe being something "out there" into something "we're in!" We thank the SNU Science Alumni support group "The Catalysts," and the SNU Quetzal Education and Research Center, San Gerardo de Dota, Costa Rica, for their support.

  17. Resistance and Resilience of Soil Microbial Communities Exposed to Petroleum-Derived Compounds

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Modrzynski, Jakub Jan

    Functioning of soil microbial communities is generally considered resilient to disturbance, including chemical stress. Activities of soil microbial communities are often sustained in polluted environments due to exceptional plasticity of microbial communities and functional redundancy. Pollution......-induced community tolerance (PICT) often develops following chemical stress. Nonetheless, environmental pollution may severely disturb functioning of soil microbial communities, thereby threatening provision of important ecosystem services provided by microorganisms. Pollution with petroleum and petroleum......-derived compounds (PDCs) is a significant environmental problem on a global scale. Research addressing interactions between microorganisms and PDC pollution is dominated by studies of biodegradation, with less emphasis on microbial ecotoxicology. Soil microbial communities are generally considered highly resilient...

  18. Theoretical microbial ecology without species

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tikhonov, Mikhail

    2017-09-01

    Ecosystems are commonly conceptualized as networks of interacting species. However, partitioning natural diversity of organisms into discrete units is notoriously problematic and mounting experimental evidence raises the intriguing question whether this perspective is appropriate for the microbial world. Here an alternative formalism is proposed that does not require postulating the existence of species as fundamental ecological variables and provides a naturally hierarchical description of community dynamics. This formalism allows approaching the species problem from the opposite direction. While the classical models treat a world of imperfectly clustered organism types as a perturbation around well-clustered species, the presented approach allows gradually adding structure to a fully disordered background. The relevance of this theoretical construct for describing highly diverse natural ecosystems is discussed.

  19. From bacteria to elephants: Effects of land-use legacies on biodiversity and ecosystem structure in the Serengeti-Mara ecosystem: Chapter 8

    Science.gov (United States)

    Verchot, Louis V.; Ward, Naomi L.; Belnap, Jayne; Bossio, Deborah; Coughenour, Michael; Gibson, John; Hanotte, Olivier; Muchiru, Andrew N.; Phillips, Susan L.; Steven, Blaire; Wall, Diana H.; Reid, Robin S.

    2015-01-01

    Generally, ecological research has considered the aboveground and belowground components of ecosystems separately. Consequently, frameworks for integrating the two components are not well developed. Integrating the microbial components into ecosystem ecology requires different approaches from those offered by plant ecology, partly because of the scales at which microbial processes operate and partly because of measurement constraints. Studies have begun to relate microbial community structure to ecosystem function. results suggest that excluding people and livestock from the MMNR, or preventing heavier livestock from grazing around settlements, may not change the general structure of the ecosystem (soils, plant structure), but can change the numbers and diversity of wildlife, nematodes and microbes in this ecosystem in subtle ways.

  20. Fifty important research questions in microbial ecology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Antwis, Rachael E; Griffiths, Sarah M; Harrison, Xavier A; Aranega-Bou, Paz; Arce, Andres; Bettridge, Aimee S; Brailsford, Francesca L; de Menezes, Alexandre; Devaynes, Andrew; Forbes, Kristian M; Fry, Ellen L; Goodhead, Ian; Haskell, Erin; Heys, Chloe; James, Chloe; Johnston, Sarah R; Lewis, Gillian R; Lewis, Zenobia; Macey, Michael C; McCarthy, Alan; McDonald, James E; Mejia-Florez, Nasmille L; O'Brien, David; Orland, Chloé; Pautasso, Marco; Reid, William D K; Robinson, Heather A; Wilson, Kenneth; Sutherland, William J

    2017-05-01

    Microbial ecology provides insights into the ecological and evolutionary dynamics of microbial communities underpinning every ecosystem on Earth. Microbial communities can now be investigated in unprecedented detail, although there is still a wealth of open questions to be tackled. Here we identify 50 research questions of fundamental importance to the science or application of microbial ecology, with the intention of summarising the field and bringing focus to new research avenues. Questions are categorised into seven themes: host-microbiome interactions; health and infectious diseases; human health and food security; microbial ecology in a changing world; environmental processes; functional diversity; and evolutionary processes. Many questions recognise that microbes provide an extraordinary array of functional diversity that can be harnessed to solve real-world problems. Our limited knowledge of spatial and temporal variation in microbial diversity and function is also reflected, as is the need to integrate micro- and macro-ecological concepts, and knowledge derived from studies with humans and other diverse organisms. Although not exhaustive, the questions presented are intended to stimulate discussion and provide focus for researchers, funders and policy makers, informing the future research agenda in microbial ecology. © FEMS 2017. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  1. Microbial ecology to manage processes in environmental biotechnology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rittmann, Bruce E

    2006-06-01

    Microbial ecology and environmental biotechnology are inherently tied to each other. The concepts and tools of microbial ecology are the basis for managing processes in environmental biotechnology; and these processes provide interesting ecosystems to advance the concepts and tools of microbial ecology. Revolutionary advancements in molecular tools to understand the structure and function of microbial communities are bolstering the power of microbial ecology. A push from advances in modern materials along with a pull from a societal need to become more sustainable is enabling environmental biotechnology to create novel processes. How do these two fields work together? Five principles illuminate the way: (i) aim for big benefits; (ii) develop and apply more powerful tools to understand microbial communities; (iii) follow the electrons; (iv) retain slow-growing biomass; and (v) integrate, integrate, integrate.

  2. Data-directed modelling of Daphnia dynamics in a long-term micro-ecosystem experiment

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Grasman, J.; Nes, van E.H.; Kersting, K.

    2009-01-01

    The micro-ecosystem under consideration consists of three compartments forming a closed chain in which water circulates. Three trophic levels are represented in different compartments: autotrophs (algae, mainly Chlorella vulgaris), herbivores (Daphnia magna) and microbial decomposers. From a 20

  3. Measuring Entrepreneurial Ecosystems

    OpenAIRE

    Stam, F.C.

    2017-01-01

    How can entrepreneurial ecosystems and productive entrepreneurship can be traced empirically and how is entrepreneurship related to entrepreneurial ecosystems. The analyses in this chapter show the value of taking a systems view on the context of entrepreneurship. We measure entrepreneurial ecosystem elements and use these to compose an entrepreneurial ecosystem index. Next, we measure the output of entrepreneurial ecosystems with different indicators of high-growth firms. We use the 12 provi...

  4. Mapping Ecosystem Services

    OpenAIRE

    Georgiev,Teodor; Burkhard,Benjamin; Maes,Joachim

    2017-01-01

    Ecosystem services are the contributions of ecosystem structure and function (in combination with other inputs) to human well-being. That means, humankind is strongly dependent on well-functioning ecosystems and natural capital that are the base for a constant flow of ecosystem services from nature to society. Therefore ecosystem services have the potential to become a major tool for policy and decision making on global, national, regional and local scales. Possible applications are manifold:...

  5. Nutrient controls on biocomplexity of mangrove ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    McKee, Karen L.

    2004-01-01

    Mangrove forests are important coastal ecosystems that provide a variety of ecological and societal services. These intertidal, tree-dominated communities along tropical coastlines are often described as “simple systems,” compared to other tropical forests with larger numbers of plant species and multiple understory strata; however, mangrove ecosystems have complex trophic structures, and organisms exhibit unique physiological, morphological, and behavioral adaptations to environmental conditions characteristic of the land-sea interface. Biogeochemical functioning of mangrove forests is also controlled by interactions among the microbial, plant, and animal communities and feedback linkages mediated by hydrology and other forcing functions. Scientists with the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) at the National Wetlands Research Center are working to understand more fully the impact of nutrient variability on these delicate and important ecosystems.

  6. Transformation of Digital Ecosystems

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Henningsson, Stefan; Hedman, Jonas

    2014-01-01

    the Digital Ecosystem Technology Transformation (DETT) framework for explaining technology-based transformation of digital ecosystems by integrating theories of business and technology ecosystems. The framework depicts ecosystem transformation as distributed and emergent from micro-, meso-, and macro- level......In digital ecosystems, the fusion relation between business and technology means that the decision of technical compatibility of the offering is also the decision of how to position the firm relative to the coopetive relations that characterize business ecosystems. In this article we develop...... coopetition. The DETT framework consists an alternative to the existing explanations of digital ecosystem transformation as the rational management of one central actor balancing ecosystem tensions. We illustrate the use of the framework by a case study of transformation in the digital payment ecosystem...

  7. Ecosystem degradation in India

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sinha, B.N.

    1990-01-01

    Environmental and ecosystem studies have assumed greater relevance in the last decade of the twentieth century than even before. The urban settlements are becoming over-crowded and industries are increasingly polluting the air, water and sound in our larger metropolises. Degradation of different types of ecosystem are discussed in this book, Ecosystem Degradation in India. The book has been divided into seven chapters: Introduction, Coastal and Delta Ecosystem, River Basin Ecosystem, Mountain Ecosystem, Forest Ecosystem, Urban Ecosystem and the last chapter deals with the Environmental Problems and Planning. In the introduction the environmental and ecosystem degradation problems in India is highlighted as a whole while in other chapters mostly case studies by experts who know their respective terrain very intimately are included. The case study papers cover most part of India and deal with local problems, stretching from east coast to west coast and from Kashmir to Kanyakumari. (author)

  8. Proceedings of the 8. International Symposium on Microbial Ecology : microbial biosystems : new frontiers

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bell, C.R.; Brylinsky, M.; Johnson-Green, P.

    2000-01-01

    A wide range of disciplines were presented at this conference which reflected the importance of microbial ecology and provided an understanding of the factors that determine the growth and activities of microorganisms. The conference attracted 1444 delegates from 54 countries. The research emerging from the rapidly expanding frontier of microbial ecosystems was presented in 62 oral presentation and 817 poster presentations. The two volumes of these proceedings presented a total of 27 areas in microbial ecology, some of which included terrestrial biosystems, aquatic, estuarine, surface and subsurface microbial ecology. Other topics included bioremediation, microbial ecology in industry and microbial ecology of oil fields. Some of the papers highlighted the research that is underway to determine the feasibility of using microorganisms for enhanced oil recovery (EOR). Research has shown that microbial EOR can increase production at lower costs than conventional oil recovery. The use of bacteria has also proven to be a feasible treatment method in the biodegradation of hydrocarbons associated with oil spills. refs., tabs., figs

  9. Habitat constraints on the functional significance of soil microbial communities

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nunan, Naoise; Leloup, Julie; Ruamps, Léo; Pouteau, Valérie; Chenu, Claire

    2017-04-01

    An underlying assumption of most ecosystem models is that soil microbial communities are functionally equivalent; in other words, that microbial activity under given set of conditions is not dependent on the composition or diversity of the communities. Although a number of studies have suggested that this assumption is incorrect, ecosystem models can adequately describe ecosystem processes, such as soil C dynamics, without an explicit description of microbial functioning. Here, we provide a mechanistic basis for reconciling this apparent discrepancy. In a reciprocal transplant experiment, we show that microbial communities are not always functionally equivalent. The data suggest that when the supply of substrate is restricted, then the functioning of different microbial communities cannot be distinguished, but when the supply is less restricted, the intrinsic functional differences among communities can be expressed. When the supply of C is restricted then C dynamics are related to the properties of the physical and chemical environment of the soil. We conclude that soil C dynamics may depend on microbial community structure or diversity in environments such as the rhizosphere or the litter layer, but are less likely to do so in oligotrophic environments such as the mineral layers of soil.

  10. The information science of microbial ecology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hahn, Aria S; Konwar, Kishori M; Louca, Stilianos; Hanson, Niels W; Hallam, Steven J

    2016-06-01

    A revolution is unfolding in microbial ecology where petabytes of 'multi-omics' data are produced using next generation sequencing and mass spectrometry platforms. This cornucopia of biological information has enormous potential to reveal the hidden metabolic powers of microbial communities in natural and engineered ecosystems. However, to realize this potential, the development of new technologies and interpretative frameworks grounded in ecological design principles are needed to overcome computational and analytical bottlenecks. Here we explore the relationship between microbial ecology and information science in the era of cloud-based computation. We consider microorganisms as individual information processing units implementing a distributed metabolic algorithm and describe developments in ecoinformatics and ubiquitous computing with the potential to eliminate bottlenecks and empower knowledge creation and translation. Copyright © 2016 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.. All rights reserved.

  11. Microbial ecology of hot desert edaphic systems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Makhalanyane, Thulani P; Valverde, Angel; Gunnigle, Eoin; Frossard, Aline; Ramond, Jean-Baptiste; Cowan, Don A

    2015-03-01

    A significant proportion of the Earth's surface is desert or in the process of desertification. The extreme environmental conditions that characterize these areas result in a surface that is essentially barren, with a limited range of higher plants and animals. Microbial communities are probably the dominant drivers of these systems, mediating key ecosystem processes. In this review, we examine the microbial communities of hot desert terrestrial biotopes (including soils, cryptic and refuge niches and plant-root-associated microbes) and the processes that govern their assembly. We also assess the possible effects of global climate change on hot desert microbial communities and the resulting feedback mechanisms. We conclude by discussing current gaps in our understanding of the microbiology of hot deserts and suggest fruitful avenues for future research. © FEMS 2015. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  12. Microbial micropatches within microbial hotspots

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, Renee J.; Tobe, Shanan S.; Paterson, James S.; Seymour, Justin R.; Oliver, Rod L.; Mitchell, James G.

    2018-01-01

    The spatial distributions of organism abundance and diversity are often heterogeneous. This includes the sub-centimetre distributions of microbes, which have ‘hotspots’ of high abundance, and ‘coldspots’ of low abundance. Previously we showed that 300 μl abundance hotspots, coldspots and background regions were distinct at all taxonomic levels. Here we build on these results by showing taxonomic micropatches within these 300 μl microscale hotspots, coldspots and background regions at the 1 μl scale. This heterogeneity among 1 μl subsamples was driven by heightened abundance of specific genera. The micropatches were most pronounced within hotspots. Micropatches were dominated by Pseudomonas, Bacteroides, Parasporobacterium and Lachnospiraceae incertae sedis, with Pseudomonas and Bacteroides being responsible for a shift in the most dominant genera in individual hotspot subsamples, representing up to 80.6% and 47.3% average abundance, respectively. The presence of these micropatches implies the ability these groups have to create, establish themselves in, or exploit heterogeneous microenvironments. These genera are often particle-associated, from which we infer that these micropatches are evidence for sub-millimetre aggregates and the aquatic polymer matrix. These findings support the emerging paradigm that the microscale distributions of planktonic microbes are numerically and taxonomically heterogeneous at scales of millimetres and less. We show that microscale microbial hotspots have internal structure within which specific local nutrient exchanges and cellular interactions might occur. PMID:29787564

  13. Measuring Entrepreneurial Ecosystems

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Stam, F.C.

    How can entrepreneurial ecosystems and productive entrepreneurship can be traced empirically and how is entrepreneurship related to entrepreneurial ecosystems. The analyses in this chapter show the value of taking a systems view on the context of entrepreneurship. We measure entrepreneurial

  14. Coral reefs - Specialized ecosystems

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    Wafar, M.V.M.

    This paper discusses briefly some aspects that characterize and differentiate coral reef ecosystems from other tropical marine ecosystems. A brief account on the resources that are extractable from coral reefs, their susceptibility to natural...

  15. Microbial dynamics in petroleum oilfields and their relationship with physiological properties of petroleum oil reservoirs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Varjani, Sunita J; Gnansounou, Edgard

    2017-12-01

    Petroleum is produced by thermal decay of buried organic material over millions of years. Petroleum oilfield ecosystems represent resource of reduced carbon which favours microbial growth. Therefore, it is obvious that many microorganisms have adapted to harsh environmental conditions of these ecosystems specifically temperature, oxygen availability and pressure. Knowledge of microorganisms present in ecosystems of petroleum oil reservoirs; their physiological and biological properties help in successful exploration of petroleum. Understanding microbiology of petroleum oilfield(s) can be used to enhance oil recovery, as microorganisms in oil reservoirs produce various metabolites viz. gases, acids, solvents, biopolymers and biosurfactants. The aim of this review is to discuss characteristics of petroleum oil reservoirs. This review also provides an updated literature on microbial ecology of these extreme ecosystems including microbial origin as well as various types of microorganisms such as methanogens; iron, nitrate and sulphate reducing bacteria, and fermentative microbes present in petroleum oilfield ecosystems. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  16. Ecosystem Warming Affects CO2 Flux in an Agricultural Soil

    Science.gov (United States)

    Global warming seems likely based on present-day climate predictions. Our objective was to characterize and quantify the interactive effects of ecosystem warming (i.e., canopy temperature, TS), soil moisture content ('S) and microbial biomass (BM: bacteria, fungi) on the intra-row soil CO2 flux (FS)...

  17. Ecosystem classification, Chapter 2

    Science.gov (United States)

    M.J. Robin-Abbott; L.H. Pardo

    2011-01-01

    The ecosystem classification in this report is based on the ecoregions developed through the Commission for Environmental Cooperation (CEC) for North America (CEC 1997). Only ecosystems that occur in the United States are included. CEC ecoregions are described, with slight modifications, below (CEC 1997) and shown in Figures 2.1 and 2.2. We chose this ecosystem...

  18. On Man and Ecosystems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brookfield, Harold

    1982-01-01

    Distinctions between natural ecosystems and human ecosystems are misleading. Natural and social sciences can be integrated through the concept of a "human-use ecosystem," in which social scientists analyze the community, household, and individual, and natural scientists analyze the land. Includes a case study of St. Kitts. (KC)

  19. Global Ecosystem Restoration Index

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Fernandez, Miguel; Garcia, Monica; Fernandez, Nestor

    2015-01-01

    The Global ecosystem restoration index (GERI) is a composite index that integrates structural and functional aspects of the ecosystem restoration process. These elements are evaluated through a window that looks into a baseline for degraded ecosystems with the objective to assess restoration...

  20. Towards ecosystem accounting

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Duku, C.; Rathjens, H.; Zwart, S.J.; Hein, L.

    2015-01-01

    Ecosystem accounting is an emerging field that aims to provide a consistent approach to analysing environment-economy interactions. One of the specific features of ecosystem accounting is the distinction between the capacity and the flow of ecosystem services. Ecohydrological modelling to support

  1. Rights to ecosystem services

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Davidson, M.

    2014-01-01

    Ecosystem services are the benefits people obtain from ecosystems. Many of these services are provided outside the borders of the land where they are produced; this article investigates who is entitled to these non-excludable ecosystem services from two libertarian perspectives. Taking a

  2. Multitrophic microbial interactions for eco- and agro-biotechnological processes: theory and practice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Saleem, Muhammad; Moe, Luke A

    2014-10-01

    Multitrophic level microbial loop interactions mediated by protist predators, bacteria, and viruses drive eco- and agro-biotechnological processes such as bioremediation, wastewater treatment, plant growth promotion, and ecosystem functioning. To what extent these microbial interactions are context-dependent in performing biotechnological and ecosystem processes remains largely unstudied. Theory-driven research may advance the understanding of eco-evolutionary processes underlying the patterns and functioning of microbial interactions for successful development of microbe-based biotechnologies for real world applications. This could also be a great avenue to test the validity or limitations of ecology theory for managing diverse microbial resources in an era of altering microbial niches, multitrophic interactions, and microbial diversity loss caused by climate and land use changes. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  3. Microbial functional diversity plays an important role in the degradation of polyhydroxybutyrate (PHB) in soil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dey, Samrat; Tribedi, Prosun

    2018-03-01

    Towards bioremediation of recalcitrant materials like synthetic polymer, soil has been recognized as a traditional site for disposal and subsequent degradation as some microorganisms in soil can degrade the polymer in a non-toxic, cost-effective, and environment friendly way. Microbial functional diversity is a constituent of biodiversity that includes wide range of metabolic activities that can influence numerous aspects of ecosystem functioning like ecosystem stability, nutrient availability, ecosystem dynamics, etc. Thus, in the current study, we assumed that microbial functional diversity could play an important role in polymer degradation in soil. To verify this hypothesis, we isolated soil from five different sites of landfill and examined several microbiological parameters wherein we observed a significant variation in heterotrophic microbial count as well as microbial activities among the soil microcosms tested. Multivariate analysis (principle component analysis) based on the carbon sources utilization pattern revealed that soil microcosms showed different metabolic patterns suggesting the variable distribution of microorganisms among the soil microcosms tested. Since microbial functional diversity depends on both microbial richness and evenness, Shannon diversity index was determined to measure microbial richness and Gini coefficient was determined to measure microbial evenness. The tested soil microcosms exhibited variation in both microbial richness and evenness suggesting the considerable difference in microbial functional diversity among the tested microcosms. We then measured polyhydroxybutyrate (PHB) degradation in soil microcosms after desired period of incubation of PHB in soil wherein we found that soil microcosms having higher functional diversity showed enhanced PHB degradation and soil microcosms having lower functional diversity showed reduced PHB degradation. We also noticed that all the tested soil microcosms showed similar pattern in both

  4. Homogeneous versus heterogeneous probes for microbial ecological microarrays.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bae, Jin-Woo; Park, Yong-Ha

    2006-07-01

    Microbial ecological microarrays have been developed for investigating the composition and functions of microorganism communities in environmental niches. These arrays include microbial identification microarrays, which use oligonucleotides, gene fragments or microbial genomes as probes. In this article, the advantages and disadvantages of each type of probe are reviewed. Oligonucleotide probes are currently useful for probing uncultivated bacteria that are not amenable to gene fragment probing, whereas the functional gene fragments amplified randomly from microbial genomes require phylogenetic and hierarchical categorization before use as microbial identification probes, despite their high resolution for both specificity and sensitivity. Until more bacteria are sequenced and gene fragment probes are thoroughly validated, heterogeneous bacterial genome probes will provide a simple, sensitive and quantitative tool for exploring the ecosystem structure.

  5. Lipid Biomarkers for a Hypersaline Microbial Mat Community

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jahnke, Linda L.; Embaye, Tsege; Turk, Kendra A.

    2003-01-01

    The use of lipid biomarkers and their carbon isotopic compositions are valuable tools for establishing links to ancient microbial ecosystems. As witnessed by the stromatolite record, benthic microbial mats grew in shallow water lagoonal environments where microorganisms had virtually no competition apart from the harsh conditions of hypersalinity, desiccation and intense light. Today, the modern counterparts of these microbial ecosystems find appropriate niches in only a few places where extremes eliminate eukaryotic grazers. Answers to many outstanding questions about the evolution of microorganisms and their environments on early Earth are best answered through study of these extant analogs. Lipids associated with various groups of bacteria can be valuable biomarkers for identification of specific groups of microorganisms both in ancient organic-rich sedimentary rocks (geolipids) and contemporary microbial communities (membrane lipids). Use of compound specific isotope analysis adds additional refinement to the identification of biomarker source, so that it is possible to take advantage of the 3C-depletions associated with various functional groups of organisms (i.e. autotrophs, heterotrophs, methanotrophs, methanogens) responsible for the cycling of carbon within a microbial community. Our recent work has focused on a set of hypersaline evaporation ponds at Guerrero Negro, Baja California Sur, Mexico which support the abundant growth of Microcoleus-dominated microbial mats. Specific biomarkers for diatoms, cyanobacteria, archaea, green nonsulfur (GNS), sulfate reducing, and methanotrophic bacteria have been identified. Analyses of the ester-bound fatty acids indicate a highly diverse microbial community, dominated by photosynthetic organisms at the surface.

  6. Inclusion of caraway in the ryegrass-red clover mixture modifies soil microbial community composition

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Cong, Wenfeng; Jing, Jingying; Søegaard, Karen

    -containing grass-clover mixtures may potentially affect soil microbial community structure, biomass and associated ecosystem functions, but it is yet to be elucidated. We hypothesized that inclusion of plantain in the grass-clover mixture would enhance soil microbial biomas and functions through its high biomass...

  7. Linking diagnostic features to soil microbial biomass and respiration in agricultural grassland soil

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Richter, A.; Huallacháin, D.O.; Doyle, E.; Clipson, N.; Leeuwen, Van J.P.; Heuvelink, G.B.; Creamer, R.E.

    2018-01-01

    The functional potential of soil ecosystems can be predicted from the activity and abundance of the microbial community in relation to key soil properties. When describing microbial community dynamics, soil physicochemical properties have traditionally been used. The extent of correlations between

  8. Microbial activity and community structure in two drained fen soils in the Ljubljana Marsh

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kraigher, Barbara; Stres, Blaz; Hacin, Janez; Ausec, Luka; Mahne, Ivan; van Elsas, Jan D.; Mandic-Mulec, Ines

    Fen peatlands are specific wetland ecosystems containing high soil organic carbon (SOC). There is a general lack of knowledge about the microbial communities that abound in these systems. We examined the microbial activity and community structure in two fen soils differing in SOC content sampled

  9. Microbial interactions involving sulfur bacteria : implications for the ecology and evolution of bacterial communities

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Overmann, J; van Gemerden, H

    2000-01-01

    A major goal of microbial ecology is the identification and characterization of those microorganisms which govern transformations in natural ecosystems. This review summarizes our present knowledge of microbial interactions in the natural sulfur cycle. Central to the discussion is the recent

  10. Microbial response of an acid forest soil to experimental soil warming

    Science.gov (United States)

    S.S. Arnold; I.J. Fernandez; L.E. Rustad; L.M. Zibilske

    1999-01-01

    Effects of increased soil temperature on soil microbial biomass and dehydrogenase activity were examined on organic (O) horizon material in a low-elevation spruce-fir ecosystem. Soil temperature was maintained at 5 °C above ambient during the growing season in the experimental plots, and soil temperature, moisture, microbial biomass, and dehydrogenase activity were...

  11. Changes in microbial community characteristics and soil organic matter with nitrogen additions in two tropical forests

    Science.gov (United States)

    Daniela F. Cusack; Whendee L. Silver; Margaret S. Torn; Sarah D. Burton; Mary K. Firestone

    2011-01-01

    Microbial communities and their associated enzyme activities affect the amount and chemical quality of carbon (C) in soils. Increasing nitrogen (N) deposition, particularly in N-rich tropical forests, is likely to change the composition and behavior of microbial communities and feed back on ecosystem structure and function. This study presents a novel assessment of...

  12. Forest soil microbial communities: Using metagenomic approaches to survey permanent plots

    Science.gov (United States)

    Amy L. Ross-Davis; Jane E. Stewart; John W. Hanna; John D. Shaw; Andrew T. Hudak; Theresa B. Jain; Robert J. Denner; Russell T. Graham; Deborah S. Page-Dumroese; Joanne M. Tirocke; Mee-Sook Kim; Ned B. Klopfenstein

    2014-01-01

    Forest soil ecosystems include some of the most complex microbial communities on Earth (Fierer et al. 2012). These assemblages of archaea, bacteria, fungi, and protists play essential roles in biogeochemical cycles (van der Heijden et al. 2008) and account for considerable terrestrial biomass (Nielsen et al. 2011). Yet, determining the microbial composition of forest...

  13. A model ecosystem experiment and its computational simulation studies

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Doi, M.

    2002-01-01

    Simplified microbial model ecosystem and its computer simulation model are introduced as eco-toxicity test for the assessment of environmental responses from the effects of environmental impacts. To take the effects on the interactions between species and environment into account, one option is to select the keystone species on the basis of ecological knowledge, and to put it in the single-species toxicity test. Another option proposed is to put the eco-toxicity tests as experimental micro ecosystem study and a theoretical model ecosystem analysis. With these tests, the stressors which are more harmful to the ecosystems should be replace with less harmful ones on the basis of unified measures. Management of radioactive materials, chemicals, hyper-eutrophic, and other artificial disturbances of ecosystem should be discussed consistently from the unified view point of environmental protection. (N.C.)

  14. Ecosystem services in ECOCLIM

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Sørensen, Lise Lotte; Boegh, Eva; Bendtsen, J

    that actions initiated to reduce anthropogenic GHG emissions are sustainable and not destructive to existing ecosystem services. Therefore it is important to address i.e. land use change in relation to the regulating services of the ecosystems, such as carbon sequestration and climate regulation. At present...... a thorough understanding of the ecosystem processes controlling the uptake or emissions of GHG is fundamental. Here we present ECOCLIM in the context of ecosystem services and the experimental studies within ECOCLIM which will lead to an enhanced understanding of Danish ecosystems....

  15. Methodological approaches for studying the microbial ecology of drinking water distribution systems

    OpenAIRE

    Douterelo, Isabel; Boxall, Joby B.; Deines, Peter; Sekar, Raju; Fish, Katherine E.; Biggs, Catherine A.

    2014-01-01

    The study of the microbial ecology of drinking water distribution systems (DWDS) has traditionally been based on culturing organisms from bulk water samples. The development and application of molecular methods has supplied new tools for examining the microbial diversity and activity of environmental samples, yielding new insights into the microbial community and its diversity within these engineered ecosystems. In this review, the currently available methods and emerging approaches for chara...

  16. Microbial community functional change during vertebrate carrion decomposition.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jennifer L Pechal

    Full Text Available Microorganisms play a critical role in the decomposition of organic matter, which contributes to energy and nutrient transformation in every ecosystem. Yet, little is known about the functional activity of epinecrotic microbial communities associated with carrion. The objective of this study was to provide a description of the carrion associated microbial community functional activity using differential carbon source use throughout decomposition over seasons, between years and when microbial communities were isolated from eukaryotic colonizers (e.g., necrophagous insects. Additionally, microbial communities were identified at the phyletic level using high throughput sequencing during a single study. We hypothesized that carrion microbial community functional profiles would change over the duration of decomposition, and that this change would depend on season, year and presence of necrophagous insect colonization. Biolog EcoPlates™ were used to measure the variation in epinecrotic microbial community function by the differential use of 29 carbon sources throughout vertebrate carrion decomposition. Pyrosequencing was used to describe the bacterial community composition in one experiment to identify key phyla associated with community functional changes. Overall, microbial functional activity increased throughout decomposition in spring, summer and winter while it decreased in autumn. Additionally, microbial functional activity was higher in 2011 when necrophagous arthropod colonizer effects were tested. There were inconsistent trends in the microbial function of communities isolated from remains colonized by necrophagous insects between 2010 and 2011, suggesting a greater need for a mechanistic understanding of the process. These data indicate that functional analyses can be implemented in carrion studies and will be important in understanding the influence of microbial communities on an essential ecosystem process, carrion decomposition.

  17. 11 Soil Microbial Biomass

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    186–198. Insam H. (1990). Are the soil microbial biomass and basal respiration governed by the climatic regime? Soil. Biol. Biochem. 22: 525–532. Insam H. D. and Domsch K. H. (1989). Influence of microclimate on soil microbial biomass. Soil Biol. Biochem. 21: 211–21. Jenkinson D. S. (1988). Determination of microbial.

  18. Microbial Rechargeable Battery

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Molenaar, Sam D.; Mol, Annemerel R.; Sleutels, Tom H.J.A.; Heijne, Ter Annemiek; Buisman, Cees J.N.

    2016-01-01

    Bioelectrochemical systems hold potential for both conversion of electricity into chemicals through microbial electrosynthesis (MES) and the provision of electrical power by oxidation of organics using microbial fuel cells (MFCs). This study provides a proof of concept for a microbial

  19. Childhood microbial keratitis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Abdullah G Al Otaibi

    2012-01-01

    Conclusion: Children with suspected microbial keratitis require comprehensive evaluation and management. Early recognition, identifying the predisposing factors and etiological microbial organisms, and instituting appropriate treatment measures have a crucial role in outcome. Ocular trauma was the leading cause of childhood microbial keratitis in our study.

  20. Fishing for ecosystem services.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pope, Kevin L; Pegg, Mark A; Cole, Nicholas W; Siddons, Stephen F; Fedele, Alexis D; Harmon, Brian S; Ruskamp, Ryan L; Turner, Dylan R; Uerling, Caleb C

    2016-12-01

    Ecosystems are commonly exploited and manipulated to maximize certain human benefits. Such changes can degrade systems, leading to cascading negative effects that may be initially undetected, yet ultimately result in a reduction, or complete loss, of certain valuable ecosystem services. Ecosystem-based management is intended to maintain ecosystem quality and minimize the risk of irreversible change to natural assemblages of species and to ecosystem processes while obtaining and maintaining long-term socioeconomic benefits. We discuss policy decisions in fishery management related to commonly manipulated environments with a focus on influences to ecosystem services. By focusing on broader scales, managing for ecosystem services, and taking a more proactive approach, we expect sustainable, quality fisheries that are resilient to future disturbances. To that end, we contend that: (1) management always involves tradeoffs; (2) explicit management of fisheries for ecosystem services could facilitate a transition from reactive to proactive management; and (3) adaptive co-management is a process that could enhance management for ecosystem services. We propose adaptive co-management with an ecosystem service framework where actions are implemented within ecosystem boundaries, rather than political boundaries, through strong interjurisdictional relationships. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

  1. Microbial Mechanisms Enhancing Soil C Storage

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Zak, Donald [Univ. of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI (United States)

    2015-09-24

    Human activity has globally increased the amount of nitrogen (N) entering ecosystems, which could foster higher rates of C sequestration in the N-limited forests of the Northern Hemisphere. Presently, these ecosystems are a large global sink for atmospheric CO2, the magnitude of which could be influenced by the input of human-derived N from the atmosphere. Nevertheless, empirical studies and simulation models suggest that anthropogenic N deposition could have either an important or inconsequential effect on C storage in forests of the Northern Hemisphere, a set of observations that continues to fuel scientific discourse. Although a relatively simple set of physiological processes control the C balance of terrestrial ecosystems, we still fail to understand how these processes directly and indirectly respond to greater N availability in the environment. The uptake of anthropogenic N by N-limited forest trees and a subsequent enhancement of net primary productivity have been the primary mechanisms thought to increase ecosystem C storage in Northern Hemisphere forests. However, there are reasons to expect that anthropogenic N deposition could slow microbial activity in soil, decrease litter decay, and increase soil C storage. Fungi dominate the decay of plant detritus in forests and, under laboratory conditions, high inorganic N concentrations can repress the transcription of genes coding for enzymes which depolymerize lignin in plant detritus; this observation presents the possibility that anthropogenic N deposition could elicit a similar effect under field conditions. In our 18-yr-long field experiment, we have been able to document that simulated N deposition, at a rate expected in the near future, resulted in a significant decline in cellulolytic and lignolytic microbial activity, slowed plant litter decay, and increased soil C storage (+10%); this response is not portrayed in any biogeochemical model simulating the effect of atmospheric N deposition on ecosystem C

  2. Unravelling core microbial metabolisms in the hypersaline microbial mats of Shark Bay using high-throughput metagenomics

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ruvindy, Rendy; White III, Richard Allen; Neilan, Brett Anthony; Burns, Brendan Paul

    2015-05-29

    Modern microbial mats are potential analogues of some of Earth’s earliest ecosystems. Excellent examples can be found in Shark Bay, Australia, with mats of various morphologies. To further our understanding of the functional genetic potential of these complex microbial ecosystems, we conducted for the first time shotgun metagenomic analyses. We assembled metagenomic nextgeneration sequencing data to classify the taxonomic and metabolic potential across diverse morphologies of marine mats in Shark Bay. The microbial community across taxonomic classifications using protein-coding and small subunit rRNA genes directly extracted from the metagenomes suggests that three phyla Proteobacteria, Cyanobacteria and Bacteriodetes dominate all marine mats. However, the microbial community structure between Shark Bay and Highbourne Cay (Bahamas) marine systems appears to be distinct from each other. The metabolic potential (based on SEED subsystem classifications) of the Shark Bay and Highbourne Cay microbial communities were also distinct. Shark Bay metagenomes have a metabolic pathway profile consisting of both heterotrophic and photosynthetic pathways, whereas Highbourne Cay appears to be dominated almost exclusively by photosynthetic pathways. Alternative non-rubisco-based carbon metabolism including reductive TCA cycle and 3-hydroxypropionate/4-hydroxybutyrate pathways is highly represented in Shark Bay metagenomes while not represented in Highbourne Cay microbial mats or any other mat forming ecosystems investigated to date. Potentially novel aspects of nitrogen cycling were also observed, as well as putative heavy metal cycling (arsenic, mercury, copper and cadmium). Finally, archaea are highly represented in Shark Bay and may have critical roles in overall ecosystem function in these modern microbial mats.

  3. 'One physical system': Tansley's ecosystem as Earth's critical zone.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Richter, Daniel deB; Billings, Sharon A

    2015-05-01

    Integrative concepts of the biosphere, ecosystem, biogeocenosis and, recently, Earth's critical zone embrace scientific disciplines that link matter, energy and organisms in a systems-level understanding of our remarkable planet. Here, we assert the congruence of Tansley's (1935) venerable ecosystem concept of 'one physical system' with Earth science's critical zone. Ecosystems and critical zones are congruent across spatial-temporal scales from vegetation-clad weathering profiles and hillslopes, small catchments, landscapes, river basins, continents, to Earth's whole terrestrial surface. What may be less obvious is congruence in the vertical dimension. We use ecosystem metabolism to argue that full accounting of photosynthetically fixed carbon includes respiratory CO₂ and carbonic acid that propagate to the base of the critical zone itself. Although a small fraction of respiration, the downward diffusion of CO₂ helps determine rates of soil formation and, ultimately, ecosystem evolution and resilience. Because life in the upper portions of terrestrial ecosystems significantly affects biogeochemistry throughout weathering profiles, the lower boundaries of most terrestrial ecosystems have been demarcated at depths too shallow to permit a complete understanding of ecosystem structure and function. Opportunities abound to explore connections between upper and lower components of critical-zone ecosystems, between soils and streams in watersheds, and between plant-derived CO₂ and deep microbial communities and mineral weathering. © 2015 The Authors. New Phytologist © 2015 New Phytologist Trust.

  4. Stream microbial diversity responds to environmental changes: Review and synthesis of existing research

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lydia eZeglin

    2015-05-01

    Full Text Available The importance of microbial activity to ecosystem function in aquatic ecosystems is well established, but microbial diversity has been less frequently addressed. This review and synthesis of the hundreds of published studies on stream microbial diversity shows that factors known to drive ecosystem processes, such as nutrient availability, hydrology, metal contamination, contrasting land-use and temperature, also cause heterogeneity in bacterial diversity. Temporal heterogeneity in stream bacterial diversity was frequently observed, reflecting the dynamic nature of both stream ecosystems and microbial community composition. However, within-stream spatial differences in stream bacterial diversity were more commonly observed, driven specifically by different organic matter compartments. Bacterial phyla showed similar patterns in relative abundance with regard to compartment type across different streams. For example, surface water contained the highest relative abundance of Actinobacteria, while epilithon contained the highest relative abundance of Cyanobacteria and Bacteroidetes. This suggests that contrasting physical and/or nutritional habitats characterized by different stream organic matter compartment types may select for certain bacterial lineages. When comparing the prevalence of physicochemical effects on stream bacterial diversity, effects of changing metal concentrations were most, while effects of differences in nutrient concentrations were least frequently observed. This may indicate that although changing nutrient concentrations do tend to affect microbial diversity, other environmental factors are more likely to alter stream microbial diversity and function. The common observation of connections between ecosystem process drivers and microbial diversity suggests that microbial taxonomic turnover could mediate ecosystem-scale responses to changing environmental conditions, including both microbial habitat distribution and

  5. RESPONSE OF SOIL MICROBIAL BIOMASS AND COMMUNITY COMPOSITION TO CHRONIC NITROGEN ADDITIONS AT HARVARD FOREST

    Science.gov (United States)

    Soil microbial communities may respond to anthropogenic increases in ecosystem nitrogen (N) availability, and their response may ultimately feedback on ecosystem carbon and N dynamics. We examined the long-term effects of chronic N additions on soil microbes by measuring soil mi...

  6. Nutrients and temperature additively increase stream microbial respiration

    Science.gov (United States)

    David W. P. Manning; Amy D. Rosemond; Vladislav Gulis; Jonathan P. Benstead; John S. Kominoski

    2017-01-01

    Rising temperatures and nutrient enrichment are co‐occurring global‐change drivers that stimulate microbial respiration of detrital carbon, but nutrient effects on the temperature dependence of respiration in aquatic ecosystems remain uncertain. We measured respiration rates associated with leaf litter, wood, and fine benthic organic matter (FBOM) across...

  7. Evaluation of soil microbial communities as influenced by crude oil ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Impact of petroleum pollution in a vulnerable Niger Delta ecosystem was investigated to assess interactions in a first-generation phytoremediation site of a crude oil freshly-spilled agricultural soil. Community-level approach for assessing patterns of sole carbon-source utilization by mixed microbial samples was employed to ...

  8. Impacts of chemical gradients on microbial community structure

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Chen, Jianwei; Hanke, Anna; Tegetmeyer, Halina E

    2017-01-01

    Succession of redox processes is sometimes assumed to define a basic microbial community structure for ecosystems with oxygen gradients. In this paradigm, aerobic respiration, denitrification, fermentation and sulfate reduction proceed in a thermodynamically determined order, known as the 'redox ...... Journal advance online publication, 17 January 2017; doi:10.1038/ismej.2016.175....

  9. Microbial ecology of artisanal Italian Cheese: environment and working conditions

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Dioguardi, L.; Colombo, E.; Franzetti, L.

    2009-01-01

    In agro-food sector the structural features of working environments and consequently their hygienic conditions are of primary importance for a safe and quality food production and to ensure comfortable and ergonomic working conditions. In particular, as regards high-mountain dairy production, the environment is important because it can affect the development of typical microbial ecosystem. (Author)

  10. Microbial ecology of artisanal Italian Cheese: environment and working conditions

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Dioguardi, L.; Colombo, E.; Franzetti, L.

    2009-07-01

    In agro-food sector the structural features of working environments and consequently their hygienic conditions are of primary importance for a safe and quality food production and to ensure comfortable and ergonomic working conditions. In particular, as regards high-mountain dairy production, the environment is important because it can affect the development of typical microbial ecosystem. (Author)

  11. Dormancy contributes to the maintenance of microbial diversity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jones, Stuart E; Lennon, Jay T

    2010-03-30

    Dormancy is a bet-hedging strategy used by a variety of organisms to overcome unfavorable environmental conditions. By entering a reversible state of low metabolic activity, dormant individuals become members of a seed bank, which can determine community dynamics in future generations. Although microbiologists have documented dormancy in both clinical and natural settings, the importance of seed banks for the diversity and functioning of microbial communities remains untested. Here, we develop a theoretical model demonstrating that microbial communities are structured by environmental cues that trigger dormancy. A molecular survey of lake ecosystems revealed that dormancy plays a more important role in shaping bacterial communities than eukaryotic microbial communities. The proportion of dormant bacteria was relatively low in productive ecosystems but accounted for up to 40% of taxon richness in nutrient-poor systems. Our simulations and empirical data suggest that regional environmental cues and dormancy synchronize the composition of active communities across the landscape while decoupling active microbes from the total community at local scales. Furthermore, we observed that rare bacterial taxa were disproportionately active relative to common bacterial taxa, suggesting that microbial rank-abundance curves are more dynamic than previously considered. We propose that repeated transitions to and from the seed bank may help maintain the high levels of microbial biodiversity that are observed in nearly all ecosystems.

  12. Recovery of microbial community structure and functioning after wildfire in semi-arid environments: optimising methods for monitoring and assessment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Muñoz-Rojas, Miriam; Martini, Dylan; Erickson, Todd; Merritt, David; Dixon, Kingsley

    2015-04-01

    Introduction In semi-arid areas such as northern Western Australia, wildfires are a natural part of the environment and many ecosystems in these landscapes have evolved and developed a strong relationship with fire. Soil microbial communities play a crucial role in ecosystem processes by regulating the cycling of nutrients via decomposition, mineralization, and immobilization processes. Thus, the structure (e.g. soil microbial biomass) and functioning (e.g. soil microbial activity) of microbial communities, as well as their changes after ecosystem disturbance, can be useful indicators of soil quality and health recovery. In this research, we assess the impacts of fire on soil microbial communities and their recovery in a biodiverse semi-arid environment of Western Australia (Pilbara region). New methods for determining soil microbial respiration as an indicator of microbial activity and soil health are also tested. Methodology Soil samples were collected from 10 similar ecosystems in the Pilbara with analogous native vegetation, but differing levels of post-fire disturbance (i.e. 3 months, 1 year, 5, 7 and 14 years after wildfire). Soil microbial activity was measured with the Solvita test which determines soil microbial respiration rate based on the measurement of the CO2 burst of a dry soil after it is moistened. Soils were dried and re-wetted and a CO2 probe was inserted before incubation at constant conditions of 25°C during 24 h. Measurements were taken with a digital mini spectrometer. Microbial (bacteria and fungi) biomass and community composition were measured by phospholipid fatty acid analysis (PLFA). Results Immediately after the fire (i.e. 3 months), soil microbial activity and microbial biomass are similar to 14 years 'undisturbed' levels (53.18±3.68 ppm CO2-CO and 14.07±0.65 mg kg-1, respectively). However, after the first year post-fire, with larger plant productivity, microbial biomass and microbial activity increase rapidly, peaking after 5

  13. Shallow freshwater ecosystems of the circumpolar Arctic

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Rautio, Milla; Dufresne, France; Laurion, Isabelle

    2011-01-01

    to large annual temperature fluctuations, a short growing season, and freeze-up and desiccation stress in winter, these ecosystems are strongly regulated by the supply of organic matter and its optical and biogeochemical properties. Dissolved organic carbon affects bacterial diversity and production......This review provides a synthesis of limnological data and conclusions from studies on ponds and small lakes at our research sites in Subarctic and Arctic Canada, Alaska, northern Scandinavia, and Greenland. Many of these water bodies contain large standing stocks of benthic microbial mats that grow...... in relatively nutrient-rich conditions, while the overlying water column is nutrient-poor and supports only low concentrations of phytoplankton. Zooplankton biomass can, however, be substantial and is supported by grazing on the microbial mats as well as detrital inputs, algae, and other plankton. In addition...

  14. Ecosystem-based management and the wealth of ecosystems

    OpenAIRE

    Yun, Seong Do; Hutniczak, Barbara; Abbott, Joshua K.; Fenichel, Eli P.

    2017-01-01

    Ecosystems store vast quantities of wealth, but difficulties measuring wealth held in ecosystems prevent its inclusion in accounting systems. Ecosystem-based management endeavors to manage ecosystems holistically. However, ecosystem-based management lacks headline indicators to evaluate performance. We unify the inclusive wealth and ecosystem-based management paradigms, allowing apples-to-apples comparisons between the wealth of the ecosystem and other forms of wealth, while providing a headl...

  15. BIOMASS AND MICROBIAL ACTIVITY UNDER DIFFERENT FOREST COVERS

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rafael Malfitano Braga

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available This study evaluated the soil fertility, biomass and microbial activity of the soil under forest cover of Eucalyptus grandis, Eucalyptus pilularis, Eucalyptus cloeziana and Corymbia maculata; Pinus Caribbean var. hondurensis, 40 years old, and a fragment of Semideciduous Forest, located on the campus of the Federal University of Lavras. In soil samples collected in the 0-5 cm layer were determined fertility parameters, basal respiration and microbial biomass carbon. The results showed that for the species E. grandis and E. cloeziana the carbon of biomass microbial content was higher than for any other ecosystem evaluated, and equal to those observed under native forest. In contrast, the ground under Pinus had the lowest microbiological indexes. Under C. maculata and E. pilularis the contents were intermediate for this parameter. The basal respiration of all ecosystems was equal. The fertility level was very low in all types of evaluated vegetation.

  16. Modeling adaptation of carbon use efficiency in microbial communities

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Steven D Allison

    2014-10-01

    Full Text Available In new microbial-biogeochemical models, microbial carbon use efficiency (CUE is often assumed to decline with increasing temperature. Under this assumption, soil carbon losses under warming are small because microbial biomass declines. Yet there is also empirical evidence that CUE may adapt (i.e. become less sensitive to warming, thereby mitigating negative effects on microbial biomass. To analyze potential mechanisms of CUE adaptation, I used two theoretical models to implement a tradeoff between microbial uptake rate and CUE. This rate-yield tradeoff is based on thermodynamic principles and suggests that microbes with greater investment in resource acquisition should have lower CUE. Microbial communities or individuals could adapt to warming by reducing investment in enzymes and uptake machinery. Consistent with this idea, a simple analytical model predicted that adaptation can offset 50% of the warming-induced decline in CUE. To assess the ecosystem implications of the rate-yield tradeoff, I quantified CUE adaptation in a spatially-structured simulation model with 100 microbial taxa and 12 soil carbon substrates. This model predicted much lower CUE adaptation, likely due to additional physiological and ecological constraints on microbes. In particular, specific resource acquisition traits are needed to maintain stoichiometric balance, and taxa with high CUE and low enzyme investment rely on low-yield, high-enzyme neighbors to catalyze substrate degradation. In contrast to published microbial models, simulations with greater CUE adaptation also showed greater carbon storage under warming. This pattern occurred because microbial communities with stronger CUE adaptation produced fewer degradative enzymes, despite increases in biomass. Thus the rate-yield tradeoff prevents CUE adaptation from driving ecosystem carbon loss under climate warming.

  17. Host genetics affect microbial ecosystems via host immunity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    El Kafsi, Hela; Gorochov, Guy; Larsen, Martin

    2016-10-01

    Genetic evolution of multicellular organisms has occurred in response to environmental challenges, including competition for nutrients, climate change, physical and chemical stressors, and pathogens. However, fitness of an organism is dependent not only on defense efficacy, but also on the ability to take advantage of symbiotic organisms. Indeed, microbes not only encompass pathogenicity, but also enable efficient nutrient uptake from diets nondegradable by the host itself. Moreover, microbes play important roles in the development of host immunity. Here we review associations between specific host genes and variance in microbiota composition and compare with interactions between microbes and host immunity. Recent genome-wide association studies reveal that symbiosis between host and microbiota is the exquisite result of genetic coevolution. Moreover, a subset of microbes from human and mouse microbiota have been identified to interact with humoral and cellular immunity. Interestingly, microbes associated with both host genetics and host immunity are taxonomically related. Most involved are Bifidobacterium, Lactobacillus, and Akkermansia, which are dually associated with both host immunity and host genetics. We conclude that future therapeutics targeting microbiota in the context of chronic inflammatory diseases need to consider both immune and genetic host features associated with microbiota homeostasis.

  18. Environmental regulation in a network of simulated microbial ecosystems

    OpenAIRE

    Williams, Hywel T. P.; Lenton, Timothy M.

    2008-01-01

    The Earth possesses a number of regulatory feedback mechanisms involving life. In the absence of a population of competing biospheres, it has proved hard to find a robust evolutionary mechanism that would generate environmental regulation. It has been suggested that regulation must require altruistic environmental alterations by organisms and, therefore, would be evolutionarily unstable. This need not be the case if organisms alter the environment as a selectively neutral by-product of their ...

  19. Microbial ecosystems of Antarctica. By W.F. Vincent

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    LokaBharathi, P.A.

    stream_size 1 stream_content_type text/plain stream_name Indian_J_Mar_Sci_19_p.230.pdf.txt stream_source_info Indian_J_Mar_Sci_19_p.230.pdf.txt Content-Encoding ISO-8859-1 Content-Type text/plain; charset=ISO-8859-1 ...

  20. Nutrient cycling Microbial Ecosystems: Assembly, Function and Targeted Design

    Science.gov (United States)

    2017-05-05

    Replicate microcosms created from freshwater pond sediment and water , supplemented by cellulose and sulfate.  Figure 2. Analytical predictions of a ‘2...used as food by other populations [14,15]. On the experimental side, we have used laboratory microcosms, made from pond sediment and water ...different chemical transformations, converting potentially harmful chemicals via a series of intermediates, to harmless waste products. This shuttling of

  1. Microbial diversity and metabolic networks in acid mine drainage habitats

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Celia eMendez-Garcia

    2015-05-01

    Full Text Available Acid mine drainage (AMD emplacements are low-complexity natural systems. Low-pH conditions appear to be the main factor underlying the limited diversity of the microbial populations thriving in these environments, although temperature, ionic composition, total organic carbon and dissolved oxygen are also considered to significantly influence their microbial life. This natural reduction in diversity driven by extreme conditions was reflected in several studies on the microbial populations inhabiting the various micro-environments present in such ecosystems. Early studies based on the physiology of the autochthonous microbiota and the growing success of omics technologies have enabled a better understanding of microbial ecology and function in low-pH mine outflows; however, complementary omics-derived data should be included to completely describe their microbial ecology. Furthermore, recent updates on the distribution of eukaryotes and ultra-micro-archaea demand their inclusion in the microbial characterisation of AMD systems. In this review, we present a complete overview of the bacterial, archaeal (including ultra-micro-archaeal and eukaryotic diversity in these ecosystems and include a thorough depiction of the metabolism and element cycling in AMD habitats. We also review different metabolic network structures at the organismal level, which is necessary to disentangle the role of each member of the AMD communities described thus far.

  2. Effects of Conservation Agriculture and Fertilization on Soil Microbial Diversity and Activity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Johan Habig

    2015-07-01

    Full Text Available Soil microbial communities perform critical functions in ecosystem processes. These functions can be used to assess the impact of agricultural practices on sustainable crop production. In this five-year study, the effect of various agricultural practices on soil microbial diversity and activity was investigated in a summer rainfall area under South African dryland conditions. Microbial diversity and activity were measured in the 0–15 cm layer of a field trial consisting of two fertilizer levels, three cropping systems, and two tillage systems. Using the Shannon–Weaver and Evenness diversity indices, soil microbial species richness and abundance were measured. Microbial enzymatic activities: β-glucosidase, phosphatase and urease, were used to evaluate ecosystem functioning. Cluster analysis revealed a shift in soil microbial community diversity and activity over time. Microbial diversity and activity were higher under no-till than conventional tillage. Fertilizer levels seemed to play a minor role in determining microbial diversity and activity, whereas the cropping systems played a more important role in determining the activity of soil microbial communities. Conservation agriculture yielded the highest soil microbial diversity and activity in diversified cropping systems under no-till.

  3. Microbial Communities Are Well Adapted to Disturbances in Energy Input.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fernandez-Gonzalez, Nuria; Huber, Julie A; Vallino, Joseph J

    2016-01-01

    Although microbial systems are well suited for studying concepts in ecological theory, little is known about how microbial communities respond to long-term periodic perturbations beyond diel oscillations. Taking advantage of an ongoing microcosm experiment, we studied how methanotrophic microbial communities adapted to disturbances in energy input over a 20-day cycle period. Sequencing of bacterial 16S rRNA genes together with quantification of microbial abundance and ecosystem function were used to explore the long-term dynamics (510 days) of methanotrophic communities under continuous versus cyclic chemical energy supply. We observed that microbial communities appeared inherently well adapted to disturbances in energy input and that changes in community structure in both treatments were more dependent on internal dynamics than on external forcing. The results also showed that the rare biosphere was critical to seeding the internal community dynamics, perhaps due to cross-feeding or other strategies. We conclude that in our experimental system, internal feedbacks were more important than external drivers in shaping the community dynamics over time, suggesting that ecosystems can maintain their function despite inherently unstable community dynamics. IMPORTANCE Within the broader ecological context, biological communities are often viewed as stable and as only experiencing succession or replacement when subject to external perturbations, such as changes in food availability or the introduction of exotic species. Our findings indicate that microbial communities can exhibit strong internal dynamics that may be more important in shaping community succession than external drivers. Dynamic "unstable" communities may be important for ecosystem functional stability, with rare organisms playing an important role in community restructuring. Understanding the mechanisms responsible for internal community dynamics will certainly be required for understanding and manipulating

  4. Coupling Spatiotemporal Community Assembly Processes to Changes in Microbial Metabolism

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Graham, Emily B.; Crump, Alex R.; Resch, Charles T.; Fansler, Sarah; Arntzen, Evan; Kennedy, David W.; Fredrickson, Jim K.; Stegen, James C.

    2016-12-16

    Community assembly processes govern shifts in species abundances in response to environmental change, yet our understanding of assembly remains largely decoupled from ecosystem function. Here, we test hypotheses regarding assembly and function across space and time using hyporheic microbial communities as a model system. We pair sampling of two habitat types through hydrologic fluctuation with null modeling and multivariate statistics. We demonstrate that dual selective pressures assimilate to generate compositional changes at distinct timescales among habitat types, resulting in contrasting associations of Betaproteobacteria and Thaumarchaeota with selection and with seasonal changes in aerobic metabolism. Our results culminate in a conceptual model in which selection from contrasting environments regulates taxon abundance and ecosystem function through time, with increases in function when oscillating selection opposes stable selective pressures. Our model is applicable within both macrobial and microbial ecology and presents an avenue for assimilating community assembly processes into predictions of ecosystem function.

  5. BUSINESS ECOSYSTEMS VS BUSINESS DIGITAL ECOSYSTEMS

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marinela Lazarica

    2006-05-01

    Full Text Available E-business is often described as the small organisations’ gateway to global business and markets. The adoption of Internet-based technologies for e-business is a continuous process, with sequential steps of evolution. The latter step in the adoption of Internet-based technologies for business, where the business services and the software components are supported by a pervasive software environment, which shows an evolutionary and self-organising behaviour are named digital business ecosystems. The digital business ecosystems are characterized by intelligent software components and services, knowledge transfer, interactive training frameworks and integration of business processes and e-government models.

  6. Leaf bacterial diversity mediates plant diversity and ecosystem function relationships.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Laforest-Lapointe, Isabelle; Paquette, Alain; Messier, Christian; Kembel, Steven W

    2017-06-01

    Research on biodiversity and ecosystem functioning has demonstrated links between plant diversity and ecosystem functions such as productivity. At other trophic levels, the plant microbiome has been shown to influence host plant fitness and function, and host-associated microbes have been proposed to influence ecosystem function through their role in defining the extended phenotype of host organisms However, the importance of the plant microbiome for ecosystem function has not been quantified in the context of the known importance of plant diversity and traits. Here, using a tree biodiversity-ecosystem functioning experiment, we provide strong support for the hypothesis that leaf bacterial diversity is positively linked to ecosystem productivity, even after accounting for the role of plant diversity. Our results also show that host species identity, functional identity and functional diversity are the main determinants of leaf bacterial community structure and diversity. Our study provides evidence of a positive correlation between plant-associated microbial diversity and terrestrial ecosystem productivity, and a new mechanism by which models of biodiversity-ecosystem functioning relationships can be improved.

  7. Improving Marine Ecosystem Models with Biochemical Tracers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pethybridge, Heidi R.; Choy, C. Anela; Polovina, Jeffrey J.; Fulton, Elizabeth A.

    2018-01-01

    Empirical data on food web dynamics and predator-prey interactions underpin ecosystem models, which are increasingly used to support strategic management of marine resources. These data have traditionally derived from stomach content analysis, but new and complementary forms of ecological data are increasingly available from biochemical tracer techniques. Extensive opportunities exist to improve the empirical robustness of ecosystem models through the incorporation of biochemical tracer data and derived indices, an area that is rapidly expanding because of advances in analytical developments and sophisticated statistical techniques. Here, we explore the trophic information required by ecosystem model frameworks (species, individual, and size based) and match them to the most commonly used biochemical tracers (bulk tissue and compound-specific stable isotopes, fatty acids, and trace elements). Key quantitative parameters derived from biochemical tracers include estimates of diet composition, niche width, and trophic position. Biochemical tracers also provide powerful insight into the spatial and temporal variability of food web structure and the characterization of dominant basal and microbial food web groups. A major challenge in incorporating biochemical tracer data into ecosystem models is scale and data type mismatches, which can be overcome with greater knowledge exchange and numerical approaches that transform, integrate, and visualize data.

  8. Differential sensitivity of total and active soil microbial communities to drought and forest management.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bastida, Felipe; Torres, Irene F; Andrés-Abellán, Manuela; Baldrian, Petr; López-Mondéjar, Rubén; Větrovský, Tomáš; Richnow, Hans H; Starke, Robert; Ondoño, Sara; García, Carlos; López-Serrano, Francisco R; Jehmlich, Nico

    2017-10-01

    Climate change will affect semiarid ecosystems through severe droughts that increase the competition for resources in plant and microbial communities. In these habitats, adaptations to climate change may consist of thinning-that reduces competition for resources through a decrease in tree density and the promotion of plant survival. We deciphered the functional and phylogenetic responses of the microbial community to 6 years of drought induced by rainfall exclusion and how forest management affects its resistance to drought, in a semiarid forest ecosystem dominated by Pinus halepensis Mill. A multiOMIC approach was applied to reveal novel, community-based strategies in the face of climate change. The diversity and the composition of the total and active soil microbiome were evaluated by 16S rRNA gene (bacteria) and ITS (fungal) sequencing, and by metaproteomics. The microbial biomass was analyzed by phospholipid fatty acids (PLFAs), and the microbially mediated ecosystem multifunctionality was studied by the integration of soil enzyme activities related to the cycles of C, N, and P. The microbial biomass and ecosystem multifunctionality decreased in drought-plots, as a consequence of the lower soil moisture and poorer plant development, but this decrease was more notable in unthinned plots. The structure and diversity of the total bacterial community was unaffected by drought at phylum and order level, but did so at genus level, and was influenced by seasonality. However, the total fungal community and the active microbial community were more sensitive to drought and were related to ecosystem multifunctionality. Thinning in plots without drought increased the active diversity while the total diversity was not affected. Thinning promoted the resistance of ecosystem multifunctionality to drought through changes in the active microbial community. The integration of total and active microbiome analyses avoids misinterpretations of the links between the soil microbial

  9. Microbial electrosynthetic cells

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    May, Harold D.; Marshall, Christopher W.; Labelle, Edward V.

    2018-01-30

    Methods are provided for microbial electrosynthesis of H.sub.2 and organic compounds such as methane and acetate. Method of producing mature electrosynthetic microbial populations by continuous culture is also provided. Microbial populations produced in accordance with the embodiments as shown to efficiently synthesize H.sub.2, methane and acetate in the presence of CO.sub.2 and a voltage potential. The production of biodegradable and renewable plastics from electricity and carbon dioxide is also disclosed.

  10. Ecosystem microbiology of coral reefs: linking genomic, metabolomic, and biogeochemical dynamics from animal symbioses to reefscape processes

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Wegley Kelly, L.; Haas, A.F.; Nelson, C.E.

    2018-01-01

    Over the past 2 decades, molecular techniques have established the critical role of both free-living and host-associated microbial partnerships in the environment. Advancing research to link microbial community dynamics simultaneously to host physiology and ecosystem biogeochemistry is required to

  11. Belowground ecosystems [chapter 9

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carole Coe Klopatek

    1995-01-01

    The USDA Forest Service defined ecosystem management as "an ecological approach to achieve multiple-use management of national forests and grasslands by blending the needs of people and environmental values in such a way that national forests and grasslands represent diverse, healthy, productive, and sustainable ecosystems" (June 4, 1992, letter from Chief FS...

  12. Payments for Ecosystem Services

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Chan, Kai M.A; Anderson, Emily K.; Chapman, Mollie

    2017-01-01

    Payments for ecosystem services (PES) programs are one prominent strategy to address economic externalities of resource extraction and commodity production, improving both social and ecological outcomes. But do PES and related incentive programs achieve that lofty goal? Along with considerable en...... sustainable relationships with nature, conserving and restoring ecosystems and their benefits for people now and in the future....

  13. Ecosystem Management and Sustainability

    Science.gov (United States)

    J.D. Peine; B.L. Jacobs; K.E. Franzreb; M.R. Stevens

    2011-01-01

    Ecosystem management (EM) promotes an integrated approach to environmental issues; its central goal is the protection of entire ecosystems. By focusing on an interdisciplinary solution to environmental challenges, EM can help to synthesize societal, economic scientific, and governmental goals. Furthermore, as EM becomes part of the foundation of environmental...

  14. Radionuclides in terrestrial ecosystems

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bocock, K.L.

    1981-01-01

    This report summarizes information on the distribution and movement of radionuclides in semi-natural terrestrial ecosystems in north-west England with particular emphasis on inputs to, and outputs from ecosystems; on plant and soil aspects; and on radionuclides in fallout and in discharges by the nuclear industry. (author)

  15. Coastal ecosystems, productivity and ecosystem protection: Coastal ecosystem management

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ngoile, M.A.K.; Horrill, C.J.

    1993-01-01

    The coastal zone is a complex ecosystem under the influence of physical, chemical and biological processes. Under natural conditions these processes interact and maintain an equilibrium in the coastal ecosystem. Man makes a variety of important uses of coastal resources, ranging from harvesting of living resources, extraction of nonliving resources, and recreation, to the disposal of wastes. Man's extensive use of the oceans introduces factors which bring about an imbalance in the natural processes, and may result in harmful and hazardous effects to life hindering further use. Man's pressure on the resources of the coastal zone is already manifest and will increase manifold. This calls for an immediate solution to the protection and sustainable use of coastal resources. The current sectorized approach to the management of human activities will not solve the problem because the different resources of the coastal zone interact in such a manner that disturbances in one cause imbalance in the others. This is further complicated by the sectorized approach to research and limited communication between policy makers, managers, and scientists. This paper discusses strategies for managing coastal-resources use through an integrated approach. The coastal zone is presented as a unified ecosystem in equilibrium and shows that man's extensive use of the coastal resources destabilizes this equilibrium. Examples from the East Africa Region are presented. 15 refs, 2 figs, 3 tabs

  16. Ecological effects of ionizing radiation on population and ecosystem: a computational model ecosystem study

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Doi, Masahiro; Fuma, Shoichi; Ishii, Nobuyuki; Sakashita, Tetsuya; Miyamoto, Kiriko; Takeda, Hiroshi; Kawabata, Zenichiro

    2003-01-01

    Ecosystem is a self-sustaining system of complexity, and their responses to the impacts are synergistic and subjected to the demographic stochasticity of the species, environmental stochasticity and randomness. Environmental fate and effects of radiation has ranged from observable DNA damage of the cell to the fare on tissues, individual, population, community and ecosystems. The quantitative, systematic individual-based model, SIM-COSM was developed to simulate impacts of radiation exposure and other toxicants on an aquatic microbial ecosystem (microcosm). The microcosm consists of heterotroph ciliate protozoa (Tetrahymena thermophila B) as a consumer, autotroph flagellate algae (Euglena gracilis Z) as a producer and saprotroph bacteria (Escherichia coli DH5) as a decomposer. The symbiosis among microbes is self-organized by realizing material cycle and sustained for more than 2 years after inoculation. The system can not afford to lose any one of the microbes to maintain its sustainability. Experimental ecotoxicological tests for (a) gamma radiation, (b) Manganese ions and (c) Gadolinium are summarized. Population dynamics of microbes in Microcosm and its computer simulations by SIM-COSM are shown together in a figure. Population dynamics in Microcosm and SIM-COSM exposed to 500 Gy of gamma-radiation at 50 days after inoculation are shown also in a figure. To take the effects on the interactions between species and environment into account, one option is to put the ecotoxicity tests as experimental micro ecosystem study and theoretical model ecosystem analysis. (M. Suetake)

  17. Mapping cultural ecosystem services:

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Paracchini, Maria Luisa; Zulian, Grazia; Kopperoinen, Leena

    2014-01-01

    Research on ecosystem services mapping and valuing has increased significantly in recent years. However, compared to provisioning and regulating services, cultural ecosystem services have not yet been fully integrated into operational frameworks. One reason for this is that transdisciplinarity...... surveys are a main source of information. Among cultural ecosystem services, assessment of outdoor recreation can be based on a large pool of literature developed mostly in social and medical science, and landscape and ecology studies. This paper presents a methodology to include recreation...... in the conceptual framework for EU wide ecosystem assessments (Maes et al., 2013), which couples existing approaches for recreation management at country level with behavioural data derived from surveys, and population distribution data. The proposed framework is based on three components: the ecosystem function...

  18. Effects of fire on major forest ecosystem processes: an overview.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Zhong

    2006-09-01

    Fire and fire ecology are among the best-studied topics in contemporary ecosystem ecology. The large body of existing literature on fire and fire ecology indicates an urgent need to synthesize the information on the pattern of fire effects on ecosystem composition, structure, and functions for application in fire and ecosystem management. Understanding fire effects and underlying principles are critical to reduce the risk of uncharacteristic wildfires and for proper use of fire as an effective management tool toward management goals. This overview is a synthesis of current knowledge on major effects of fire on fire-prone ecosystems, particularly those in the boreal and temperate regions of the North America. Four closely related ecosystem processes in vegetation dynamics, nutrient cycling, soil and belowground process and water relations were discussed with emphases on fire as the driving force. Clearly, fire can shape ecosystem composition, structure and functions by selecting fire adapted species and removing other susceptible species, releasing nutrients from the biomass and improving nutrient cycling, affecting soil properties through changing soil microbial activities and water relations, and creating heterogeneous mosaics, which in turn, can further influence fire behavior and ecological processes. Fire as a destructive force can rapidly consume large amount of biomass and cause negative impacts such as post-fire soil erosion and water runoff, and air pollution; however, as a constructive force fire is also responsible for maintaining the health and perpetuity of certain fire-dependent ecosystems. Considering the unique ecological roles of fire in mediating and regulating ecosystems, fire should be incorporated as an integral component of ecosystems and management. However, the effects of fire on an ecosystem depend on the fire regime, vegetation type, climate, physical environments, and the scale of time and space of assessment. More ecosystem

  19. Microbial nitrogen cycling in Arctic snowpacks

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Larose, Catherine; Vogel, Timothy M; Dommergue, Aurélien

    2013-01-01

    Arctic snowpacks are often considered as chemical reactors for a variety of chemicals deposited through wet and dry events, but are overlooked as potential sites for microbial metabolism of reactive nitrogen species. The fate of deposited species is critical since warming leads to the transfer of contaminants to snowmelt-fed ecosystems. Here, we examined the role of microorganisms and the potential pathways involved in nitrogen cycling in the snow. Next generation sequencing data were used to follow functional gene abundances and a 16S rRNA (ribosomal ribonucleic acid) gene microarray was used to follow shifts in microbial community structure during a two-month spring-time field study at a high Arctic site, Svalbard, Norway (79° N). We showed that despite the low temperatures and limited water supply, microbial communities inhabiting the snow cover demonstrated dynamic shifts in their functional potential to follow several different pathways of the nitrogen cycle. In addition, microbial specific phylogenetic probes tracked different nitrogen species over time. For example, probes for Roseomonas tracked nitrate concentrations closely and probes for Caulobacter tracked ammonium concentrations after a delay of one week. Nitrogen cycling was also shown to be a dominant process at the base of the snowpack. (letter)

  20. Methods in gut microbial ecology for ruminants

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Makkar, H.P.S.; McSweeney, C.S.

    2005-01-01

    This book presents a comprehensive up-to-date account of the methodologies and protocols for conventional and modern molecular techniques that are currently in use for studying the gut microbial ecology of ruminants. Each chapter has been contributed by experts in the field and methods have been presented in a recipe-like format designed for direct practical use in the laboratory and also to provide insight into the most appropriate techniques, their applications and the type of information that could be expected. The techniques and procedures described are also relevant and adaptable to other gastrointestinal ecosystems and the microbiology of anaerobic environments in general. This manual will 'demystify' the methods in molecular microbial ecology for readers who are novice in the field but are excited by the prospects of this technology. It would also be invaluable for the experienced workers striving for giving new dimension to their research - expanding the work in other fields and initiating cross-cutting activities

  1. Ecosystem approach in education

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nabiullin, Iskander

    2017-04-01

    Environmental education is a base for sustainable development. Therefore, in our school we pay great attention to environmental education. Environmental education in our school is based on ecosystem approach. What is an ecosystem approach? Ecosystem is a fundamental concept of ecology. Living organisms and their non-living environments interact with each other as a system, and the biosphere planet functions as a global ecosystem. Therefore, it is necessary for children to understand relationships in ecosystems, and we have to develop systems thinking in our students. Ecosystem approach and systems thinking should help us to solve global environmental problems. How do we implement the ecosystem approach? Students must understand that our biosphere functions as a single ecosystem and even small changes can lead to environmental disasters. Even the disappearance of one plant or animal species can lead to irreversible consequences. So in the classroom we learn the importance of each living organism for the nature. We pay special attention to endangered species, which are listed in the Red Data List. Kids are doing projects about these organisms, make videos, print brochures and newspapers. Fieldwork also plays an important role for ecosystem approach. Every summer, we go out for expeditions to study species of plants and animals listed in the Red Data List of Tatarstan. In class, students often write essays on behalf of any endangered species of plants or animals, this also helps them to understand the importance of each living organism in nature. Each spring we organise a festival of environmental projects among students. Groups of 4-5 students work on a solution of environmental problems, such as water, air or soil pollution, waste recycling, the loss of biodiversity, etc. Participants shoot a clip about their project, print brochures. Furthermore, some of the students participate in national and international scientific Olympiads with their projects. In addition to

  2. Using community trait-distributions to assign microbial responses to pH changes and Cd in forest soils treated with wood ash

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Cruz Paredes, Carla; Wallander, Håkan; Kjøller, Rasmus

    2017-01-01

    is the current land-use. In forestry, wood ash has been proposed as a liming agent and a fertilizer, but has been questioned due to the risk associated with its Cd content. The aim of this study was to determine the effects of wood ash on the structure and function of decomposer microbial communities in forest......The identification of causal links between microbial community structure and ecosystem functions are required for a mechanistic understanding of ecosystem responses to environmental change. One of the most influential factors affecting plants and microbial communities in soil in managed ecosystems...... soils and to assign them to causal mechanisms. To do this, we assessed the responses to wood ash application of (i) the microbial community size and structure, (ii) microbial community trait-distributions, including bacterial pH relationships and Cd-tolerance, to assign the microbial responses to p...

  3. DOC removal paradigms in highly humic aquatic ecosystems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Farjalla, Vinicius F; Amado, André M; Suhett, Albert L; Meirelles-Pereira, Frederico

    2009-07-01

    Dissolved humic substances (HS) usually comprise 50-80% of the dissolved organic carbon (DOC) in aquatic ecosystems. From a trophic and biogeochemical perspective, HS has been considered to be highly refractory and is supposed to accumulate in the water. The upsurge of the microbial loop paradigm and the studies on HS photo-degradation into labile DOC gave rise to the belief that microbial processing of DOC should sustain aquatic food webs in humic waters. However, this has not been extensively supported by the literature, since most HS and their photo-products are often oxidized by microbes through respiration in most nutrient-poor humic waters. Here, we review basic concepts, classical studies, and recent data on bacterial and photo-degradation of DOC, comparing the rates of these processes in highly humic ecosystems and other aquatic ecosystems. We based our review on classical and recent findings from the fields of biogeochemistry and microbial ecology, highlighting some odd results from highly humic Brazilian tropical lagoons, which can reach up to 160 mg C L(-1). Highly humic tropical lagoons showed proportionally lower bacterial production rates and higher bacterial respiration rates (i.e., lower bacterial growth efficiency) than other lakes. Zooplankton showed similar delta(13)C to microalgae but not to humic DOC in these highly humic lagoons. Thus, the data reviewed here do not support the microbial loop as an efficient matter transfer pathway in highly humic ecosystems, where it is supposed to play its major role. In addition, we found that some tropical humic ecosystems presented the highest potential DOC photo-chemical mineralization (PM) rates reported in the literature, exceeding up to threefold the rates reported for temperate humic ecosystems. We propose that these atypically high PM rates are the result of a joint effect of the seasonal dynamics of allochthonous humic DOC input to these ecosystems and the high sunlight incidence throughout the year

  4. Cyanobacteria in Coral Reef Ecosystems: A Review

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    L. Charpy

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Cyanobacteria have dominated marine environments and have been reef builders on Earth for more than three million years (myr. Cyanobacteria still play an essential role in modern coral reef ecosystems by forming a major component of epiphytic, epilithic, and endolithic communities as well as of microbial mats. Cyanobacteria are grazed by reef organisms and also provide nitrogen to the coral reef ecosystems through nitrogen fixation. Recently, new unicellular cyanobacteria that express nitrogenase were found in the open ocean and in coral reef lagoons. Furthermore, cyanobacteria are important in calcification and decalcification. All limestone surfaces have a layer of boring algae in which cyanobacteria often play a dominant role. Cyanobacterial symbioses are abundant in coral reefs; the most common hosts are sponges and ascidians. Cyanobacteria use tactics beyond space occupation to inhibit coral recruitment. Cyanobacteria can also form pathogenic microbial consortia in association with other microbes on living coral tissues, causing coral tissue lysis and death, and considerable declines in coral reefs. In deep lagoons, coccoid cyanobacteria are abundant and are grazed by ciliates, heteroflagellates, and the benthic coral reef community. Cyanobacteria produce metabolites that act as attractants for some species and deterrents for some grazers of the reef communities.

  5. A meta-analysis of soil microbial biomass responses to forest disturbances

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sandra Robin Holden

    2013-06-01

    Full Text Available Climate warming is likely to increase the frequency and severity of forest disturbances, with uncertain consequences for soil microbial communities and their contribution to ecosystem C dynamics. To address this uncertainty, we conducted a meta-analysis of 139 published soil microbial responses to forest disturbances. These disturbances included abiotic (fire, harvesting, storm and biotic (insect, pathogen disturbances. We hypothesized that soil microbial biomass would decline following forest disturbances, but that abiotic disturbances would elicit greater reductions in microbial biomass than biotic disturbances. In support of this hypothesis, across all published studies, disturbances reduced soil microbial biomass by an average of 29.4%. However, microbial responses differed between abiotic and biotic disturbances. Microbial responses were significantly negative following fires, harvest, and storms (48.7%, 19.1%, and 41.7% reductions in microbial biomass, respectively. In contrast, changes in soil microbial biomass following insect infestation and pathogen-induced tree mortality were non-significant, although biotic disturbances were poorly represented in the literature. When measured separately, fungal and bacterial responses to disturbances mirrored the response of the microbial community as a whole. Changes in microbial abundance following disturbance were significantly positively correlated with changes in microbial respiration. We propose that the differential effect of abiotic and biotic disturbances on microbial biomass may be attributable to differences in soil disruption and organic C removal from forests among disturbance types. Altogether, these results suggest that abiotic forest disturbances may significantly decrease soil microbial abundance, with corresponding consequences for microbial respiration. Further studies are needed on the effect of biotic disturbances on forest soil microbial communities and soil C dynamics.

  6. Microbial accumulation of uranium

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Zhang Wei; Dong Faqin; Dai Qunwei

    2005-01-01

    The mechanism of microbial accumulation of uranium and the effects of some factors (including pH, initial uranium concentration, pretreatment of bacteria, and so on) on microbial accumulation of uranium are discussed briefly. The research direction and application prospect are presented. (authors)

  7. MICROBIAL FUEL CELL

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    2008-01-01

    A novel microbial fuel cell construction for the generation of electrical energy. The microbial fuel cell comprises: (i) an anode electrode, (ii) a cathode chamber, said cathode chamber comprising an in let through which an influent enters the cathode chamber, an outlet through which an effluent...

  8. Microbial control of pollution

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Fry, J C; Gadd, G M; Herbert, R A; Jones, C W; Watson-Craik, I A [eds.

    1992-01-01

    12 papers are presented on the microbial control of pollution. Topics covered include: bioremediation of oil spills; microbial control of heavy metal pollution; pollution control using microorganisms and magnetic separation; degradation of cyanide and nitriles; nitrogen removal from water and waste; and land reclamation and restoration.

  9. Microbial diversity in Brazilian mangrove sediments – a mini review

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ghizelini, Angela Michelato; Mendonça-Hagler, Leda Cristina Santana; Macrae, Andrew

    2012-01-01

    The importance and protection of mangrove ecosystems has been recognized in Brazilian Federal law since 1965. Being protected in law, however, has not always guaranteed their protection in practice. Mangroves are found in coastal and estuarine locations, which are prime real estate for the growth of cities, ports and other economic activities important for Brazilian development. In this mini-review we introduce what mangroves are and why they are so important. We give a brief overview of the microbial diversity found in mangrove sediments and then focus on diversity studies from Brazilian mangroves. We highlight the breadth and depth of knowledge about mangrove microbial communities gained from studying Brazilian mangroves. We report on the exciting findings of molecular microbial ecology methods that have been very successfully applied to study bacterial communities. We note that there have been fewer studies that focus on fungal communities and that fungal diversity studies deserve more attention. The review ends with a look at how a combination of new molecular biology methods and isolation studies are being developed to monitor and conserve mangrove ecosystems and their associated microbial communities. These recent studies are having a global impact and we hope they will help to protect and re-establish mangrove ecosystems. PMID:24031949

  10. Simulated Carbon Cycling in a Model Microbial Mat.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Decker, K. L.; Potter, C. S.

    2006-12-01

    We present here the novel addition of detailed organic carbon cycling to our model of a hypersaline microbial mat ecosystem. This ecosystem model, MBGC (Microbial BioGeoChemistry), simulates carbon fixation through oxygenic and anoxygenic photosynthesis, and the release of C and electrons for microbial heterotrophs via cyanobacterial exudates and also via a pool of dead cells. Previously in MBGC, the organic portion of the carbon cycle was simplified into a black-box rate of accumulation of simple and complex organic compounds based on photosynthesis and mortality rates. We will discuss the novel inclusion of fermentation as a source of carbon and electrons for use in methanogenesis and sulfate reduction, and the influence of photorespiration on labile carbon exudation rates in cyanobacteria. We will also discuss the modeling of decomposition of dead cells and the ultimate release of inorganic carbon. The detailed modeling of organic carbon cycling is important to the accurate representation of inorganic carbon flux through the mat, as well as to accurate representation of growth models of the heterotrophs under different environmental conditions. Because the model ecosystem is an analog of ancient microbial mats that had huge impacts on the atmosphere of early earth, this MBGC can be useful as a biological component to either early earth models or models of other planets that potentially harbor life.

  11. Tracking heavy water (D2O) incorporation for identifying and sorting active microbial cells

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Berry, David; Mader, Esther; Lee, Tae Kwon

    2015-01-01

    Microbial communities are essential to the function of virtually all ecosystems and eukaryotes, including humans. However, it is still a major challenge to identify microbial cells active under natural conditions in complex systems. In this study, we developed a new method to identify and sort ac...

  12. Silica ecosystem for synergistic biotransformation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mutlu, Baris R.; Sakkos, Jonathan K.; Yeom, Sujin; Wackett, Lawrence P.; Aksan, Alptekin

    2016-06-01

    Synergistical bacterial species can perform more varied and complex transformations of chemical substances than either species alone, but this is rarely used commercially because of technical difficulties in maintaining mixed cultures. Typical problems with mixed cultures on scale are unrestrained growth of one bacterium, which leads to suboptimal population ratios, and lack of control over bacterial spatial distribution, which leads to inefficient substrate transport. To address these issues, we designed and produced a synthetic ecosystem by co-encapsulation in a silica gel matrix, which enabled precise control of the microbial populations and their microenvironment. As a case study, two greatly different microorganisms: Pseudomonas sp. NCIB 9816 and Synechococcus elongatus PCC 7942 were encapsulated. NCIB 9816 can aerobically biotransform over 100 aromatic hydrocarbons, a feat useful for synthesis of higher value commodity chemicals or environmental remediation. In our system, NCIB 9816 was used for biotransformation of naphthalene (a model substrate) into CO2 and the cyanobacterium PCC 7942 was used to provide the necessary oxygen for the biotransformation reactions via photosynthesis. A mathematical model was constructed to determine the critical cell density parameter to maximize oxygen production, and was then used to maximize the biotransformation rate of the system.

  13. Compartmentalized metabolic network reconstruction of microbial communities to determine the effect of agricultural intervention on soils

    Science.gov (United States)

    Álvarez-Yela, Astrid Catalina; Gómez-Cano, Fabio; Zambrano, María Mercedes; Husserl, Johana; Danies, Giovanna; Restrepo, Silvia; González-Barrios, Andrés Fernando

    2017-01-01

    Soil microbial communities are responsible for a wide range of ecological processes and have an important economic impact in agriculture. Determining the metabolic processes performed by microbial communities is crucial for understanding and managing ecosystem properties. Metagenomic approaches allow the elucidation of the main metabolic processes that determine the performance of microbial communities under different environmental conditions and perturbations. Here we present the first compartmentalized metabolic reconstruction at a metagenomics scale of a microbial ecosystem. This systematic approach conceives a meta-organism without boundaries between individual organisms and allows the in silico evaluation of the effect of agricultural intervention on soils at a metagenomics level. To characterize the microbial ecosystems, topological properties, taxonomic and metabolic profiles, as well as a Flux Balance Analysis (FBA) were considered. Furthermore, topological and optimization algorithms were implemented to carry out the curation of the models, to ensure the continuity of the fluxes between the metabolic pathways, and to confirm the metabolite exchange between subcellular compartments. The proposed models provide specific information about ecosystems that are generally overlooked in non-compartmentalized or non-curated networks, like the influence of transport reactions in the metabolic processes, especially the important effect on mitochondrial processes, as well as provide more accurate results of the fluxes used to optimize the metabolic processes within the microbial community. PMID:28767679

  14. Compartmentalized metabolic network reconstruction of microbial communities to determine the effect of agricultural intervention on soils.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    María Camila Alvarez-Silva

    Full Text Available Soil microbial communities are responsible for a wide range of ecological processes and have an important economic impact in agriculture. Determining the metabolic processes performed by microbial communities is crucial for understanding and managing ecosystem properties. Metagenomic approaches allow the elucidation of the main metabolic processes that determine the performance of microbial communities under different environmental conditions and perturbations. Here we present the first compartmentalized metabolic reconstruction at a metagenomics scale of a microbial ecosystem. This systematic approach conceives a meta-organism without boundaries between individual organisms and allows the in silico evaluation of the effect of agricultural intervention on soils at a metagenomics level. To characterize the microbial ecosystems, topological properties, taxonomic and metabolic profiles, as well as a Flux Balance Analysis (FBA were considered. Furthermore, topological and optimization algorithms were implemented to carry out the curation of the models, to ensure the continuity of the fluxes between the metabolic pathways, and to confirm the metabolite exchange between subcellular compartments. The proposed models provide specific information about ecosystems that are generally overlooked in non-compartmentalized or non-curated networks, like the influence of transport reactions in the metabolic processes, especially the important effect on mitochondrial processes, as well as provide more accurate results of the fluxes used to optimize the metabolic processes within the microbial community.

  15. Soil ecosystem functioning under climate change: plant species and community effects

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kardol, Paul [ORNL; Cregger, Melissa [ORNL; Campany, Courtney E [ORNL; Classen, Aimee T [ORNL

    2010-01-01

    Feedbacks of terrestrial ecosystems to climate change depend on soil ecosystem dynamics. Soil ecosystems can directly and indirectly respond to climate change. For example, warming directly alters microbial communities by increasing their activity. Climate change may also alter plant community composition, thus indirectly altering the microbial communities that feed on their inputs. To better understand how climate change may directly and indirectly alter soil ecosystem functioning, we investigated old-field plant community and soil ecosystem responses to single and combined effects of elevated [CO2], warming, and water availability. Specifically, we collected soils at the plot level (plant community soils), and beneath dominant plant species (plant-specific soils). We used microbial enzyme activities and soil nematodes as indicators for soil ecosystem functioning. Our study resulted in two main findings: 1) Overall, while there were some interactions, water, relative to increases in [CO2] and warming, had the largest impact on plant community composition, soil enzyme activities, and soil nematodes. Multiple climate change factors can interact to shape ecosystems, but in this case, those interactions were largely driven by changes in water availability. 2) Indirect effects of climate change, via changes in plant communities, had a significant impact on soil ecosystem functioning and this impact was not obvious when looking at plant community soils. Climate change effects on enzyme activities and soil nematode abundance and community structure strongly differed between plant community soils and plant-specific soils, but also within plant-specific soils. In sum, these results indicate that accurate assessments of climate change impacts on soil ecosystem functioning require incorporating the concurrent changes in plant function and plant community composition. Climate change-induced shifts in plant community composition will likely modify or counteract the direct

  16. Ecosystem quality in LCIA

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Woods, John S.; Damiani, Mattia; Fantke, Peter

    2017-01-01

    Purpose: Life cycle impact assessment (LCIA) results are used to assess potential environmental impacts of different products and services. As part of the UNEP-SETAC life cycle initiative flagship project that aims to harmonize indicators of potential environmental impacts, we provide a consensus...... viewpoint and recommendations for future developments in LCIA related to the ecosystem quality area of protection (AoP). Through our recommendations, we aim to encourage LCIA developments that improve the usefulness and global acceptability of LCIA results. Methods: We analyze current ecosystem quality...... metrics and provide recommendations to the LCIA research community for achieving further developments towards comparable and more ecologically relevant metrics addressing ecosystem quality. Results and discussion: We recommend that LCIA development for ecosystem quality should tend towards species...

  17. List identifies threatened ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Showstack, Randy

    2012-09-01

    The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) announced on 9 September that it will develop a new Red List of Ecosystems that will identify which ecosystems are vulnerable or endangered. The list, which is modeled on the group's Red List of Threatened Species™, could help to guide conservation activities and influence policy processes such as the Convention on Biological Diversity, according to the group. “We will assess the status of marine, terrestrial, freshwater, and subterranean ecosystems at local, regional, and global levels,” stated Jon Paul Rodriguez, leader of IUCN's Ecosystems Red List Thematic Group. “The assessment can then form the basis for concerted implementation action so that we can manage them sustainably if their risk of collapse is low or restore them if they are threatened and then monitor their recovery.”

  18. Formation of Service Ecosystems

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jonas, Julia M.; Sörhammar, David; Satzger, Gerhard

    – i.e. the “birth phase” (Moore, 2009) of a service ecosystem. This paper, therefore, aims to explore how the somewhat “magic” processes of service ecosystem formation that are being taken for granted actually occur. Methodology/Approach: Building on a review of core elements in the definitions...... for Harvard students) or value proposition (share messages, photos, videos, etc. with friends). Processes of configuring actors, resources, and value propositions are influenced by the structural embeddedness of the service ecosystem (e.g., regional infrastructure, existing networks of actors, or resource...... availability) as well as guided by the actors’ own and shared institutions (e.g., rules, norms,and beliefs).We contextualize each starting point with illustrative cases and analyze the service ecosystem configuration process: “Axoon/Trumpf” (initiated by resources), “JOSEPHS – the service manufactory...

  19. Revisiting software ecosystems research

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Manikas, Konstantinos

    2016-01-01

    ‘Software ecosystems’ is argued to first appear as a concept more than 10 years ago and software ecosystem research started to take off in 2010. We conduct a systematic literature study, based on the most extensive literature review in the field up to date, with two primarily aims: (a) to provide...... an updated overview of the field and (b) to document evolution in the field. In total, we analyze 231 papers from 2007 until 2014 and provide an overview of the research in software ecosystems. Our analysis reveals a field that is rapidly growing both in volume and empirical focus while becoming more mature...... from evolving. We propose means for future research and the community to address them. Finally, our analysis shapes the view of the field having evolved outside the existing definitions of software ecosystems and thus propose the update of the definition of software ecosystems....

  20. Ecosystem Analysis Program

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Burgess, R.L.

    1978-01-01

    Progress is reported on the following research programs: analysis and modeling of ecosystems; EDFB/IBP data center; biome analysis studies; land/water interaction studies; and computer programs for development of models

  1. Stakeholder Values and Ecosystems

    OpenAIRE

    Sveinsdottir, Thordis; Wessels, Bridgette; Smallwood, Rod; Linde, Peter; Kalla, Vasso; Tsoukala, Victoria; Sondervan, Jeroen

    2013-01-01

    This report is the deliverable for Work Package 1 (WP1), Stakeholder Values and Ecosystems, of the EU FP7 funded project RECODE (Grant Agreement No: 321463), which focuses on developing Policy Recommendations for Open Access to Research Data in Europe. WP1 focuses on understanding stakeholder values and ecosystems in Open Access, dissemination and preservation in the area of scientific and scholarly data (thus not government data). The objectives of this WP are as follows: • Identify and map ...

  2. Terrestrial ecosystems and biodiversity

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Davis-Reddy, Claire

    2017-10-01

    Full Text Available Ecoregions Terrestrial Biomes Protected Areas Climate Risk and Vulnerability: A Handbook for Southern Africa | 75 7.2. Non-climatic drivers of ecosystem change 7.2.1. Land-use change, habitat loss and fragmentation Land-use change and landscape... concentrations of endemic plant and animal species, but these mainly occur in areas that are most threatened by human activity. Diverse terrestrial ecosystems in the region include tropical and sub-tropical forests, deserts, savannas, grasslands, mangroves...

  3. Privacy driven internet ecosystem

    OpenAIRE

    Trinh, Tuan Anh; Gyarmati, Laszlo

    2012-01-01

    The dominant business model of today's Internet is built upon advertisements; users can access Internet services while the providers show ads to them. Although significant efforts have been made to model and analyze the economic aspects of this ecosystem, the heart of the current status quo, namely privacy, has not received the attention of the research community yet. Accordingly, we propose an economic model of the privacy driven Internet ecosystem where privacy is handled as an asset that c...

  4. Characterizing microbial communities and processes in a modern stromatolite (Shark Bay) using lipid biomarkers and two-dimensional distributions of porewater solutes

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Pagès, Anais; Grice, Kliti; Vacher, Michael

    2014-01-01

    Summary: Modern microbial mats are highly complex and dynamic ecosystems. Diffusive equilibration in thin films (DET) and diffusive gradients in thin films (DGT) samplers were deployed in a modern smooth microbial mat from Shark Bay in order to observe, for the first time, two-dimensional distrib......Summary: Modern microbial mats are highly complex and dynamic ecosystems. Diffusive equilibration in thin films (DET) and diffusive gradients in thin films (DGT) samplers were deployed in a modern smooth microbial mat from Shark Bay in order to observe, for the first time, two...

  5. Environmental microbiology as a mosaic of explored ecosystems and issues.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Faure, Denis; Bonin, Patricia; Duran, Robert

    2015-09-01

    Microbes are phylogenetically (Archaea, Bacteria, Eukarya, and viruses) and functionally diverse. They colonize highly varied environments and rapidly respond to and evolve as a response to local and global environmental changes, including those induced by pollutants resulting from human activities. This review exemplifies the Microbial Ecology EC2CO consortium's efforts to explore the biology, ecology, diversity, and roles of microbes in aquatic and continental ecosystems.

  6. Invasion in microbial communities: Role of community composition and assembly processes

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kinnunen, Marta

    of microbial community assembly. Biotic factors include interactions between different microbial groups as well as the community response to alien species – invaders. Microbial invasions can have significant effects on the composition and functioning of resident communities. There is, however, lack......Microbes contribute to all biogeochemical cycles on earth and are responsible for key biological processes that support the survival of plants and animals. There is increased interest in controlling and managing microbial communities in different ecosystems in order to make targeted microbiological...... processes more effective. In order to manage microbial communities, it is essential to understand the factors that shape and influence microbial community composition. In addition to abiotic factors, such as environmental conditions and resource availability, biotic factors also shape the dynamics...

  7. A highly diverse, desert-like microbial biocenosis on solar panels in a Mediterranean city.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dorado-Morales, Pedro; Vilanova, Cristina; Peretó, Juli; Codoñer, Francisco M; Ramón, Daniel; Porcar, Manuel

    2016-07-05

    Microorganisms colonize a wide range of natural and artificial environments although there are hardly any data on the microbial ecology of one the most widespread man-made extreme structures: solar panels. Here we show that solar panels in a Mediterranean city (Valencia, Spain) harbor a highly diverse microbial community with more than 500 different species per panel, most of which belong to drought-, heat- and radiation-adapted bacterial genera, and sun-irradiation adapted epiphytic fungi. The taxonomic and functional profiles of this microbial community and the characterization of selected culturable bacteria reveal the existence of a diverse mesophilic microbial community on the panels' surface. This biocenosis proved to be more similar to the ones inhabiting deserts than to any human or urban microbial ecosystem. This unique microbial community shows different day/night proteomic profiles; it is dominated by reddish pigment- and sphingolipid-producers, and is adapted to withstand circadian cycles of high temperatures, desiccation and solar radiation.

  8. Scaling Soil Microbe-Water Interactions from Pores to Ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Manzoni, S.; Katul, G. G.

    2014-12-01

    The spatial scales relevant to soil microbial activity are much finer than scales relevant to whole-ecosystem function and biogeochemical cycling. On the one hand, how to link such different scales and develop scale-aware biogeochemical and ecohydrological models remains a major challenge. On the other hand, resolving these linkages is becoming necessary for testing ecological hypotheses and resolving data-theory inconsistencies. Here, the relation between microbial respiration and soil moisture expressed in water potential is explored. Such relation mediates the water availability effects on ecosystem-level heterotrophic respiration and is of paramount importance for understanding CO2 emissions under increasingly variable rainfall regimes. Respiration has been shown to decline as the soil dries in a remarkably consistent way across climates and soil types (open triangles in Figure). Empirical models based on these respiration-moisture relations are routinely used in Earth System Models to predict moisture effects on ecosystem respiration. It has been hypothesized that this consistency in microbial respiration decline is due to breakage of water film continuity causing in turn solute diffusion limitations in dry conditions. However, this hypothesis appears to be at odds with what is known about soil hydraulic properties. Water film continuity estimated from soil water retention (SWR) measurements at the 'Darcy' scale breaks at far less negative water potential (micro-level relevant to microbial activity. Such downscaling resolves the inconsistency between respiration thresholds and hydrological thresholds. This result, together with observations of residual microbial activity well below -15 MPa (dashed back curve in Figure), lends support to the hypothesis that soil microbes are substrate-limited in dry conditions.

  9. High-resolution phylogenetic microbial community profiling

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Singer, Esther; Coleman-Derr, Devin; Bowman, Brett; Schwientek, Patrick; Clum, Alicia; Copeland, Alex; Ciobanu, Doina; Cheng, Jan-Fang; Gies, Esther; Hallam, Steve; Tringe, Susannah; Woyke, Tanja

    2014-03-17

    The representation of bacterial and archaeal genome sequences is strongly biased towards cultivated organisms, which belong to merely four phylogenetic groups. Functional information and inter-phylum level relationships are still largely underexplored for candidate phyla, which are often referred to as microbial dark matter. Furthermore, a large portion of the 16S rRNA gene records in the GenBank database are labeled as environmental samples and unclassified, which is in part due to low read accuracy, potential chimeric sequences produced during PCR amplifications and the low resolution of short amplicons. In order to improve the phylogenetic classification of novel species and advance our knowledge of the ecosystem function of uncultivated microorganisms, high-throughput full length 16S rRNA gene sequencing methodologies with reduced biases are needed. We evaluated the performance of PacBio single-molecule real-time (SMRT) sequencing in high-resolution phylogenetic microbial community profiling. For this purpose, we compared PacBio and Illumina metagenomic shotgun and 16S rRNA gene sequencing of a mock community as well as of an environmental sample from Sakinaw Lake, British Columbia. Sakinaw Lake is known to contain a large age of microbial species from candidate phyla. Sequencing results show that community structure based on PacBio shotgun and 16S rRNA gene sequences is highly similar in both the mock and the environmental communities. Resolution power and community representation accuracy from SMRT sequencing data appeared to be independent of GC content of microbial genomes and was higher when compared to Illumina-based metagenome shotgun and 16S rRNA gene (iTag) sequences, e.g. full-length sequencing resolved all 23 OTUs in the mock community, while iTags did not resolve closely related species. SMRT sequencing hence offers various potential benefits when characterizing uncharted microbial communities.

  10. Linking genes to ecosystem trace gas fluxes in a large-scale model system

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meredith, L. K.; Cueva, A.; Volkmann, T. H. M.; Sengupta, A.; Troch, P. A.

    2017-12-01

    Soil microorganisms mediate biogeochemical cycles through biosphere-atmosphere gas exchange with significant impact on atmospheric trace gas composition. Improving process-based understanding of these microbial populations and linking their genomic potential to the ecosystem-scale is a challenge, particularly in soil systems, which are heterogeneous in biodiversity, chemistry, and structure. In oligotrophic systems, such as the Landscape Evolution Observatory (LEO) at Biosphere 2, atmospheric trace gas scavenging may supply critical metabolic needs to microbial communities, thereby promoting tight linkages between microbial genomics and trace gas utilization. This large-scale model system of three initially homogenous and highly instrumented hillslopes facilitates high temporal resolution characterization of subsurface trace gas fluxes at hundreds of sampling points, making LEO an ideal location to study microbe-mediated trace gas fluxes from the gene to ecosystem scales. Specifically, we focus on the metabolism of ubiquitous atmospheric reduced trace gases hydrogen (H2), carbon monoxide (CO), and methane (CH4), which may have wide-reaching impacts on microbial community establishment, survival, and function. Additionally, microbial activity on LEO may facilitate weathering of the basalt matrix, which can be studied with trace gas measurements of carbonyl sulfide (COS/OCS) and carbon dioxide (O-isotopes in CO2), and presents an additional opportunity for gene to ecosystem study. This work will present initial measurements of this suite of trace gases to characterize soil microbial metabolic activity, as well as links between spatial and temporal variability of microbe-mediated trace gas fluxes in LEO and their relation to genomic-based characterization of microbial community structure (phylogenetic amplicons) and genetic potential (metagenomics). Results from the LEO model system will help build understanding of the importance of atmospheric inputs to

  11. Tropical terrestrial model ecosystems for evaluation of soil fauna and leaf litter quality effects on litter consumption, soil microbial biomass and plant growth Efeitos de fauna de solo e qualidade de liteira sobre o consumo, biomassa microbiana e crescimento de plantas em modelo de ecossistemas terrestres tropicais

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bernhard Förster

    2009-08-01

    Full Text Available The aim of this work was to evaluate whether terrestrial model ecosystems (TMEs are a useful tool for the study of the effects of litter quality, soil invertebrates and mineral fertilizer on litter decomposition and plant growth under controlled conditions in the tropics. Forty-eight intact soil cores (17.5-cm diameter, 30-cm length were taken out from an abandoned rubber plantation on Ferralsol soil (Latossolo Amarelo in Central Amazonia, Brazil, and kept at 28ºC in the laboratory during four months. Leaf litter of either Hevea pauciflora (rubber tree, Flemingia macrophylla (a shrubby legume or Brachiaria decumbens (a pasture grass was put on top of each TME. Five specimens of either Pontoscolex corethrurus or Eisenia fetida (earthworms, Porcellionides pruinosus or Circoniscus ornatus (woodlice, and Trigoniulus corallinus (millipedes were then added to the TMEs. Leaf litter type significantly affected litter consumption, soil microbial biomass and nitrate concentration in the leachate of all TMEs, but had no measurable effect on the shoot biomass of rice seedlings planted in top soil taken from the TMEs. Feeding rates measured with bait lamina were significantly higher in TMEs with the earthworm P. corethrurus and the woodlouse C. ornatus. TMEs are an appropriate tool to assess trophic interactions in tropical soil ecossistems under controlled laboratory conditions.O objetivo deste trabalho foi avaliar o modelo de ecossistema terrestre (TME como ferramenta para o estudo dos efeitos da qualidade da liteira, de invertebrados do solo e da fertilização mineral na decomposição da liteira e no crescimento das plantas em condições controladas. Foram coletados quarenta e oito cilindros de solo intacto (Latossolo Amarelo de 17,5 cm de diâmetro e 30 cm de comprimento em um seringal abandonado na Amazônia Central brasileira e mantidos a 28ºC em laboratório, por quatro meses. Folhas da liteira de Hevea pauciflora (seringueira, ou de Flemingia

  12. Monetary accounting of ecosystem services

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Remme, R.P.; Edens, Bram; Schröter, Matthias; Hein, Lars

    2015-01-01

    Ecosystem accounting aims to provide a better understanding of ecosystem contributions to the economy in a spatially explicit way. Ecosystem accounting monitors ecosystem services and measures their monetary value using exchange values consistent with the System of National Accounts (SNA). We

  13. Evolution of microbial pathogens

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    DiRita, Victor J; Seifert, H. Steven

    2006-01-01

    ... A. Hogan vvi ■ CONTENTS 8. Evolution of Pathogens in Soil Rachel Muir and Man-Wah Tan / 131 9. Experimental Models of Symbiotic Host-Microbial Relationships: Understanding the Underpinnings of ...

  14. Dimensions of ecosystem theory

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    O'Neill, R.V.; Reichle, D.E.

    1979-01-01

    Various dimensions of ecosystem structure and behavior that seem to develop from the ubiquitous phenomena of system growth and persistence were studied. While growth and persistence attributes of ecosystems may appear to be simplistic phenomena upon which to base a comprehensive ecosystem theory, these same attributes have been fundamental to the theoretical development of other biological disciplines. These attributes were explored at a hierarchical level in a self-organizing system, and adaptive system strategies that result were analyzed. Previously developed causative relations (Reichle et al., 1975c) were examined, their theoretical implications expounded upon, and the assumptions tested with data from a variety of forest types. The conclusions are not a theory in themselves, but a state of organization of concepts contributing towards a unifying theory, along the lines promulgated by Bray (1958). The inferences drawn rely heavily upon data from forested ecosystems of the world, and have yet to be validated against data from a much more diverse range of ecosystem types. Not all of the interpretations are logically tight - there is room for other explanations, which it is hoped will provide fruitful grounds for further speculation

  15. Microbial biomass carbon and enzyme activities of urban soils in Beijing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Meie; Markert, Bernd; Shen, Wenming; Chen, Weiping; Peng, Chi; Ouyang, Zhiyun

    2011-07-01

    To promote rational and sustainable use of soil resources and to maintain the urban soil quality, it is essential to assess urban ecosystem health. In this study, the microbiological properties of urban soils in Beijing and their spatial distribution patterns across the city were evaluated based on measurements of microbial biomass carbon and urease and invertase activities of the soils for the purpose of assessing the urban ecosystem health of Beijing. Grid sampling design, normal Kriging technique, and the multiple comparisons among different land use types were used in soil sampling and data treatment. The inherent chemical characteristics of urban soils in Beijing, e.g., soil pH, electronic conductivity, heavy metal contents, total N, P and K contents, and soil organic matter contents were detected. The size and diversity of microbial community and the extent of microbial activity in Beijing urban soils were measured as the microbial biomass carbon content and the ratio of microbial biomass carbon content to total soil organic carbon. The microbial community health measured in terms of microbial biomass carbon, urease, and invertase activities varied with the organic substrate and nutrient contents of the soils and were not adversely affected by the presence of heavy metals at p urban soils influenced the nature and activities of the microbial communities.

  16. Synthetic Electric Microbial Biosensors

    Science.gov (United States)

    2017-06-10

    domains and DNA-binding domains into a single protein for deregulation of down stream genes of have been favored [10]. Initially experiments with... Germany DISTRIBUTION A. Approved for public release: distribution unlimited.   Talk title: “Synthetic biology based microbial biosensors for the...toolbox” in Heidelberg, Germany Poster title: “Anaerobic whole cell microbial biosensors” Link: http://phdsymposium.embl.org/#home   September, 2014

  17. THE WIDESPREAD OF Fe(III)-REDUCING BACTERIA IN NATURAL ECOSYSTEMS OF ECUADOR.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tashyrev, O B; Govorukha, V M

    2015-01-01

    The widespread of Fe(III)-reducing microorganisms in natural ecosystems of Ecuador of La Favorita, Tungurahua volcano and Papallacta areas was experimentally proved. High efficiency of microbial precipitation of soluble iron compounds was also demonstrated. Obtained results indicate the potential ability of Fe(III)-reducing microorganisms to influence the formation of carbon and iron vector fluxes in ecosystems, as well as development of effective biotechnologies of water purification from iron compounds.

  18. Adverse effects of lindane in a maize agro-ecosystem in Uganda

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Tukarhirwa, E.M.; Tinzaara, W.; Kiremire, B.T.

    1997-01-01

    The impact of lindane, at commercial rates of application, on invertebrate fauna, soil microbial activity, earthworm populations, crop damage and yields in a maize agro-ecosystem was studied and compared with unsprayed control plots of maize using a pitfall trap, D-Vac suction, litter bag, the earthworm formalin expulsion and crop assessment methods. The findings of the study generally portrayed lindane as having very few effects on the maize agro-ecosystem. (author). 5 refs, 9 tabs

  19. Calibration and analysis of genome-based models for microbial ecology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Louca, Stilianos; Doebeli, Michael

    2015-10-16

    Microbial ecosystem modeling is complicated by the large number of unknown parameters and the lack of appropriate calibration tools. Here we present a novel computational framework for modeling microbial ecosystems, which combines genome-based model construction with statistical analysis and calibration to experimental data. Using this framework, we examined the dynamics of a community of Escherichia coli strains that emerged in laboratory evolution experiments, during which an ancestral strain diversified into two coexisting ecotypes. We constructed a microbial community model comprising the ancestral and the evolved strains, which we calibrated using separate monoculture experiments. Simulations reproduced the successional dynamics in the evolution experiments, and pathway activation patterns observed in microarray transcript profiles. Our approach yielded detailed insights into the metabolic processes that drove bacterial diversification, involving acetate cross-feeding and competition for organic carbon and oxygen. Our framework provides a missing link towards a data-driven mechanistic microbial ecology.

  20. Ecosystem Vulnerability Review: Proposal of an Interdisciplinary Ecosystem Assessment Approach

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weißhuhn, Peter; Müller, Felix; Wiggering, Hubert

    2018-06-01

    To safeguard the sustainable use of ecosystems and their services, early detection of potentially damaging changes in functional capabilities is needed. To support a proper ecosystem management, the analysis of an ecosystem's vulnerability provide information on its weaknesses as well as on its capacity to recover after suffering an impact. However, the application of the vulnerability concept to ecosystems is still an emerging topic. After providing background on the vulnerability concept, we summarize existing ecosystem vulnerability research on the basis of a systematic literature review with a special focus on ecosystem type, disciplinary background, and more detailed definition of the ecosystem vulnerability components. Using the Web of ScienceTM Core Collection, we overviewed the literature from 1991 onwards but used the 5 years from 2011 to 2015 for an in-depth analysis, including 129 articles. We found that ecosystem vulnerability analysis has been applied most notably in conservation biology, climate change research, and ecological risk assessments, pinpointing a limited spreading across the environmental sciences. It occurred primarily within marine and freshwater ecosystems. To avoid confusion, we recommend using the unambiguous term ecosystem vulnerability rather than ecological, environmental, population, or community vulnerability. Further, common ground has been identified, on which to define the ecosystem vulnerability components exposure, sensitivity, and adaptive capacity. We propose a framework for ecosystem assessments that coherently connects the concepts of vulnerability, resilience, and adaptability as different ecosystem responses. A short outlook on the possible operationalization of the concept by ecosystem vulnerabilty indices, and a conclusion section complete the review.

  1. Chernozems microbial community under anthropogenic impact (Russia)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ivashchenko, Kristina; Ananyeva, Nadezhda; Sushko, Sofia; Vasenev, Viacheslav

    2017-04-01

    Chernozems is important natural resource, which in the last decade under intense influence as a result of plowing and urbanization. The parameters of soil microbial community functioning might be identify some soil deterioration under the impacts. Our research was focused on assessment of microbial community status in different soil layers of virgin steppe, bare fallow and urban ecosystems (Kursk region). In each ecosystem, we chose randomly 3-5 spatially distributed sites, where soil samples were collected by auguring up to 0.5 m depth (each layer 10 cm thickness) and up to 1.5 m depth (0-10, 10-50, 50-100, 100-150 cm layers), totally 127 samples. The bulk density was measured for these soil layers. In all soil samples the microbial biomass carbon content (Cmic) was analyzed by substrate-induced respiration (SIR) method and basal respiration (BR) was assessed by CO2 rate production. The fungi-to-bacteria ratio (selective inhibition technique with antibiotics) was determined and portion of Cmic in soil organic carbon (Corg) content was calculated in topsoil (0-10 cm). The Corg (dichromate oxidation) and pHw (potentiometry) values were measured. The Cmic and BR profile pools were calculated using bulk density and thickness of studied layers. The Cmic (0-10 cm) was varied from 84 to 1954 µg C g-1 soil, in steppe it was on average 3-4 times higher than those in bare fallow and urban. The BR rate was amounted from 0.20 to 1.57 µg CO2-C g-1 soil h-1, however no significant difference between studied ecosystems was found. It was shown the relationship between Cmic, BR and Corg (the linear regression, R2=0.92 and 0.75, respectively, pecosystems row: virgin steppe>bare fallow>urban, and it was on average 6.0, 5.2 and 1.8, respectively. The Cmic profile pool (0.5 m) of steppe was reached up on average 206 g C m-2, and it was 2.0 and 2.5 times higher those bare fallow and urban, respectively. The BR profile pool (0.5 m) in steppe and bare fallow was reached up 5.9 and 5

  2. Microbial bioinformatics 2020.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pallen, Mark J

    2016-09-01

    Microbial bioinformatics in 2020 will remain a vibrant, creative discipline, adding value to the ever-growing flood of new sequence data, while embracing novel technologies and fresh approaches. Databases and search strategies will struggle to cope and manual curation will not be sustainable during the scale-up to the million-microbial-genome era. Microbial taxonomy will have to adapt to a situation in which most microorganisms are discovered and characterised through the analysis of sequences. Genome sequencing will become a routine approach in clinical and research laboratories, with fresh demands for interpretable user-friendly outputs. The "internet of things" will penetrate healthcare systems, so that even a piece of hospital plumbing might have its own IP address that can be integrated with pathogen genome sequences. Microbiome mania will continue, but the tide will turn from molecular barcoding towards metagenomics. Crowd-sourced analyses will collide with cloud computing, but eternal vigilance will be the price of preventing the misinterpretation and overselling of microbial sequence data. Output from hand-held sequencers will be analysed on mobile devices. Open-source training materials will address the need for the development of a skilled labour force. As we boldly go into the third decade of the twenty-first century, microbial sequence space will remain the final frontier! © 2016 The Author. Microbial Biotechnology published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd and Society for Applied Microbiology.

  3. Response of soil microbial activities and microbial community structure to vanadium stress.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xiao, Xi-Yuan; Wang, Ming-Wei; Zhu, Hui-Wen; Guo, Zhao-Hui; Han, Xiao-Qing; Zeng, Peng

    2017-08-01

    High levels of vanadium (V) have long-term, hazardous impacts on soil ecosystems and biological processes. In the present study, the effects of V on soil enzymatic activities, basal respiration (BR), microbial biomass carbon (MBC), and the microbial community structure were investigated through 12-week greenhouse incubation experiments. The results showed that V content affected soil dehydrogenase activity (DHA), BR, and MBC, while urease activity (UA) was less sensitive to V stress. The average median effective concentration (EC 50 ) thresholds of V were predicted using a log-logistic dose-response model, and they were 362mgV/kg soil for BR and 417mgV/kg soil for DHA. BR and DHA were more sensitive to V addition and could be used as biological indicators for soil V pollution. According to a polymerase chain reaction-denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (PCR-DGGE) analysis, the structural diversity of the microbial community decreased for soil V contents ranged between 254 and 1104mg/kg after 1 week of incubation. As the incubation time increased, the diversity of the soil microbial community structure increased for V contents ranged between 354 and 1104mg/kg, indicating that some new V-tolerant bacterial species might have replicated under these conditions. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  4. Mangrove microbial diversity and the impact of trophic contamination.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bouchez, Agnès; Pascault, Noémie; Chardon, Cècile; Bouvy, Marc; Cecchi, Philippe; Lambs, Luc; Herteman, Mélanie; Fromard, François; Got, Patrice; Leboulanger, Christophe

    2013-01-15

    Mangroves are threatened ecosystems that provide numerous ecosystem services, especially through their wide biodiversity, and their bioremediation capacity is a challenging question in tropical areas. In a mangrove in Mayotte, we studied the potential role of microbial biofilm communities in removing nutrient loads from pre-treated wastewater. Microbial community samples were collected from tree roots, sediments, water, and from a colonization device, and their structure and dynamics were compared in two areas: one exposed to sewage and the other not. The samples from the colonization devices accurately reflected the natural communities in terms of diversity. Communities in the zone exposed to sewage were characterized by more green algae and diatoms, higher bacteria densities, as well as different compositions. In the area exposed to sewage, the higher cell densities associated with specific diversity patterns highlighted adapted communities that may play a significant role in the fate of nutrients. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  5. Working group 7: Ecosystems

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Verheyen, R.

    1976-01-01

    The purpose of this article is to evaluate the environmental impact of nuclear power plants. The effects of ionizing radiations, of the thermal and chemical pollution on aquatic ecosystems as well as on terrestrial ecosystems have been estimated. After a general survey of such effects and their interaction, practical conclusions in regard to determined areas such as Meuse-Escaut marine and the coast have been drawn. The contamination effects of food chains have been evaluted under deliberately pessimistic conditions with regard to the choice of the radionuclide as well as of concentration factors. Following the biodegradation conditions of the surface waters, criteria for the quality of the aquatic ecosystems have been established. Finally, attention has been paid on certain factors affecting the site selection especially within the frame of the nature conservation. The effects of cooling towers have been also considered. (G.C.)

  6. Sea Ice Ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arrigo, Kevin R.

    2014-01-01

    Polar sea ice is one of the largest ecosystems on Earth. The liquid brine fraction of the ice matrix is home to a diverse array of organisms, ranging from tiny archaea to larger fish and invertebrates. These organisms can tolerate high brine salinity and low temperature but do best when conditions are milder. Thriving ice algal communities, generally dominated by diatoms, live at the ice/water interface and in recently flooded surface and interior layers, especially during spring, when temperatures begin to rise. Although protists dominate the sea ice biomass, heterotrophic bacteria are also abundant. The sea ice ecosystem provides food for a host of animals, with crustaceans being the most conspicuous. Uneaten organic matter from the ice sinks through the water column and feeds benthic ecosystems. As sea ice extent declines, ice algae likely contribute a shrinking fraction of the total amount of organic matter produced in polar waters.

  7. Mangrove succession enriches the sediment microbial community in South China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Quan; Zhao, Qian; Li, Jing; Jian, Shuguang; Ren, Hai

    2016-06-06

    Sediment microorganisms help create and maintain mangrove ecosystems. Although the changes in vegetation during mangrove forest succession have been well studied, the changes in the sediment microbial community during mangrove succession are poorly understood. To investigate the changes in the sediment microbial community during succession of mangroves at Zhanjiang, South China, we used phospholipid fatty acid (PLFA) analysis and the following chronosequence from primary to climax community: unvegetated shoal; Avicennia marina community; Aegiceras corniculatum community; and Bruguiera gymnorrhiza + Rhizophora stylosa community. The PLFA concentrations of all sediment microbial groups (total microorganisms, fungi, gram-positive bacteria, gram-negative bacteria, and actinomycetes) increased significantly with each stage of mangrove succession. Microbial PLFA concentrations in the sediment were significantly lower in the wet season than in the dry season. Regression and ordination analyses indicated that the changes in the microbial community with mangrove succession were mainly associated with properties of the aboveground vegetation (mainly plant height) and the sediment (mainly sediment organic matter and total nitrogen). The changes in the sediment microbial community can probably be explained by increases in nutrients and microhabitat heterogeneity during mangrove succession.

  8. Microbial diversity in restored wetlands of San Francisco Bay

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Theroux, Susanna [Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. (LBNL), Walnut Creek, CA (United States). Dept. of Energy Joint Genome Inst.; Hartman, Wyatt [Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. (LBNL), Walnut Creek, CA (United States). Dept. of Energy Joint Genome Inst.; He, Shaomei [Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. (LBNL), Walnut Creek, CA (United States). Dept. of Energy Joint Genome Inst.; Univ. of Wisconsin, Madison, WI (United States); Tringe, Susannah [Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. (LBNL), Walnut Creek, CA (United States). Dept. of Energy Joint Genome Inst.

    2013-12-09

    Wetland ecosystems may serve as either a source or a sink for atmospheric carbon and greenhouse gases. This delicate carbon balance is influenced by the activity of belowground microbial communities that return carbon dioxide and methane to the atmosphere. Wetland restoration efforts in the San Francisco Bay-Delta region may help to reverse land subsidence and possibly increase carbon storage in soils. However, the effects of wetland restoration on microbial communities, which mediate soil metabolic activity and carbon cycling, are poorly studied. In an effort to better understand the underlying factors which shape the balance of carbon flux in wetland soils, we targeted the microbial communities in a suite of restored and historic wetlands in the San Francisco Bay-Delta region. Using DNA and RNA sequencing, coupled with greenhouse gas monitoring, we profiled the diversity and metabolic potential of the wetland soil microbial communities along biogeochemical and wetland age gradients. Our results show relationships among geochemical gradients, availability of electron acceptors, and microbial community composition. Our study provides the first genomic glimpse into microbial populations in natural and restored wetlands of the San Francisco Bay-Delta region and provides a valuable benchmark for future studies.

  9. Prescreening of microbial populations for the assessment of sequencing potential.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hanning, Irene B; Ricke, Steven C

    2011-01-01

    Next-generation sequencing (NGS) is a powerful tool that can be utilized to profile and compare microbial populations. By amplifying a target gene present in all bacteria and subsequently sequencing amplicons, the bacteria genera present in the populations can be identified and compared. In some scenarios, little to no difference may exist among microbial populations being compared in which case a prescreening method would be practical to determine which microbial populations would be suitable for further analysis by NGS. Denaturing density-gradient electrophoresis (DGGE) is relatively cheaper than NGS and the data comparing microbial populations are ready to be viewed immediately after electrophoresis. DGGE follows essentially the same initial methodology as NGS by targeting and amplifying the 16S rRNA gene. However, as opposed to sequencing amplicons, DGGE amplicons are analyzed by electrophoresis. By prescreening microbial populations with DGGE, more efficient use of NGS methods can be accomplished. In this chapter, we outline the protocol for DGGE targeting the same gene (16S rRNA) that would be targeted for NGS to compare and determine differences in microbial populations from a wide range of ecosystems.

  10. Microscale Insight into Microbial Seed Banks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Locey, Kenneth J; Fisk, Melany C; Lennon, J T

    2016-01-01

    Microbial dormancy leads to the emergence of seed banks in environmental, engineered, and host-associated ecosystems. These seed banks act as reservoirs of diversity that allow microbes to persist under adverse conditions, including extreme limitation of resources. While microbial seed banks may be influenced by macroscale factors, such as the supply of resources, the importance of microscale encounters between organisms and resource particles is often overlooked. We hypothesized that dimensions of spatial, trophic, and resource complexity determine rates of encounter, which in turn, drive the abundance, productivity, and size of seed banks. We tested this using >10,000 stochastic individual based models (IBMs) that simulated energetic, physiological, and ecological processes across combinations of resource, spatial, and trophic complexity. These IBMs allowed realistic dynamics and the emergence of seed banks from ecological selection on random variation in species traits. Macroscale factors like the supply and concentration of resources had little effect on resource encounter rates. In contrast, encounter rates were strongly influenced by interactions between dispersal mode and spatial structure, and also by the recalcitrance of resources. In turn, encounter rates drove abundance, productivity, and seed bank dynamics. Time series revealed that energetically costly traits can lead to large seed banks and that recalcitrant resources can lead to greater stability through the formation of seed banks and the slow consumption of resources. Our findings suggest that microbial seed banks emerge from microscale dimensions of ecological complexity and their influence on resource limitation and energetic costs.

  11. Gammarus-Microbial Interactions: A Review

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Daniel Nelson

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available Gammarus spp. are typically classified as shredders under the functional feeding group classification. In the wild and in the laboratory, Gammarus spp. will often shred leaves, breaking them down into finer organic matter fractions. However, leaf litter is a poor quality food source (i.e., high C : N and C : P ratios and very little leaf material is assimilated by shredders. In freshwater habitats leaf litter is colonized rapidly (within ∼1-2 weeks by aquatic fungi and bacteria, making the leaves more palatable and nutritious to consumers. Several studies have shown that Gammarus spp. show preference for conditioned leaves over nonconditioned leaves and certain fungal species to others. Furthermore, Gammarus spp. show increased survival and growth rates when fed conditioned leaves compared to non-conditioned leaves. Thus, Gammarus spp. appear to rely on the microbial biofilm associated with leaf detritus as a source of carbon and/or essential nutrients. Also, Gammarus spp. can have both positive and negative effects on the microbial communities on which they fed, making them an important component of the microbial loop in aquatic ecosystems.

  12. Threatened corals provide underexplored microbial habitats.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shinichi Sunagawa

    2010-03-01

    Full Text Available Contemporary in-depth sequencing of environmental samples has provided novel insights into microbial community structures, revealing that their diversity had been previously underestimated. Communities in marine environments are commonly composed of a few dominant taxa and a high number of taxonomically diverse, low-abundance organisms. However, studying the roles and genomic information of these "rare" organisms remains challenging, because little is known about their ecological niches and the environmental conditions to which they respond. Given the current threat to coral reef ecosystems, we investigated the potential of corals to provide highly specialized habitats for bacterial taxa including those that are rarely detected or absent in surrounding reef waters. The analysis of more than 350,000 small subunit ribosomal RNA (16S rRNA sequence tags and almost 2,000 nearly full-length 16S rRNA gene sequences revealed that rare seawater biosphere members are highly abundant or even dominant in diverse Caribbean corals. Closely related corals (in the same genus/family harbored similar bacterial communities. At higher taxonomic levels, however, the similarities of these communities did not correlate with the phylogenetic relationships among corals, opening novel questions about the evolutionary stability of coral-microbial associations. Large proportions of OTUs (28.7-49.1% were unique to the coral species of origin. Analysis of the most dominant ribotypes suggests that many uncovered bacterial taxa exist in coral habitats and await future exploration. Our results indicate that coral species, and by extension other animal hosts, act as specialized habitats of otherwise rare microbes in marine ecosystems. Here, deep sequencing provided insights into coral microbiota at an unparalleled resolution and revealed that corals harbor many bacterial taxa previously not known. Given that two of the coral species investigated are listed as threatened under

  13. Limits on carbon sequestration in arid blue carbon ecosystems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schile, Lisa M; Kauffman, J Boone; Crooks, Stephen; Fourqurean, James W; Glavan, Jane; Megonigal, J Patrick

    2017-04-01

    Coastal ecosystems produce and sequester significant amounts of carbon ("blue carbon"), which has been well documented in humid and semi-humid regions of temperate and tropical climates but less so in arid regions where mangroves, marshes, and seagrasses exist near the limit of their tolerance for extreme temperature and salinity. To better understand these unique systems, we measured whole-ecosystem carbon stocks in 58 sites across the United Arab Emirates (UAE) in natural and planted mangroves, salt marshes, seagrass beds, microbial mats, and coastal sabkha (inter- and supratidal unvegetated salt flats). Natural mangroves held significantly more carbon in above- and belowground biomass than other vegetated ecosystems. Planted mangrove carbon stocks increased with age, but there were large differences for sites of similar age. Soil carbon varied widely across sites (2-367 Mg C/ha), with ecosystem averages that ranged from 49 to 156 Mg C/ha. For the first time, microbial mats were documented to contain soil carbon pools comparable to vascular plant-dominated ecosystems, and could arguably be recognized as a unique blue carbon ecosystem. Total ecosystem carbon stocks ranged widely from 2 to 515 Mg C/ha (seagrass bed and mangrove, respectively). Seagrass beds had the lowest carbon stock per unit area, but the largest stock per total area due to their large spatial coverage. Compared to similar ecosystems globally, mangroves and marshes in the UAE have lower plant and soil carbon stocks; however, the difference in soil stocks is far larger than with plant stocks. This incongruent difference between stocks is likely due to poor carbon preservation under conditions of weakly reduced soils (200-350 mV), coarse-grained sediments, and active shoreline migration. This work represents the first attempt to produce a country-wide coastal ecosystem carbon accounting using a uniform sampling protocol, and was motivated by specific policy goals identified by the Abu Dhabi Global

  14. Metagenomes from two microbial consortia associated with Santa Barbara seep oil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hawley, Erik R; Malfatti, Stephanie A; Pagani, Ioanna; Huntemann, Marcel; Chen, Amy; Foster, Brian; Copeland, Alexander; del Rio, Tijana Glavina; Pati, Amrita; Jansson, Janet R; Gilbert, Jack A; Tringe, Susannah Green; Lorenson, Thomas D; Hess, Matthias

    2014-12-01

    The metagenomes from two microbial consortia associated with natural oils seeping into the Pacific Ocean offshore the coast of Santa Barbara (California, USA) were determined to complement already existing metagenomes generated from microbial communities associated with hydrocarbons that pollute the marine ecosystem. This genomics resource article is the first of two publications reporting a total of four new metagenomes from oils that seep into the Santa Barbara Channel. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  15. mcaGUI: microbial community analysis R-Graphical User Interface (GUI)

    OpenAIRE

    Copeland, Wade K.; Krishnan, Vandhana; Beck, Daniel; Settles, Matt; Foster, James A.; Cho, Kyu-Chul; Day, Mitch; Hickey, Roxana; Schütte, Ursel M.E.; Zhou, Xia; Williams, Christopher J.; Forney, Larry J.; Abdo, Zaid

    2012-01-01

    Summary: Microbial communities have an important role in natural ecosystems and have an impact on animal and human health. Intuitive graphic and analytical tools that can facilitate the study of these communities are in short supply. This article introduces Microbial Community Analysis GUI, a graphical user interface (GUI) for the R-programming language (R Development Core Team, 2010). With this application, researchers can input aligned and clustered sequence data to create custom abundance ...

  16. Deep subsurface microbial processes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lovley, D.R.; Chapelle, F.H.

    1995-01-01

    Information on the microbiology of the deep subsurface is necessary in order to understand the factors controlling the rate and extent of the microbially catalyzed redox reactions that influence the geophysical properties of these environments. Furthermore, there is an increasing threat that deep aquifers, an important drinking water resource, may be contaminated by man's activities, and there is a need to predict the extent to which microbial activity may remediate such contamination. Metabolically active microorganisms can be recovered from a diversity of deep subsurface environments. The available evidence suggests that these microorganisms are responsible for catalyzing the oxidation of organic matter coupled to a variety of electron acceptors just as microorganisms do in surface sediments, but at much slower rates. The technical difficulties in aseptically sampling deep subsurface sediments and the fact that microbial processes in laboratory incubations of deep subsurface material often do not mimic in situ processes frequently necessitate that microbial activity in the deep subsurface be inferred through nonmicrobiological analyses of ground water. These approaches include measurements of dissolved H2, which can predict the predominant microbially catalyzed redox reactions in aquifers, as well as geochemical and groundwater flow modeling, which can be used to estimate the rates of microbial processes. Microorganisms recovered from the deep subsurface have the potential to affect the fate of toxic organics and inorganic contaminants in groundwater. Microbial activity also greatly influences 1 the chemistry of many pristine groundwaters and contributes to such phenomena as porosity development in carbonate aquifers, accumulation of undesirably high concentrations of dissolved iron, and production of methane and hydrogen sulfide. Although the last decade has seen a dramatic increase in interest in deep subsurface microbiology, in comparison with the study of

  17. Key players and team play: anaerobic microbial communities in hydrocarbon-contaminated aquifers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kleinsteuber, Sabine; Schleinitz, Kathleen M; Vogt, Carsten

    2012-05-01

    Biodegradation of anthropogenic pollutants in shallow aquifers is an important microbial ecosystem service which is mainly brought about by indigenous anaerobic microorganisms. For the management of contaminated sites, risk assessment and control of natural attenuation, the assessment of in situ biodegradation and the underlying microbial processes is essential. The development of novel molecular methods, "omics" approaches, and high-throughput techniques has revealed new insight into complex microbial communities and their functions in anoxic environmental systems. This review summarizes recent advances in the application of molecular methods to study anaerobic microbial communities in contaminated terrestrial subsurface ecosystems. We focus on current approaches to analyze composition, dynamics, and functional diversity of subsurface communities, to link identity to activity and metabolic function, and to identify the ecophysiological role of not yet cultured microbes and syntrophic consortia. We discuss recent molecular surveys of contaminated sites from an ecological viewpoint regarding degrader ecotypes, abiotic factors shaping anaerobic communities, and biotic interactions underpinning the importance of microbial cooperation for microbial ecosystem services such as contaminant degradation.

  18. 2007 Microbial Population Biology (July 22-26, 2007)

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Anthony M. Dean

    2008-04-01

    Microbial Population Biology covers a diverse range of cutting edge issues in the microbial sciences and beyond. Firmly founded in evolutionary biology and with a strongly integrative approach, past meetings have covered topics ranging from the dynamics and genetics of adaptation to the evolution of mutation rate, community ecology, evolutionary genomics, altruism, and epidemiology. This meeting is never dull: some of the most significant and contentious issues in biology have been thrashed out here. We anticipate the 2007 meeting being no exception. The final form of the 2007 meeting is yet to be decided, but the following topics are likely to be included: evolutionary emergence of infectious disease and antibiotic resistance, genetic architecture and implications for the evolution of microbial populations, ageing in bacteria, biogeography, evolution of symbioses, the role of microbes in ecosystem function, and ecological genomics.

  19. Governance of Ecosystem Services

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Primmer, Eeva; Jokinen, Pekka; Blicharska, Malgorzata; Barton, David N.; Bugter, Rob; Potschin, Marion

    2015-01-01

    Biodiversity conservation policies justified with science and intrinsic value arguments have produced disappointing outcomes, and the need for conservation is now being additionally justified with the concept of ecosystem services. However, little, if any empirical attention is paid to ways in

  20. Shelf-sea ecosystems

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Walsh, J J

    1980-01-01

    An analysis of the food chain dynamics of the Oregon, Alaskan, and New York shelves is made with respect to differences in physical forcing of these ecosystems. The world's shelves are 10% of the area of the ocean, yield 99% of the world's fish catch, and may be a major sink in the global CO/sub 2/ budget.

  1. Partitioning ecosystems for sustainability.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Murray, Martyn G

    2016-03-01

    Decline in the abundance of renewable natural resources (RNRs) coupled with increasing demands of an expanding human population will greatly intensify competition for Earth's natural resources during this century, yet curiously, analytical approaches to the management of productive ecosystems (ecological theory of wildlife harvesting, tragedy of the commons, green economics, and bioeconomics) give only peripheral attention to the driving influence of competition on resource exploitation. Here, I apply resource competition theory (RCT) to the exploitation of RNRs and derive four general policies in support of their sustainable and equitable use: (1) regulate resource extraction technology to avoid damage to the resource base; (2) increase efficiency of resource use and reduce waste at every step in the resource supply chain and distribution network; (3) partition ecosystems with the harvesting niche as the basic organizing principle for sustainable management of natural resources by multiple users; and (4) increase negative feedback between consumer and resource to bring about long-term sustainable use. A simple policy framework demonstrates how RCT integrates with other elements of sustainability science to better manage productive ecosystems. Several problem areas of RNR management are discussed in the light of RCT, including tragedy of the commons, overharvesting, resource collapse, bycatch, single species quotas, and simplification of ecosystems.

  2. Payment for ecosystem services

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Zandersen, Marianne; Oddershede, Jakob Stoktoft; Pedersen, Anders Branth

    Research question: Northern Europe experiences an increasingly wet climate, leading to more frequent and severe fluvial flood events. Ecosystem-based Adaptation (EbA) is becoming recognised as a valuable yet under-utilised means to alleviating negative effects of a changing climate. This however,...

  3. Biocomplexity in Mangrove Ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Feller, I. C.; Lovelock, C. E.; Berger, U.; McKee, K. L.; Joye, S. B.; Ball, M. C.

    2010-01-01

    Mangroves are an ecological assemblage of trees and shrubs adapted to grow in intertidal environments along tropical coasts. Despite repeated demonstration of their economic and societal value, more than 50% of the world's mangroves have been destroyed, 35% in the past two decades to aquaculture and coastal development, altered hydrology, sea-level rise, and nutrient overenrichment. Variations in the structure and function of mangrove ecosystems have generally been described solely on the basis of a hierarchical classification of the physical characteristics of the intertidal environment, including climate, geomorphology, topography, and hydrology. Here, we use the concept of emergent properties at multiple levels within a hierarchical framework to review how the interplay between specialized adaptations and extreme trait plasticity that characterizes mangroves and intertidal environments gives rise to the biocomplexity that distinguishes mangrove ecosystems. The traits that allow mangroves to tolerate variable salinity, flooding, and nutrient availability influence ecosystem processes and ultimately the services they provide. We conclude that an integrated research strategy using emergent properties in empirical and theoretical studies provides a holistic approach for understanding and managing mangrove ecosystems.

  4. Microconchids from microbialite ecosystem immediately after end-Permian mass extinction: ecologic selectivity and implications for microbialite ecosystem structure

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, H.; Chen, Z.; Wang, Y. B.; Ou, W.; Liao, W.; Mei, X.

    2013-12-01

    The Permian-Triassic (P-Tr) carbonate successions are often characterized by the presence of microbialite buildups worldwide. The widespread microbialites are believed as indication of microbial proliferation immediately after the P-Tr mass extinction. The death of animals representing the primary consumer trophic structure of marine ecosystem in the P-Tr crisis allows the bloom of microbes as an important primary producer in marine trophic food web structure. Thus, the PTB microbialite builders have been regarded as disaster taxa of the P-Tr ecologic crisis. Microbialite ecosystems were suitable for most organisms to inhabit. However, increasing evidence show that microbialite dwellers are also considerably abundant and diverse, including mainly foraminifers Earlandia sp. and Rectocornuspira sp., lingulid brachiopods, ostrocods, gastropods, and microconchids. In particular, ostracods are extremely abundant in this special ecosystem. Microconchid-like calcareous tubes are also considerably abundant. Here, we have sampled systematically a PTB microbialite deposit from the Dajiang section, southern Guizhou Province, southwest China and have extracted abundant isolated specimens of calcareous worm tubes. Quantitative analysis enables to investigate stratigraphic and facies preferences of microconchids in the PTB microbialites. Our preliminary result indicates that three microconchid species Microconchus sp., Helicoconchus elongates and Microconchus aberrans inhabited in microbialite ecosystem. Most microconchilds occurred in the upper part of the microbialite buildup and the grainstone-packstone microfacies. Very few microconchilds were found in the rocks bearing well-developed microbialite structures. Their stratigraphic and environmental preferences indicate proliferation of those metazoan organisms is coupled with ebb of the microbialite development. They also proliferated in some local niches in which microbial activities were not very active even if those

  5. Disruption of the Gut Ecosystem by Antibiotics

    Science.gov (United States)

    2018-01-01

    The intestinal microbiota is a complex ecosystem consisting of various microorganisms that expands human genetic repertoire and therefore affects human health and disease. The metabolic processes and signal transduction pathways of the host and intestinal microorganisms are intimately linked, and abnormal progression of each process leads to changes in the intestinal environment. Alterations in microbial communities lead to changes in functional structures based on the metabolites produced in the gut, and these environmental changes result in various bacterial infections and chronic enteric inflammatory diseases. Here, we illustrate how antibiotics are associated with an increased risk of antibiotic-associated diseases by driving intestinal environment changes that favor the proliferation and virulence of pathogens. Understanding the pathogenesis caused by antibiotics would be a crucial key to the treatment of antibiotic-associated diseases by mitigating changes in the intestinal environment and restoring it to its original state. PMID:29214770

  6. Microbial conversion technologies

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lau, P. [National Research Council of Canada, Ottawa, ON (Canada). Bioconversion and Sustainable Development

    2006-07-01

    Microbes are a biomass and an valuable resource. This presentation discussed microbial conversion technologies along with background information on microbial cells, their characteristics and microbial diversity. Untapped opportunities for microbial conversion were identified. Metagenomic and genome mining approaches were also discussed, as they can provide access to uncultivated or unculturable microorganisms in communal populations and are an unlimited resource for biocatalysts, novel genes and metabolites. Genome mining was seen as an economical approach. The presentation also emphasized that the development of microbial biorefineries would require significant insights into the relevant microorganisms and that biocatalysts were the ultimate in sustainability. In addition, the presentation discussed the natural fibres initiative for biochemicals and biomaterials. Anticipated outputs were identified and work in progress of a new enzyme-retting cocktail to provide diversity and/or consistency in fibre characteristics for various applications were also presented. It was concluded that it is necessary to leverage understanding of biological processes to produce bioproducts in a clean and sustainable manner. tabs., figs.

  7. Electronic Nose Technology to Measure Soil Microbial Activity and Classify Soil Metabolic Status

    OpenAIRE

    Fabrizio De Cesare; Elena Di Mattia; Simone Pantalei; Emiliano Zampetti; Vittorio Vinciguerra; Antonella Macagnano

    2011-01-01

    The electronic nose (E-nose) is a sensing technology that has been widely used to monitor environments in the last decade. In the present study, the capability of an E-nose, in combination with biochemical and microbiological techniques, of both detecting the microbial activity and estimating the metabolic status of soil ecosystems, was tested by measuring on one side respiration, enzyme activities and growth of bacteria in natural but simplified soil ecosystems over 23 days of incubation thr...

  8. Manipulating soil microbial communities in extensive green roof substrates.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Molineux, Chloe J; Connop, Stuart P; Gange, Alan C

    2014-09-15

    There has been very little investigation into the soil microbial community on green roofs, yet this below ground habitat is vital for ecosystem functioning. Green roofs are often harsh environments that would greatly benefit from having a healthy microbial system, allowing efficient nutrient cycling and a degree of drought tolerance in dry summer months. To test if green roof microbial communities could be manipulated, we added mycorrhizal fungi and a microbial mixture ('compost tea') to green roof rootzones, composed mainly of crushed brick or crushed concrete. The study revealed that growing media type and depth play a vital role in the microbial ecology of green roofs. There are complex relationships between depth and type of substrate and the biomass of different microbial groups, with no clear pattern being observed. Following the addition of inoculants, bacterial groups tended to increase in biomass in shallower substrates, whereas fungal biomass change was dependent on depth and type of substrate. Increased fungal biomass was found in shallow plots containing more crushed concrete and deeper plots containing more crushed brick where compost tea (a live mixture of beneficial bacteria) was added, perhaps due to the presence of helper bacteria for arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF). Often there was not an additive affect of the microbial inoculations but instead an antagonistic interaction between the added AM fungi and the compost tea. This suggests that some species of microbes may not be compatible with others, as competition for limited resources occurs within the various substrates. The overall results suggest that microbial inoculations of green roof habitats are sustainable. They need only be done once for increased biomass to be found in subsequent years, indicating that this is a novel and viable method of enhancing roof community composition. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  9. [Urban ecosystem services: A review].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mao, Qi-zheng; Huang, Gan-lin; Wu, Jian-guo

    2015-04-01

    Maintaining and improving ecosystem services in urban areas and human well-being are essential for sustainable development and therefore constitute an important topic in urban ecology. Here we reviewed studies on ecosystem services in urban areas. Based on the concept and classification of urban ecosystem services, we summarized characteristics of urban ecosystem services, including the human domination, high demand of ecosystem services in urban areas, spatial heterogeneity and temporal dynamics of ecosystem services supply and demand in urban areas, multi-services of urban green infrastructures, the socio-economic dimension of ecosystem services supply and ecosystem disservices in urban areas. Among different urban ecosystem services, the regulating service and cultural service are particularly indispensable to benefit human health. We pointed out that tradeoffs among different types of ecosystem services mostly occur between supportive service and cultural service, as well as regulating service and cultural service. In particular, we emphasized the relationship between landscape design (i.e. green infrastructure) and ecosystem services supply. Finally, we discussed current gaps to link urban ecosystem services studies to landscape design and management and pointed out several directions for future research in urban ecosystem services.

  10. Microbial Ecology of Soil Aggregation in Agroecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hofmockel, K. S.; Bell, S.; Tfailly, M.; Thompson, A.; Callister, S.

    2017-12-01

    Crop selection and soil texture influence the physicochemical attributes of the soil, which structures microbial communities and influences soil C cycling storage. At the molecular scale, microbial metabolites and necromass alter the soil environment, which creates feedbacks that influence ecosystem functions, including soil C accumulation. By integrating lab to field studies we aim to identify the molecules, organisms and metabolic pathways that control carbon cycling and stabilization in bioenergy soils. We investigated the relative influence of plants, microbes, and minerals on soil aggregate ecology at the Great Lakes Bioenergy Research experiment. Sites in WI and MI, USA have been in corn and switchgrass cropping systems for a decade. By comparing soil aggregate ecology across sites and cropping systems we are able to test the relative importance of plant, microbe, mineral influences on soil aggregate dynamics. Soil microbial communities (16S) differ in diversity and phylogeny among sites and cropping systems. FT-ICR MS revealed differences in the molecular composition of water-soluble fraction of soil organic matter for cropping systems and soil origin for both relative abundance of assigned formulas and biogeochemical classes of compounds. We found the degree of aggregation, measured by mean weighted diameter of aggregate fractions, is influenced by plant-soil interactions. Similarly, the proportion of soil aggregate fractions varied by both soil and plant factors. Differences in aggregation were reflected in differences in bacterial, but not fungal community composition across aggregate fractions, within each soil. Scanning electron microscopy revealed stark differences in mineral-organic interactions that influence the microbial niche and the accessibility of substrates within the soil. The clay soils show greater surface heterogeneity, enabling interactions with organic fraction of the soil. This is consistent with molecular data that reveal differences

  11. Microbial community changes in heathland soil communities along a geographical gradient: Interaction with climate change manipulations

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Sowerby, A.; Emmett, B.; Beier, C.

    2005-01-01

    . Microbial extra-cellular enzyme production is linked to microbial activity as well as soil physico-chemical properties, making soil enzymes one of the more reactive components of terrestrial ecosystems and potentially excellent indicators of soil microbial functional status and diversity. Across all sites...... and over all the substrates, organic matter content was exponentially, inversely related to enzyme activity. Although the increase in temperature produced by the CLIMOOR roofs was small (on average 0.9 degrees C), this was sufficient to increase enzyme activity in all sites (on average by 45...

  12. Millennium Ecosystem Assessment: MA Population

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — The Millennium Ecosystem Assessment: MA Population data sets provide baseline population information as one of the drivers of ecosystem change. The data helped in...

  13. Economic viewpoints on ecosystem services

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Silvis, H.J.; Heide, van der C.M.

    2013-01-01

    to help determine the different values of ecosystems. Ecosystem services are usually divided into four categories: provisioning services, regulating services, cultural services and habitat services (previously denoted as supporting services). This overview highlights economic theories about

  14. Interregional flows of ecosystem services

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Schröter, Matthias; Koellner, Thomas; Alkemade, Rob; Arnhold, Sebastian; Bagstad, Kenneth J.; Erb, Karl Heinz; Frank, Karin; Kastner, Thomas; Kissinger, Meidad; Liu, Jianguo; López-Hoffman, Laura; Maes, Joachim; Marques, Alexandra; Martín-López, Berta; Meyer, Carsten; Schulp, Catharina J.E.; Thober, Jule; Wolff, Sarah; Bonn, Aletta

    2018-01-01

    Conserving and managing global natural capital requires an understanding of the complexity of flows of ecosystem services across geographic boundaries. Failing to understand and to incorporate these flows into national and international ecosystem assessments leads to incomplete and potentially

  15. Microbial biogeography of San Francisco Bay sediments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, J. A.; Francis, C. A.

    2014-12-01

    The largest estuary on the west coast of North America, San Francisco Bay is an ecosystem of enormous biodiversity, and also enormous human impact. The benthos has experienced dredging, occupation by invasive species, and over a century of sediment input as a result of hydraulic mining. Although the Bay's great cultural and ecological importance has inspired numerous surveys of the benthic macrofauna, to date there has been almost no investigation of the microbial communities on the Bay floor. An understanding of those microbial communities would contribute significantly to our understanding of both the biogeochemical processes (which are driven by the microbiota) and the physical processes (which contribute to microbial distributions) in the Bay. Here, we present the first broad survey of bacterial and archaeal taxa in the sediments of the San Francisco Bay. We conducted 16S rRNA community sequencing of bacteria and archaea in sediment samples taken bimonthly for one year, from five sites spanning the salinity gradient between Suisun and Central Bay, in order to capture the effect of both spatial and temporal environmental variation on microbial diversity. From the same samples we also conducted deep sequencing of a nitrogen-cycling functional gene, nirS, allowing an assessment of evolutionary diversity at a much finer taxonomic scale within an important and widespread functional group of bacteria. We paired these sequencing projects with extensive geochemical metadata as well as information about macrofaunal distribution. Our data reveal a diversity of distinct biogeographical patterns among different taxa: clades ubiquitous across sites; clades that respond to measurable environmental drivers; and clades that show geographical site-specificity. These community datasets allow us to test the hypothesis that salinity is a major driver of both overall microbial community structure and community structure of the denitrifying bacteria specifically; and to assess

  16. The use of microarrays in microbial ecology

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Andersen, G.L.; He, Z.; DeSantis, T.Z.; Brodie, E.L.; Zhou, J.

    2009-09-15

    oligonucleotide probes and covers more than 10,000 gene sequences in 150 gene categories involved in carbon, nitrogen, sulfur, and phosphorus cycling, metal resistance and reduction, and organic contaminant degradation. GeoChip can be used as a generic tool for microbial community analysis, and also link microbial community structure to ecosystem functioning. Examples of the application of both arrays in different environmental samples will be described in the two subsequent sections.

  17. Assessing coral reefs on a Pacific-wide scale using the microbialization score.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tracey McDole

    Full Text Available The majority of the world's coral reefs are in various stages of decline. While a suite of disturbances (overfishing, eutrophication, and global climate change have been identified, the mechanism(s of reef system decline remain elusive. Increased microbial and viral loading with higher percentages of opportunistic and specific microbial pathogens have been identified as potentially unifying features of coral reefs in decline. Due to their relative size and high per cell activity, a small change in microbial biomass may signal a large reallocation of available energy in an ecosystem; that is the microbialization of the coral reef. Our hypothesis was that human activities alter the energy budget of the reef system, specifically by altering the allocation of metabolic energy between microbes and macrobes. To determine if this is occurring on a regional scale, we calculated the basal metabolic rates for the fish and microbial communities at 99 sites on twenty-nine coral islands throughout the Pacific Ocean using previously established scaling relationships. From these metabolic rate predictions, we derived a new metric for assessing and comparing reef health called the microbialization score. The microbialization score represents the percentage of the combined fish and microbial predicted metabolic rate that is microbial. Our results demonstrate a strong positive correlation between reef microbialization scores and human impact. In contrast, microbialization scores did not significantly correlate with ocean net primary production, local chla concentrations, or the combined metabolic rate of the fish and microbial communities. These findings support the hypothesis that human activities are shifting energy to the microbes, at the expense of the macrobes. Regardless of oceanographic context, the microbialization score is a powerful metric for assessing the level of human impact a reef system is experiencing.

  18. Assessing coral reefs on a Pacific-wide scale using the microbialization score.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McDole, Tracey; Nulton, James; Barott, Katie L; Felts, Ben; Hand, Carol; Hatay, Mark; Lee, Hochul; Nadon, Marc O; Nosrat, Bahador; Salamon, Peter; Bailey, Barbara; Sandin, Stuart A; Vargas-Angel, Bernardo; Youle, Merry; Zgliczynski, Brian J; Brainard, Russell E; Rohwer, Forest

    2012-01-01

    The majority of the world's coral reefs are in various stages of decline. While a suite of disturbances (overfishing, eutrophication, and global climate change) have been identified, the mechanism(s) of reef system decline remain elusive. Increased microbial and viral loading with higher percentages of opportunistic and specific microbial pathogens have been identified as potentially unifying features of coral reefs in decline. Due to their relative size and high per cell activity, a small change in microbial biomass may signal a large reallocation of available energy in an ecosystem; that is the microbialization of the coral reef. Our hypothesis was that human activities alter the energy budget of the reef system, specifically by altering the allocation of metabolic energy between microbes and macrobes. To determine if this is occurring on a regional scale, we calculated the basal metabolic rates for the fish and microbial communities at 99 sites on twenty-nine coral islands throughout the Pacific Ocean using previously established scaling relationships. From these metabolic rate predictions, we derived a new metric for assessing and comparing reef health called the microbialization score. The microbialization score represents the percentage of the combined fish and microbial predicted metabolic rate that is microbial. Our results demonstrate a strong positive correlation between reef microbialization scores and human impact. In contrast, microbialization scores did not significantly correlate with ocean net primary production, local chla concentrations, or the combined metabolic rate of the fish and microbial communities. These findings support the hypothesis that human activities are shifting energy to the microbes, at the expense of the macrobes. Regardless of oceanographic context, the microbialization score is a powerful metric for assessing the level of human impact a reef system is experiencing.

  19. Response of soil microbial communities and microbial interactions to long-term heavy metal contamination.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Xiaoqi; Meng, Delong; Li, Juan; Yin, Huaqun; Liu, Hongwei; Liu, Xueduan; Cheng, Cheng; Xiao, Yunhua; Liu, Zhenghua; Yan, Mingli

    2017-12-01

    Due to the persistence of metals in the ecosystem and their threat to all living organisms, effects of heavy metal on soil microbial communities were widely studied. However, little was known about the interactions among microorganisms in heavy metal-contaminated soils. In the present study, microbial communities in Non (CON), moderately (CL) and severely (CH) contaminated soils were investigated through high-throughput Illumina sequencing of 16s rRNA gene amplicons, and networks were constructed to show the interactions among microbes. Results showed that the microbial community composition was significantly, while the microbial diversity was not significantly affected by heavy metal contamination. Bacteria showed various response to heavy metals. Bacteria that positively correlated with Cd, e.g. Acidobacteria_Gp and Proteobacteria_thiobacillus, had more links between nodes and more positive interactions among microbes in CL- and CH-networks, while bacteria that negatively correlated with Cd, e.g. Longilinea, Gp2 and Gp4 had fewer network links and more negative interactions in CL and CH-networks. Unlike bacteria, members of the archaeal domain, i.e. phyla Crenarchaeota and Euryarchaeota, class Thermoprotei and order Thermoplasmatales showed only positive correlation with Cd and had more network interactions in CH-networks. The present study indicated that (i) the microbial community composition, as well as network interactions was shift to strengthen adaptability of microorganisms to heavy metal contamination, (ii) archaea were resistant to heavy metal contamination and may contribute to the adaption to heavy metals. It was proposed that the contribution might be achieved either by improving environment conditions or by cooperative interactions. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  20. Ability of industrial anaerobic ecosystems to produce methane from ethanol in psychrophilic, mesophilic and thermophilic conditions

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Mabala, Jojo Charlie

    2012-01-01

    The process of anaerobic degradation of organic matter is a natural phenomenon widespread in many ecosystems (eg, marshes, lakes, rice fields, digestive systems of animals and humans). A high microbial diversity is maintained during this process, reflecting a diversity of metabolic pathways involved. When complete, the anaerobic digestion results in the formation of biogas (mixture of methane and carbon dioxide). In terms of biotechnology, anaerobic treatment of organic pollution reduces the volume of waste and generates energy as methane recoverable in several forms (electricity, heat, natural gas, biofuels). Industrial digesters are mostly operated at 35 deg. C or 55 deg. C which requires exogenous energy. The objective of the thesis is to study the adaptability of ecosystems sourced from anaerobic industrial scale reactors treating different range of wastes from different processes to convert ethanol into biogas at various temperatures. The first phase of the study was to adapt, in laboratory reactors ecosystems to their original temperature with a readily biodegradable substrate (ethanol). Then, the performances of microbial communities (the maximum methanogenic potential and degradation kinetics) were estimated on a temperature gradient from 5 deg. C to 55 deg. C in batch reactors. The adaptation phase of the ecosystems in lab-scale reactors showed that the biogas averaged theoretical production and this production was followed by a decrease in reaction time with successive addition of the substrate. In addition, the kinetics of the biogas obtained varied greatly from one ecosystem to another. Molecular fingerprinting profiles (CE-SSCP) of bacterial and archaeal communities were performed at the beginning and at the end of conditioning. These community profiles were compared with each other by principal component analysis (PCA). Bacterial populations that ensured efficient performance were different from those that ensured a good adaptability. In addition, the

  1. Switchgrass ecotypes alter microbial contribution to deep-soil C

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roosendaal, Damaris; Stewart, Catherine E.; Denef, Karolien; Follett, Ronald F.; Pruessner, Elizabeth; Comas, Louise H.; Varvel, Gary E.; Saathoff, Aaron; Palmer, Nathan; Sarath, Gautam; Jin, Virginia L.; Schmer, Marty; Soundararajan, Madhavan

    2016-05-01

    Switchgrass (Panicum virgatum L.) is a C4, perennial grass that is being developed as a bioenergy crop for the United States. While aboveground biomass production is well documented for switchgrass ecotypes (lowland, upland), little is known about the impact of plant belowground productivity on microbial communities down deep in the soil profiles. Microbial dynamics in deeper soils are likely to exert considerable control on ecosystem services, including C and nutrient cycles, due to their involvement in such processes as soil formation and ecosystem biogeochemistry. Differences in root biomass and rooting characteristics of switchgrass ecotypes could lead to distinct differences in belowground microbial biomass and microbial community composition. We quantified root abundance and root architecture and the associated microbial abundance, composition, and rhizodeposit C uptake for two switchgrass ecotypes using stable-isotope probing of microbial phospholipid fatty acids (PLFAs) after 13CO2 pulse-chase labeling. Kanlow, a lowland ecotype with thicker roots, had greater plant biomass above- and belowground (g m-2), greater root mass density (mg cm-3), and lower specific root length (m g-1) compared to Summer, an upland ecotype with finer root architecture. The relative abundance of bacterial biomarkers dominated microbial PLFA profiles for soils under both Kanlow and Summer (55.4 and 53.5 %, respectively; P = 0.0367), with differences attributable to a greater relative abundance of Gram-negative bacteria in soils under Kanlow (18.1 %) compared to soils under Summer (16.3 %; P = 0.0455). The two ecotypes also had distinctly different microbial communities process rhizodeposit C: greater relative atom % 13C excess in Gram-negative bacteria (44.1 ± 2.3 %) under the thicker roots of Kanlow and greater relative atom % 13C excess in saprotrophic fungi under the thinner roots of Summer (48.5 ± 2.2 %). For bioenergy production systems, variation between switchgrass

  2. Impact of Wildfire on Microbial Biomass in Critical Zone Observatory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Murphy, M. A.; Fairbanks, D.; Chorover, J.; Gallery, R. E.; Rich, V. I.

    2014-12-01

    The recovery of the critical zone following disturbances such as wildfire is not fully understood. Wildfires have increased in size and intensity in western US forests in recent years and these fires influence soil microbial communities, both in composition and overall biomass. Studies have typically shown a 50% post-fire decline in overall microbial biomass (µg per g soil) that can persist for years. There is however, some variability in the severity of biomass decline, and its relationship with burn severity and landscape position have not yet been studied. Since microbial biomass has a cascade of impacts in soil systems, from helping control the rate and diversity the biogeochemical processes occurring, to promoting soil fertility, to impacting the nature and structure of soil carbon (C), fire's lasting impact on it is one mechanistic determinant of the overall post-fire recovery of impacted ecosystems. Additionally, microbial biomass measurements hold potential for testing and incorporation into land surface models (NoahMP, CLM, etc.) in order to improve estimates of long-term effects of climate change and disturbances such as fire on the C cycle. In order to refine our understanding of the impact of fire on microbial biomass and then relate that to biogeochemical processes and ecosystem recovery, we used chloroform fumigation extraction to quantify total microbial biomass C (Cmic ). One year after the June 2013 Thompson Ridge fire in the Jemez River Basin Critical Zone Observatory, we are measuring the Cmic of 22 sites across a gradient of burn severities and 4 control unburned sites, from six depth intervals at each site (0-2, 2-5, 5-10, 10-20, 20-30, and 30-40 cm). We hypothesize that the decrease in microbial biomass in burned sites relative to control sites will correlate with changes in soil biogeochemistry related to burn severity; and that the extent of the impact on biomass will be inversely related to depth in the soil column. Additionally, as the

  3. Patterns of Early-Life Gut Microbial Colonization during Human Immune Development: An Ecological Perspective

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Isabelle Laforest-Lapointe

    2017-07-01

    Full Text Available Alterations in gut microbial colonization during early life have been reported in infants that later developed asthma, allergies, type 1 diabetes, as well as in inflammatory bowel disease patients, previous to disease flares. Mechanistic studies in animal models have established that microbial alterations influence disease pathogenesis via changes in immune system maturation. Strong evidence points to the presence of a window of opportunity in early life, during which changes in gut microbial colonization can result in immune dysregulation that predisposes susceptible hosts to disease. Although the ecological patterns of microbial succession in the first year of life have been partly defined in specific human cohorts, the taxonomic and functional features, and diversity thresholds that characterize these microbial alterations are, for the most part, unknown. In this review, we summarize the most important links between the temporal mosaics of gut microbial colonization and the age-dependent immune functions that rely on them. We also highlight the importance of applying ecology theory to design studies that explore the interactions between this complex ecosystem and the host immune system. Focusing research efforts on understanding the importance of temporally structured patterns of diversity, keystone groups, and inter-kingdom microbial interactions for ecosystem functions has great potential to enable the development of biologically sound interventions aimed at maintaining and/or improving immune system development and preventing disease.

  4. Soil biochemical properties of grassland ecosystems under anthropogenic emission of nitrogen compounds

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kudrevatykh, Irina; Ivashchenko, Kristina; Ananyeva, Nadezhda

    2016-04-01

    Inflow of pollutants in terrestrial ecosystems nowadays increases dramatically, that might be led to disturbance of natural biogeochemical cycles and landscapes structure. Production of nitrogen fertilizers is one of the air pollution sources, namely by nitrogen compounds (NH4+, NO3-, NO2-). Air pollution by nitrogen compounds of terrestrial ecosystems might be affected on soil biochemical properties, which results increasing mineral nitrogen content in soil, changing soil P/N and Al/Ca ratios, and, finally, the deterioration of soil microbial community functioning. The research is focused on the assessment of anthropogenic emission of nitrogen compounds on soil properties of grassland ecosystems in European Russia. Soil samples (Voronic Chernozem Pachic, upper 10 cm mineral layer, totally 10) were taken from grassland ecosystem: near (5-10 m) nitrogen fertilizer factory (NFF), and far from it (20-30 km, served as a control) in Tula region. In soil samples the NH4+ and NO3- (Kudeyarov's photocolorimetric method), P, Ca, Al (X-ray fluorescence method) contents were measured. Soil microbial biomass carbon (Cmic) was analyzed by substrate-induced respiration method. Soil microbial respiration (MR) was assessed by CO2 rate production. Soil microbial metabolic quotient (qCO2) was calculated as MR/Cmic ratio. Near NFF the soil ammonium and nitrate nitrogen contents were a strongly varied, variation coefficient (CV) was 42 and 86This study was supported by Russian Foundation of Basic Research Grant No. 14-04-00098, 15-44-03220, 15-04-00915.

  5. Cultivable microscopic fungi from an underground chemosynthesis-based ecosystem: a preliminary study

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Nováková, Alena; Hubka, Vít; Valinová, Š.; Kolařík, Miroslav; Hillebrand-Voiculescu, A.M.

    2018-01-01

    Roč. 63, č. 1 (2018), s. 43-55 ISSN 0015-5632 R&D Projects: GA MŠk(CZ) ED1.1.00/02.0109 Institutional support: RVO:61388971 Keywords : MOVILE CAVE * GROUNDWATER ECOSYSTEM * MICROBIAL COMMUNITIES Subject RIV: EE - Microbiology, Virology OBOR OECD: Microbiology Impact factor: 1.521, year: 2016

  6. Effects of nutrient additions on ecosystem carbon cycle in a Puerto Rican tropical wet forest

    Science.gov (United States)

    YIQING LI; MING XU; XIAOMING ZOU

    2006-01-01

    Wet tropical forests play a critical role in global ecosystem carbon (C) cycle, but C allocation and the response of different C pools to nutrient addition in these forests remain poorly understood. We measured soil organic carbon (SOC), litterfall, root biomass, microbial biomass and soil physical and chemical properties in a wet tropical forest from May 1996 to July...

  7. Applying Fingerprint Fourier Transformed Infrared Spectroscopy and Chemometrics to Assess Soil Ecosystem Disturbance and Recovery

    Science.gov (United States)

    The assessment and monitoring of soil ecosystem function has been hindered due to the shortcomings of many traditional analytical techniques (e.g., soil enzyme activities, microbial incubations), including: high cost, long time investment and difficulties with data interpretation. Consequently, ther...

  8. Exposure to dairy manure leads to greater antibiotic resistance and increased mass-specific respiration in soil microbial communities

    Science.gov (United States)

    Avera, Bethany; Badgley, Brian; Barrett, John E.; Franklin, Josh; Knowlton, Katharine F.; Ray, Partha P.; Smitherman, Crystal

    2017-01-01

    Intensifying livestock production to meet the demands of a growing global population coincides with increases in both the administration of veterinary antibiotics and manure inputs to soils. These trends have the potential to increase antibiotic resistance in soil microbial communities. The effect of maintaining increased antibiotic resistance on soil microbial communities and the ecosystem processes they regulate is unknown. We compare soil microbial communities from paired reference and dairy manure-exposed sites across the USA. Given that manure exposure has been shown to elicit increased antibiotic resistance in soil microbial communities, we expect that manure-exposed sites will exhibit (i) compositionally different soil microbial communities, with shifts toward taxa known to exhibit resistance; (ii) greater abundance of antibiotic resistance genes; and (iii) corresponding maintenance of antibiotic resistance would lead to decreased microbial efficiency. We found that bacterial and fungal communities differed between reference and manure-exposed sites. Additionally, the β-lactam resistance gene ampC was 5.2-fold greater under manure exposure, potentially due to the use of cephalosporin antibiotics in dairy herds. Finally, ampC abundance was positively correlated with indicators of microbial stress, and microbial mass-specific respiration, which increased 2.1-fold under manure exposure. These findings demonstrate that the maintenance of antibiotic resistance associated with manure inputs alters soil microbial communities and ecosystem function. PMID:28356447

  9. Exposure to dairy manure leads to greater antibiotic resistance and increased mass-specific respiration in soil microbial communities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wepking, Carl; Avera, Bethany; Badgley, Brian; Barrett, John E; Franklin, Josh; Knowlton, Katharine F; Ray, Partha P; Smitherman, Crystal; Strickland, Michael S

    2017-03-29

    Intensifying livestock production to meet the demands of a growing global population coincides with increases in both the administration of veterinary antibiotics and manure inputs to soils. These trends have the potential to increase antibiotic resistance in soil microbial communities. The effect of maintaining increased antibiotic resistance on soil microbial communities and the ecosystem processes they regulate is unknown. We compare soil microbial communities from paired reference and dairy manure-exposed sites across the USA. Given that manure exposure has been shown to elicit increased antibiotic resistance in soil microbial communities, we expect that manure-exposed sites will exhibit (i) compositionally different soil microbial communities, with shifts toward taxa known to exhibit resistance; (ii) greater abundance of antibiotic resistance genes; and (iii) corresponding maintenance of antibiotic resistance would lead to decreased microbial efficiency. We found that bacterial and fungal communities differed between reference and manure-exposed sites. Additionally, the β-lactam resistance gene ampC was 5.2-fold greater under manure exposure, potentially due to the use of cephalosporin antibiotics in dairy herds. Finally, ampC abundance was positively correlated with indicators of microbial stress, and microbial mass-specific respiration, which increased 2.1-fold under manure exposure. These findings demonstrate that the maintenance of antibiotic resistance associated with manure inputs alters soil microbial communities and ecosystem function. © 2017 The Author(s).

  10. Preface: Ecosystem services, ecosystem health and human communities

    Science.gov (United States)

    Plag, Hans-Peter

    2018-04-01

    This special issue contains a collection of manuscripts that were originally intended to be included in the special issue on "Physics and Economics of Ecosystem Services Flows" (Volume 101, guest editors H. Su, J. Dong and S. Nagarajan) and "Biogeochemical Processes in the Changing Wetland Environment" (Volume 103, guest editors J. Bai, L. Huang and H. Gao). All of them are addressing issues related to ecosystem services in different settings. Ecosystem services are of high value for both the ecosystems and human communities, and understanding the impacts of environmental processes and human activities on ecosystems is of fundamental importance for the preservation of these services.

  11. EVA Suit Microbial Leakage Investigation

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — The objective of this project is to collect microbial samples from various EVA suits to determine how much microbial contamination is typically released during...

  12. Resilience of Soil Microbial Communities to Metals and Additional Stressors: DNA-Based Approaches for Assessing “Stress-on-Stress” Responses

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Azarbad, H.; van Gestel, C.A.M.; Niklińska, M.; Laskowski, R.; Röling, W.F.M.; van Straalen, N.M.

    2016-01-01

    Many microbial ecology studies have demonstrated profound changes in community composition caused by environmental pollution, as well as adaptation processes allowing survival of microbes in polluted ecosystems. Soil microbial communities in polluted areas with a long-term history of contamination

  13. Promoting Transfer of Ecosystems Concepts

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yu, Yawen; Hmelo-Silver, Cindy E.; Jordan, Rebecca; Eberbach, Catherine; Sinha, Suparna

    2016-01-01

    This study examines to what extent students transferred their knowledge from a familiar aquatic ecosystem to an unfamiliar rainforest ecosystem after participating in a technology-rich inquiry curriculum. We coded students' drawings for components of important ecosystems concepts at pre- and posttest. Our analysis examined the extent to which each…

  14. The Coevolution of Digital Ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    SungYong, Um

    2016-01-01

    Digital ecosystems are one of the most important strategic issues in the current digital economy. Digital ecosystems are dynamic and generative. They evolve as new firms join and as heterogeneous systems are integrated into other systems. These features digital ecosystems determine economic and technological success in the competition among…

  15. Elevated temperature alters carbon cycling in a model microbial community

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mosier, A.; Li, Z.; Thomas, B. C.; Hettich, R. L.; Pan, C.; Banfield, J. F.

    2013-12-01

    Earth's climate is regulated by biogeochemical carbon exchanges between the land, oceans and atmosphere that are chiefly driven by microorganisms. Microbial communities are therefore indispensible to the study of carbon cycling and its impacts on the global climate system. In spite of the critical role of microbial communities in carbon cycling processes, microbial activity is currently minimally represented or altogether absent from most Earth System Models. Method development and hypothesis-driven experimentation on tractable model ecosystems of reduced complexity, as presented here, are essential for building molecularly resolved, benchmarked carbon-climate models. Here, we use chemoautotropic acid mine drainage biofilms as a model community to determine how elevated temperature, a key parameter of global climate change, regulates the flow of carbon through microbial-based ecosystems. This study represents the first community proteomics analysis using tandem mass tags (TMT), which enable accurate, precise, and reproducible quantification of proteins. We compare protein expression levels of biofilms growing over a narrow temperature range expected to occur with predicted climate changes. We show that elevated temperature leads to up-regulation of proteins involved in amino acid metabolism and protein modification, and down-regulation of proteins involved in growth and reproduction. Closely related bacterial genotypes differ in their response to temperature: Elevated temperature represses carbon fixation by two Leptospirillum genotypes, whereas carbon fixation is significantly up-regulated at higher temperature by a third closely related genotypic group. Leptospirillum group III bacteria are more susceptible to viral stress at elevated temperature, which may lead to greater carbon turnover in the microbial food web through the release of viral lysate. Overall, this proteogenomics approach revealed the effects of climate change on carbon cycling pathways and other

  16. The Biogeographic Pattern of Microbial Functional Genes along an Altitudinal Gradient of the Tibetan Pasture

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Qi Qi

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available As the highest place of the world, the Tibetan plateau is a fragile ecosystem. Given the importance of microbial communities in driving soil nutrient cycling, it is of interest to document the microbial biogeographic pattern here. We adopted a microarray-based tool named GeoChip 4.0 to investigate grassland microbial functional genes along an elevation gradient from 3200 to 3800 m above sea level open to free grazing by local herdsmen and wild animals. Interestingly, microbial functional diversities increase with elevation, so does the relative abundances of genes associated with carbon degradation, nitrogen cycling, methane production, cold shock and oxygen limitation. The range of Shannon diversities (10.27–10.58 showed considerably smaller variation than what was previously observed at ungrazed sites nearby (9.95–10.65, suggesting the important role of livestock grazing on microbial diversities. Closer examination showed that the dissimilarity of microbial community at our study sites increased with elevations, revealing an elevation-decay relationship of microbial functional genes. Both microbial functional diversity and the number of unique genes increased with elevations. Furthermore, we detected a tight linkage of greenhouse gas (CO2 and relative abundances of carbon cycling genes. Our biogeographic study provides insights on microbial functional diversity and soil biogeochemical cycling in Tibetan pastures.

  17. The Biogeographic Pattern of Microbial Functional Genes along an Altitudinal Gradient of the Tibetan Pasture

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Qi, Qi; Zhao, Mengxin; Wang, Shiping; Ma, Xingyu; Wang, Yuxuan; Gao, Ying; Lin, Qiaoyan; Li, Xiangzhen; Gu, Baohua; Li, Guoxue; Zhou, Jizhong; Yang, Yunfeng

    2017-06-13

    As the highest place of the world, the Tibetan plateau is a fragile ecosystem. Given the importance of microbial communities in driving soil nutrient cycling, it is of interest to document the microbial biogeographic pattern here. We adopted a microarray-based tool named GeoChip 4.0 to investigate grassland microbial functional genes along an elevation gradient from 3200 to 3800 m above sea level open to free grazing by local herdsmen and wild animals. Interestingly, microbial functional diversities increase with elevation, so does the relative abundances of genes associated with carbon degradation, nitrogen cycling, methane production, cold shock and oxygen limitation. The range of Shannon diversities (10.27–10.58) showed considerably smaller variation than what was previously observed at ungrazed sites nearby (9.95–10.65), suggesting the important role of livestock grazing on microbial diversities. Closer examination showed that the dissimilarity of microbial community at our study sites increased with elevations, revealing an elevation-decay relationship of microbial functional genes. Both microbial functional diversity and the number of unique genes increased with elevations. Furthermore, we detected a tight linkage of greenhouse gas (CO2) and relative abundances of carbon cycling genes. Our biogeographic study provides insights on microbial functional diversity and soil biogeochemical cycling in Tibetan pastures.

  18. Understanding Microbial Contributions to Planetary Atmosphere

    Science.gov (United States)

    DesMarais, David J.

    2000-01-01

    signatures of life. Remarkably little is known about the composition of our own earlier atmosphere, particularly prior to the rise of oxygen levels some 2.0 to 2.2 billion years ago. Thus, field and laboratory observations and theoretical simulations should be conducted to examine the relationships between the structure and function of microbial ecosystems and their gaseous products. Ecosystems that are analogs of our ancient biosphere (e.g., based upon chemosynthesis or non-oxygenic photosynthesis, thermophilic and subsurface communities, etc.) should be included. Because key environmental parameters such as temperature and levels of hydrogen, carbon dioxide and oxygen varied during planetary evolution, their consequences for microbial ecosystems should be explored.

  19. Marine Ecosystem Services

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hasler, Berit; Ahtiainen, Heini; Hasselström, Linus

    MARECOS (Marine Ecosystem Services) er et tværfagligt studie, der har haft til formål at tilvejebringe information vedrørende kortlægning og værdisætning af økosystemtjenester, som kan anvendes i forbindelse med udformning af regulering på det marine område såvel nationalt, som regionalt og inter...

  20. Above- and belowground linkages in Sphagnum peatland: climate warming affects plant-microbial interactions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jassey, Vincent E J; Chiapusio, Geneviève; Binet, Philippe; Buttler, Alexandre; Laggoun-Défarge, Fatima; Delarue, Frédéric; Bernard, Nadine; Mitchell, Edward A D; Toussaint, Marie-Laure; Francez, André-Jean; Gilbert, Daniel

    2013-03-01

    Peatlands contain approximately one third of all soil organic carbon (SOC). Warming can alter above- and belowground linkages that regulate soil organic carbon dynamics and C-balance in peatlands. Here we examine the multiyear impact of in situ experimental warming on the microbial food web, vegetation, and their feedbacks with soil chemistry. We provide evidence of both positive and negative impacts of warming on specific microbial functional groups, leading to destabilization of the microbial food web. We observed a strong reduction (70%) in the biomass of top-predators (testate amoebae) in warmed plots. Such a loss caused a shortening of microbial food chains, which in turn stimulated microbial activity, leading to slight increases in levels of nutrients and labile C in water. We further show that warming altered the regulatory role of Sphagnum-polyphenols on microbial community structure with a potential inhibition of top predators. In addition, warming caused a decrease in Sphagnum cover and an increase in vascular plant cover. Using structural equation modelling, we show that changes in the microbial food web affected the relationships between plants, soil water chemistry, and microbial communities. These results suggest that warming will destabilize C and nutrient recycling of peatlands via changes in above- and belowground linkages, and therefore, the microbial food web associated with mosses will feedback positively to global warming by destabilizing the carbon cycle. This study confirms that microbial food webs thus constitute a key element in the functioning of peatland ecosystems. Their study can help understand how mosses, as ecosystem engineers, tightly regulate biogeochemical cycling and climate feedback in peatlands. © 2012 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

  1. The responses of microbial temperature relationships to seasonal change and winter warming in a temperate grassland.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Birgander, Johanna; Olsson, Pål Axel; Rousk, Johannes

    2018-01-18

    Microorganisms dominate the decomposition of organic matter and their activities are strongly influenced by temperature. As the carbon (C) flux from soil to the atmosphere due to microbial activity is substantial, understanding temperature relationships of microbial processes is critical. It has been shown that microbial temperature relationships in soil correlate with the climate, and microorganisms in field experiments become more warm-tolerant in response to chronic warming. It is also known that microbial temperature relationships reflect the seasons in aquatic ecosystems, but to date this has not been investigated in soil. Although climate change predictions suggest that temperatures will be mostly affected during winter in temperate ecosystems, no assessments exist of the responses of microbial temperature relationships to winter warming. We investigated the responses of the temperature relationships of bacterial growth, fungal growth, and respiration in a temperate grassland to seasonal change, and to 2 years' winter warming. The warming treatments increased winter soil temperatures by 5-6°C, corresponding to 3°C warming of the mean annual temperature. Microbial temperature relationships and temperature sensitivities (Q 10 ) could be accurately established, but did not respond to winter warming or to seasonal temperature change, despite significant shifts in the microbial community structure. The lack of response to winter warming that we demonstrate, and the strong response to chronic warming treatments previously shown, together suggest that it is the peak annual soil temperature that influences the microbial temperature relationships, and that temperatures during colder seasons will have little impact. Thus, mean annual temperatures are poor predictors for microbial temperature relationships. Instead, the intensity of summer heat-spells in temperate systems is likely to shape the microbial temperature relationships that govern the soil-atmosphere C

  2. The river ecosystem

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Descy, J.P.; Lambinon, J.

    1984-01-01

    From the standpoint of the ecologist, a river is an ecosystem characterized by its biocoenosis, in dynamic equilibrium with the abiotic environment. This ecosystem can be envisaged at the structural level by examining its physical, chemical and biological properties, together with the relationships existing between these compartments. The biocoenotic structure of a river is relatively complex: it manifests, among other specific features, the presence of plankton communities which show marked space-time variations. The function of the river ecosystem can be approximated by a study of the relationships between the biotic and abiotic components: primary production, secondary production, recycling of organic matter, etc. Lotic environments are subject to frequent disturbance from various forms of man-made pollution: organic pollution, eutrophization, thermal pollution, mineral pollution, contamination by organic and mineral micropollutants, as well as by radionuclides, mechanical pollution and physical degradation. The biocoenotic effects of these forms of pollution may be evaluated, in particular, using biological indicators (bioindicators): these are either able to show the overall impact of the pollution on the biocoenosis or else they permit the detection and evaluation of certain pollutant forms. (author)

  3. Interactions between Cryptosporidium parvum and the Intestinal Ecosystem

    KAUST Repository

    Douvropoulou, Olga

    2017-04-01

    Cryptosporidium parvum is an apicomplexan protozoan parasite commonly causing diarrhea, particularly in infants in developing countries. The research challenges faced in the development of therapies against Cryptosporidium slow down the process of drug discovery. However, advancement of knowledge towards the interactions of the intestinal ecosystem and the parasite could provide alternative approaches to tackle the disease. Under this perspective, the primary focus of this work was to study interactions between Cryptosporidium parvum and the intestinal ecosystem in a mouse model. Mice were treated with antibiotics with different activity spectra and the resulted perturbation of the native gut microbiota was identified by microbiome studies. In particular, 16S amplicon sequencing and Whole Genome Sequencing (WGS) were used to determine the bacterial composition and the genetic repertoire of the fecal microbial communities in the mouse gut. Following alteration of the microbial communities of mice by application of antibiotic treatment, Cryptosporidium parasites were propagated in mice with perturbed microbiota and the severity of the infection was quantified. This approach enabled the prediction of the functional capacity of the microbial communities in the mouse gut and led to the identification of bacterial taxa that positively or negatively correlate in abundance with Cryptosporidium proliferation.

  4. Anaerobic microbial dehalogenation

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Smidt, H.; Vos, de W.M.

    2004-01-01

    The natural production and anthropogenic release of halogenated hydrocarbons into the environment has been the likely driving force for the evolution of an unexpectedly high microbial capacity to dehalogenate different classes of xenobiotic haloorganics. This contribution provides an update on the

  5. Microbial Energy Conversion

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Buckley, Merry [American Society for Microbiology (ASM), Washington, DC (United States); Wall, Judy D. [Univ. of Missouri, Columbia, MO (United States)

    2006-10-01

    The American Academy of Microbiology convened a colloquium March 10-12, 2006, in San Francisco, California, to discuss the production of energy fuels by microbial conversions. The status of research into various microbial energy technologies, the advantages and disadvantages of each of these approaches, research needs in the field, and education and training issues were examined, with the goal of identifying routes for producing biofuels that would both decrease the need for fossil fuels and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Currently, the choices for providing energy are limited. Policy makers and the research community must begin to pursue a broader array of potential energy technologies. A diverse energy portfolio that includes an assortment of microbial energy choices will allow communities and consumers to select the best energy solution for their own particular needs. Funding agencies and governments alike need to prepare for future energy needs by investing both in the microbial energy technologies that work today and in the untested technologies that will serve the world’s needs tomorrow. More mature bioprocesses, such as ethanol production from starchy materials and methane from waste digestors, will find applications in the short term. However, innovative techniques for liquid fuel or biohydrogen production are among the longer term possibilities that should also be vigorously explored, starting now. Microorganisms can help meet human energy needs in any of a number of ways. In their most obvious role in energy conversion, microorganisms can generate fuels, including ethanol, hydrogen, methane, lipids, and butanol, which can be burned to produce energy. Alternatively, bacteria can be put to use in microbial fuel cells, where they carry out the direct conversion of biomass into electricity. Microorganisms may also be used some day to make oil and natural gas technologies more efficient by sequestering carbon or by assisting in the recovery of oil and

  6. Microbial electrosynthesis of biochemicals

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bajracharya, S.

    2016-01-01

    Microbial electrosynthesis (MES) is an electricity-driven production of chemicals from low-value waste using microorganisms as biocatalysts. MES from CO2 comprises conversion of CO2 to multi-carbon compounds employing microbes at the cathode which use electricity as an energy source. This thesis

  7. Characterizing the Danish telemedicine ecosystem

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Manikas, Konstantinos; Hansen, Klaus Marius

    2013-01-01

    and interoperability issues, silo solutions, and lack of guidelines and standards. In this paper, we characterise the ecosystem evolved around the telemedicine services in Denmark and study the actors involved in this ecosystem. We establish a method for this study, where we define two actor roles and ways...... of characterizing actor contributions, and apply the method to the largest healthcare region of Denmark. Our findings reveal an ecosystem that is relatively closed to new actors, where the actors tend to be related to single telemedicine applications, the applications have low connectivity, and the most influential...... actors of the ecosystem can be characterised as both being beneficial and inhibitory to the ecosystem prosperity....

  8. The potential for retreating alpine glaciers to alter alpine ecosystems in the Colorado Front Range

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hall, E.; Baron, J.

    2013-12-01

    Glaciers are retreating at an unprecedented rate. In mid-latitude alpine ecosystems the presence of glaciers and rock glaciers govern rates and ecology of alpine and sub-alpine ecosystems. Changes in the thermal environment due to the loss of isothermal habitat and inputs from glacier melt chemistry are altering alpine ecosystems in unpredictable ways. In particular, glacier may be a source of nitrogen that is altering alpine ecosystem dynamics. Loch Vale Watershed (LVWS) located within Rocky Mountain National Park. LVWS contains a surface glacier (Andrew's glacier) and a rock glacier (Taylor's glacier) at the headwater of each of the two drainages within the watershed. We collected precipitation from a National Atmospheric Deposition Site and surface water from multiple alpine lakes and streams during a particularly high and low snow year in the Colorado Front Range. We also sampled stream and lake sediments at each site to analyze the associated microbial community. Concentrations of nitrate and ammonium, relative abundance of amoA (the gene responsible for a key step in the microbial nitrification pathway), and the dual isotope signal to nitrate all point to snow melt as a key deliverer of nitrogen to ecosystems along the Colorado Front Range. However, late summer surface water chemistry is isotopically similar to the chemistry of glacial ice. This suggests that retreating glacier may be an additional source of N to alpine ecosystems and have the potential to alter microbial community composition, biogeochemical rate processes, and ecosystem function. These dynamics are most likely not unique to the Colorado Front Range and should be globally distributed as glaciers continue to retreat in high altitude ecosystems around the world.

  9. Ecosystem development in roadside grasslands: biotic control, plant–soil interactions and dispersal limitations

    Science.gov (United States)

    García-Palacios, Pablo; Bowker, Matthew A.; Maestre, Fernando T.; Soliveres, Santiago; Valladares, Fernando; Papadopoulos, Jorge; Escudero, Adrián

    2015-01-01

    Roadside grasslands undergoing secondary succession are abundant, and represent ecologically meaningful examples of novel, human-created ecosystems. Interactions between plant and soil communities (hereafter plant–soil interactions) are of major importance in understanding the role of biotic control in ecosystem functioning, but little is known about these links in the context of ecosystem restoration and succession. The assessment of the key biotic communities and interactions driving ecosystem development will help practitioners to better allocate the limited resources devoted to roadside grassland restoration. We surveyed roadside grasslands from three successional stages (0–2, 7–9 and > 20 years) in two Mediterranean regions of Spain. Structural equation modeling was used to evaluate how interactions between plants, biological soil crusts [BSCs], and soil microbial functional diversity [soil microorganisms] affect indicators of ecosystem development and restoration: plant similarity to the reference ecosystem, erosion control and soil C storage and N accumulation. Changes in plant community composition along the successional gradient exerted the strongest influence on these indicators. High BSC cover was associated with high soil stability, and high soil microbial functional diversity from late-successional stages was associated with high soil fertility. Contrary to our expectations, the indirect effects of plants, mediated by either BSCs or soil microorganisms, were very weak in both regions, suggesting a minor role for plant–soil interactions upon ecosystem development indicators over long periods. Our results suggest that natural vegetation dynamics effectively improved ecosystem development within a time frame of 20 years in the grasslands evaluated. They also indicate that this time could be shortened if management actions focus on: 1) maintain well-conserved natural areas close to roadsides to enhance plant compositional changes towards late

  10. Ecosystem development in roadside grasslands: Biotic control, plant-soil interactions, and dispersal limitations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Garcia-Palacios, P.; Bowker, M.A.; Maestre, F.T.; Soliveres, S.; Valladares, F.; Papadopoulos, J.; Escudero, A.

    2011-01-01

    Roadside grasslands undergoing secondary succession are abundant, and represent ecologically meaningful examples of novel, human-created ecosystems. Interactions between plant and soil communities (hereafter plant-soil interactions) are of major importance in understanding the role of biotic control in ecosystem functioning, but little is known about these links in the context of ecosystem restoration and succession. The assessment of the key biotic communities and interactions driving ecosystem development will help practitioners to better allocate the limited resources devoted to roadside grassland restoration. We surveyed roadside grasslands from three successional stages (0-2, 7-9, and > 20 years) in two Mediterranean regions of Spain. Structural equation modeling was used to evaluate how interactions between plants, biological soil crusts (BSCs), and soil microbial functional diversity (soil microorganisms) affect indicators of ecosystem development and restoration: plant similarity to the reference ecosystem, erosion control, and soil C storage and N accumulation. Changes in plant community composition along the successional gradient exerted the strongest influence on these indicators. High BSC cover was associated with high soil stability, and high soil microbial functional diversity from late-successional stages was associated with high soil fertility. Contrary to our expectations, the indirect effects of plants, mediated by either BSCs or soil microorganisms, were very weak in both regions, suggesting a minor role for plant-soil interactions upon ecosystem development indicators over long periods. Our results suggest that natural vegetation dynamics effectively improved ecosystem development within a time frame of 20 years in the grasslands evaluated. They also indicate that this time could be shortened if management actions focus on: (1) maintaining wellconserved natural areas close to roadsides to enhance plant compositional changes towards late

  11. Initial shifts in nitrogen impact on ecosystem carbon fluxes in an alpine meadow: patterns and causes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Song, Bing; Sun, Jian; Zhou, Qingping; Zong, Ning; Li, Linghao; Niu, Shuli

    2017-09-01

    Increases in nitrogen (N) deposition can greatly stimulate ecosystem net carbon (C) sequestration through positive N-induced effects on plant productivity. However, how net ecosystem CO2 exchange (NEE) and its components respond to different N addition rates remains unclear. Using an N addition gradient experiment (six levels: 0, 2, 4, 8, 16, 32 gN m-2 yr-1) in an alpine meadow on the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau, we explored the responses of different ecosystem C fluxes to an N addition gradient and revealed mechanisms underlying the dynamic responses. Results showed that NEE, ecosystem respiration (ER), and gross ecosystem production (GEP) all increased linearly with N addition rates in the first year of treatment but shifted to N saturation responses in the second year with the highest NEE (-7.77 ± 0.48 µmol m-2 s-1) occurring under an N addition rate of 8 gN m-2 yr-1. The saturation responses of NEE and GEP were caused by N-induced accumulation of standing litter, which limited light availability for plant growth under high N addition. The saturation response of ER was mainly due to an N-induced saturation response of aboveground plant respiration and decreasing soil microbial respiration along the N addition gradient, while decreases in soil microbial respiration under high N addition were caused by N-induced reductions in soil pH. We also found that various components of ER, including aboveground plant respiration, soil respiration, root respiration, and microbial respiration, responded differentially to the N addition gradient. These results reveal temporal dynamics of N impacts and the rapid shift in ecosystem C fluxes from N limitation to N saturation. Our findings bring evidence of short-term initial shifts in responses of ecosystem C fluxes to increases in N deposition, which should be considered when predicting long-term changes in ecosystem net C sequestration.

  12. Effects of heavy metals on soil microbial community

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chu, Dian

    2018-02-01

    Soil is one of the most important environmental natural resources for human beings living, which is of great significance to the quality of ecological environment and human health. The study of the function of arable soil microbes exposed to heavy metal pollution for a long time has a very important significance for the usage of farmland soil. In this paper, the effects of heavy metals on soil microbial community were reviewed. The main contents were as follows: the effects of soil microbes on soil ecosystems; the effects of heavy metals on soil microbial activity, soil enzyme activities and the composition of soil microbial community. In addition, a brief description of main methods of heavy metal detection for soil pollution is given, and the means of researching soil microbial community composition are introduced as well. Finally, it is concluded that the study of soil microbial community can well reflect the degree of soil heavy metal pollution and the impact of heavy metal pollution on soil ecology.

  13. Exploring the Impacts of Anthropogenic Disturbance on Seawater and Sediment Microbial Communities in Korean Coastal Waters Using Metagenomics Analysis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nam-Il Won

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available The coastal ecosystems are considered as one of the most dynamic and vulnerable environments under various anthropogenic developments and the effects of climate change. Variations in the composition and diversity of microbial communities may be a good indicator for determining whether the marine ecosystems are affected by complex forcing stressors. DNA sequence-based metagenomics has recently emerged as a promising tool for analyzing the structure and diversity of microbial communities based on environmental DNA (eDNA. However, few studies have so far been performed using this approach to assess the impacts of human activities on the microbial communities in marine systems. In this study, using metagenomic DNA sequencing (16S ribosomal RNA gene, we analyzed and compared seawater and sediment communities between sand mining and control (natural sites in southern coastal waters of Korea to assess whether anthropogenic activities have significantly affected the microbial communities. The sand mining sites harbored considerably lower levels of microbial diversities in the surface seawater community during spring compared with control sites. Moreover, the sand mining areas had distinct microbial taxonomic group compositions, particularly during spring season. The microbial groups detected solely in the sediment load/dredging areas (e.g., Marinobacter, Alcanivorax, Novosphingobium are known to be involved in degradation of toxic chemicals such as hydrocarbon, oil, and aromatic compounds, and they also contain potential pathogens. This study highlights the versatility of metagenomics in monitoring and diagnosing the impacts of human disturbance on the environmental health of marine ecosystems from eDNA.

  14. Final technical report. Can microbial functional traits predict the response and resilience of decomposition to global change?

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Allison, Steven D. [Univ. of California, Irvine, CA (United States)

    2015-09-24

    The role of specific micro-organisms in the carbon cycle, and their responses to environmental change, are unknown in most ecosystems. This knowledge gap limits scientists’ ability to predict how important ecosystem processes, like soil carbon storage and loss, will change with climate and other environmental factors. The investigators addressed this knowledge gap by transplanting microbial communities from different environments into new environments and measuring the response of community composition and carbon cycling over time. Using state-of-the-art sequencing techniques, computational tools, and nanotechnology, the investigators showed that microbial communities on decomposing plant material shift dramatically with natural and experimentally-imposed drought. Microbial communities also shifted in response to added nitrogen, but the effects were smaller. These changes had implications for carbon cycling, with lower rates of carbon loss under drought conditions, and changes in the efficiency of decomposition with nitrogen addition. Even when transplanted into the same conditions, microbial communities from different environments remained distinct in composition and functioning for up to one year. Changes in functioning were related to differences in enzyme gene content across different microbial groups. Computational approaches developed for this project allowed the conclusions to be tested more broadly in other ecosystems, and new computer models will facilitate the prediction of microbial traits and functioning across environments. The data and models resulting from this project benefit the public by improving the ability to predict how microbial communities and carbon cycling functions respond to climate change, nutrient enrichment, and other large-scale environmental changes.

  15. Ecosystem Management. A Management View

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Ravn-Jonsen, Lars

    The need for management of the marine ecosystem using a broad perspective has been recommended under a variety of names. This paper uses the term Ecosystem Management, which is seen as a convergence between the ecological idea of an organisational hierarchy and the idea of strategic planning...... with a planning hierarchy---with the ecosystem being the strategic planning level. Management planning requires, in order to establish a quantifiable means and ends chain, that the goals at the ecosystem level can be linked to operational levels; ecosystem properties must therefore be reducible to lower...... organisational levels. Emergence caused by constraints at both the component and system levels gives rise to phenomena that can create links between the ecosystem and operational levels. To create these links, the ecosystem's functional elements must be grouped according to their functionality, ignoring any...

  16. Soil microbial biomass, activity and community composition along altitudinal gradients in the High Arctic (Billefjorden, Svalbard

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    P. Kotas

    2018-03-01

    Full Text Available The unique and fragile High Arctic ecosystems are vulnerable to global climate warming. The elucidation of factors driving microbial distribution and activity in arctic soils is essential for a comprehensive understanding of ecosystem functioning and its response to environmental change. The goals of this study were to investigate microbial biomass and activity, microbial community structure (MCS, and their environmental controls in soils along three elevational transects in the coastal mountains of Billefjorden, central Svalbard. Soils from four different altitudes (25, 275, 525 and 765 m above sea level were analyzed for a suite of characteristics including temperature regimes, organic matter content, base cation availability, moisture, pH, potential respiration, and microbial biomass and community structure using phospholipid fatty acids (PLFAs. We observed significant spatial heterogeneity of edaphic properties among transects, resulting in transect-specific effects of altitude on most soil parameters. We did not observe any clear elevation pattern in microbial biomass, and microbial activity revealed contrasting elevational patterns between transects. We found relatively large horizontal variability in MCS (i.e., between sites of corresponding elevation in different transects, mainly due to differences in the composition of bacterial PLFAs, but also a systematic altitudinal shift in MCS related to different habitat preferences of fungi and bacteria, which resulted in high fungi-to-bacteria ratios at the most elevated sites. The biological soil crusts on these most elevated, unvegetated sites can host microbial assemblages of a size and activity comparable to those of the arctic tundra ecosystem. The key environmental factors determining horizontal and vertical changes in soil microbial properties were soil pH, organic carbon content, soil moisture and Mg2+ availability.

  17. Microbial Indicators of Soil Quality under Different Land Use Systems in Subtropical Soils

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maharjan, M.

    2016-12-01

    Land-use change from native forest to intensive agricultural systems can negatively impact numerous soil parameters. Understanding the effects of forest ecosystem transformations on markers of long-term soil health is particularly important in rapidly developing regions such as Nepal, where unprecedented levels of agriculturally-driven deforestation have occurred in recent decades. However, the effects of widespread land use changes on soil quality in this region have yet to be properly characterized. Microbial indicators (soil microbial biomass, metabolic quotient and enzymes activities) are particularly suited to assessing the consequences of such ecosystem disturbances, as microbial communities are especially sensitive to environmental change. Thus, the aim of this study was to assess the effect of land use system; i.e. forest, organic and conventional farming, on soil quality in Chitwan, Nepal using markers of microbial community size and activity. Total organic C and N contents were higher in organic farming compared with conventional farming and forest, suggesting higher nutrient retention and soil preservation with organic farming practices compared to conventional. These differences in soil composition were reflected in the health of the soil microbial communities: Organic farm soil exhibited higher microbial biomass C, elevated β-glucosidase and chitinase activities, and a lower metabolic quotient relative to other soils, indicating a larger, more active, and less stressed microbial community, respectively. These results collectively demonstrate that application of organic fertilizers and organic residues positively influence nutrient availability, with subsequent improvements in soil quality and productivity. Furthermore, the sensitivity of microbial indicators to different management practices demonstrated in this study supports their use as effective markers of ecosystem disturbance in subtropical soils.

  18. Soil microbial biomass, activity and community composition along altitudinal gradients in the High Arctic (Billefjorden, Svalbard)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kotas, Petr; Šantrůčková, Hana; Elster, Josef; Kaštovská, Eva

    2018-03-01

    The unique and fragile High Arctic ecosystems are vulnerable to global climate warming. The elucidation of factors driving microbial distribution and activity in arctic soils is essential for a comprehensive understanding of ecosystem functioning and its response to environmental change. The goals of this study were to investigate microbial biomass and activity, microbial community structure (MCS), and their environmental controls in soils along three elevational transects in the coastal mountains of Billefjorden, central Svalbard. Soils from four different altitudes (25, 275, 525 and 765 m above sea level) were analyzed for a suite of characteristics including temperature regimes, organic matter content, base cation availability, moisture, pH, potential respiration, and microbial biomass and community structure using phospholipid fatty acids (PLFAs). We observed significant spatial heterogeneity of edaphic properties among transects, resulting in transect-specific effects of altitude on most soil parameters. We did not observe any clear elevation pattern in microbial biomass, and microbial activity revealed contrasting elevational patterns between transects. We found relatively large horizontal variability in MCS (i.e., between sites of corresponding elevation in different transects), mainly due to differences in the composition of bacterial PLFAs, but also a systematic altitudinal shift in MCS related to different habitat preferences of fungi and bacteria, which resulted in high fungi-to-bacteria ratios at the most elevated sites. The biological soil crusts on these most elevated, unvegetated sites can host microbial assemblages of a size and activity comparable to those of the arctic tundra ecosystem. The key environmental factors determining horizontal and vertical changes in soil microbial properties were soil pH, organic carbon content, soil moisture and Mg2+ availability.

  19. Farm management, not soil microbial diversity, controls nutrient loss from smallholder tropical agriculture

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stephen A Wood

    2015-03-01

    Full Text Available Tropical smallholder agriculture supports the livelihoods of over 900 million of the world’s poorest people. This form of agriculture is undergoing rapid transformation in nutrient cycling pathways as international development efforts strongly promote greater use of mineral fertilizers to increase crop yields. These changes in nutrient availability may alter the composition of microbial communities with consequences for rates of biogeochemical processes that control nutrient losses to the environment. Ecological theory suggests that altered microbial diversity will strongly influence processes performed by relatively few microbial taxa, such as denitrification and hence nitrogen losses as nitrous oxide, a powerful greenhouse gas. Whether this theory helps predict nutrient losses from agriculture depends on the relative effects of microbial community change and increased nutrient availability on ecosystem processes. We find that mineral and organic nutrient addition to smallholder farms in Kenya alters the taxonomic and functional diversity of soil microbes. However, we find that the direct effects of farm management on both denitrification and carbon mineralization are greater than indirect effects through changes in the taxonomic and functional diversity of microbial communities. Changes in functional diversity are strongly coupled to changes in specific functional genes involved in denitrification, suggesting that it is the expression, rather than abundance, of key functional genes that can serve as an indicator of ecosystem process rates. Our results thus suggest that widely used broad summary statistics of microbial diversity based on DNA may be inappropriate for linking microbial communities to ecosystem processes in certain applied settings. Our results also raise doubts about the relative control of microbial composition compared to direct effects of management on nutrient losses in applied settings such as tropical agriculture.

  20. An integrated study to analyze soil microbial community structure and metabolic potential in two forest types.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Yuguang; Cong, Jing; Lu, Hui; Yang, Caiyun; Yang, Yunfeng; Zhou, Jizhong; Li, Diqiang

    2014-01-01

    Soil microbial metabolic potential and ecosystem function have received little attention owing to difficulties in methodology. In this study, we selected natural mature forest and natural secondary forest and analyzed the soil microbial community and metabolic potential combing the high-throughput sequencing and GeoChip technologies. Phylogenetic analysis based on 16S rRNA sequencing showed that one known archaeal phylum and 15 known bacterial phyla as well as unclassified phylotypes were presented in these forest soils, and Acidobacteria, Protecobacteria, and Actinobacteria were three of most abundant phyla. The detected microbial functional gene groups were related to different biogeochemical processes, including carbon degradation, carbon fixation, methane metabolism, nitrogen cycling, phosphorus utilization, sulfur cycling, etc. The Shannon index for detected functional gene probes was significantly higher (PThe regression analysis showed that a strong positive (Pthe soil microbial functional gene diversity and phylogenetic diversity. Mantel test showed that soil oxidizable organic carbon, soil total nitrogen and cellulose, glucanase, and amylase activities were significantly linked (Pthe relative abundance of corresponded functional gene groups. Variance partitioning analysis showed that a total of 81.58% of the variation in community structure was explained by soil chemical factors, soil temperature, and plant diversity. Therefore, the positive link of soil microbial structure and composition to functional activity related to ecosystem functioning was existed, and the natural secondary forest soil may occur the high microbial metabolic potential. Although the results can't directly reflect the actual microbial populations and functional activities, this study provides insight into the potential activity of the microbial community and associated feedback responses of the terrestrial ecosystem to environmental changes.

  1. Environmental bacteriophages : viruses of microbes in aquatic ecosystems

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Télesphore eSIME - NGANDO

    2014-07-01

    Full Text Available Since the discovery 2-3 decades ago that viruses of microbes are abundant in marine ecosystems, viral ecology has grown increasingly to reach the status of a full scientific discipline in environmental sciences. A dedicated ISVM society, the International Society for Viruses of Microorganisms (http://www.isvm.org/, was recently launched. Increasing studies in viral ecology are sources of novel knowledge related to the biodiversity of living things, the functioning of ecosystems, and the evolution of the cellular world. This is because viruses are perhaps the most diverse, abundant, and ubiquitous biological entities in the biosphere, although local environmental conditions enrich for certain viral types through selective pressure. They exhibit various lifestyles that intimately depend on the deep-cellular mechanisms, and are ultimately replicated by members of all three domains of cellular life (Bacteria, Eukarya, Archaea, as well as by giant viruses of some eukaryotic cells. This establishes viral parasites as microbial killers but also as cell partners or metabolic manipulators in microbial ecology. The present chapter sought to review the literature on the diversity and functional roles of viruses of microbes in environmental microbiology, focusing primarily on prokaryotic viruses (i.e. phages in aquatic ecosystems, which form the bulk of our knowledge in modern environmental viral ecology.

  2. Groundwater Ecosystems Vary with Land Use across a Mixed Agricultural Landscape.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Korbel, K L; Hancock, P J; Serov, P; Lim, R P; Hose, G C

    2013-01-01

    Changes in surface land use may threaten groundwater quality and ecosystem integrity, particularly in shallow aquifers where links between groundwater and surface activities are most intimate. In this study we examine the response of groundwater ecosystem to agricultural land uses in the shallow alluvial aquifer of the Gwydir River valley, New South Wales, Australia. We compared groundwater quality and microbial and stygofauna assemblages among sites under irrigated cropping, non-irrigated cropping and grazing land uses. Stygofauna abundance and richness was greatest at irrigated sites, with the composition of the assemblage suggestive of disturbance. Microbial assemblages and water quality also varied with land use. Our study demonstrates significant differences in the composition of groundwater ecosystems in areas with different surface land use, and highlights the utility of groundwater biota for biomonitoring, particularly in agricultural landscapes. Copyright © by the American Society of Agronomy, Crop Science Society of America, and Soil Science Society of America, Inc.

  3. Dissolved nitrogen transformations and microbial community structure in the organic layer of forest soils in Olkiluoto in 2006

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Potila, H.; Sarjala, T.; Aro, L.

    2007-02-01

    Carbon (C) and nitrogen (N) cycles in the ecosystem are strongly coupled. Biomass, structure and activity of the bacterial and fungal community are the key factors influencing C and N cycles. Changes in the function of soil microbial community can be a signal of plant responses to environmental changes. Dissolved N compounds, microbial biomass, microbial activity, fungal community structure and functional diversity of microbial communities were measured in September 2006 from five monitoring plots on Olkiluoto to assess information about soil microbial community structure and activity. High within and between variation in the studied plots were detected. However, in this study the values and their variation in the level of N mineralisation, dissolved N compounds, fungal biomass and microbial community structure in the studied plots were within a normal range in comparison with other published data of similar forest types in Finland. (orig.)

  4. Ecosystem-based management and the wealth of ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yun, Seong Do; Hutniczak, Barbara; Abbott, Joshua K.; Fenichel, Eli P.

    2017-01-01

    We merge inclusive wealth theory with ecosystem-based management (EBM) to address two challenges in the science of sustainable management of ecosystems. First, we generalize natural capital theory to approximate realized shadow prices for multiple interacting natural capital stocks (species) making up an ecosystem. These prices enable ecosystem components to be better included in wealth-based sustainability measures. We show that ecosystems are best envisioned as portfolios of assets, where the portfolio’s performance depends on the performance of the underlying assets influenced by their interactions. Second, changes in ecosystem wealth provide an attractive headline index for EBM, regardless of whether ecosystem wealth is ultimately included in a broader wealth index. We apply our approach to the Baltic Sea ecosystem, focusing on the interacting community of three commercially important fish species: cod, herring, and sprat. Our results incorporate supporting services embodied in the shadow price of a species through its trophic interactions. Prey fish have greater shadow prices than expected based on market value, and predatory fish have lower shadow prices than expected based on market value. These results are because correctly measured shadow prices reflect interdependence and limits to substitution. We project that ecosystem wealth in the Baltic Sea fishery ecosystem generally increases conditional on the EBM-inspired multispecies maximum sustainable yield management beginning in 2017, whereas continuing the current single-species management generally results in declining wealth. PMID:28588145

  5. Ecosystem-based management and the wealth of ecosystems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yun, Seong Do; Hutniczak, Barbara; Abbott, Joshua K; Fenichel, Eli P

    2017-06-20

    We merge inclusive wealth theory with ecosystem-based management (EBM) to address two challenges in the science of sustainable management of ecosystems. First, we generalize natural capital theory to approximate realized shadow prices for multiple interacting natural capital stocks (species) making up an ecosystem. These prices enable ecosystem components to be better included in wealth-based sustainability measures. We show that ecosystems are best envisioned as portfolios of assets, where the portfolio's performance depends on the performance of the underlying assets influenced by their interactions. Second, changes in ecosystem wealth provide an attractive headline index for EBM, regardless of whether ecosystem wealth is ultimately included in a broader wealth index. We apply our approach to the Baltic Sea ecosystem, focusing on the interacting community of three commercially important fish species: cod, herring, and sprat. Our results incorporate supporting services embodied in the shadow price of a species through its trophic interactions. Prey fish have greater shadow prices than expected based on market value, and predatory fish have lower shadow prices than expected based on market value. These results are because correctly measured shadow prices reflect interdependence and limits to substitution. We project that ecosystem wealth in the Baltic Sea fishery ecosystem generally increases conditional on the EBM-inspired multispecies maximum sustainable yield management beginning in 2017, whereas continuing the current single-species management generally results in declining wealth.

  6. FATTY ACID STABLE ISOTOPE INDICATORS OF MICROBIAL CARBON SOURCE IN TROPICAL SOILS

    Science.gov (United States)

    The soil microbial community plays an important role in tropical ecosystem functioning because of its importance in the soil organic matter (SOM) cycle. We have measured the stable carbon isotopic ratio (delta13C) of individual phospholipid fatty acids (PLFAs) in a variety of tr...

  7. Build your own soil: exploring microfluidics to create microbial habitat structures

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aleklett, Kristin; Kiers, E Toby; Ohlsson, Pelle; Shimizu, Thomas S; Caldas, Victor EA; Hammer, Edith C

    2018-01-01

    Soil is likely the most complex ecosystem on earth. Despite the global importance and extraordinary diversity of soils, they have been notoriously challenging to study. We show how pioneering microfluidic techniques provide new ways of studying soil microbial ecology by allowing simulation and manipulation of chemical conditions and physical structures at the microscale in soil model habitats. PMID:29135971

  8. Responses of redwood soil microbial community structure and N transformations to climate change

    Science.gov (United States)

    Damon C. Bradbury; Mary K. Firestone

    2012-01-01

    Soil microorganisms perform critical ecosystem functions, including decomposition, nitrogen (N) mineralization and nitrification. Soil temperature and water availability can be critical determinants of the rates of these processes as well as microbial community composition and structure. This research examined how changes in climate affect bacterial and fungal...

  9. Board-invited review: Rumen microbiology: Leading the way in microbial ecology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Robert Hungate, considered the father of rumen microbiology, was the first to initiate a systematic exploration of the microbial ecosystem of the rumen, but he was not alone. The techniques he developed to isolate and identify cellulose-digesting bacteria from the rumen have had a major impact not ...

  10. Microbial Eco-Physiology of the human intestinal tract: a flow cytometric approach

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Amor, Ben K.

    2004-01-01

    This thesis describes a multifaceted approach to further enhance our view of the complex human intestinal microbial ecosystem. This approach combines me advantages of flow cyrometry (FCM), a single cell and high-throughput technology, and molecular techniques that have proven themselves to be

  11. Soil microbial biomass, activity and community composition along altitudinal gradients in the High Arctic (Billefjorden, Svalbard)

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Kotas, P.; Šantrůčková, H.; Elster, Josef; Kaštovská, E.

    2018-01-01

    Roč. 15, č. 6 (2018), s. 1879-1894 ISSN 1726-4170 R&D Projects: GA MŠk(CZ) LM2015075 Grant - others:GA MŠk LM2010009 Institutional support: RVO:67985939 Keywords : ecosystem * High Arctic * soil microbial biomass Subject RIV: EH - Ecology, Behaviour OBOR OECD: Ecology Impact factor: 3.851, year: 2016

  12. "Bugs on Bugs": An Inquiry-Based, Collaborative Activity to Learn Arthropod & Microbial Biodiversity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lampert, Evan C.; Morgan, Jeanelle M.

    2015-01-01

    Diverse communities of arthropods and microbes provide humans with essential ecosystem goods and services. Arthropods are the most diverse and abundant macroscopic animals on the planet, and many remain to be discovered. Much less is known about microbial diversity, despite their importance as free-living species and as symbionts. We created…

  13. Winter climate change affects growing-season soil microbial biomass and activity in northern hardwood forests

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jorge Durán; Jennifer L. Morse; Peter M. Groffman; John L. Campbell; Lynn M. Christenson; Charles T. Driscoll; Timothy J. Fahey; Melany C. Fisk; Myron J. Mitchell; Pamela H. Templer

    2014-01-01

    Understanding the responses of terrestrial ecosystems to global change remains a major challenge of ecological research. We exploited a natural elevation gradient in a northern hardwood forest to determine how reductions in snow accumulation, expected with climate change, directly affect dynamics of soil winter frost, and indirectly soil microbial biomass and activity...

  14. Soil Carbon Inputs and Ecosystem Respiration: a Field Priming Experiment in Arctic Coastal Tundra

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vaughn, L. S.; Zhu, B.; Bimueller, C.; Curtis, J. B.; Chafe, O.; Bill, M.; Abramoff, R. Z.; Torn, M. S.

    2016-12-01

    In Arctic ecosystems, climate change is expected to influence soil carbon stocks through changes in both plant carbon inputs and organic matter decomposition. This study addresses the potential for a priming effect, an interaction between these changes in which root-derived carbon inputs alter SOM decomposition rates via microbial biomass increases, co-metabolism of substrates, induced nitrogen limitation, or other possible mechanisms. The priming effect has been observed in numerous laboratory and greenhouse experiments, and is increasingly included in ecosystem models. Few studies, however, have evaluated the priming effect with in situ field manipulations. In a two-year field experiment in Barrow, Alaska, we tested for a priming effect under natural environmental variability. In September 2014 and August 2015, we added 6.1g of 13C-labeled glucose to 25cm diameter mesocosms, 15cm below the soil surface in the mineral soil layer. Over the following month, we quantified effects on the rate and temperature sensitivity of native (non-glucose) ecosystem respiration and GPP. Following the 2014 treatment, soil samples were collected at 1 and 3 weeks for microbial biomass carbon and 13C/12C analysis, and ion exchange membranes were buried for one week to assess nitrate and ammonium availability. In contrast with many laboratory incubation studies using soils from a broad range of ecosystems, we observed no significant priming effect. In spite of a clear signal of 13C-glucose decomposition in respired CO2 and microbial biomass, we detected no treatment effect on background ecosystem respiration or total microbial biomass carbon. Our findings suggest that glucose taken up by microbes was not used for production of additional SOM-decomposing enzymes, possibly due to stoichiometric limitations on enzyme production. To best inform models representing complex and dynamic ecosystems, this study calls for further research relating theory, laboratory findings, and field

  15. Linking the development and functioning of a carnivorous pitcher plant's microbial digestive community.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Armitage, David W

    2017-11-01

    Ecosystem development theory predicts that successional turnover in community composition can influence ecosystem functioning. However, tests of this theory in natural systems are made difficult by a lack of replicable and tractable model systems. Using the microbial digestive associates of a carnivorous pitcher plant, I tested hypotheses linking host age-driven microbial community development to host functioning. Monitoring the yearlong development of independent microbial digestive communities in two pitcher plant populations revealed a number of trends in community succession matching theoretical predictions. These included mid-successional peaks in bacterial diversity and metabolic substrate use, predictable and parallel successional trajectories among microbial communities, and convergence giving way to divergence in community composition and carbon substrate use. Bacterial composition, biomass, and diversity positively influenced the rate of prey decomposition, which was in turn positively associated with a host leaf's nitrogen uptake efficiency. Overall digestive performance was greatest during late summer. These results highlight links between community succession and ecosystem functioning and extend succession theory to host-associated microbial communities.

  16. Soil microbial respiration beneath Stipa tenacissima L. and in surrounding bare soil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Irena Novosádová

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available Open steppes dominated by Stipa tenacissima L. constitute one of the most representative ecosystems of the semi-arid zones of Eastern Mediterranean Basin (Iberian Peninsula, North of Africa. Ecosystem functioning of these steppes is strongly related to the spatial pattern of grass tussocks. Soils beneath Stipa tenacissima L. grass show different fertility and different microclimatic conditions than in surrounding bare soil. The objective of this study was to assess the effect of Stipa tenacissima L. on the key soil microbial activities under controlled incubation conditions (basal and potential respiration. Basal and potential microbial respirations in the soils beneath Stipa tenacissima L. were, in general, not significantly different from the bare soils. The differences were less than 10%. Significantly less ethylene produced by microbial activity in soils beneath Stipa tenacissima L. after the addition of glucose could indicate the dependence of rhizospheric microbial communities on available carbon compounds. It can be concluded, that the soil respiration in semi-arid Mediterranean ecosystems is not necessarily associated with the patchy plant distribution and that some microbial activities characteristics can be unexpectedly homogenous.

  17. Microbial Life of North Pacific Oceanic Crust

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schumann, G.; Koos, R.; Manz, W.; Reitner, J.

    2003-12-01

    Information on the microbiology of the deep subsurface is necessary in order to understand the factors controlling the rate and extent of the microbially catalyzed reactions that influence the geophysical properties of these environments. Drilling into 45-Ma oceanic basaltic crust in a deepwater environment during ODP Leg 200 provided a promising opportunity to explore the abundance, diversity and activity of micro-organisms. The combined use of culture-independent molecular phylogenetic analyses and enrichment culture techniques is an advantageous approach in investigating subsurface microbial ecosystems. Enrichment culture methods allow the evaluation of potential activities and functions. Microbiological investigations revealed few aerobic cultivable, in part hitherto unknown, micro-organisms in deep submarine sediments and basaltic lava flows. 16S rDNA sequencing of isolates from sediment revealed the next relatives to be members of the genera Halomonas, Pseudomonas, and Lactobacillus. Within the Pseudomonadaceae the closest relative is Acinetobacter sp., which was isolated from a deep subsurface environment. The next phylogenetical relatives within the Halomonadaceae are bacteria typically isolated from Soda lakes, which are considered as model of early life conditions. Interestingly, not only sediment bacteria could be obtained in pure culture. Aerobic strains could also be successfully isolated from the massive tholeiitic basalt layer at a depth of 76.16 mbsf (46 m below the sediment/basement contact). These particular isolates are gram-positive with low G+C content of DNA, phylogenetically affiliated to the phylum Firmicutes. The closest neighbors are e.g. a marine Bacillus isolated from the Gulf of Mexico and a low G+C gram-positive bacterium, which belongs to the microbial flora in the deepest sea mud of the Mariana Trench, isolated from a depth of 10,897 m. Based on the similarity values, the isolates represent hitherto undescribed species of the deep

  18. Biotic interactions reduce microbial carbon use efficiency

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bradford, M.; Maynard, D. S.

    2017-12-01

    The efficiency by which microbes decompose organic matter governs the amount of carbon that is retained in microbial biomass versus lost to the atmosphere as respiration. This carbon use efficiency (CUE) is affected by various abiotic conditions, such as temperature and nutrient availability. In biogeochemical model simulations, CUE is a key variable regulating how much soil carbon is stored or lost from ecosystems under simulated global changes, such as climate warming. Theoretically, the physiological costs of biotic interactions such as competition should likewise alter CUE, yet the direction and magnitude of these costs are untested. Here we conduct a microcosm experiment to quantify how competitive interactions among saprotrophic fungi alter growth, respiration, and CUE. Free-living decomposer fungi representing a broad range of traits and phylogenies were grown alone, in pairwise competition, and in multi-species (up to 15) communities. By combing culturing and stable carbon isotope approaches, we could resolve the amount of carbon substrate allocated to fungal biomass versus respiration, and so estimate CUE. By then comparing individual performance to community-level outcomes, we show that species interactions induce consistent declines in CUE, regardless of abiotic conditions. Pairwise competition lowers CUE by as much as 25%, with the magnitude of these costs equal to or greater than the observed variation across abiotic conditions. However, depending on the competitive network structure, increasing species richness led to consistent gains or declines in CUE. Our results suggest that the extent to which microbial-mediated carbon fluxes respond to environmental change may be influenced strongly by competitive interactions. As such, knowledge of abiotic conditions and community composition is necessary to confidently project CUE and hence ecosystem carbon dynamics.

  19. Coupled cryoconite ecosystem structure-function relationships are revealed by comparing bacterial communities in alpine and Arctic glaciers

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Edwards, Arwyn; Mur, Luis A. J.; Girdwood, Susan E.

    2014-01-01

    Cryoconite holes are known as foci of microbial diversity and activity on polar glacier surfaces, but are virtually unexplored microbial habitats in alpine regions. In addition, whether cryoconite community structure reflects ecosystem functionality is poorly understood. Terminal restriction...... revealed Proteobacteria were particularly abundant, with Cyanobacteria likely acting as ecosystem engineers in both alpine and Arctic cryoconite communities. However, despite these generalities, significant differences in bacterial community structures, compositions and metabolomes are found between alpine...... fragment length polymorphism and Fourier transform infrared metabolite fingerprinting of cryoconite from glaciers in Austria, Greenland and Svalbard demonstrated cryoconite bacterial communities are closely correlated with cognate metabolite fingerprints. The influence of bacterial-associated fatty acids...

  20. Sustainable web ecosystem design

    CERN Document Server

    O'Toole, Greg

    2013-01-01

    This book is about the process of creating web-based systems (i.e., websites, content, etc.) that consider each of the parts, the modules, the organisms - binary or otherwise - that make up a balanced, sustainable web ecosystem. In the current media-rich environment, a website is more than a collection of relative html documents of text and images on a static desktop computer monitor. There is now an unlimited combination of screens, devices, platforms, browsers, locations, versions, users, and exabytes of data with which to interact. Written in a highly approachable, practical style, this boo

  1. Molecular and Microbial Mechanisms Increasing Soil C Storage Under Future Rates of Anthropogenic N Deposition

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Zak, Donald R. [Univ. of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI (United States)

    2017-11-17

    A growing body of evidence reveals that anthropogenic N deposition can reduce the microbial decay of plant detritus and increase soil C storage across a wide range of terrestrial ecosystems. This aspect of global change has the potential to constrain the accumulation of anthropogenic CO2 in the Earth’s atmosphere, and hence slow the pace of climate warming. The molecular and microbial mechanisms underlying this biogeochemical response are not understood, and they are not a component of any coupled climate-biogeochemical model estimating ecosystem C storage, and hence, the future climate of an N-enriched Earth. Here, we report the use of genomic-enabled approaches to identify the molecular underpinnings of the microbial mechanisms leading to greater soil C storage in response to anthropogenic N deposition, thereby enabling us to better anticipate changes in soil C storage.

  2. Ash in fire affected ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pereira, Paulo; Jordan, Antonio; Cerda, Artemi; Martin, Deborah

    2015-04-01

    Ash in fire affected ecosystems Ash lefts an important footprint in the ecosystems and has a key role in the immediate period after the fire (Bodi et al., 2014; Pereira et al., 2015). It is an important source of nutrients for plant recover (Pereira et al., 2014a), protects soil from erosion and controls soil hydrological process as runoff, infiltration and water repellency (Cerda and Doerr, 2008; Bodi et al., 2012, Pereira et al., 2014b). Despite the recognition of ash impact and contribution to ecosystems recuperation, it is assumed that we still have little knowledge about the implications of ash in fire affected areas. Regarding this situation we wanted to improve our knowledge in this field and understand the state of the research about fire ash around world. The special issue about "The role of ash in fire affected ecosystems" currently in publication in CATENA born from the necessity of joint efforts, identify research gaps, and discuss future cooperation in this interdisciplinary field. This is the first special issue about fire ash in the international literature. In total it will be published 10 papers focused in different aspects of the impacts of ash in fire affected ecosystems from several parts of the world: • Fire reconstruction using charcoal particles (Burjachs and Espositio, in press) • Ash slurries impact on rheological properties of Runoff (Burns and Gabet, in press) • Methods to analyse ash conductivity and sorbtivity in the laboratory and in the field (Balfour et al., in press) • Termogravimetric and hydrological properties of ash (Dlapa et al. in press) • Effects of ash cover in water infiltration (Leon et al., in press) • Impact of ash in volcanic soils (Dorta Almenar et al., in press; Escuday et al., in press) • Ash PAH and Chemical extracts (Silva et al., in press) • Microbiology (Barreiro et al., in press; Lombao et al., in press) We believe that this special issue will contribute importantly to the better understanding of

  3. Rumen microbial genomics

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Morrison, M.; Nelson, K.E.

    2005-01-01

    Improving microbial degradation of plant cell wall polysaccharides remains one of the highest priority goals for all livestock enterprises, including the cattle herds and draught animals of developing countries. The North American Consortium for Genomics of Fibrolytic Ruminal Bacteria was created to promote the sequencing and comparative analysis of rumen microbial genomes, offering the potential to fully assess the genetic potential in a functional and comparative fashion. It has been found that the Fibrobacter succinogenes genome encodes many more endoglucanases and cellodextrinases than previously isolated, and several new processive endoglucanases have been identified by genome and proteomic analysis of Ruminococcus albus, in addition to a variety of strategies for its adhesion to fibre. The ramifications of acquiring genome sequence data for rumen microorganisms are profound, including the potential to elucidate and overcome the biochemical, ecological or physiological processes that are rate limiting for ruminal fibre degradation. (author)

  4. Microbial Genomes Multiply

    Science.gov (United States)

    Doolittle, Russell F.

    2002-01-01

    The publication of the first complete sequence of a bacterial genome in 1995 was a signal event, underscored by the fact that the article has been cited more than 2,100 times during the intervening seven years. It was a marvelous technical achievement, made possible by automatic DNA-sequencing machines. The feat is the more impressive in that complete genome sequencing has now been adopted in many different laboratories around the world. Four years ago in these columns I examined the situation after a dozen microbial genomes had been completed. Now, with upwards of 60 microbial genome sequences determined and twice that many in progress, it seems reasonable to assess just what is being learned. Are new concepts emerging about how cells work? Have there been practical benefits in the fields of medicine and agriculture? Is it feasible to determine the genomic sequence of every bacterial species on Earth? The answers to these questions maybe Yes, Perhaps, and No, respectively.

  5. Degradation of microbial polyesters.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tokiwa, Yutaka; Calabia, Buenaventurada P

    2004-08-01

    Microbial polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHAs), one of the largest groups of thermoplastic polyesters are receiving much attention as biodegradable substitutes for non-degradable plastics. Poly(D-3-hydroxybutyrate) (PHB) is the most ubiquitous and most intensively studied PHA. Microorganisms degrading these polyesters are widely distributed in various environments. Although various PHB-degrading microorganisms and PHB depolymerases have been studied and characterized, there are still many groups of microorganisms and enzymes with varying properties awaiting various applications. Distributions of PHB-degrading microorganisms, factors affecting the biodegradability of PHB, and microbial and enzymatic degradation of PHB are discussed in this review. We also propose an application of a new isolated, thermophilic PHB-degrading microorganism, Streptomyces strain MG, for producing pure monomers of PHA and useful chemicals, including D-3-hydroxycarboxylic acids such as D-3-hydroxybutyric acid, by enzymatic degradation of PHB.

  6. Global Microbial Identifier

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Wielinga, Peter; Hendriksen, Rene S.; Aarestrup, Frank Møller

    2017-01-01

    ) will likely also enable a much better understanding of the pathogenesis of the infection and the molecular basis of the host response to infection. But the full potential of these advances will only transpire if the data in this area become transferable and thereby comparable, preferably in open-source...... of microorganisms, for the identification of relevant genes and for the comparison of genomes to detect outbreaks and emerging pathogens. To harness the full potential of WGS, a shared global database of genomes linked to relevant metadata and the necessary software tools needs to be generated, hence the global...... microbial identifier (GMI) initiative. This tool will ideally be used in amongst others in the diagnosis of infectious diseases in humans and animals, in the identification of microorganisms in food and environment, and to track and trace microbial agents in all arenas globally. This will require...

  7. Ecosystem productivity is associated with bacterial phylogenetic distance in surface marine waters.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Galand, Pierre E; Salter, Ian; Kalenitchenko, Dimitri

    2015-12-01

    Understanding the link between community diversity and ecosystem function is a fundamental aspect of ecology. Systematic losses in biodiversity are widely acknowledged but the impact this may exert on ecosystem functioning remains ambiguous. There is growing evidence of a positive relationship between species richness and ecosystem productivity for terrestrial macro-organisms, but similar links for marine micro-organisms, which help drive global climate, are unclear. Community manipulation experiments show both positive and negative relationships for microbes. These previous studies rely, however, on artificial communities and any links between the full diversity of active bacterial communities in the environment, their phylogenetic relatedness and ecosystem function remain hitherto unexplored. Here, we test the hypothesis that productivity is associated with diversity in the metabolically active fraction of microbial communities. We show in natural assemblages of active bacteria that communities containing more distantly related members were associated with higher bacterial production. The positive phylogenetic diversity-productivity relationship was independent of community diversity calculated as the Shannon index. From our long-term (7-year) survey of surface marine bacterial communities, we also found that similarly, productive communities had greater phylogenetic similarity to each other, further suggesting that the traits of active bacteria are an important predictor of ecosystem productivity. Our findings demonstrate that the evolutionary history of the active fraction of a microbial community is critical for understanding their role in ecosystem functioning. © 2015 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  8. Plant species and soil type cooperatively shape the structure and function of microbial communities in the rhizosphere.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Berg, Gabriele; Smalla, Kornelia

    2009-04-01

    The rhizosphere is of central importance not only for plant nutrition, health and quality but also for microorganism-driven carbon sequestration, ecosystem functioning and nutrient cycling in terrestrial ecosystems. A multitude of biotic and abiotic factors are assumed to influence the structural and functional diversity of microbial communities in the rhizosphere. In this review, recent studies on the influence of the two factors, plant species and soil type, on rhizosphere-associated microbial communities are discussed. Root exudates and the response of microorganisms to the latter as well as to root morphology were shown to shape rhizosphere microbial communities. All studies revealed that soil is the main reservoir for rhizosphere microorganisms. Many secrets of microbial life in the rhizosphere were recently uncovered due to the enormous progress in molecular and microscopic tools. Physiological and molecular data on the factors that drive selection processes in the rhizosphere are presented here. Furthermore, implications for agriculture, nature conservation and biotechnology will also be discussed.

  9. Radio-capacity of ecosystems

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kultakhmedov, Yu.; Kultakhmedova-Vyshnyakova, V.

    1997-01-01

    This paper consider a universal approach to ecosystems of different types, based on representation of their radio-capacity. The concept of ecosystem includes reproduction of components (bio-productivity) and conditions such as maintaining of environment quality. Radio-capacity in the case of radionuclide pollution appears in accumulation and redistribution of radionuclides in the ecosystem. As a result the radionuclides are redistributed and buried in soil or lake bottom sediments. Estimation models for the radio-capacity of water and terrestrial ecosystems are represented. The calculations of the radio-capacity factor of water ecosystems are performed, and the high radio-capacity of a freshwater reservoir (F=0.6-0.8) and extremely high radio-capacity of a reservoir cascade (F c =0.99) is shown material from the Dnieper's cascade reservoirs. The methods of radio-capacity estimation of agroecosystems, wood and marine ecosystems are developed. (authors)

  10. Spatial Distribution of Viruses Associated with Planktonic and Attached Microbial Communities in Hydrothermal Environments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nunoura, Takuro; Kazama, Hiromi; Noguchi, Takuroh; Inoue, Kazuhiro; Akashi, Hironori; Yamanaka, Toshiro; Toki, Tomohiro; Yamamoto, Masahiro; Furushima, Yasuo; Ueno, Yuichiro; Yamamoto, Hiroyuki; Takai, Ken

    2012-01-01

    Viruses play important roles in marine surface ecosystems, but little is known about viral ecology and virus-mediated processes in deep-sea hydrothermal microbial communities. In this study, we examined virus-like particle (VLP) abundances in planktonic and attached microbial communities, which occur in physical and chemical gradients in both deep and shallow submarine hydrothermal environments (mixing waters between hydrothermal fluids and ambient seawater and dense microbial communities attached to chimney surface areas or macrofaunal bodies and colonies). We found that viruses were widely distributed in a variety of hydrothermal microbial habitats, with the exception of the interior parts of hydrothermal chimney structures. The VLP abundance and VLP-to-prokaryote ratio (VPR) in the planktonic habitats increased as the ratio of hydrothermal fluid to mixing water increased. On the other hand, the VLP abundance in attached microbial communities was significantly and positively correlated with the whole prokaryotic abundance; however, the VPRs were always much lower than those for the surrounding hydrothermal waters. This is the first report to show VLP abundance in the attached microbial communities of submarine hydrothermal environments, which presented VPR values significantly lower than those in planktonic microbial communities reported before. These results suggested that viral lifestyles (e.g., lysogenic prevalence) and virus interactions with prokaryotes are significantly different among the planktonic and attached microbial communities that are developing in the submarine hydrothermal environments. PMID:22210205

  11. Recent advances in dental biofilm: impacts of microbial interactions on the biofilm ecology and pathogenesis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yung-Hua Li

    2017-05-01

    Full Text Available The human oral cavity is a complex ecosystem harboring hundreds species of microbes that are largely living on the tooth surfaces as dental biofilms. Most microbes in dental biofilms promote oral health by stimulating the immune system or by preventing invasion of pathogens. Species diversity, high cell density and close proximity of cells are typical of life in dental biofilms, where microbes interact with each other and develop complex interactions that can be either competitive or cooperative. Competition between species is a well-recognized ecological force to drive microbial metabolism, species diversity and evolution. However, it was not until recently that microbial cooperative activities are also recognized to play important roles in microbial physiology and ecology. Importantly, these interactions profoundly affect the overall biomass, function, diversity and the pathogenesis in dental biofilms. It is now recognized that every human body contains a personalized oral microbiome that is essential to maintaining the oral health. Remarkably, the indigenous species in dental biofilms often maintain a relatively stable and harmless relationship with the host, despite regular exposure to environmental perturbations and the host defense factors. Such stability or homeostasis results from a dynamic balance of microbial-microbial and microbial-host interactions. Under certain circumstances, however, the homeostasis may breakdown, predisposing a site to diseases. In this review, we describe several examples of microbial interactions and their impacts on the homeostasis and pathogenesis of dental biofilms. We hope to encourage research on microbial interactions in the regulation of the homeostasis in biofilms.

  12. Interactions of aquaculture, marine coastal ecosystems, and near-shore waters: A bibliography. Bibliographies and literature of agriculture (Final)

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hanfman, D.T.; Coleman, D.E.; Tibbitt, S.J.

    1991-01-01

    The bibliography contains selected literature citations on the interactions of aquaculture and marine coastal ecosystems. The focus is on aquaculture effluents and their impact on marine coastal ecosystems and waterways as well as the impact of pollutants on aquaculture development. Factors affecting these issues include domestic and industrial wastes, thermal discharges, acid rain, heavy metals, oil spills, and microbial contamination of marine waters and aquatic species. Coastal zone management, environmenal impact of aquaculture, and water quality issues are also included in the bibliography

  13. Soil Microbial Community Structure Evolution along Halophyte Succession in Bohai Bay Wetland

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mingyang Cong

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available It is urgent to recover Bohai Bay costal wetland ecosystem because of covering a large area of severe saline-alkali soil. To explore the relationship between halophyte herbaceous succession and microbial community structure, we chose four local communities which played an important role in improving soil microenvironment. We performed phospholipid fatty acid analysis, measured soil parameters, and evaluated shifts of microbial community structure. Results showed that microbial community structure changed significantly along succession and bacteria community was dominant. Total phospholipid fatty acid content increased in different successional stages but decreased with depth, with similar variations in bacterial and fungal biomass. Soil organic carbon and especially total nitrogen were positively correlated with microbial biomass. Colonization of pioneering salt-tolerant plants Suaeda glauca in saline-alkali bare land changed total soil microorganism content and composition. These results showed that belowground processes were strongly related with aboveground halophyte succession. Fungal/bacterial ratio, Gram-negative/Gram-positive bacteria ratio, total microbial biomass, and fungi and bacteria content could indicate the degree of succession stages in Bohai Bay wetland ecosystem. And also these findings demonstrated that microbial community biomass and composition evolved along with vegetation succession environmental variables.

  14. Increased resiliency and activity of microbial mediated carbon cycling enzymes in diversified bioenergy cropping systems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Upton, R.; Bach, E.; Hofmockel, K. S.

    2017-12-01

    Microbes are mediators of soil carbon (C) and are influenced in membership and activity by nitrogen (N) fertilization and inter-annual abiotic factors. Microbial communities and their extracellular enzyme activities (EEA) are important parameters that influence ecosystem C cycling properties and are often included in microbial explicit C cycling models. In an effort to generate model relevant, empirical findings, we investigated how both microbial community structure and C degrading enzyme activity are influenced by inter-annual variability and N inputs in bioenergy crops. Our study was performed at the Comparison of Biofuel Systems field-site from 2011 to 2014, in three bioenergy cropping systems, continuous corn (CC) and two restored prairies, both fertilized (FP) and unfertilized (P). We hypothesized microbial community structure would diverge during the prairie restoration, leading to changes in C cycling enzymes over time. Using a sequencing approach (16S and ITS) we determined the bacterial and fungal community structure response to the cropping system, fertilization, and inter-annual variability. Additionally, we used EEA of β-glucosidase, cellobiohydrolase, and β-xylosidase to determine inter-annual and ecosystem impacts on microbial activity. Our results show cropping system was a main effect for microbial community structure, with corn diverging from both prairies to be less diverse. Inter-annual changes showed that a drought occurring in 2012 significantly impacted microbial community structure in both the P and CC, decreasing microbial richness. However, FP increased in microbial richness, suggesting the application of N increased resiliency to drought. Similarly, the only year in which C cycling enzymes were impacted by ecosystem was 2012, with FP supporting higher potential enzymatic activity then CC and P. The highest EEA across all ecosystems occurred in 2014, suggesting the continued root biomass and litter build-up in this no till system

  15. Phosphate solubilization as a microbial strategy for promoting plant growth

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mayra Eleonora Beltrán Pineda

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Because of the constant application of chemical inputs in Agroecosystem, the cost of crop production and environmental quality of soil and water have been affected. Microorganisms carry out most biogeochemical cycles; therefore, their role is essential for agro ecosystem balance. One such functional group is the phosphate solubilizing microorganisms, which are recognized plant growth promoters. These microbial populations perform an important activity, since in many soils there are large reserves of insoluble phosphorus, as a result of fixing much of the phosphorus fertilizer applied, which cannot be assimilated by the plant. The phosphate solubilizing microorganisms use different solubilization mechanisms such as the production of organic acids, which solubilize theses insoluble phosphates in the rhizosphere region. Soluble phosphates are absorbed by the plant, which enhances their growth and productivity. By using these phosphate reserves in soils, application of chemical fertilizers is decreased, on the one hand, can again be fixed by ions Ca, Al or Fe making them insoluble and, by the other hand, increase the costs of crop production. Microbial populations have been widely studied in different types of ecosystems, both natural and Agroecosystem. Thanks to its effectiveness, in laboratory and field studies, the phosphate solubilizing phenotype is of great interest to microbial ecologists who have begun to establish the molecular basis of the traitr.

  16. Bioinformatic approaches reveal metagenomic characterization of soil microbial community.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zhuofei Xu

    Full Text Available As is well known, soil is a complex ecosystem harboring the most prokaryotic biodiversity on the Earth. In recent years, the advent of high-throughput sequencing techniques has greatly facilitated the progress of soil ecological studies. However, how to effectively understand the underlying biological features of large-scale sequencing data is a new challenge. In the present study, we used 33 publicly available metagenomes from diverse soil sites (i.e. grassland, forest soil, desert, Arctic soil, and mangrove sediment and integrated some state-of-the-art computational tools to explore the phylogenetic and functional characterizations of the microbial communities in soil. Microbial composition and metabolic potential in soils were comprehensively illustrated at the metagenomic level. A spectrum of metagenomic biomarkers containing 46 taxa and 33 metabolic modules were detected to be significantly differential that could be used as indicators to distinguish at least one of five soil communities. The co-occurrence associations between complex microbial compositions and functions were inferred by network-based approaches. Our results together with the established bioinformatic pipelines should provide a foundation for future research into the relation between soil biodiversity and ecosystem function.

  17. Controls on Ecosystem and Root Respiration in an Alaskan Peatland

    Science.gov (United States)

    McConnell, N. A.; McGuire, A. D.; Harden, J. W.; Kane, E. S.; Turetsky, M. R.

    2010-12-01

    Boreal ecosystems cover 14% of the vegetated surface on earth and account for 25-30% of the world’s soil carbon (C), mainly due to large carbon stocks in deep peat and frozen soil layers. While peatlands have served as historical sinks of carbon, global climate change may trigger re-release of C to the atmosphere and may turn these ecosystems into net C sources. Rates of C release from a peatland are determined by regional climate and local biotic and abiotic factors such as vegetation cover, thaw depth, and peat thickness. Soil CO2 fluxes are driven by both autotrophic (plant) respiration and heterotrophic (microbial) respiration. Thus, changes in plant and microbial activity in the soil will impact CO2 emissions from peatlands. In this study, we explored environmental and vegetation controls on ecosystem respiration and root respiration in a variety of wetland sites. The study was conducted at the Alaskan Peatland Experiment (APEX; www.uoguelph.ca/APEX) sites in the Bonanza Creek Experimental Forest located 35 km southwest of Fairbanks Alaska. We measured ecosystem respiration, root respiration, and monitored a suite of environmental variables along a vegetation and soil moisture gradient including a black spruce stand with permafrost, a shrubby site with permafrost, a tussock grass site, and a herbaceous open rich fen. Within the rich fen, we have been conducting water table manipulations including a control, lowered, and raised water table treatment. In each of our sites, we measured total ecosystem respiration using static chambers and root respiration by harvesting roots from the uppermost 20 cm and placing them in a root cuvette to obtain a root flux. Ecosystem respiration (ER) on a μmol/m2/sec basis varied across sites. Water table was a significant predictor of ER at the lowered manipulation site and temperature was a strong predictor at the control site in the rich fen. Water table and temperature were both significant predictors of ER at the raised

  18. Isolation and Identification of the Chitinolytic Bacteria from Rumen Ecosystem

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sri Rahayu

    2003-05-01

    Full Text Available Rumen is an interesting ecosystem for microbial exploration and their products. Isolation of the chitinolytic bacteria from the rumen ecosystem found 109 colonies that produced clear zone, 84 colonies (86% anaerobic and 17 colonies (14% aerobic. Clear zone appeared in the third and fourth days incubation. Four potential isolates were chosen for identification purposes. Results showed that the bacteria were sticky, gram-positive, motile, endospore-forming, mesophilic and aerobic. It was supposed to Bacillus spp. the optimal pH and temperature to produce chitinase from isolate 18 are pH 6.0 and temperature of 35-40ºC. Divalent cations Mg, Ca, Zn, and Mn increase chitinase activity, while Cu and Co inhibit enzyme activity. When isolate 18 was grown on shrimp waste meal, it showed aptimal activity on the fifth days incubation. (Animal Production 5(2: 73-78 (2003   Key Words : Isolation, Identification, Chitinolytic Bacteria, Rumen

  19. Ecosystem services for energy security

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Athanas, Andrea; McCormick, Nadine

    2010-09-15

    The world is at an energy crossroads. The changes underway will have implications for ecosystems and livelihoods. Energy security is the reliable supply of affordable energy, of which there are two dimensions; reliability and resilience. Changes in ecosystem services linked to degradation and climate change have the potential to impact both on the reliabiity of energy systems and on their resiliance. Investing in ecosystems can help safeguard energy systems, and mitigate unforeseen risks to energy security. The energy and conservation community should come together to build reliable and resilliant energy systems in ways which recognise and value supporting ecosystems.

  20. Millennium Ecosystem Assessment: MA Biodiversity

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — The Millennium Ecosystem Assessment: MA Biodiversity provides data and information on amphibians, disease agents (extent and distribution of infectious and parasitic...

  1. Synthetic microbial ecology and the dynamic interplay between microbial genotypes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dolinšek, Jan; Goldschmidt, Felix; Johnson, David R

    2016-11-01

    Assemblages of microbial genotypes growing together can display surprisingly complex and unexpected dynamics and result in community-level functions and behaviors that are not readily expected from analyzing each genotype in isolation. This complexity has, at least in part, inspired a discipline of synthetic microbial ecology. Synthetic microbial ecology focuses on designing, building and analyzing the dynamic behavior of ‘ecological circuits’ (i.e. a set of interacting microbial genotypes) and understanding how community-level properties emerge as a consequence of those interactions. In this review, we discuss typical objectives of synthetic microbial ecology and the main advantages and rationales of using synthetic microbial assemblages. We then summarize recent findings of current synthetic microbial ecology investigations. In particular, we focus on the causes and consequences of the interplay between different microbial genotypes and illustrate how simple interactions can create complex dynamics and promote unexpected community-level properties. We finally propose that distinguishing between active and passive interactions and accounting for the pervasiveness of competition can improve existing frameworks for designing and predicting the dynamics of microbial assemblages.

  2. Microbial Interactions With Dissolved Organic Matter Drive Carbon Dynamics and Community Succession

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xiaoqin Wu

    2018-06-01

    Full Text Available Knowledge of dynamic interactions between natural organic matter (NOM and microbial communities is critical not only to delineate the routes of NOM degradation/transformation and carbon (C fluxes, but also to understand microbial community evolution and succession in ecosystems. Yet, these processes in subsurface environments are usually studied independently, and a comprehensive view has been elusive thus far. In this study, we fed sediment-derived dissolved organic matter (DOM to groundwater microbes and continually analyzed microbial transformation of DOM over a 50-day incubation. To document fine-scale changes in DOM chemistry, we applied high-resolution Fourier transform ion cyclotron resonance mass spectrometry (FT-ICR MS and soft X-ray absorption spectroscopy (sXAS. We also monitored the trajectory of microbial biomass, community structure and activity over this time period. Together, these analyses provided an unprecedented comprehensive view of interactions between sediment-derived DOM and indigenous subsurface groundwater microbes. Microbial decomposition of labile C in DOM was immediately evident from biomass increase and total organic carbon (TOC decrease. The change of microbial composition was closely related to DOM turnover: microbial community in early stages of incubation was influenced by relatively labile tannin- and protein-like compounds; while in later stages the community composition evolved to be most correlated with less labile lipid- and lignin-like compounds. These changes in microbial community structure and function, coupled with the contribution of microbial products to DOM pool affected the further transformation of DOM, culminating in stark changes to DOM composition over time. Our study demonstrates a distinct response of microbial communities to biotransformation of DOM, which improves our understanding of coupled interactions between sediment-derived DOM, microbial processes, and community structure in

  3. Microbial community dynamics in the forefield of glaciers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bradley, James A; Singarayer, Joy S; Anesio, Alexandre M

    2014-11-22

    Retreating ice fronts (as a result of a warming climate) expose large expanses of deglaciated forefield, which become colonized by microbes and plants. There has been increasing interest in characterizing the biogeochemical development of these ecosystems using a chronosequence approach. Prior to the establishment of plants, microbes use autochthonously produced and allochthonously delivered nutrients for growth. The microbial community composition is largely made up of heterotrophic microbes (both bacteria and fungi), autotrophic microbes and nitrogen-fixing diazotrophs. Microbial activity is thought to be responsible for the initial build-up of labile nutrient pools, facilitating the growth of higher order plant life in developed soils. However, it is unclear to what extent these ecosystems rely on external sources of nutrients such as ancient carbon pools and periodic nitrogen deposition. Furthermore, the seasonal variation of chronosequence dynamics and the effect of winter are largely unexplored. Modelling this ecosystem will provide a quantitative evaluation of the key processes and could guide the focus of future research. Year-round datasets combined with novel metagenomic techniques will help answer some of the pressing questions in this relatively new but rapidly expanding field, which is of growing interest in the context of future large-scale ice retreat.

  4. Mercury in Nordic ecosystems

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Munthe, John; Waengberg, Ingvar (IVL Swedish Environmental Research Inst., Stockholm (SE)); Rognerud, Sigurd; Fjeld, Eirik (Norwegian Inst. for Water Research (NIVA), Oslo (Norway)); Verta, Matti; Porvari, Petri (Finnish Environment Inst. (SYKE), Helsinki (Finland)); Meili, Markus (Inst. of Applied Environmental Research (ITM), Stockholm (Sweden))

    2007-12-15

    This report provides a first comprehensive compilation and assessment of available data on mercury in air, precipitation, sediments and fish in the Nordic countries. The main conclusion is that mercury levels in Nordic ecosystems continue to be affected by long-range atmospheric transport. The geographical patterns of mercury concentrations in both sediments and fish are also strongly affected by ecosystem characteristics and in some regions possibly by historical pollution. An evaluation of geographical variations in mercury concentrations in precipitation indicates that the influence from anthropogenic sources from Central European areas is still significant. The annual variability of deposition is large and dependant of precipitation amounts. An evaluation of data from stations around the North Sea has indicated a significant decrease in mercury concentrations in precipitation indicating a continuous decrease of emissions in Europe (Waengberg et al., 2007). For mercury in air (TGM), the geographical pattern is less pronounced indicating the influence of mercury emissions and distribution over a larger geographical area (i.e. hemispherical transport). Comparison of recent (surficial) and historical lake sediments show significantly elevated concentrations of mercury most likely caused by anthropogenic atmospheric deposition over the past century. The highest pollution impact was observed in the coastal areas of southern Norway, in south western Finland and in Sweden from the coastal areas in the southwest across the central parts to the north-east. The general increase in recent versus old sediments was 2-5 fold. Data on mercury in Nordic freshwater fish was assembled and evaluated with respect to geographical variations. The fish data were further compared with temporal and spatial trends in mercury deposition and mercury contamination of lake sediments in order to investigate the coupling between atmospheric transport and deposition of mercury and local mercury

  5. Microbial food web dynamics along a soil chronosequence of a glacier forefield

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J. Esperschütz

    2011-11-01

    Full Text Available Microbial food webs are critical for efficient nutrient turnover providing the basis for functional and stable ecosystems. However, the successional development of such microbial food webs and their role in "young" ecosystems is unclear. Due to a continuous glacier retreat since the middle of the 19th century, glacier forefields have expanded offering an excellent opportunity to study food web dynamics in soils at different developmental stages. In the present study, litter degradation and the corresponding C fluxes into microbial communities were investigated along the forefield of the Damma glacier (Switzerland. 13C-enriched litter of the pioneering plant Leucanthemopsis alpina (L. Heywood was incorporated into the soil at sites that have been free from ice for approximately 10, 60, 100 and more than 700 years. The structure and function of microbial communities were identified by 13C analysis of phospholipid fatty acids (PLFA and phospholipid ether lipids (PLEL. Results showed increasing microbial diversity and biomass, and enhanced proliferation of bacterial groups as ecosystem development progressed. Initially, litter decomposition proceeded faster at the more developed sites, but at the end of the experiment loss of litter mass was similar at all sites, once the more easily-degradable litter fraction was processed. As a result incorporation of 13C into microbial biomass was more evident during the first weeks of litter decomposition. 13C enrichments of both PLEL and PLFA biomarkers following litter incorporation were observed at all sites, suggesting similar microbial foodwebs at all stages of soil development. Nonetheless, the contribution of bacteria, especially actinomycetes to litter turnover became more pronounced as soil age increased in detriment of archaea, fungi and protozoa, more prominent in recently deglaciated terrain.

  6. Soil microbial community composition is correlated to soil carbon processing along a boreal wetland formation gradient

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chapman, Eric; Cadillo-Quiroz, Hinsby; Childers, Daniel L.; Turetsky, Merritt R.; Waldrop, Mark P.

    2017-01-01

    Climate change is modifying global biogeochemical cycles. Microbial communities play an integral role in soil biogeochemical cycles; knowledge about microbial composition helps provide a mechanistic understanding of these ecosystem-level phenomena. Next generation sequencing approaches were used to investigate changes in microbial functional groups during ecosystem development, in response to climate change, in northern boreal wetlands. A gradient of wetlands that developed following permafrost degradation was used to characterize changes in the soil microbial communities that mediate C cycling: a bog representing an “undisturbed” system with intact permafrost, and a younger bog and an older bog that formed following the disturbance of permafrost thaw. Reference 16S rRNA databases and several diversity indices were used to assess structural differences among these communities, to assess relationships between soil microbial community composition and various environmental variables including redox potential and pH. Rates of potential CO2 and CH4 gas production were quantified to correlate sequence data with gas flux. The abundance of organic C degraders was highest in the youngest bog, suggesting higher rates of microbial processes, including potential CH4 production. In addition, alpha diversity was also highest in the youngest bog, which seemed to be related to a more neutral pH and a lower redox potential. These results could potentially be driven by increased niche differentiation in anaerobic soils. These results suggest that ecosystem structure, which was largely driven by changes in edaphic and plant community characteristics between the “undisturbed” permafrost bog and the two bogs formed following permafrost thaw, strongly influenced microbial function.

  7. Appropriate experimental ecosystem warming methods by ecosystem, objective, and practicality

    Science.gov (United States)

    E.L. Aronson; S.G. McNulty

    2009-01-01

    The temperature of the Earth is rising, and is highly likely to continue to do so for the foreseeable future. The study of the effects of sustained heating on the ecosystems of the world is necessary so that wemight predict and respond to coming changes on both large and small spatial scales. To this end, ecosystem warming studies have...

  8. Fungal symbiosis and precipitation alter traits and dune building by the ecosystem engineer, Ammophila breviligulata.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Emery, Sarah M; Bell-Dereske, Lukas; Rudgers, Jennifer A

    2015-04-01

    Ecosystem engineer species influence their community and ecosystem by creating or altering the physical structure of habitats. The function of ecosystem engineers is variable and can depend on both abiotic and biotic factors. Here we make use of a primary successional system to evaluate the direct and interactive effects of climate change (precipitation) and fungal endophyte symbiosis on population traits and ecosystem function of the ecosystem engineering grass species, Ammophila breviligulata. We manipulated endophyte presence in A. breviligulata in combination with rain-out shelters and rainfall additions in a factorial field experiment established in 2010 on Lake Michigan sand dunes. We monitored plant traits, survival, growth, and sexual reproduction of A. breviligulata from 2010-2013, and quantified ecosystem engineering as the sand accumulation rate. Presence of the endophyte in A. breviligulata increased vegetative growth by up to 19%, and reduced sexual reproduction by up to 46% across all precipitation treatments. Precipitation was a less significant factor than endophyte colonization for A. breviligulata growth. Reduced precipitation increased average leaf number per tiller but had no other effects on plant traits. Changes in A. breviligulata traits corresponded to increases in sand accumulation in plots with the endophyte as well as in plots with reduced precipitation. Sand accumulation is a key ecosystem function in these primary successional habitats, and so microbial symbiosis in this ecosystem engineer could lead to direct effects on the value of these dune habitats for humans.

  9. Attempts for an integrative (ecological) assessment of groundwater ecosystems status

    Science.gov (United States)

    Griebler, Christian; Kellermann, Claudia; Jürgen Hahn, Hans; Stein, Heide; Brielmann, Heike; Berkhoff, Sven; Fuchs, Andreas

    2014-05-01

    Today the assessment of the ecological status of surface waters is routine and made its way into national and international (e.g. European Water Framework Directive) regulations. For groundwater and aquifers a comparable approach, considering ecological aspects, is still missing. In contrast, groundwater monitoring and management schemes follow exclusively physical-chemical and quantitative criteria. However, groundwater systems are, although persistently neglected, ecosystems harboring diverse communities of microorganisms and invertebrates. Directly linked to the biological components, groundwater systems provide various ecosystem services of societal relevance (natural production of clean drinking water). In the recent past, we developed a first concept of an ecologically sound assessment scheme for groundwater systems. Work included (1) the selection of appropriate biological/ecological criteria, (2) set-up of a groundwater ecosystem typology, (3) deduction of natural biological groundwater background values and definition of reference conditions for selected sites, and (4) a first evaluation model. Groundwater has been analyzed repeatedly of more than 100 wells distributed over five investigation areas spread all over Germany. The investigated sites could be assigned to different natural regions, geological regions, hydrogeological units, and aquifer types. The mismatch of groundwater faunal communities with the established classification schemes led to the proposal of 'stygoregions' for Germany. The presentation introduces a number of microbial and faunistic assessment criteria, which have been tested and natural background values which have been deduced. Finally, a tiered framework for assessing groundwater ecosystem status which allows an easy and fast evaluation is introduced.

  10. Elevation alters ecosystem properties across temperate treelines globally

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mayor, Jordan R.; Sanders, Nathan J.; Classen, Aimée T.; Bardgett, Richard D.; Clément, Jean-Christophe; Fajardo, Alex; Lavorel, Sandra; Sundqvist, Maja K.; Bahn, Michael; Chisholm, Chelsea; Cieraad, Ellen; Gedalof, Ze'Ev; Grigulis, Karl; Kudo, Gaku; Oberski, Daniel L.; Wardle, David A.

    2017-01-01

    Temperature is a primary driver of the distribution of biodiversity as well as of ecosystem boundaries. Declining temperature with increasing elevation in montane systems has long been recognized as a major factor shaping plant community biodiversity, metabolic processes, and ecosystem dynamics. Elevational gradients, as thermoclines, also enable prediction of long-term ecological responses to climate warming. One of the most striking manifestations of increasing elevation is the abrupt transitions from forest to treeless alpine tundra. However, whether there are globally consistent above- and belowground responses to these transitions remains an open question. To disentangle the direct and indirect effects of temperature on ecosystem properties, here we evaluate replicate treeline ecotones in seven temperate regions of the world. We find that declining temperatures with increasing elevation did not affect tree leaf nutrient concentrations, but did reduce ground-layer community-weighted plant nitrogen, leading to the strong stoichiometric convergence of ground-layer plant community nitrogen to phosphorus ratios across all regions. Further, elevation-driven changes in plant nutrients were associated with changes in soil organic matter content and quality (carbon to nitrogen ratios) and microbial properties. Combined, our identification of direct and indirect temperature controls over plant communities and soil properties in seven contrasting regions suggests that future warming may disrupt the functional properties of montane ecosystems, particularly where plant community reorganization outpaces treeline advance.

  11. Radionuclides in forest ecosystems

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Strebl, F.; Bossew, P.; Kienzl, K.; Hiesel, E.

    2000-01-01

    Some regions within Austria were highly contaminated (> 50 kBq m -2 ) with radiocaesium by the deposition event following the Chernobyl reactor accident in 1986. Monitoring carried out by several Austrian institutions showed that in contrast to agricultural products radiocaesium levels in wild berries, mushrooms and game meat from forest ecosystems remained considerably higher over the years. To find reasons for this contrasting radioecological behavior and for the derivation of model input parameters, an extended study about the distribution of 137 Cs within three Austrian forest stands was carried out between 1987 and 1997. Results of this and subsequent studies are summarized and include the following ecosystem compartments: forest soils, litter, trees, bilberry, mushrooms, mosses, ferns, lichen, other vegetation, insects, small mammals, game animals and surface water. Besides the investigation of radioecological behavior an estimation of pool sizes and transfer rates as well as radioecological residence half times for 137 Cs in different forest species was used to compile a radiocaesium balance for the years 1988 and 1996. Soil proved to be an effective sink for radiocaesium contamination, but in long-term perspective it can act as a source for the contamination of vegetation and higher levels of the food-chain as well. Due to the high standing biomass trees represent the largest 'living' radiocaesium pool within the investigated forest stand. Dose estimations based on average consume habits gave no significant increase (less than 0.4 %) of the annual average population radiation dose due to the ingestion of forest products from the investigated forest stands. (author)

  12. The Green Roof Microbiome: Improving Plant Survival for Ecosystem Service Delivery

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Roberta Fulthorpe

    2018-02-01

    Full Text Available Plants are key contributors to ecosystem services delivered by green roofs in cities including stormwater capture, temperature regulation, and wildlife habitat. As a result, current research has primarily focused on their growth in relationship to extensive green roof (e.g., substrates <15 cm depth ecosystem services. Green roofs are exposed to a variety of harsh abiotic factors such as intense solar radiation, wind, and isolation from ground-level habitats, making survival exceedingly difficult. Plants in natural habitats benefit from a variety of interactions with fungi and bacteria. These plant-microbial interactions improve mechanisms of survival and productivity; however, many green roof substrates are sterilized prior to installation and lack microbial communities with unstudied consequences for green roof plant health and subsequent survival and performance. In this paper, we present six hypotheses on the positive role of microbes in green roof applications. In natural and experimental systems, microbial interactions have been linked to plant (1 drought tolerance, (2 pathogen protection, (3 nutrient availability, (4 salt tolerance, (5 phytohormone production, and (6 substrate stabilization, all of which are desirable properties of green roof ecosystems. As few studies exist that directly examine these relationships on green roofs, we explore the existing ecological literature on these topics to unravel the mechanisms that could support more complex green roof ecosystem and lead to new insight into the design, performance, and broader applications in green infrastructure.

  13. Solar radiation uncorks the lignin bottleneck on plant litter decomposition in terrestrial ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Austin, A.; Ballare, C. L.; Méndez, M. S.

    2015-12-01

    Plant litter decomposition is an essential process in the first stages of carbon and nutrient turnover in terrestrial ecosystems, and together with soil microbial biomass, provide the principal inputs of carbon for the formation of soil organic matter. Photodegradation, the photochemical mineralization of organic matter, has been recently identified as a mechanism for previously unexplained high rates of litter mass loss in low rainfall ecosystems; however, the generality of this process as a control on carbon cycling in terrestrial ecosystems is not known, and the indirect effects of photodegradation on biotic stimulation of carbon turnover have been debated in recent studies. We demonstrate that in a wide range of plant species, previous exposure to solar radiation, and visible light in particular, enhanced subsequent biotic degradation of leaf litter. Moreover, we demonstrate that the mechanism for this enhancement involves increased accessibility for microbial enzymes to plant litter carbohydrates due to a reduction in lignin content. Photodegradation of plant litter reduces the structural and chemical bottleneck imposed by lignin in secondary cell walls. In litter from woody plant species, specific interactions with ultraviolet radiation obscured facilitative effects of solar radiation on biotic decomposition. The generalized positive effect of solar radiation exposure on subsequent microbial activity is mediated by increased accessibility to cell wall polysaccharides, which suggests that photodegradation is quantitatively important in determining rates of mass loss, nutrient release and the carbon balance in a broad range of terrestrial ecosystems.

  14. Cloud shading and fog drip influence the metabolism of a coastal pine ecosystem.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carbone, Mariah S; Park Williams, A; Ambrose, Anthony R; Boot, Claudia M; Bradley, Eliza S; Dawson, Todd E; Schaeffer, Sean M; Schimel, Joshua P; Still, Christopher J

    2013-02-01

    Assessing the ecological importance of clouds has substantial implications for our basic understanding of ecosystems and for predicting how they will respond to a changing climate. This study was conducted in a coastal Bishop pine forest ecosystem that experiences regular cycles of stratus cloud cover and inundation in summer. Our objective was to understand how these clouds impact ecosystem metabolism by contrasting two sites along a gradient of summer stratus cover. The site that was under cloud cover ~15% more of the summer daytime hours had lower air temperatures and evaporation rates, higher soil moisture content, and received more frequent fog drip inputs than the site with less cloud cover. These cloud-driven differences in environmental conditions translated into large differences in plant and microbial activity. Pine trees at the site with greater cloud cover exhibited less water stress in summer, larger basal area growth, and greater rates of sap velocity. The difference in basal area growth between the two sites was largely due to summer growth. Microbial metabolism was highly responsive to fog drip, illustrated by an observed ~3-fold increase in microbial biomass C with increasing summer fog drip. In addition, the site with more cloud cover had greater total soil respiration and a larger fractional contribution from heterotrophic sources. We conclude that clouds are important to the ecological functioning of these coastal forests, providing summer shading and cooling that relieve pine and microbial drought stress as well as regular moisture inputs that elevate plant and microbial metabolism. These findings are important for understanding how these and other seasonally dry coastal ecosystems will respond to predicted changes in stratus cover, rainfall, and temperature. © 2012 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

  15. Microbial Cell Dynamics Lab (MCDL)

    Data.gov (United States)

    Federal Laboratory Consortium — The Microbial Cell Dynamics Laboratory at PNNL enables scientists to study the molecular details of microbes under relevant environmental conditions. The MCDL seeks...

  16. Molecular characterization of microbial population dynamics during sildenafil citrate degradation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    De Felice, Bruna; Argenziano, Carolina; Guida, Marco; Trifuoggi, Marco; Russo, Francesca; Condorelli, Valerio; Inglese, Mafalda

    2009-02-01

    Little is known about pharmaceutical and personal care products pollutants (PPCPs), but there is a growing interest in how they might impact the environment and microbial communities. The widespread use of Viagra (sildenafil citrate) has attracted great attention because of the high usage rate, the unpredictable disposal and the unknown potential effects on wildlife and the environment. Until now information regarding the impact of Viagra on microbial community in water environment has not been reported. In this research, for the first time, the genetic profile of the microbial community, developing in a Viagra polluted water environment, was evaluated by means of the 16S and 18S rRNA genes, for bacteria and fungi, respectively, amplified by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and separated using the denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE) technique. The DGGE results revealed a complex microbial community structure with most of the population persisting throughout the experimental period. DNA sequences from bands observed in the different denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis profiles exhibited the highest degree of identity to uncultured bacteria and fungi found previously mainly in polluted environmental and treating bioreactors. Biotransformation ability of sildenafil citrate by the microbial pool was studied and the capability of these microorganisms to detoxify a polluted water ecosystem was assessed. The bacterial and fungal population was able to degrade sildenafil citrate entirely. Additionally, assays conducted on Daphnia magna, algal growth inhibition assay and cell viability determination on HepG2 human cells showed that biotransformation products obtained from the bacterial growth was not toxic. The higher removal efficiency for sildenafil citrate and the lack of toxicity by the biotransformation products obtained showed that the microbial community identified here represented a composite population that might have biotechnological relevance to

  17. Quantitative microbiome profiling links gut community variation to microbial load.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vandeputte, Doris; Kathagen, Gunter; D'hoe, Kevin; Vieira-Silva, Sara; Valles-Colomer, Mireia; Sabino, João; Wang, Jun; Tito, Raul Y; De Commer, Lindsey; Darzi, Youssef; Vermeire, Séverine; Falony, Gwen; Raes, Jeroen

    2017-11-23

    Current sequencing-based analyses of faecal microbiota quantify microbial taxa and metabolic pathways as fractions of the sample sequence library generated by each analysis. Although these relative approaches permit detection of disease-associated microbiome variation, they are limited in their ability to reveal the interplay between microbiota and host health. Comparative analyses of relative microbiome data cannot provide information about the extent or directionality of changes in taxa abundance or metabolic potential. If microbial load varies substantially between samples, relative profiling will hamper attempts to link microbiome features to quantitative data such as physiological parameters or metabolite concentrations. Saliently, relative approaches ignore the possibility that altered overall microbiota abundance itself could be a key identifier of a disease-associated ecosystem configuration. To enable genuine characterization of host-microbiota interactions, microbiome research must exchange ratios for counts. Here we build a workflow for the quantitative microbiome profiling of faecal material, through parallelization of amplicon sequencing and flow cytometric enumeration of microbial cells. We observe up to tenfold differences in the microbial loads of healthy individuals and relate this variation to enterotype differentiation. We show how microbial abundances underpin both microbiota variation between individuals and covariation with host phenotype. Quantitative profiling bypasses compositionality effects in the reconstruction of gut microbiota interaction networks and reveals that the taxonomic trade-off between Bacteroides and Prevotella is an artefact of relative microbiome analyses. Finally, we identify microbial load as a key driver of observed microbiota alterations in a cohort of patients with Crohn's disease, here associated with a low-cell-count Bacteroides enterotype (as defined through relative profiling).

  18. Agroforestry management in vineyards: effects on soil microbial communities

    Science.gov (United States)

    Montagne, Virginie; Nowak, Virginie; Guilland, Charles; Gontier, Laure; Dufourcq, Thierry; Guenser, Josépha; Grimaldi, Juliette; Bourgade, Emilie; Ranjard, Lionel

    2017-04-01

    Some vineyard practices (tillage, chemical weeding or pest management) are generally known to impact the environment with particular negative effects on the diversity and the abundance of soil microorganisms, and cause water and soil pollutions. In an agro-ecological context, innovative cropping systems have been developed to improve ecosystem services. Among them, agroforestry offers strategies of sustainable land management practices. It consists in intercropping trees with annual/perennial/fodder crop on the same plot but it is weakly referenced with grapevine. The present study assesses the effects of intercropped and neighbouring trees on the soil of three agroforestry vineyards, in south-western France regions. More precisely soils of the different plots were sampled and the impact of the distance to the tree or to the neighbouring trees (forest) on soil microbial community has been considered. Indigenous soil microbial communities were characterized by a metagenomic approach that consisted in extracting the molecular microbial biomass, then in calculating the soil fungi/bacteria ratio - obtained by qPCR - and then in characterizing the soil microbial diversity - through Illumina sequencing of 16S and 18S regions. Our results showed a significant difference between the soil of agroforestry vineyards and the soil sampled in the neighbouring forest in terms of microbial abundance and diversity. However, only structure and composition of bacterial community seem to be influenced by the implanted trees in the vine plots. In addition, the comparison of microbial co-occurrence networks between vine and forest plots as well as inside vine plots according to distance to the tree allow revealing a more sensitive impact of agroforestry practices. Altogether, the results we obtained build up the first references for concerning the soil of agroforestry vineyards which will be interpreted in terms of soil quality, functioning and sustainability.

  19. Phototrophy in Mildly Acidic Hot Spring Ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fecteau, K.; Boyd, E. S.; Shock, E.

    2014-12-01

    Microbial light-driven reduction of carbon in continental hydrothermal ecosystems is restricted to environments at temperatures less than 73 °C. In circumneutral and alkaline systems bacterial phototrophs (cyanobacteria and anoxygenic phototrophs) are suggested to be principally responsible for this activity whereas algal (i.e., eukaryotic) phototrophs are thought to be responsible for this activity in acidic systems. In Yellowstone National Park numerous examples of phototrophic microbial communities exist at high and low pH, while hot springs with intermediate pH (values 3-5) are rare and commonly dilute. It is thought that the transition from algal photosynthesis to bacterial photosynthesis occurs within this pH range. To test this hypothesis, we sequenced bacterial and eukaryal small subunit ribosomal RNA genes, analyzed pigments, and performed comprehensive geochemical measurements from 12 hot springs within this pH realm. At all sites, the largest phototrophic population was either comprised of Cyanobacteria or affiliated with the algal order Cyanidiales, which are ubiquitous in acidic springs, yet abundant sequences of both lineages were present in 8 of the 12 sites. Nevertheless, some of these samples exceeded the known temperature limit of the algae (56 °C), suggesting that these populations are dead or inactive. Indeed, one site yielded evidence for a large Cyanidiales population as the only phototrophs present, yet an experiment at the time of sampling failed to demonstrate light-driven carbon fixation, and analysis of extracted pigments showed a large amount of the chlorophyll degradation product pheophorbide a and very little intact chlorophyll, indicating photosynthesis occurred at this site when conditions were different. Our observations illustrate the dynamic nature of these systems that may be transiently conducive to photosynthesis, which may open niches for phototrophs of both domains and likely played a role in the evolution of photosynthesis.

  20. From Genes to Ecosystems in Microbiology: Modeling Approaches and the Importance of Individuality

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jan-Ulrich Kreft

    2017-11-01

    Full Text Available Models are important tools in microbial ecology. They can be used to advance understanding by helping to interpret observations and test hypotheses, and to predict the effects of ecosystem management actions or a different climate. Over the past decades, biological knowledge and ecosystem observations have advanced to the molecular and in particular gene level. However, microbial ecology models have changed less and a current challenge is to make them utilize the knowledge and observations at the genetic level. We review published models that explicitly consider genes and make predictions at the population or ecosystem level. The models can be grouped into three general approaches, i.e., metabolic flux, gene-centric and agent-based. We describe and contrast these approaches by applying them to a hypothetical ecosystem and discuss their strengths and weaknesses. An important distinguishing feature is how variation between individual cells (individuality is handled. In microbial ecosystems, individual heterogeneity is generated by a number of mechanisms including stochastic interactions of molecules (e.g., gene expression, stochastic and deterministic cell division asymmetry, small-scale environmental heterogeneity, and differential transport in a heterogeneous environment. This heterogeneity can then be amplified and transferred to other cell properties by several mechanisms, including nutrient uptake, metabolism and growth, cell cycle asynchronicity and the effects of age and damage. For example, stochastic gene expression may lead to heterogeneity in nutrient uptake enzyme levels, which in turn results in heterogeneity in intracellular nutrient levels. Individuality can have important ecological consequences, including division of labor, bet hedging, aging and sub-optimality. Understanding the importance of individuality and the mechanism(s underlying it for the specific microbial system and question investigated is essential for selecting the

  1. Understanding the mobile money ecosystem

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Tobbin, P.

    2011-01-01

    This paper discusses the structure of the new mobile money ecosystem and the roles of its key players. Mobile money is an evolving sector both in volume and in economic impact especially in the developing world. The paper is an exploratory study that investigates the structure of the ecosystem, p...

  2. Towards ecosystem-based management

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Tam, Jamie C.; Link, Jason S.; Rossberg, Axel G.; Rogers, Stuart I.; Levin, Philip S.; Rochet, Marie-Joelle; Bundy, Alida; Belgrano, Andrea; Libralato, Simone; Tomczak, Maciej; Wolfshaar, van de K.E.; Pranovi, Fabio; Gorokhova, Elena; Large, Scott I.; Niquil, Nathalie; Greenstreet, Simon P.R.; Druon, Jean-Noel; Lesutiene, Jurate; Johansen, Marie; Preciado, Izaskun; Patricio, Joana; Palialexis, Andreas; Tett, Paul; Johansen, Geir O.; Houle, Jennifer; Rindorf, Anna

    2017-01-01

    Modern approaches to Ecosystem-Based Management and sustainable use of marine resources must account for the myriad of pressures (interspecies, human and environmental) affecting marine ecosystems. The network of feeding interactions between co-existing species and populations (food webs) are an

  3. Ecology in Small Aquatic Ecosystems

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Andersen, Mikkel René

    Small ecosystems are many-fold more abundant than their larger counterparts. Both on regional and global scale small lakes outnumber medium and large lakes and account for a much larger surface area. Small streams are also far more common than rivers. Despite their abundance small ecosystems are ...

  4. Bottomland Hardwood Ecosystem Management Project

    Science.gov (United States)

    John A. Stanturf; Calvin E. Meier

    1994-01-01

    Federal agency approaches to land management are undergoing a shift from parcel-specific concerns toward a more holistic, ecosystem management approach. Southern bottomland hardwood ecosystems provide important environmental services and commodity goods (Wharton et al. 1982), yet much of our knowledge of these systems comes from anecdotal information. The Bottomland...

  5. Carbon allocation in forest ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Creighton M. Litton; James W. Raich; Michael G. Ryan

    2007-01-01

    Carbon allocation plays a critical role in forest ecosystem carbon cycling. We reviewed existing literature and compiled annual carbon budgets for forest ecosystems to test a series of hypotheses addressing the patterns, plasticity, and limits of three components of allocation: biomass, the amount of material present; flux, the flow of carbon to a component per unit...

  6. Challenges in software ecosystems research

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Serebrenik, A.; Mens, T.; Crnkovic, I.

    2015-01-01

    The paper is a meta-analysis of the research field of software ecosystems, by method of surveying 26 authors in the field. It presents a relevant list of literature and six themes in which challenges for software ecosystems can be grouped: Architecture and Design, Governance, Dynamics and Evolution,

  7. Forest Ecosystem services: Water resources

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thomas P. Holmes; James Vose; Travis Warziniack; Bill Holman

    2017-01-01

    Since the publication of the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment (MEA 2005), awareness has steadily grown regarding the importance of maintaining natural capital. Forest vegetation is a valuable source of natural capital, and the regulation of water quantity and quality is among the most important forest ecosystem services in many regions around the world. Changes in...

  8. An Indicator for ecosystem externalities in fishing

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Ravn-Jonsen, Lars; Andersen, Ken Haste; Vestergaard, Niels

    Ecosystem externalities arise when one use of an ecosystem affects its other uses through the production functions of the ecosystem.We use simulations from a size-spectrum ecosystem model to investigate the ecosystem externality created by fishing of multiple species. The model is based upon...

  9. Ecosystem Services : In Nordic Freshwater Management

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Magnussen, Kristin; Hasler, Berit; Zandersen, Marianne

    Human wellbeing is dependent upon and benefit from ecosystem services which are delivered by well-functioning ecosystems. Ecosystem services can be mapped and assessed consistently within an ecosystem service framework. This project aims to explore the use and usefulness of the ecosystem service ...

  10. Nitrogen fixation, denitrification, and ecosystem nitrogen pools in relation to vegetation development in the Subarctic

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Sørensen, Pernille Lærkedal; Jonasson, Sven Evert; Michelsen, Anders

    2006-01-01

    Nitrogen (N) fixation, denitrification, and ecosystem pools of nitrogen were measured in three subarctic ecosystem types differing in soil frost-heaving activity and vegetation cover. N2-fixation was measured by the acetylene reduction assay and converted to absolute N ecosystem input by estimates...... of conversion factors between acetylene reduction and 15N incorporation. One aim was to relate nitrogen fluxes and nitrogen pools to the mosaic of ecosystem types of different stability common in areas of soil frost movements. A second aim was to identify abiotic controls on N2-fixation by simultaneous...... measurements of temperature, light, and soil moisture. Nitrogen fixation rate was high with seasonal input estimated at 1.1 g N m2 on frostheaved sorted circles, which was higher than the total plant N content and exceeded estimated annual plant N uptake several-fold but was lower than the microbial N content...

  11. Life in the "plastisphere": microbial communities on plastic marine debris.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zettler, Erik R; Mincer, Tracy J; Amaral-Zettler, Linda A

    2013-07-02

    Plastics are the most abundant form of marine debris, with global production rising and documented impacts in some marine environments, but the influence of plastic on open ocean ecosystems is poorly understood, particularly for microbial communities. Plastic marine debris (PMD) collected at multiple locations in the North Atlantic was analyzed with scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and next-generation sequencing to characterize the attached microbial communities. We unveiled a diverse microbial community of heterotrophs, autotrophs, predators, and symbionts, a community we refer to as the "Plastisphere". Pits visualized in the PMD surface conformed to bacterial shapes suggesting active hydrolysis of the hydrocarbon polymer. Small-subunit rRNA gene surveys identified several hydrocarbon-degrading bacteria, supporting the possibility that microbes play a role in degrading PMD. Some Plastisphere members may be opportunistic pathogens (the authors, unpublished data) such as specific members of the genus Vibrio that dominated one of our plastic samples. Plastisphere communities are distinct from surrounding surface water, implying that plastic serves as a novel ecological habitat in the open ocean. Plastic has a longer half-life than most natural floating marine substrates, and a hydrophobic surface that promotes microbial colonization and biofilm formation, differing from autochthonous substrates in the upper layers of the ocean.

  12. Genome-reconstruction for eukaryotes from complex natural microbial communities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    West, Patrick T; Probst, Alexander J; Grigoriev, Igor V; Thomas, Brian C; Banfield, Jillian F

    2018-04-01

    Microbial eukaryotes are integral components of natural microbial communities, and their inclusion is critical for many ecosystem studies, yet the majority of published metagenome analyses ignore eukaryotes. In order to include eukaryotes in environmental studies, we propose a method to recover eukaryotic genomes from complex metagenomic samples. A key step for genome recovery is separation of eukaryotic and prokaryotic fragments. We developed a k -mer-based strategy, EukRep, for eukaryotic sequence identification and applied it to environmental samples to show that it enables genome recovery, genome completeness evaluation, and prediction of metabolic potential. We used this approach to test the effect of addition of organic carbon on a geyser-associated microbial community and detected a substantial change of the community metabolism, with selection against almost all candidate phyla bacteria and archaea and for eukaryotes. Near complete genomes were reconstructed for three fungi placed within the Eurotiomycetes and an arthropod. While carbon fixation and sulfur oxidation were important functions in the geyser community prior to carbon addition, the organic carbon-impacted community showed enrichment for secreted proteases, secreted lipases, cellulose targeting CAZymes, and methanol oxidation. We demonstrate the broader utility of EukRep by reconstructing and evaluating relatively high-quality fungal, protist, and rotifer genomes from complex environmental samples. This approach opens the way for cultivation-independent analyses of whole microbial communities. © 2018 West et al.; Published by Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press.

  13. Microbial contributions to the persistence of coral reefs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Webster, Nicole S; Reusch, Thorsten B H

    2017-10-01

    On contemplating the adaptive capacity of reef organisms to a rapidly changing environment, the microbiome offers significant and greatly unrecognised potential. Microbial symbionts contribute to the physiology, development, immunity and behaviour of their hosts, and can respond very rapidly to changing environmental conditions, providing a powerful mechanism for acclimatisation and also possibly rapid evolution of coral reef holobionts. Environmentally acquired fluctuations in the microbiome can have significant functional consequences for the holobiont phenotype upon which selection can act. Environmentally induced changes in microbial abundance may be analogous to host gene duplication, symbiont switching / shuffling as a result of environmental change can either remove or introduce raw genetic material into the holobiont; and horizontal gene transfer can facilitate rapid evolution within microbial strains. Vertical transmission of symbionts is a key feature of many reef holobionts and this would enable environmentally acquired microbial traits to be faithfully passed to future generations, ultimately facilitating microbiome-mediated transgenerational acclimatisation (MMTA) and potentially even adaptation of reef species in a rapidly changing climate. In this commentary, we highlight the capacity and mechanisms for MMTA in reef species, propose a modified Price equation as a framework for assessing MMTA and recommend future areas of research to better understand how microorganisms contribute to the transgenerational acclimatisation of reef organisms, which is essential if we are to reliably predict the consequences of global change for reef ecosystems.

  14. Soil microbial diversity in the vicinity of desert shrubs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Saul-Tcherkas, Vered; Unc, Adrian; Steinberger, Yosef

    2013-04-01

    Water and nutrient availability are the major limiting factors of biological activity in arid and semiarid ecosystems. Therefore, perennial plants have developed different ecophysiological adaptations to cope with harsh conditions. The chemical profile of the root exudates varies among plant species and this can induce variability in associated microbial populations. We examined the influence of two shrubs species, Artemisia sieberi and Noaea mucronata, on soil microbial diversity. Soil samples were collected monthly, from December 2006 to November 2007, near canopies of both shrubs (0-10-cm depth). Samples were used for abiotic tests and determination of soil bacterial diversity. No significant differences were found in the abiotic variables (soil moisture, total organic matter, and total soluble nitrogen (TSN)) between soil samples collected from under the two shrubs during the study period. No obvious differences in the Shannon-Weaver index, evenness values, or total phylogenetic distances were found for the soil microbial communities. However, detailed denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE) clustering as well as taxonomic diversity analyses indicated clear shifts in the soil microbial community composition. These shifts were governed by seasonal variability in water availability and, significantly, by plant species type.

  15. Something new from something old? Fracking stimulated microbial processes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wrighton, K. C.; Daly, R. A.; Hoyt, D.; Trexler, R.; McRae, J.; Wilkins, M.; Mouser, P. J.

    2015-12-01

    Hydraulic fracturing, colloquially known as "fracking", is employed for effective gas and oil recovery in deep shales. This process injects organisms and liquids from the surface into the deep subsurface (~2500 m), exposing microorganisms to high pressures, elevated temperatures, chemical additives, and brine-level salinities. Here we use assembly-based metagenomics t