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Sample records for microbial ecosystems determines

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  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. PMID:21747797

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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...

  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. 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.

  9. 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

  10. 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...

  11. 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...

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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...

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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)

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  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. 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...

  11. 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.

  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. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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...

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. 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...

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. Determination of microbial protein in perennial ryegrass silage

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Driehuis, F.; Wikselaar, van P.G.

    2001-01-01

    The microbial matter fraction was determined in perennial ryegrass silages of different dry-matter (DM) contents, ensiled with or without Lactobacillus plantarum. 15N-Leucine and the bacterial cell wall constituent diaminopimelic acid (DAPA) were used as markers for microbial-N. Perennial ryegrass

  17. 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

  18. Response diversity determines the resilience of ecosystems to environmental change.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mori, Akira S; Furukawa, Takuya; Sasaki, Takehiro

    2013-05-01

    A growing body of evidence highlights the importance of biodiversity for ecosystem stability and the maintenance of optimal ecosystem functionality. Conservation measures are thus essential to safeguard the ecosystem services that biodiversity provides and human society needs. Current anthropogenic threats may lead to detrimental (and perhaps irreversible) ecosystem degradation, providing strong motivation to evaluate the response of ecological communities to various anthropogenic pressures. In particular, ecosystem functions that sustain key ecosystem services should be identified and prioritized for conservation action. Traditional diversity measures (e.g. 'species richness') may not adequately capture the aspects of biodiversity most relevant to ecosystem stability and functionality, but several new concepts may be more appropriate. These include 'response diversity', describing the variation of responses to environmental change among species of a particular community. Response diversity may also be a key determinant of ecosystem resilience in the face of anthropogenic pressures and environmental uncertainty. However, current understanding of response diversity is poor, and we see an urgent need to disentangle the conceptual strands that pervade studies of the relationship between biodiversity and ecosystem functioning. Our review clarifies the links between response diversity and the maintenance of ecosystem functionality by focusing on the insurance hypothesis of biodiversity and the concept of functional redundancy. We provide a conceptual model to describe how loss of response diversity may cause ecosystem degradation through decreased ecosystem resilience. We explicitly explain how response diversity contributes to functional compensation and to spatio-temporal complementarity among species, leading to long-term maintenance of ecosystem multifunctionality. Recent quantitative studies suggest that traditional diversity measures may often be uncoupled from

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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. 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

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  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. Microbial determination of Cumin by gamma irradiation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Motamedi, F.; Abhari, M.; Fathollahi, H.; Arbabi, K.

    2002-01-01

    Cumin is one of the valuable export items of Iran, and like most of the agricultural products it is contaminated by microorganisms. Due to importance of this product, the gamma irradiation method, which has applications in microbial decontamination, has been used for the improving its quality and increasing the shelf life-time. For this purpose pak ages of 10 gr of cumin were irradiated by 2,4,6 and 8 KGy from 60 Co source. With each dose, four samples were irradiated and results were compared with controlled not irradiated samples. According to the standard limitation of bacteria and molds the total optimum doses are 7.5 and 5 KGy respectively

  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. 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.

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. Microbial manipulation of host sex determination

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Beukeboom, Leo W.

    A recent study in the lepidopteran Ostrinia scapulalis shows that endosymbionts can actively manipulate the sex determination mechanism of their host. Wolbachia bacteria alter the sex-specific splicing of the doublesex master switch gene. In ZZ males of this female heterogametic system, the female

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. 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

  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. The roles of productivity and ecosystem size in determining food chain length in tropical terrestrial ecosystems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Young, Hillary S; McCauley, Douglas J; Dunbar, Robert B; Hutson, Michael S; Ter-Kuile, Ana Miller; Dirzo, Rodolfo

    2013-03-01

    Many different drivers, including productivity, ecosystem size, and disturbance, have been considered to explain natural variation in the length of food chains. Much remains unknown about the role of these various drivers in determining food chain length, and particularly about the mechanisms by which they may operate in terrestrial ecosystems, which have quite different ecological constraints than aquatic environments, where most food chain length studies have been thus far conducted. In this study, we tested the relative importance of ecosystem size and productivity in influencing food chain length in a terrestrial setting. We determined that (1) there is no effect of ecosystem size or productive space on food chain length; (2) rather, food chain length increases strongly and linearly with productivity; and (3) the observed changes in food chain length are likely achieved through a combination of changes in predator size, predator behavior, and consumer diversity along gradients in productivity. These results lend new insight into the mechanisms by which productivity can drive changes in food chain length, point to potential for systematic differences in the drivers of food web structure between terrestrial and aquatic systems, and challenge us to consider how ecological context may control the drivers that shape food chain length.

  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. 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

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  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. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. Spring hydrology determines summer net carbon uptake in northern ecosystems

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Yi, Yonghong; Kimball, John S; Reichle, Rolf H

    2014-01-01

    Increased photosynthetic activity and enhanced seasonal CO 2 exchange of northern ecosystems have been observed from a variety of sources including satellite vegetation indices (such as the normalized difference vegetation index; NDVI) and atmospheric CO 2 measurements. Most of these changes have been attributed to strong warming trends in the northern high latitudes (⩾50° N). Here we analyze the interannual variation of summer net carbon uptake derived from atmospheric CO 2 measurements and satellite NDVI in relation to surface meteorology from regional observational records. We find that increases in spring precipitation and snow pack promote summer net carbon uptake of northern ecosystems independent of air temperature effects. However, satellite NDVI measurements still show an overall benefit of summer photosynthetic activity from regional warming and limited impact of spring precipitation. This discrepancy is attributed to a similar response of photosynthesis and respiration to warming and thus reduced sensitivity of net ecosystem carbon uptake to temperature. Further analysis of boreal tower eddy covariance CO 2 flux measurements indicates that summer net carbon uptake is positively correlated with early growing-season surface soil moisture, which is also strongly affected by spring precipitation and snow pack based on analysis of satellite soil moisture retrievals. This is attributed to strong regulation of spring hydrology on soil respiration in relatively wet boreal and arctic ecosystems. These results document the important role of spring hydrology in determining summer net carbon uptake and contrast with prevailing assumptions of dominant cold temperature limitations to high-latitude ecosystems. Our results indicate potentially stronger coupling of boreal/arctic water and carbon cycles with continued regional warming trends. (letters)

  14. Spring Hydrology Determines Summer Net Carbon Uptake in Northern Ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yi, Yonghong; Kimball, John; Reichle, Rolf H.

    2014-01-01

    Increased photosynthetic activity and enhanced seasonal CO2 exchange of northern ecosystems have been observed from a variety of sources including satellite vegetation indices (such as the Normalized Difference Vegetation Index; NDVI) and atmospheric CO2 measurements. Most of these changes have been attributed to strong warming trends in the northern high latitudes (greater than or equal to 50N). Here we analyze the interannual variation of summer net carbon uptake derived from atmospheric CO2 measurements and satellite NDVI in relation to surface meteorology from regional observational records. We find that increases in spring precipitation and snow pack promote summer net carbon uptake of northern ecosystems independent of air temperature effects. However, satellite NDVI measurements still show an overall benefit of summer photosynthetic activity from regional warming and limited impact of spring precipitation. This discrepancy is attributed to a similar response of photosynthesis and respiration to warming and thus reduced sensitivity of net ecosystem carbon uptake to temperature. Further analysis of boreal tower eddy covariance CO2 flux measurements indicates that summer net carbon uptake is positively correlated with early growing-season surface soil moisture, which is also strongly affected by spring precipitation and snow pack based on analysis of satellite soil moisture retrievals. This is attributed to strong regulation of spring hydrology on soil respiration in relatively wet boreal and arctic ecosystems. These results document the important role of spring hydrology in determining summer net carbon uptake and contrast with prevailing assumptions of dominant cold temperature limitations to high-latitude ecosystems. Our results indicate potentially stronger coupling of boreal/arctic water and carbon cycles with continued regional warming trends.

  15. 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

  16. Augmenting Plant Immune Responses and Biological Control by Microbial Determinants

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sang Moo Lee

    2015-09-01

    Full Text Available Plant have developed sophisticated defence mechanisms against microbial pathogens. The recent accumulated information allow us to understand the nature of plant immune responses followed by recognition of microbial factors/determinants through cutting-edge genomics and multi-omics techniques. However, the practical approaches to sustain plant health using enhancement of plant immunity is yet to be fully appreciated. Here, we overviewed the general concept and representative examples on the plant immunity. The fungal, bacterial, and viral determinants that was previously reported as the triggers of plant immune responses are introduced and described as the potential protocol of biological control. Specifically, the role of chitin, glucan, lipopolysaccharides/extracellular polysaccharides, microbe/pathogen-associated molecular pattern, antibiotics, mimic-phytohormones, N-acyl homoserine lactone, harpin, vitamins, and volatile organic compounds are considered. We hope that this review stimulates scientific community and farmers to broaden their knowledge on the microbial determinant-based biological control and to apply the technology on the integrated pest management program.

  17. 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.

  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. 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.

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. Determination of Nitrate Reductase Assay Depending on the Microbial Growth

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    El-Kabbany, H.M.

    2012-01-01

    A rapid micro-dilution assay for determination of the antimicrobial susceptibility of different bacterial isolates was developed. This assay is based on the ability of the most of viable organisms to reduce nitrates. The MIC or MBC could be determined by nitrate reductase (NR) only after 30 to 90 min of incubation depending on the behaviour of microbial growth. Bacterial viability is detected by a positive nitrite reduction rather than visible turbidity. The nitrate reduction assay was compared with standard micro-assay using 250 isolates of different taxa against 10 antibiotics belonging to different classes. An excellent agreement of 82.5 % was found between the two methods and only 17.5 % of 1794 trials showed difference in the determined MIC by tow-dilution interval above or below the MIC determined by the turbidimetric method under the same test conditions. However, the nitrate reduction assay was more rapid and sensitive in detecting viable bacteria and so, established an accurate estimate of the minimal inhibitory concentration (MIC) or the minimal bacterial concentration (MBC). The nitrate reduction assay offers the additional advantage that it could be used to determine the MBC without having to subculture the broth. 232 cases of resistance were detected by NR and 4 different media were tested for susceptibility test. The bacterial isolates were exposed to ultra violet (UV) light for different period

  9. 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

  10. Soil biodiversity and soil community composition determine ecosystem multifunctionality

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wagg, Cameron; Bender, S. Franz; Widmer, Franco; van der Heijden, Marcel G. A.

    2014-01-01

    Biodiversity loss has become a global concern as evidence accumulates that it will negatively affect ecosystem services on which society depends. So far, most studies have focused on the ecological consequences of above-ground biodiversity loss; yet a large part of Earth’s biodiversity is literally hidden below ground. Whether reductions of biodiversity in soil communities below ground have consequences for the overall performance of an ecosystem remains unresolved. It is important to investigate this in view of recent observations that soil biodiversity is declining and that soil communities are changing upon land use intensification. We established soil communities differing in composition and diversity and tested their impact on eight ecosystem functions in model grassland communities. We show that soil biodiversity loss and simplification of soil community composition impair multiple ecosystem functions, including plant diversity, decomposition, nutrient retention, and nutrient cycling. The average response of all measured ecosystem functions (ecosystem multifunctionality) exhibited a strong positive linear relationship to indicators of soil biodiversity, suggesting that soil community composition is a key factor in regulating ecosystem functioning. Our results indicate that changes in soil communities and the loss of soil biodiversity threaten ecosystem multifunctionality and sustainability. PMID:24639507

  11. 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

  12. 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...

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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)

  18. Soil biodiversity and soil community composition determine ecosystem multifunctionality

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Wagg, C.; Bender, S.F.; Widmer, D.; van der Heijden, Marcellus|info:eu-repo/dai/nl/240923901

    2014-01-01

    Biodiversity loss has become a global concern as evidence accumulates that it will negatively affect ecosystem services on which society depends. So far, most studies have focused on the ecological consequences of above-ground biodiversity loss; yet a large part of Earth’s biodiversity is literally

  19. 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...

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. Advancing sustainability through urban green space: cultural ecosystem services, equity, and social determinants of health

    Science.gov (United States)

    Viniece Jennings; Lincoln Larson; Jessica Yun

    2016-01-01

    Urban green spaces provide an array of benefits, or ecosystem services, that support our physical, psychological, and social health. In many cases, however, these benefits are not equitably distributed across diverse urban populations. In this paper, we explore relationships between cultural ecosystem services provided by urban green space and the social determinants...

  6. 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

  7. 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...

  8. Soil C and N availability determine the priming effect: microbial N mining and stoichiometric decomposition theories

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Ruirui; Senbayram, Mehmet; Blagodatsky, Sergey; Dittert, Klaus; Lin, Xiangui; Blagodatskaya, Evgenia; Kuzyakov, Yakov

    2014-05-01

    The increasing input of anthropogenically derived nitrogen (N) to ecosystems raises a crucial question: how does available N modify the decomposer community and thus affects the mineralization of soil organic matter (SOM). Moreover, N input modifies the priming effect (PE), that is, the effect of fresh organics on the microbial decomposition of SOM. We studied the interactive effects of C and N on SOM mineralization (by natural 13C labelling adding C4-sucrose or C4-maize straw to C3-soil) in relation to microbial growth kinetics and to the activities of five hydrolytic enzymes. This encompasses the groups of parameters governing two mechanisms of priming effects - microbial N mining and stoichiometric decomposition theories. In sole C treatments, positive PE was accompanied by a decrease in specific microbial growth rates, confirming a greater contribution of K-strategists to the decomposition of native SOM. Sucrose addition with N significantly accelerated mineralization of native SOM, whereas mineral N added with plant residues accelerated decomposition of plant residues. This supports the microbial mining theory in terms of N limitation. Sucrose addition with N was accompanied by accelerated microbial growth, increased activities of β-glucosidase and cellobiohydrolase, and decreased activities of xylanase and leucine amino peptidase. This indicated an increased contribution of r-strategists to the PE and to decomposition of cellulose but the decreased hemicellulolytic and proteolytic activities. Thus, the acceleration of the C cycle was primed by exogenous organic C and was controlled by N. This confirms the stoichiometric decomposition theory. Both K- and r-strategists were beneficial for priming effects, with an increasing contribution of K-selected species under N limitation. Thus, the priming phenomenon described in 'microbial N mining' theory can be ascribed to K-strategists. In contrast, 'stoichiometric decomposition' theory, that is, accelerated OM

  9. 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.

  10. Determinants of the microbial community structure of eutrophic, hyporheic river sediments polluted with chlorinated aliphatic hydrocarbons

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hamonts, K.; Ryngaert, A.; Smidt, H.; Springael, D.; Dejonghe, W.

    2014-01-01

    Chlorinated aliphatic hydrocarbons (CAHs) often discharge into rivers as contaminated groundwater baseflow. As biotransformation of CAHs in the impacted river sediments might be an effective remediation strategy, we investigated the determinants of the microbial community structure of eutrophic,

  11. Geographic distance and ecosystem size determine the distribution of smallest protists in lacustrine ecosystems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lepère, Cécile; Domaizon, Isabelle; Taïb, Najwa; Mangot, Jean-François; Bronner, Gisèle; Boucher, Delphine; Debroas, Didier

    2013-07-01

    Understanding the spatial distribution of aquatic microbial diversity and the underlying mechanisms causing differences in community composition is a challenging and central goal for ecologists. Recent insights into protistan diversity and ecology are increasing the debate over their spatial distribution. In this study, we investigate the importance of spatial and environmental factors in shaping the small protists community structure in lakes. We analyzed small protists community composition (beta-diversity) and richness (alpha-diversity) at regional scale by different molecular methods targeting the gene coding for 18S rRNA gene (T-RFLP and 454 pyrosequencing). Our results show a distance-decay pattern for rare and dominant taxa and the spatial distribution of the latter followed the prediction of the island biogeography theory. Furthermore, geographic distances between lakes seem to be the main force shaping the protists community composition in the lakes studied here. Finally, the spatial distribution of protists was discussed at the global scale (11 worldwide distributed lakes) by comparing these results with those present in the public database. UniFrac analysis showed 18S rRNA gene OTUs compositions significantly different among most of lakes, and this difference does not seem to be related to the trophic status. © 2013 Federation of European Microbiological Societies. Published by Blackwell Publishing Ltd. All rights reserved.

  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. Convergent approaches to determine an ecosystem's transpiration fraction

    Science.gov (United States)

    Berkelhammer, M.; Noone, D. C.; Wong, T. E.; Burns, S. P.; Knowles, J. F.; Kaushik, A.; Blanken, P. D.; Williams, M. W.

    2016-06-01

    The transpiration (T) fraction of total terrestrial evapotranspiration (ET), T/ET, can vary across ecosystems between 20-95% with a global average of ˜60%. The wide range may either reflect true heterogeneity between ecosystems and/or uncertainties in the techniques used to derive this property. Here we compared independent approaches to estimate T/ET at two needleleaf forested sites with a factor of 3 difference in leaf area index (LAI). The first method utilized water vapor isotope profiles and the second derived transpiration through its functional relationship with gross primary production. We found strong agreement between T/ET values from these two independent approaches although we noted a discrepancy at low vapor pressure deficits (VPD). We hypothesize that this divergence arises because stomatal conductance is independent of humidity at low VPD. Overall, we document significant synoptic-scale T/ET variability but minimal growing season-scale variability. This result indicates a high sensitivity of T/ET to passing weather but convergence toward a stable mean state, which is set by LAI. While changes in T/ET could emerge from a myriad of processes, including aboveground (LAI) or belowground (rooting depth) changes, there was only minimal interannual variability and no secular trend in our analysis of T/ET from the 15 year eddy covariance time series at Niwot Ridge. If the lack of trend observed here is apparent elsewhere, it suggests that the processes controlling the T and E fluxes are coupled in a way to maintain a stable ratio.

  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. Metagenomic profiling of microbial composition and antibiotic resistance determinants in Puget Sound.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Port, Jesse A; Wallace, James C; Griffith, William C; Faustman, Elaine M

    2012-01-01

    Human-health relevant impacts on marine ecosystems are increasing on both spatial and temporal scales. Traditional indicators for environmental health monitoring and microbial risk assessment have relied primarily on single species analyses and have provided only limited spatial and temporal information. More high-throughput, broad-scale approaches to evaluate these impacts are therefore needed to provide a platform for informing public health. This study uses shotgun metagenomics to survey the taxonomic composition and antibiotic resistance determinant content of surface water bacterial communities in the Puget Sound estuary. Metagenomic DNA was collected at six sites in Puget Sound in addition to one wastewater treatment plant (WWTP) that discharges into the Sound and pyrosequenced. A total of ~550 Mbp (1.4 million reads) were obtained, 22 Mbp of which could be assembled into contigs. While the taxonomic and resistance determinant profiles across the open Sound samples were similar, unique signatures were identified when comparing these profiles across the open Sound, a nearshore marina and WWTP effluent. The open Sound was dominated by α-Proteobacteria (in particular Rhodobacterales sp.), γ-Proteobacteria and Bacteroidetes while the marina and effluent had increased abundances of Actinobacteria, β-Proteobacteria and Firmicutes. There was a significant increase in the antibiotic resistance gene signal from the open Sound to marina to WWTP effluent, suggestive of a potential link to human impacts. Mobile genetic elements associated with environmental and pathogenic bacteria were also differentially abundant across the samples. This study is the first comparative metagenomic survey of Puget Sound and provides baseline data for further assessments of community composition and antibiotic resistance determinants in the environment using next generation sequencing technologies. In addition, these genomic signals of potential human impact can be used to guide initial

  16. Metagenomic profiling of microbial composition and antibiotic resistance determinants in Puget Sound.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jesse A Port

    Full Text Available Human-health relevant impacts on marine ecosystems are increasing on both spatial and temporal scales. Traditional indicators for environmental health monitoring and microbial risk assessment have relied primarily on single species analyses and have provided only limited spatial and temporal information. More high-throughput, broad-scale approaches to evaluate these impacts are therefore needed to provide a platform for informing public health. This study uses shotgun metagenomics to survey the taxonomic composition and antibiotic resistance determinant content of surface water bacterial communities in the Puget Sound estuary. Metagenomic DNA was collected at six sites in Puget Sound in addition to one wastewater treatment plant (WWTP that discharges into the Sound and pyrosequenced. A total of ~550 Mbp (1.4 million reads were obtained, 22 Mbp of which could be assembled into contigs. While the taxonomic and resistance determinant profiles across the open Sound samples were similar, unique signatures were identified when comparing these profiles across the open Sound, a nearshore marina and WWTP effluent. The open Sound was dominated by α-Proteobacteria (in particular Rhodobacterales sp., γ-Proteobacteria and Bacteroidetes while the marina and effluent had increased abundances of Actinobacteria, β-Proteobacteria and Firmicutes. There was a significant increase in the antibiotic resistance gene signal from the open Sound to marina to WWTP effluent, suggestive of a potential link to human impacts. Mobile genetic elements associated with environmental and pathogenic bacteria were also differentially abundant across the samples. This study is the first comparative metagenomic survey of Puget Sound and provides baseline data for further assessments of community composition and antibiotic resistance determinants in the environment using next generation sequencing technologies. In addition, these genomic signals of potential human impact can be used

  17. Metal-macrofauna interactions determine microbial community structure and function in copper contaminated sediments.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mayor, Daniel J; Gray, Nia B; Elver-Evans, Joanna; Midwood, Andrew J; Thornton, Barry

    2013-01-01

    Copper is essential for healthy cellular functioning, but this heavy metal quickly becomes toxic when supply exceeds demand. Marine sediments receive widespread and increasing levels of copper contamination from antifouling paints owing to the 2008 global ban of organotin-based products. The toxicity of copper will increase in the coming years as seawater pH decreases and temperature increases. We used a factorial mesocosm experiment to investigate how increasing sediment copper concentrations and the presence of a cosmopolitan bioturbating amphipod, Corophium volutator, affected a range of ecosystem functions in a soft sediment microbial community. The effects of copper on benthic nutrient release, bacterial biomass, microbial community structure and the isotopic composition of individual microbial membrane [phospholipid] fatty acids (PLFAs) all differed in the presence of C. volutator. Our data consistently demonstrate that copper contamination of global waterways will have pervasive effects on the metabolic functioning of benthic communities that cannot be predicted from copper concentrations alone; impacts will depend upon the resident macrofauna and their capacity for bioturbation. This finding poses a major challenge for those attempting to manage the impacts of copper contamination on ecosystem services, e.g. carbon and nutrient cycling, across different habitats. Our work also highlights the paucity of information on the processes that result in isotopic fractionation in natural marine microbial communities. We conclude that the assimilative capacity of benthic microbes will become progressively impaired as copper concentrations increase. These effects will, to an extent, be mitigated by the presence of bioturbating animals and possibly other processes that increase the influx of oxygenated seawater into the sediments. Our findings support the move towards an ecosystem approach for environmental management.

  18. Metal-macrofauna interactions determine microbial community structure and function in copper contaminated sediments.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Daniel J Mayor

    Full Text Available Copper is essential for healthy cellular functioning, but this heavy metal quickly becomes toxic when supply exceeds demand. Marine sediments receive widespread and increasing levels of copper contamination from antifouling paints owing to the 2008 global ban of organotin-based products. The toxicity of copper will increase in the coming years as seawater pH decreases and temperature increases. We used a factorial mesocosm experiment to investigate how increasing sediment copper concentrations and the presence of a cosmopolitan bioturbating amphipod, Corophium volutator, affected a range of ecosystem functions in a soft sediment microbial community. The effects of copper on benthic nutrient release, bacterial biomass, microbial community structure and the isotopic composition of individual microbial membrane [phospholipid] fatty acids (PLFAs all differed in the presence of C. volutator. Our data consistently demonstrate that copper contamination of global waterways will have pervasive effects on the metabolic functioning of benthic communities that cannot be predicted from copper concentrations alone; impacts will depend upon the resident macrofauna and their capacity for bioturbation. This finding poses a major challenge for those attempting to manage the impacts of copper contamination on ecosystem services, e.g. carbon and nutrient cycling, across different habitats. Our work also highlights the paucity of information on the processes that result in isotopic fractionation in natural marine microbial communities. We conclude that the assimilative capacity of benthic microbes will become progressively impaired as copper concentrations increase. These effects will, to an extent, be mitigated by the presence of bioturbating animals and possibly other processes that increase the influx of oxygenated seawater into the sediments. Our findings support the move towards an ecosystem approach for environmental management.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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....

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  4. Advancing Sustainability through Urban Green Space: Cultural Ecosystem Services, Equity, and Social Determinants of Health

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jennings, Viniece; Larson, Lincoln; Yun, Jessica

    2016-01-01

    Urban green spaces provide an array of benefits, or ecosystem services, that support our physical, psychological, and social health. In many cases, however, these benefits are not equitably distributed across diverse urban populations. In this paper, we explore relationships between cultural ecosystem services provided by urban green space and the social determinants of health outlined in the United States Healthy People 2020 initiative. Specifically, we: (1) explore connections between cultural ecosystem services and social determinants of health; (2) examine cultural ecosystem services as nature-based health amenities to promote social equity; and (3) recommend areas for future research examining links between urban green space and public health within the context of environmental justice. PMID:26861365

  5. Biochar and microbial signaling: production conditions determine effects on microbial communication

    Science.gov (United States)

    Masiello, Caroline A.; Chen, Ye; Gao, Xiaodong; Liu, Shirley; Cheng, Hsiao-Ying; Bennett, Matthew R.; Rudgers, Jennifer A.; Wagner, Daniel S.; Zygourakis, Kyriacos; Silberg, Jonathan J.

    2013-01-01

    Charcoal has a long soil residence time, which has resulted in its production and use as a carbon sequestration technique (biochar). A range of biological effects can be triggered by soil biochar that can positively and negatively influence carbon storage, such as changing the decomposition rate of organic matter and altering plant biomass production. Sorption of cellular signals has been hypothesized to underlie some of these effects, but it remains unknown whether the binding of biochemical signals occurs, and if so, on time scales relevant to microbial growth and communication. We examined biochar sorption of N-3-oxo-dodecanoyl-L-homoserine lactone, an acyl-homoserine lactone (AHL) intercellular signaling molecule used by many gram-negative soil microbes to regulate gene expression. We show that wood biochars disrupt communication within a growing multicellular system that is made up of sender cells that synthesize AHL and receiver cells that express green fluorescent protein in response to an AHL signal. However, biochar inhibition of AHL-mediated cell-cell communication varied, with the biochar prepared at 700°C (surface area of 301 m2/g) inhibiting cellular communication 10-fold more than an equivalent mass of biochar prepared at 300°C (surface area of 3 m2/g). These findings provide the first direct evidence that biochars elicit a range of effects on gene expression dependent on intercellular signaling, implicating the method of biochar preparation as a parameter that could be tuned to regulate microbial-dependent soil processes, like nitrogen fixation and pest attack of root crops. PMID:24066613

  6. Biochar and microbial signaling: production conditions determine effects on microbial communication.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Masiello, Caroline A; Chen, Ye; Gao, Xiaodong; Liu, Shirley; Cheng, Hsiao-Ying; Bennett, Matthew R; Rudgers, Jennifer A; Wagner, Daniel S; Zygourakis, Kyriacos; Silberg, Jonathan J

    2013-10-15

    Charcoal has a long soil residence time, which has resulted in its production and use as a carbon sequestration technique (biochar). A range of biological effects can be triggered by soil biochar that can positively and negatively influence carbon storage, such as changing the decomposition rate of organic matter and altering plant biomass production. Sorption of cellular signals has been hypothesized to underlie some of these effects, but it remains unknown whether the binding of biochemical signals occurs, and if so, on time scales relevant to microbial growth and communication. We examined biochar sorption of N-3-oxo-dodecanoyl-L-homoserine lactone, an acyl-homoserine lactone (AHL) intercellular signaling molecule used by many gram-negative soil microbes to regulate gene expression. We show that wood biochars disrupt communication within a growing multicellular system that is made up of sender cells that synthesize AHL and receiver cells that express green fluorescent protein in response to an AHL signal. However, biochar inhibition of AHL-mediated cell-cell communication varied, with the biochar prepared at 700 °C (surface area of 301 m(2)/g) inhibiting cellular communication 10-fold more than an equivalent mass of biochar prepared at 300 °C (surface area of 3 m(2)/g). These findings provide the first direct evidence that biochars elicit a range of effects on gene expression dependent on intercellular signaling, implicating the method of biochar preparation as a parameter that could be tuned to regulate microbial-dependent soil processes, like nitrogen fixation and pest attack of root crops.

  7. 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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  9. 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

  10. 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...

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. Reset of a critically disturbed microbial ecosystem: faecal transplant in recurrent Clostridium difficile infection

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Fuentes, Susana; van Nood, Els; Tims, Sebastian; Heikamp-de Jong, Ineke; ter Braak, Cajo J. F.; Keller, Josbert J.; Zoetendal, Erwin G.; de Vos, Willem M.

    2014-01-01

    Recurrent Clostridium difficile infection (CDI) can be effectively treated by infusion of a healthy donor faeces suspension. However, it is unclear what factors determine treatment efficacy. By using a phylogenetic microarray platform, we assessed composition, diversity and dynamics of faecal

  15. 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.

  16. The contribution of ecosystem services to place utility as a determinant of migration decision-making

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Adams, Helen; Neil Adger, W

    2013-01-01

    Environment migration research has sought to provide an account of how environmental risks and resources affect migration and mobility. Part of that effort has focused on the role of the environment in providing secure livelihoods through provisioning ecosystem services. However, many of the models of environment migration linkages fail to acknowledge the importance of social and psychological factors in the decision to migrate. Here, we seek to provide a more comprehensive model of migration decision-making under environmental change by investigating the attachment people form to place, and the role of the environment in creating that attachment. We hypothesize that environmental factors enter the migration decision-making process through their contribution to place utility, defined as a function of both affective and instrumental bonds to location, and that ecosystem services, the aspects of ecosystems that create wellbeing, contribute to both components of place utility. We test these ideas in four rural highland settlements in Peru sampled along an altitudinal gradient. We find that non-economic ecosystem services are important in creating place attachment and that ecological place attachment exists independently of use of provisioning ecosystem services. Individuals’ attitudes to ecosystem services vary with the type of ecosystem services available at a location and the degree of rurality. While social and economic factors are the dominant drivers of migration in these locations, a loss of non-provisioning ecosystem services leads to a decrease in place utility and commitment to place, determining factors in the decision to migrate. The findings suggest that policy interventions encouraging migration as an adaptation to environmental change will have limited success if they only focus on provisioning services. A much wider set of individuals will experience a decrease in place utility, and migration will be unable to alleviate that decrease since the factors

  17. The contribution of ecosystem services to place utility as a determinant of migration decision-making

    Science.gov (United States)

    Adams, Helen; Adger, W. Neil

    2013-03-01

    Environment migration research has sought to provide an account of how environmental risks and resources affect migration and mobility. Part of that effort has focused on the role of the environment in providing secure livelihoods through provisioning ecosystem services. However, many of the models of environment migration linkages fail to acknowledge the importance of social and psychological factors in the decision to migrate. Here, we seek to provide a more comprehensive model of migration decision-making under environmental change by investigating the attachment people form to place, and the role of the environment in creating that attachment. We hypothesize that environmental factors enter the migration decision-making process through their contribution to place utility, defined as a function of both affective and instrumental bonds to location, and that ecosystem services, the aspects of ecosystems that create wellbeing, contribute to both components of place utility. We test these ideas in four rural highland settlements in Peru sampled along an altitudinal gradient. We find that non-economic ecosystem services are important in creating place attachment and that ecological place attachment exists independently of use of provisioning ecosystem services. Individuals’ attitudes to ecosystem services vary with the type of ecosystem services available at a location and the degree of rurality. While social and economic factors are the dominant drivers of migration in these locations, a loss of non-provisioning ecosystem services leads to a decrease in place utility and commitment to place, determining factors in the decision to migrate. The findings suggest that policy interventions encouraging migration as an adaptation to environmental change will have limited success if they only focus on provisioning services. A much wider set of individuals will experience a decrease in place utility, and migration will be unable to alleviate that decrease since the factors

  18. Study of the Efficacy of Real Time-PCR Method for Amikacin Determination Using Microbial Assay

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Farzaneh Lotfipour

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available Purpose: Microbial assay is used to determine the potency of antibiotics and vitamins. In spite of its advantages like simplicity and easiness, and to reveal the slight changes in the molecules, the microbial assay suffers from significant limitations; these methods are of lower specificity, accuracy and sensitivity. The objective of the present study is to evaluate the efficacy of real time-PCR technique in comparison with turbidimetric method for microbial assay of amikacin. Methods: Microbial determination of amikacin by turbidimetric method was performed according to USP. Also amikacin concentrations were determined by microbial assay using taq-man quantitative PCR method. Standard curves in different concentration for both methods were plotted and method validation parameters of linearity, precision and accuracy were calculated using statistical procedures. Results: The RT-PCR method was linear in the wider concentration range (5.12 – 38.08 for RT-PCR versus 8.00 – 30.47 for turbidimetric method with a better correlation coefficient (0.976 for RT-PCR versus 0.958 for turbidimetric method. RT-PCR method with LOQ of 5.12 ng/ml was more sensitive than turbidimetric method with LOQ of 8.00 ng/ml and the former could detect and quantify low concentrations of amikacin. The results of accuracy and precision evaluation showed that the RT-PCR method was accurate and precise in all of the tested concentration. Conclusion: The RT-PCR method described here provided an accurate and precise technique for measurement of amikacin potency and it can be a candidate for microbial determination of the antibiotics with the same test organism.

  19. Determination of rumen microbial growth in vitro form 32P-labelled phosphate incorporation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Nevel, C.J. Van; Demeyer, D.I.

    1977-01-01

    The extracellular phosphate pool in incubations of rumen fluid or washed cell suspensions of mixed rumen bacteria (WCS) was labelled with 32 P. From the constant extracellular phosphate pool specific activity and the amount of radioactivity incorporated during incubation, the amount of P incorporated in the microbial fraction was calculated. From the value for nitrogen: P determined in microbial matter, the amount of N incorporated was calculated as a measure of microbial growth. Incorporation of soluble non-protein-N in incubations devoid of substrate protein was 50 and 80% of the values obtained using isotope method for rumen fluid and WCS respectively. Incorporation of 32 P in P-containing microbial components (mainly nucleic acids) was compared with net synthesis of these components in incubations of WCS. When N incorporation, calculated from results obtained using isotope method in incubations with rumen fluid, was compared with the amount of carbohydrate substrate fermented and the type of fermentation, values between 18.3 and 44.6 g N incorporated kg of organic matter fermented were obtained. The use of isotopes for determination of rumen microbial growth in vitro is critically discussed. (author)

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. Determination of Antibiotic Residues in Milk by Microbial Inhibitory Tests

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Juščáková D.

    2017-09-01

    Full Text Available Undesirable substances enter the organism of animals mostly via feed, water or veterinary medicines and their residues pass subsequently into the products of animal origin. In dairy cows, sheep and goats these residues are eliminated particularly in milk. Milk intended for human consumption must comply with safety criteria also with respect to residues of antibiotics. The aim of this study was to determine the presence or absence of antibiotic residues in the milk using the tests Milchtest and Premi®Test. While the Milchtest was developed for the determination of antibiotic residues in cow, sheep and goat milk, the Premi®Test is intended for the determination of antibiotic residues in meat juice, liver, kidneys, fish, eggs and in the urine of animals treated with antibiotics. As examined matrices, we used 45 samples of raw cow’s milk collected at 3 agricultural farms and 10 samples of milk offered to consumers at grocery stores. When using the Milchtest, 8 samples tested positive and 10 provided dubious results while testing with the Premi®Test showed that only 6 samples were positive for antibiotics. Comparison of the results confirmed a higher detection sensitivity of Milchtest reflected in higher numbers of positive samples and the detection of dubious results in samples of raw cow’s milk. However, it should be noted that even the Premi®Test, although not intended preferably for the determination of antibiotics in milk, can be used, if needed, for the preliminary screening of antibiotic residues in such a matrix.

  4. Pollutant threshold concentration determination in marine ecosystems using an ecological interaction endpoint

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wang, Changyou; Liang, Shengkang; Guo, Wenting; Yu, Hua; Xing, Wenhui

    2015-01-01

    The threshold concentrations of pollutants are determined by extrapolating single-species effect data to community-level effects. This assumes the most sensitive endpoint of the life cycle of individuals and the species sensitivity distribution from single-species toxic effect tests, thus, ignoring the ecological interactions. The uncertainties due to this extrapolation can be partially overcome using the equilibrium point of a customized ecosystem. This method incorporates ecological interactions and integrates the effects on growth, survival, and ingestion into a single effect measure, the equilibrium point excursion in the customized ecosystem, in order to describe the toxic effects on plankton. A case study showed that the threshold concentration of copper calculated with the endpoint of the equilibrium point was 10 μg L −1 , which is significantly different from the threshold calculated with a single-species endpoint. The endpoint calculated using this method provides a more relevant measure of the ecological impact than any single individual-level endpoint. - Highlights: • Ecotoxicological effect of exposure to copper was tested on a customized ecosystem. • Equilibrium point of biomasses in the customized ecosystem was used as an endpoint. • Exposure–response relationship in a community level was built on equilibrium point. • A threshold concentration incorporating ecological interactions was derived. - The equilibrium biomass incorporating ecological interactions in a customized ecosystem was used as an endpoint to calculate the threshold concentration at a community level

  5. Tibia mineralization of chickens determined to meat production using a microbial phytase

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mária Angelovičová

    2018-02-01

    Full Text Available The target of the research was 6-phytase of microbial origin. It was used in feed mixtures for chickens determined to meat production. Its effect has been studied in relation to the tibia mineralization by calcium, phosphorus and magnesium. 6-phytase is a product of Aspergillus oryzae. That was obtained by means of biotechnological processes of production of commercially available enzymes. It was incorporated in the feed mixtures 0.1%. In a 38-day feeding trial, 300 one-day-old, as hatched, Cobb 500 chickens determined to meat production (100 birds per group were fed on one concentrations of dietary non-phytate phosphorus (2.32, 2.31 g.kg-1, respectively and supplemental microbial phytase (0 and 500   FTU.kg-1 feed mixtures. Control group was used to compare the results and control feed mixtures contained 4.5 g.kg-1 without microbial phytase. At days 40 it was selected 6 birds in every group, which were slaughter in accordance with the principles of welfare. Left tibias of every bird were used to determination of calcium, phosphorus and magnesium contents. According to in vivo, it was found that the addition of microbial phytase to reduced dietary non-phytate phosphorus increased concentrations of calcium (Ca, phosphorus (P and magnesium (Mg in tibia. The differences among groups were statistically significant (p <0.05. It was concluded that reducing of dietary non-phytate phosphorus on the 2.32, 2.31 g.kg-1, respectively, by monocalcium phosphate and microbial phytase supplementation in feed mixtures facilitated tibia mineralization at chicken determined to meat production. Normal 0 21 false false false EN-GB X-NONE X-NONE

  6. Detection of irradiation of strawberries by determining their microbial characteristics

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Tamminga, S.K.; Beumer, R.R.; Kampelmacher, E.H.

    1978-01-01

    A system was elaborated to determine whether strawberries have been irradiated, using 3 criteria, namely the number of Enterobacteriaceae, the percentage of yeasts on total microflora (or total absence of microorganisms) and the number of Pseudomonas. The higher the numbers of Enterobacteriaceae and/or Pseudomonas, the lower the probability that the strawberries have been irradiated. The higher the yeast percentage, the more the conclusion is justified that irradiation has taken place. The same holds true for total absence of microorganisms. By combining results for the 3 criteria an identification scheme was drawn up that would have led to 189 correct decisions (92.2%) on 205 samples (102 irradiated with 200krad, 103 unirradiated). In only 3 samples (1.5%) the combination of properties resembled that generally shown by the opposite group in such a way that they would have been classified in the wrong category. Some combinations of results for the 3 criteria were found in about equal numbers for both irradiated and unirradiated samples. These samples and others showing contradictory results, totalling 13 samples (6.3%), had to be placed in a separate 'intermediate' category, about which no opinion could be given. The only possibility in such cases is to investigate new samples. Sixty of the samples were investigated without the investigators knowing whether the samples had been irradiated; 56 of them would have been classified in the right category with the help of the scheme made up using the previous data; the remaining 4 had to be classified in the intermediate category. (author)

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. Stoichiometric determination of nitrate fate in agricultural ecosystems during rainfall events.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xu, Zuxin; Wang, Yiyao; Li, Huaizheng

    2015-01-01

    Ecologists have found a close relationship between the concentrations of nitrate (NO3-) and dissolved organic carbon (DOC) in ecosystems. However, it is difficult to determine the NO3- fate exactly because of the low coefficient in the constructed relationship. In the present paper, a negative power-function equation (r(2) = 0.87) was developed by using 411 NO3- data points and DOC:NO3- ratios from several agricultural ecosystems during different rainfall events. Our analysis of the stoichiometric method reveals several observations. First, the NO3- concentration demonstrated the largest changes when the DOC:NO3- ratio increased from 1 to 10. Second, the biodegradability of DOC was an important factor in controlling the NO3- concentration of agricultural ecosystems. Third, sediment was important not only as a denitrification site, but also as a major source of DOC for the overlying water. Fourth, a high DOC concentration was able to maintain a low NO3- concentration in the groundwater. In conclusion, this new stoichiometric method can be used for the accurate estimation and analysis of NO3- concentrations in ecosystems.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. Growing media constituents determine the microbial nitrogen conversions in organic growing media for horticulture.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grunert, Oliver; Reheul, Dirk; Van Labeke, Marie-Christine; Perneel, Maaike; Hernandez-Sanabria, Emma; Vlaeminck, Siegfried E; Boon, Nico

    2016-05-01

    Vegetables and fruits are an important part of a healthy food diet, however, the eco-sustainability of the production of these can still be significantly improved. European farmers and consumers spend an estimated €15.5 billion per year on inorganic fertilizers and the production of N-fertilizers results in a high carbon footprint. We investigated if fertilizer type and medium constituents determine microbial nitrogen conversions in organic growing media and can be used as a next step towards a more sustainable horticulture. We demonstrated that growing media constituents showed differences in urea hydrolysis, ammonia and nitrite oxidation and in carbon dioxide respiration rate. Interestingly, mixing of the growing media constituents resulted in a stimulation of the function of the microorganisms. The use of organic fertilizer resulted in an increase in amoA gene copy number by factor 100 compared to inorganic fertilizers. Our results support our hypothesis that the activity of the functional microbial community with respect to nitrogen turnover in an organic growing medium can be improved by selecting and mixing the appropriate growing media components with each other. These findings contribute to the understanding of the functional microbial community in growing media and its potential role towards a more responsible horticulture. © 2016 The Authors. Microbial Biotechnology published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd and Society for Applied Microbiology.

  13. Microbial contamination determination of Cream suit,Traditional Ice Cream and Olovia in Yasuj City

    OpenAIRE

    SS Khoramrooz; M Sarikhani; SA Khosravani; M Farhang Falah; Y Mahmoudi; A Sharifi

    2015-01-01

    Background & aim: Prevalence of diseases caused by consumption of contaminated food has always been a problem all over the world, and every year spent on improving the disease is costly.Cream suit, Ice cream & olowye for ingredient substance and manufacture & preservation conditional have very high possibility for contamination.The aim of this study is Microbial contamination determination of Cream suit, Traditional Ice Cream and Olovia in Yasuj City Methods: This study is randomized cros...

  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. 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. 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.

  19. 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...

  20. Microbial phylogeny determines transcriptional response of resistome to dynamic composting processes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Cheng; Dong, Da; Strong, P J; Zhu, Weijing; Ma, Zhuang; Qin, Yong; Wu, Weixiang

    2017-08-16

    Animal manure is a reservoir of antibiotic resistance genes (ARGs) that pose a potential health risk globally, especially for resistance to the antibiotics commonly used in livestock production (such as tetracycline, sulfonamide, and fluoroquinolone). Currently, the effects of biological treatment (composting) on the transcriptional response of manure ARGs and their microbial hosts are not well characterized. Composting is a dynamic process that consists of four distinct phases that are distinguished by the temperature resulting from microbial activity, namely the mesophilic, thermophilic, cooling, and maturing phases. In this study, changes of resistome expression were determined and related to active microbiome profiles during the dynamic composting process. This was achieved by integrating metagenomic and time series metatranscriptomic data for the evolving microbial community during composting. Composting noticeably reduced the aggregated expression level of the manure resistome, which primarily consisted of genes encoding for tetracycline, vancomycin, fluoroquinolone, beta-lactam, and aminoglycoside resistance, as well as efflux pumps. Furthermore, a varied transcriptional response of resistome to composting at the ARG levels was highlighted. The expression of tetracycline resistance genes (tetM-tetW-tetO-tetS) decreased during composting, where distinctive shifts in the four phases of composting were related to variations in antibiotic concentration. Composting had no effect on the expression of sulfonamide and fluoroquinolone resistance genes, which increased slightly during the thermophilic phase and then decreased to initial levels. As indigenous populations switched greatly throughout the dynamic composting, the core resistome persisted and their reservoir hosts' composition was significantly correlated with dynamic active microbial phylogenetic structure. Hosts for sulfonamide and fuoroquinolone resistance genes changed notably in phylognetic structure

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. Non-linear interactions determine the impact of sea-level rise on estuarine benthic biodiversity and ecosystem processes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yamanaka, Tsuyuko; Raffaelli, David; White, Piran C L

    2013-01-01

    Sea-level rise induced by climate change may have significant impacts on the ecosystem functions and ecosystem services provided by intertidal sediment ecosystems. Accelerated sea-level rise is expected to lead to steeper beach slopes, coarser particle sizes and increased wave exposure, with consequent impacts on intertidal ecosystems. We examined the relationships between abundance, biomass, and community metabolism of benthic fauna with beach slope, particle size and exposure, using samples across a range of conditions from three different locations in the UK, to determine the significance of sediment particle size beach slope and wave exposure in affecting benthic fauna and ecosystem function in different ecological contexts. Our results show that abundance, biomass and oxygen consumption of intertidal macrofauna and meiofauna are affected significantly by interactions among sediment particle size, beach slope and wave exposure. For macrofauna on less sloping beaches, the effect of these physical constraints is mediated by the local context, although for meiofauna and for macrofauna on intermediate and steeper beaches, the effects of physical constraints dominate. Steeper beach slopes, coarser particle sizes and increased wave exposure generally result in decreases in abundance, biomass and oxygen consumption, but these relationships are complex and non-linear. Sea-level rise is likely to lead to changes in ecosystem structure with generally negative impacts on ecosystem functions and ecosystem services. However, the impacts of sea-level rise will also be affected by local ecological context, especially for less sloping beaches.

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. Determination of Land Use/ Land Cover Changes in Igneada Alluvial (Longos) Forest Ecosystem, Turkey

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bektas Balcik, F.

    2012-12-01

    Alluvial (Longos) forests are one of the most fragile and threatened ecosystems in the world. Typically, these types of ecosystems have high biological diversity, high productivity, and high habitat dynamism. In this study, Igneada, Kirklareli was selected as study area. The region, lies between latitudes 41° 46' N and 41° 59' N and stretches between longitudes 27° 50' E and 28° 02' E and it covers approximately 24000 (ha). Igneada Longos ecosystems include mixed forests, streams, flooded (alluvial) forests, marshes, wetlands, lakes and coastal sand dunes with different types of flora and fauna. Igneada was classified by Conservation International as one of the world's top 122 Important Plant Areas, and 185 Important Bird Areas. These types of wild forest in other parts of Turkey and in Europe have been damaged due to anthropogenic effects. Remote sensing is very effective tool to monitor these types of sensitive regions for sustainable management. In this study, 1984 and 2011 dated Landsat 5 TM data were used to determine land cover/land use change detection of the selected region by using six vegetation indices such as Tasseled Cap index of greenness (TCG), brightness (TCB), and wetness (TCW), ratios of near-infrared to red image (RVI), normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI), and soil-adjusted vegetation index (SAVI). Geometric and radiometric corrections were applied in image pre-processing step. Selective Principle Component Analysis (PCA) change detection method was applied to the selected vegetation index imagery to generate change imagery for extracting the changed features between the year of 1984 and 2011. Accuracy assessment was applied based on error matrix by calculating overall accuracy and Kappa statistics.

  7. Bioremediation of hydrocarbon degradation in a petroleum-contaminated soil and microbial population and activity determination.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wu, Manli; Li, Wei; Dick, Warren A; Ye, Xiqiong; Chen, Kaili; Kost, David; Chen, Liming

    2017-02-01

    Bioremediation of hydrocarbon degradation in petroleum-polluted soil is carried out by various microorganisms. However, little information is available for the relationships between hydrocarbon degradation rates in petroleum-contaminated soil and microbial population and activity in laboratory assay. In a microcosm study, degradation rate and efficiency of total petroleum hydrocarbons (TPH), alkanes, and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH) in a petroleum-contaminated soil were determined using an infrared photometer oil content analyzer and a gas chromatography mass spectrometry (GC-MS). Also, the populations of TPH, alkane, and PAH degraders were enumerated by a modified most probable number (MPN) procedure, and the hydrocarbon degrading activities of these degraders were determined by the Biolog (MT2) MicroPlates assay. Results showed linear correlations between the TPH and alkane degradation rates and the population and activity increases of TPH and alkane degraders, but no correlation was observed between the PAH degradation rates and the PAH population and activity increases. Petroleum hydrocarbon degrading microbial population measured by MPN was significantly correlated with metabolic activity in the Biolog assay. The results suggest that the MPN procedure and the Biolog assay are efficient methods for assessing the rates of TPH and alkane, but not PAH, bioremediation in oil-contaminated soil in laboratory. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  8. [Determination of Azospirillum Brasilense Cells With Bacteriophages via Electrooptical Analysis of Microbial Suspensions].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gulii, O I; Karavayeva, O A; Pavlii, S A; Sokolov, O I; Bunin, V D; Ignatov, O V

    2015-01-01

    The dependence-of changes in the electrooptical properties of Azospirillum brasilense cell suspension Sp7 during interaction with bacteriophage ΦAb-Sp7 on the number and time of interactions was studied. Incubation of cells with bacteriophage significantly changed the electrooptical signal within one minute. The selective effect of bacteriophage ΦAb on 18 strains of bacteria of the genus Azospirillum was studied: A. amazonense Ami4, A. brasilense Sp7, Cd, Sp107, Sp245, Jm6B2, Brl4, KR77, S17, S27, SR55, SR75, A. halopraeferans Au4, A. irakense KBC1, K A3, A. lipoferum Sp59b, SR65 and RG20a. We determined the limit of reliable determination of microbial cells infected with bacteriophage: - 10(4) cells/mL. The presence of foreign cell cultures of E. coli B-878 and E. coli XL-1 did not complicate the detection of A brasilense Sp7 cells with the use of bacteriophage ΦAb-Sp7. The results demonstrated that bacteriophage (ΦAb-Sp7 can be used for the detection of Azospirillum microbial cells via t electrooptical analysis of cell suspensions.

  9. 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

  10. Pollutant threshold concentration determination in marine ecosystems using an ecological interaction endpoint.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Changyou; Liang, Shengkang; Guo, Wenting; Yu, Hua; Xing, Wenhui

    2015-09-01

    The threshold concentrations of pollutants are determined by extrapolating single-species effect data to community-level effects. This assumes the most sensitive endpoint of the life cycle of individuals and the species sensitivity distribution from single-species toxic effect tests, thus, ignoring the ecological interactions. The uncertainties due to this extrapolation can be partially overcome using the equilibrium point of a customized ecosystem. This method incorporates ecological interactions and integrates the effects on growth, survival, and ingestion into a single effect measure, the equilibrium point excursion in the customized ecosystem, in order to describe the toxic effects on plankton. A case study showed that the threshold concentration of copper calculated with the endpoint of the equilibrium point was 10 μg L(-1), which is significantly different from the threshold calculated with a single-species endpoint. The endpoint calculated using this method provides a more relevant measure of the ecological impact than any single individual-level endpoint. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  11. 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,...

  12. 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.

  13. Protocol for Determining Ultraviolet Light Emitting Diode (UV-LED) Fluence for Microbial Inactivation Studies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kheyrandish, Ataollah; Mohseni, Madjid; Taghipour, Fariborz

    2018-06-15

    Determining fluence is essential to derive the inactivation kinetics of microorganisms and to design ultraviolet (UV) reactors for water disinfection. UV light emitting diodes (UV-LEDs) are emerging UV sources with various advantages compared to conventional UV lamps. Unlike conventional mercury lamps, no standard method is available to determine the average fluence of the UV-LEDs, and conventional methods used to determine the fluence for UV mercury lamps are not applicable to UV-LEDs due to the relatively low power output, polychromatic wavelength, and specific radiation profile of UV-LEDs. In this study, a method was developed to determine the average fluence inside a water suspension in a UV-LED experimental setup. In this method, the average fluence was estimated by measuring the irradiance at a few points for a collimated and uniform radiation on a Petri dish surface. New correction parameters were defined and proposed, and several of the existing parameters for determining the fluence of the UV mercury lamp apparatus were revised to measure and quantify the collimation and uniformity of the radiation. To study the effect of polychromatic output and radiation profile of the UV-LEDs, two UV-LEDs with peak wavelengths of 262 and 275 nm and different radiation profiles were selected as the representatives of typical UV-LEDs applied to microbial inactivation. The proper setup configuration for microorganism inactivation studies was also determined based on the defined correction factors.

  14. An Overview on Novel Microbial Determination Methods in Pharmaceutical and Food Quality Control

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mahboob Nemati

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available Traditional microbiological methods tend to be labor-intensive and time-consuming. Rapid and novel methods in microbiological tests provide more sensitive, precise and reproducible results compared with conventional methods. In microbiology, the most rapid testing methods belong to the field of biotechnology such as PCR, ELISA, ATP bioluminescence and etc. Nevertheless impedance microbiology, biosensors and analytical procedures to determine microbial constituents are of significance. The present review article was conducted using internet databases and related scientific literatures and articles that provide information on developments in the rapid methods in microbiology. The main focus is on the application of rapid methods in microbial quality control of pharmaceutical products. Reviewed literature showed that rapid methods and automation in microbiology is an advanced area for studying and applying of improved methods in the early detection, and characterization of microorganisms and their products in food, pharmaceutical and cosmetic industrials as well as environmental monitoring and clinical applications. It can be concluded that rapid methods and automation in microbiology should continue as potent and efficient technologies to develop the novel tests to be performed in the future because of the ever-increasing concerns about the safety of food and pharmaceutical products. However the main issues to be considered are the scale up of developed methods and the regulatory requirements.

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. Effect of diet and absence of protozoa on the rumen microbial community and on the representativeness of bacterial fractions used in the determination of microbial protein synthesis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Belanche, A; de la Fuente, G; Pinloche, E; Newbold, C J; Balcells, J

    2012-11-01

    Accurate estimates of microbial synthesis in the rumen are vital to optimize ruminant nutrition. Liquid- (LAB) and solid-associated bacterial fractions (SAB) harvested from the rumen are generally considered as microbial references when microbial yield is calculated; however, factors that determine their composition are not completely understood. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of diet and absence or presence of rumen protozoa on the rumen microbial community. It was hypothesized that these treatments could modify the composition and representativeness of LAB and SAB. Twenty twin lambs (Ovis aries) were used; one-half of the twins were kept protozoa-free, and each respective twin sibling was faunated. At 6 mo of age, 5 animals from each group were randomly allocated to the experimental diets consisting of either alfalfa hay as the sole diet, or 50:50 mixed with ground barley grain. After 15 d of adaptation to the diet, animals were euthanized, rumen and abomasum contents were sampled, and LAB and SAB isolated. The presence of protozoa buffered the effect of diet on the rumen bacterial population. Faunated animals fed alfalfa hay had a greater abundance of F. succinogenes, anaerobic fungi and methanogens, as well as an enhanced rumen bacterial diversity. Cellulolytic bacteria were more abundant in SAB, whereas the abomasal abundance of most of the microorganisms studied was closer to those values observed in LAB. Rumen and abomasal samples showed similar bacterial DNA concentrations, but the fungal and protozoal DNA concentration in the abomasum was only 69% and 13% of that observed in the rumen, respectively, suggesting fungal and protozoal sequestration in the rumen or possible preferential degradation of fungal and protozoal DNA in the abomasum, or both. In conclusion, absence of protozoa and type of diet extensively modified the chemical composition of LAB and SAB as a consequence of changes in the microbial composition of these fractions.

  20. Fecal microbial determinants of fecal and systemic estrogens and estrogen metabolites: a cross-sectional study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Flores, Roberto; Shi, Jianxin; Fuhrman, Barbara; Xu, Xia; Veenstra, Timothy D; Gail, Mitchell H; Gajer, Pawel; Ravel, Jacques; Goedert, James J

    2012-12-21

    High systemic estrogen levels contribute to breast cancer risk for postmenopausal women, whereas low levels contribute to osteoporosis risk. Except for obesity, determinants of non-ovarian systemic estrogen levels are undefined. We sought to identify members and functions of the intestinal microbial community associated with estrogen levels via enterohepatic recirculation. Fifty-one epidemiologists at the National Institutes of Health, including 25 men, 7 postmenopausal women, and 19 premenopausal women, provided urine and aliquots of feces, using methods proven to yield accurate and reproducible results. Estradiol, estrone, 13 estrogen metabolites (EM), and their sum (total estrogens) were quantified in urine and feces by liquid chromatography/tandem mass spectrometry. In feces, β-glucuronidase and β-glucosidase activities were determined by realtime kinetics, and microbiome diversity and taxonomy were estimated by pyrosequencing 16S rRNA amplicons. Pearson correlations were computed for each loge estrogen level, loge enzymatic activity level, and microbiome alpha diversity estimate. For the 55 taxa with mean relative abundance of at least 0.1%, ordinal levels were created [zero, low (below median of detected sequences), high] and compared to loge estrogens, β-glucuronidase and β-glucosidase enzymatic activity levels by linear regression. Significance was based on two-sided tests with α=0.05. In men and postmenopausal women, levels of total urinary estrogens (as well as most individual EM) were very strongly and directly associated with all measures of fecal microbiome richness and alpha diversity (R≥0.50, P≤0.003). These non-ovarian systemic estrogens also were strongly and significantly associated with fecal Clostridia taxa, including non-Clostridiales and three genera in the Ruminococcaceae family (R=0.57-0.70, P=0.03-0.002). Estrone, but not other EM, in urine correlated significantly with functional activity of fecal β-glucuronidase (R=0.36, P=0

  1. Mapping and determinism of soil microbial community distribution across an agricultural landscape.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Constancias, Florentin; Terrat, Sébastien; Saby, Nicolas P A; Horrigue, Walid; Villerd, Jean; Guillemin, Jean-Philippe; Biju-Duval, Luc; Nowak, Virginie; Dequiedt, Samuel; Ranjard, Lionel; Chemidlin Prévost-Bouré, Nicolas

    2015-06-01

    Despite the relevance of landscape, regarding the spatial patterning of microbial communities and the relative influence of environmental parameters versus human activities, few investigations have been conducted at this scale. Here, we used a systematic grid to characterize the distribution of soil microbial communities at 278 sites across a monitored agricultural landscape of 13 km². Molecular microbial biomass was estimated by soil DNA recovery and bacterial diversity by 16S rRNA gene pyrosequencing. Geostatistics provided the first maps of microbial community at this scale and revealed a heterogeneous but spatially structured distribution of microbial biomass and diversity with patches of several hundreds of meters. Variance partitioning revealed that both microbial abundance and bacterial diversity distribution were highly dependent of soil properties and land use (total variance explained ranged between 55% and 78%). Microbial biomass and bacterial richness distributions were mainly explained by soil pH and texture whereas bacterial evenness distribution was mainly related to land management. Bacterial diversity (richness, evenness, and Shannon index) was positively influenced by cropping intensity and especially by soil tillage, resulting in spots of low microbial diversity in soils under forest management. Spatial descriptors also explained a small but significant portion of the microbial distribution suggesting that landscape configuration also shapes microbial biomass and bacterial diversity. © 2015 The Authors. MicrobiologyOpen published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  2. Using growth-based methods to determine direct effects of salinity on soil microbial communities

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rath, Kristin; Rousk, Johannes

    2015-04-01

    Soil salinization is a widespread agricultural problem and increasing salt concentrations in soils have been found to be correlated with decreased microbial activity. A central challenge in microbial ecology is to link environmental factors, such as salinity, to responses in the soil microbial community. That is, it can be difficult to distinguish direct from indirect effects. In order to determine direct salinity effects on the community we employed the ecotoxicological concept of Pollution-Induced Community Tolerance (PICT). This concept is built on the assumption that if salinity had an ecologically relevant effect on the community, it should have selected for more tolerant species and strains, resulting in an overall higher community tolerance to salt in communities from saline soils. Growth-based measures, such as the 3H-leucine incorporation into bacterial protein , provide sensitive tools to estimate community tolerance. They can also provide high temporal resolution in tracking changes in tolerance over time. In our study we used growth-based methods to investigate: i) at what levels of salt exposure and over which time scales salt tolerance can be induced in a non-saline soil, and (ii) if communities from high salinity sites have higher tolerance to salt exposure along natural salinity gradients. In the first part of the study, we exposed a non-saline soil to a range of salinities and monitored the development of community tolerance over time. We found that community tolerance to intermediate salinities up to around 30 mg NaCl per g soil can be induced at relatively short time scales of a few days, providing evidence that microbial communities can adapt rapidly to changes in environmental conditions. In the second part of the study we used soil samples originating from natural salinity gradients encompassing a wide range of salinity levels, with electrical conductivities ranging from 0.1 dS/m to >10 dS/m. We assessed community tolerance to salt by

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. Microbial contamination determination of Cream suit,Traditional Ice Cream and Olovia in Yasuj City

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    SS Khoramrooz

    2015-09-01

    Full Text Available Background & aim: Prevalence of diseases caused by consumption of contaminated food has always been a problem all over the world, and every year spent on improving the disease is costly.Cream suit, Ice cream & olowye for ingredient substance and manufacture & preservation conditional have very high possibility for contamination.The aim of this study is Microbial contamination determination of Cream suit, Traditional Ice Cream and Olovia in Yasuj City Methods: This study is randomized cross sectional study was performed on 64 samples.The samples were taken from the ice cream and confectionery shops in Yasuj city and keep on cold box then the samples were transported in sterile conditions, to the department of medical microbiology laboratory in medical university of yasuj and  microbial contamination rate evaluated by national standard method. Collected data analysed with SPSS software for data description,from central dispersion and table frequency and draw chart.  RESULTS: The survey results showed that 40% o traditional ice cream,cream suit were infected by Staph aurous, Escherichia coli and salmonella respectly (6.7,87 and 0,(50,30 and 0.(0,0 and0 present, and no seen any bacteria on olowye. Conclusion: Due to our research contamination rate traditional ice cream,cream suit and olowye were by Staph aurous, Escherichia coli and salmonella were very high . therefore using different ways to control bacterial growth especaly E.coli the mostly transmited by fecal oral including the use of healthly and safe raw material for promoting health awareness of people involved in the food preparation and production is essential.

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  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. Model ecosystem determination of the metabolic and environmental fate of tetrachloro-DDT

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Cole, R.B.; Metcalf, R.L.

    1987-01-01

    A potential hazardous waste site investigation was conducted by the Environmental Protection Agency to determine whether ground water, surface water, or area soils and sediments were contaminated as a result of waster water discharges or improper solid waste disposal practices of a pesticide manufacturer. One of the compounds discharged into the environment was 1,1,1,2-tetrachloro-2,2-bis(p-chlorophenyl)ethane, commonly referred to as tetrachloro-DDT. Unlike a great many of the DDT analogs, tetrachloro-DDT has come under only limited scrutiny, mainly because it was dismissed as having poor insecticidal properties relative to DDT and other analogs. Its metabolism in ingesting organisms, and degradative pathways in the environment have consequently been left uncertain. This model ecosystem study was undertaken to examine the unanswered questions concerning the metabolic and environmental fate of tetrachloro-DDT. The relevance of this study pertains to disposal practices of pesticide manufacturers who use tetrachloro-DDT as a product precursor

  11. Dominance, biomass and extinction resistance determine the consequences of biodiversity loss for multiple coastal ecosystem processes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Davies, Thomas W; Jenkins, Stuart R; Kingham, Rachel; Kenworthy, Joseph; Hawkins, Stephen J; Hiddink, Jan G

    2011-01-01

    Key ecosystem processes such as carbon and nutrient cycling could be deteriorating as a result of biodiversity loss. However, currently we lack the ability to predict the consequences of realistic species loss on ecosystem processes. The aim of this study was to test whether species contributions to community biomass can be used as surrogate measures of their contribution to ecosystem processes. These were gross community productivity in a salt marsh plant assemblage and an intertidal macroalgae assemblage; community clearance of microalgae in sessile suspension feeding invertebrate assemblage; and nutrient uptake in an intertidal macroalgae assemblage. We conducted a series of biodiversity manipulations that represented realistic species extinction sequences in each of the three contrasting assemblages. Species were removed in a subtractive fashion so that biomass was allowed to vary with each species removal, and key ecosystem processes were measured at each stage of community disassembly. The functional contribution of species was directly proportional to their contribution to community biomass in a 1:1 ratio, a relationship that was consistent across three contrasting marine ecosystems and three ecosystem processes. This suggests that the biomass contributed by a species to an assemblage can be used to approximately predict the proportional decline in an ecosystem process when that species is lost. Such predictions represent "worst case scenarios" because, over time, extinction resilient species can offset the loss of biomass associated with the extinction of competitors. We also modelled a "best case scenario" that accounts for compensatory responses by the extant species with the highest per capita contribution to ecosystem processes. These worst and best case scenarios could be used to predict the minimum and maximum species required to sustain threshold values of ecosystem processes in the future.

  12. Dominance, biomass and extinction resistance determine the consequences of biodiversity loss for multiple coastal ecosystem processes.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Thomas W Davies

    Full Text Available Key ecosystem processes such as carbon and nutrient cycling could be deteriorating as a result of biodiversity loss. However, currently we lack the ability to predict the consequences of realistic species loss on ecosystem processes. The aim of this study was to test whether species contributions to community biomass can be used as surrogate measures of their contribution to ecosystem processes. These were gross community productivity in a salt marsh plant assemblage and an intertidal macroalgae assemblage; community clearance of microalgae in sessile suspension feeding invertebrate assemblage; and nutrient uptake in an intertidal macroalgae assemblage. We conducted a series of biodiversity manipulations that represented realistic species extinction sequences in each of the three contrasting assemblages. Species were removed in a subtractive fashion so that biomass was allowed to vary with each species removal, and key ecosystem processes were measured at each stage of community disassembly. The functional contribution of species was directly proportional to their contribution to community biomass in a 1:1 ratio, a relationship that was consistent across three contrasting marine ecosystems and three ecosystem processes. This suggests that the biomass contributed by a species to an assemblage can be used to approximately predict the proportional decline in an ecosystem process when that species is lost. Such predictions represent "worst case scenarios" because, over time, extinction resilient species can offset the loss of biomass associated with the extinction of competitors. We also modelled a "best case scenario" that accounts for compensatory responses by the extant species with the highest per capita contribution to ecosystem processes. These worst and best case scenarios could be used to predict the minimum and maximum species required to sustain threshold values of ecosystem processes in the future.

  13. 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.

  14. Determining the Effectiveness of Aquatic Ecosystem Restoration, Conservation, and Management Practices.

    Science.gov (United States)

    The science of aquatic ecosystem restoration and management is still in its infancy, largely because most projects are inadequately tracked and monitored for assessing their success. Historically, evaluating the effectiveness of best management practices (BMPs) has relied heavily...

  15. 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...

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. Limits determination of microbial contamination present on surfaces from a pharmaceutical microbiology district reference laboratory

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Natalia Charry

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available Context: The bioburden present on the pharmaceutical microbiology laboratory’s surfaces, may increase the risk of cross-contamination when analytical tests are being carried out; periodic monitoring allows to set limits that reduce the risk. Aims: To determinate the limits of bioburden present on seven surfaces of the pharmaceutical microbiology laboratory, after the cleaning and disinfection process. Methods: The swabbing method was used for sampling. With a 25 cm2 stencil and a sterile swab, a sample was taken, passing the swab over five points of every surface chosen. A total aerobic microbial count and a total yeast and mold count was done. Finally, the average and the standard deviation of the counts was obtained. Results: The average from the counts obtained on each surface selected for the study, were below the recommended limits by international entities like the World Health Organization and the European Union, between others; also, the results generated in this study, allow to classify the biosafety cabinet as an ISO 5 area and the other areas as ISO 7. Conclusions: Bioburden levels on the tested surfaces are considered low, reducing the risk of cross-contamination, which could have a negative impact on laboratory’s activities. Also, it follows that disinfectant concentration used, is effectively.

  1. Ecosystem heterogeneity determines the ecological resilience of the Amazon to climate change.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Levine, Naomi M; Zhang, Ke; Longo, Marcos; Baccini, Alessandro; Phillips, Oliver L; Lewis, Simon L; Alvarez-Dávila, Esteban; Segalin de Andrade, Ana Cristina; Brienen, Roel J W; Erwin, Terry L; Feldpausch, Ted R; Monteagudo Mendoza, Abel Lorenzo; Nuñez Vargas, Percy; Prieto, Adriana; Silva-Espejo, Javier Eduardo; Malhi, Yadvinder; Moorcroft, Paul R

    2016-01-19

    Amazon forests, which store ∼ 50% of tropical forest carbon and play a vital role in global water, energy, and carbon cycling, are predicted to experience both longer and more intense dry seasons by the end of the 21st century. However, the climate sensitivity of this ecosystem remains uncertain: several studies have predicted large-scale die-back of the Amazon, whereas several more recent studies predict that the biome will remain largely intact. Combining remote-sensing and ground-based observations with a size- and age-structured terrestrial ecosystem model, we explore the sensitivity and ecological resilience of these forests to changes in climate. We demonstrate that water stress operating at the scale of individual plants, combined with spatial variation in soil texture, explains observed patterns of variation in ecosystem biomass, composition, and dynamics across the region, and strongly influences the ecosystem's resilience to changes in dry season length. Specifically, our analysis suggests that in contrast to existing predictions of either stability or catastrophic biomass loss, the Amazon forest's response to a drying regional climate is likely to be an immediate, graded, heterogeneous transition from high-biomass moist forests to transitional dry forests and woody savannah-like states. Fire, logging, and other anthropogenic disturbances may, however, exacerbate these climate change-induced ecosystem transitions.

  2. Determination and comparison of microbial loads in atmospheres of two hospitals in Izmir, Turkey.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aydin Çakir, Nergüze; Uçar, Füsun Bahriye; Haliki Uztan, Alev; Corbaci, Cengiz; Akpinar, Onur

    2013-01-01

    Nosocomial infections, also known as hospital-acquired infections, has become one of the most important health problems in health care units worldwide. The presented study aims to determine the average amount of microorganism loads and to show that the atmospheres of the two hospitals can be a potential source regarding nosocomial infections. The effect of surface and floor disinfection processes in the two hospitals and the antibiotic susceptibility of the bacterial isolates were also evaluated. Microorganisms were isolated from air samples collected from different areas (patient wards, corridors, operating theatres and postoperative units) of the two hospitals in Izmir. Sampling was conducted between December 2006 - March 2007. During the 3-month sampling period, the average number of live microorganisms in the air samples collected from second-class environments in the hospital 1 and the hospital 2 was found to be 224.44 and 536.66 cfu/m(3) , respectively. The average number of microorganisms in hospital 2 collected before the disinfection process was higher than those after the disinfection process. However, because of the closure of the air-conditioning system and the hepa filters after the disinfection process, this was reversed in hospital 1. In total, 54 and 42 isolates were obtained from hospital 1 and hospital 2, respectively. 49 isolates from hospital 1 and 35 isolates from hospital 2 were identified as Staphylacoccus sp. The remaining isolates were identified as Aerococcus sp. and Enterococcus sp. Pseudomonas sp. was not determined in the air samples of the two hospitals. It was detected that the microbial loads in the atmospheres of the two hospitals studied varied greatly depending on the number of people in the environment. As the results indicate, the total number of microorganisms in the atmospheres of operating theatres in both hospitals does not pose a threat according to the Air Microbe Index.

  3. Determination of soil degradation from flooding for estimating ecosystem services in Slovakia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hlavcova, Kamila; Szolgay, Jan; Karabova, Beata; Kohnova, Silvia

    2015-04-01

    of Myjava), with an emphasis on the determination of soil degradation from flooding for estimating ecosystem services. The parameters of the SCS-CN methodology were regionalised empirically based on actual rainfall and discharge measurements. Since there has been no appropriate methodology provided for the regionalisation of SCS-CN method parameters in Slovakia, such as runoff curve numbers and initial abstraction coefficients (λ), the work presented is important for the correct application of the SCS-CN method in our conditions.

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. What determines the importance of a species for ecosystem processes? Insights from tropical ant assemblages

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Houadria, Mickal; Menzel, F.

    2017-01-01

    Roč. 184, č. 4 (2017), s. 885-899 ISSN 0029-8549 Institutional support: RVO:60077344 Keywords : ecosystem processes * functional performance * functional redundancy Subject RIV: EH - Ecology, Behaviour OBOR OECD: Ecology Impact factor: 3.130, year: 2016 https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs00442-017-3900-x

  8. Ecosystem function in oil sands wetlands : rates of detrital decomposition, moss growth, and microbial respiration in oilsands wetlands

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Wytrykush, C. [Windsor Univ., ON (Canada); Hornung, J. [Petro-Canada, Calgary, AB (Canada)

    2007-07-01

    A study was conducted in which leaf litter breakdown and biomass accrual in 31 reference and oilsands affected (OSPM) wetlands in Northeastern Alberta was examined. The purpose was to determine how the decomposition of dead plant matter controls the primary productivity in wetlands. The data collected from this study will provide information about carbon flow and dynamics in oilsands affected wetlands. The study involved the investigation of wetlands that contrasted in water origin (OSPM vs. reference), sediment origin (OSPM vs. natural), sediment organic content and age. Mesh bags containing 5 g of dried Typha (cattail) or 20 g of damp moss were placed into 31 wetlands in order to monitor the rate at which biomass was lost to decomposition, as measured by changes in dry mass. After 1 year, moss growth was found to be greatest in younger wetlands with natural sediments. Cattail decomposition was found to be slower in wetlands containing OSPM water than that in reference wetlands. Preliminary analysis of respiration rates of biota associated with decomposing cattail indicate that the amount of oxygen consumed is not affected by wetland water source, sediment source, level of initial sediment organic content, or age.

  9. 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

  10. Indirect effects of ecosystem engineering combine with consumer behaviour to determine the spatial distribution of herbivory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Griffen, Blaine D; Riley, Megan E; Cannizzo, Zachary J; Feller, Ilka C

    2017-10-01

    Ecosystem engineers alter environments by creating, modifying or destroying habitats. The indirect impacts of ecosystem engineering on trophic interactions should depend on the combination of the spatial distribution of engineered structures and the foraging behaviour of consumers that use these structures as refuges. In this study, we assessed the indirect effects of ecosystem engineering by a wood-boring beetle in a neotropical mangrove forest system. We identified herbivory patterns in a dwarf mangrove forest on the archipelago of Twin Cays, Belize. Past wood-boring activity impacted more than one-third of trees through the creation of tree holes that are now used, presumably as predation or thermal refuge, by the herbivorous mangrove tree crab Aratus pisonii. The presence of these refuges had a significant impact on plant-animal interactions; herbivory was more than fivefold higher on trees influenced by tree holes relative to those that were completely isolated from these refuges. Additionally, herbivory decreased exponentially with increasing distance from tree holes. We use individual-based simulation modelling to demonstrate that the creation of these herbivory patterns depends on a combination of the use of engineered tree holes for refuge by tree crabs, and the use of two behaviour patterns in this species-site fidelity to a "home tree," and more frequent foraging near their home tree. We demonstrate that understanding the spatial distribution of herbivory in this system depends on combining both the use of ecosystem engineering structures with individual behavioural patterns of herbivores. © 2017 The Authors. Journal of Animal Ecology © 2017 British Ecological Society.

  11. INITIAL MICROBIAL ADHESION IS A DETERMINANT FOR THE STRENGTH OF BIOFILM ADHESION

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    BUSSCHER, HJ; VANDERMEI, HC; Bos, R.R.M.

    1995-01-01

    This paper presents a hypothesis on the importance of initial microbial adhesion in the overall process of biofilm formation. The hypothesis is based on the realization that dynamic shear conditions exist in many environments, such as in the oral cavity, or on rocks and ship hulls. Recognizing that

  12. The effect of river water circulation on the distribution and functioning of reservoir microbial communities as determined by a relative distance approach

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Šimek, Karel; Comerma, M.; García, J. C.; Nedoma, Jiří; Marcé, R.; Armengol, J.

    2011-01-01

    Roč. 14, č. 1 (2011), s. 1-14 ISSN 1432-9840 R&D Projects: GA ČR(CZ) GA206/08/0015 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z60170517 Keywords : canyon-shaped reservoir * ongitudinal gradients * relative distance model * river-reservoir ecosystem * water circulation patterns * plankton succession * microbial dynamics Subject RIV: EE - Microbiology, Virology Impact factor: 3.495, year: 2011

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. Habitat structure and body size distributions: Cross-ecosystem comparison for taxa with determinate and indeterminate growth

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nash, Kirsty L.; Allen, Craig R.; Barichievy, Chris; Nystrom, Magnus; Sundstrom, Shana M.; Graham, Nicholas A.J.

    2014-01-01

    Habitat structure across multiple spatial and temporal scales has been proposed as a key driver of body size distributions for associated communities. Thus, understanding the relationship between habitat and body size is fundamental to developing predictions regarding the influence of habitat change on animal communities. Much of the work assessing the relationship between habitat structure and body size distributions has focused on terrestrial taxa with determinate growth, and has primarily analysed discontinuities (gaps) in the distribution of species mean sizes (species size relationships or SSRs). The suitability of this approach for taxa with indeterminate growth has yet to be determined. We provide a cross-ecosystem comparison of bird (determinate growth) and fish (indeterminate growth) body mass distributions using four independent data sets. We evaluate three size distribution indices: SSRs, species size–density relationships (SSDRs) and individual size–density relationships (ISDRs), and two types of analysis: looking for either discontinuities or abundance patterns and multi-modality in the distributions. To assess the respective suitability of these three indices and two analytical approaches for understanding habitat–size relationships in different ecosystems, we compare their ability to differentiate bird or fish communities found within contrasting habitat conditions. All three indices of body size distribution are useful for examining the relationship between cross-scale patterns of habitat structure and size for species with determinate growth, such as birds. In contrast, for species with indeterminate growth such as fish, the relationship between habitat structure and body size may be masked when using mean summary metrics, and thus individual-level data (ISDRs) are more useful. Furthermore, ISDRs, which have traditionally been used to study aquatic systems, present a potentially useful common currency for comparing body size distributions

  16. 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...

  17. Microbial phylogeny determines transcriptional response of resistome to dynamic composting processes

    OpenAIRE

    Wang, Cheng; Dong, Da; Strong, P. J.; Zhu, Weijing; Ma, Zhuang; Qin, Yong; Wu, Weixiang

    2017-01-01

    Background Animal manure is a reservoir of antibiotic resistance genes (ARGs) that pose a potential health risk globally, especially for resistance to the antibiotics commonly used in livestock production (such as tetracycline, sulfonamide, and fluoroquinolone). Currently, the effects of biological treatment (composting) on the transcriptional response of manure ARGs and their microbial hosts are not well characterized. Composting is a dynamic process that consists of four distinct phases tha...

  18. Which Factors Determine Metal Accumulation in Agricultural Soils in the Severely Human-Coupled Ecosystem?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xu, Li; Cao, Shanshan; Wang, Jihua; Lu, Anxiang

    2016-05-17

    Agricultural soil is typically an important component of urban ecosystems, contributing directly or indirectly to the general quality of human life. To understand which factors influence metal accumulation in agricultural soils in urban ecosystems is becoming increasingly important. Land use, soil type and urbanization indicators all account for considerable differences in metal accumulation in agricultural soils, and the interactions between these factors on metal concentrations were also examined. Results showed that Zn, Cu, and Cd concentrations varied significantly among different land use types. Concentrations of all metals, except for Cd, were higher in calcareous cinnamon soil than in fluvo-aquic soil. Expansion distance and road density were adopted as urbanization indicators, and distance from the urban center was significantly negatively correlated with concentrations of Hg, and negatively correlated with concentrations of Zn, and road density was positively correlated with Cd concentrations. Multivariate analysis of variance indicated that Hg concentration was significantly influenced by the four-way interaction among all factors. The results in this study provide basic data to support the management of agricultural soils and to help policy makers to plan ahead in Beijing.

  19. Linking invasive exotic vertebrates and their ecosystem impacts in Tierra del Fuego to test theory and determine action

    Science.gov (United States)

    Valenzuela, Alejandro E. J.; Anderson, Christopher B.; Fasola, Laura; Cabello, José L.

    2014-01-01

    Understanding processes and impacts of biological invasions is fundamental for ecology and management. Recent reviews summarized the mechanisms by which invasive species alter entire ecosystems, but quantitative assessments of these mechanisms are lacking for actual assemblages to determine their relative importance, frequency and patterns. We updated information on introduced vertebrates in the Tierra del Fuego Archipelago (TDF) via an exhaustive literature review and new data to evaluate ecosystem impact mechanisms and provide management recommendations. To date, 24 exotic vertebrates have naturalized in TDF, outnumbering natives nearly 2:1, with the North American beaver (Castor canadensis) and muskrat (Ondatra zibethica) being the most widely distributed species and also impacting the ecosystem through the greatest number of mechanisms. Introduced vertebrates occupied most parts of the archipelago with human-inhabited islands having greater taxa richness. All exotics potentially altered ecosystems by one or more mechanisms: 100% food webs, 92% invasional meltdown, 42% habitat modification, 38% disease or parasite transmission, 21% soil property and disturbance regime changes. Impact to habitat structure was the main clustering criterion for this assemblage. Within the species that physically alter habitats, we found two sub-groups: 1) large herbivores and 2) "others" including beavers and muskrats. Species that did not alter habitat were divided further into those with predatory trophic effects (carnivorous mammals and trout, sub-group 4) and the rest with assorted impacts (sub-group 3). By establishing high quality information on archipelago-wide assemblage, distribution, impacts and mechanisms for exotic vertebrates, we recommend, based on ecological criteria, prioritizing the management of sub-group 2. A secondary priority might be given to the carnivores in sub-group 4, while species in sub-groups 1 and 3 are less urgent. As the first systematic survey of

  20. Improved annotation of antibiotic resistance determinants reveals microbial resistomes cluster by ecology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gibson, Molly K; Forsberg, Kevin J; Dantas, Gautam

    2015-01-01

    Antibiotic resistance is a dire clinical problem with important ecological dimensions. While antibiotic resistance in human pathogens continues to rise at alarming rates, the impact of environmental resistance on human health is still unclear. To investigate the relationship between human-associated and environmental resistomes, we analyzed functional metagenomic selections for resistance against 18 clinically relevant antibiotics from soil and human gut microbiota as well as a set of multidrug-resistant cultured soil isolates. These analyses were enabled by Resfams, a new curated database of protein families and associated highly precise and accurate profile hidden Markov models, confirmed for antibiotic resistance function and organized by ontology. We demonstrate that the antibiotic resistance functions that give rise to the resistance profiles observed in environmental and human-associated microbial communities significantly differ between ecologies. Antibiotic resistance functions that most discriminate between ecologies provide resistance to β-lactams and tetracyclines, two of the most widely used classes of antibiotics in the clinic and agriculture. We also analyzed the antibiotic resistance gene composition of over 6000 sequenced microbial genomes, revealing significant enrichment of resistance functions by both ecology and phylogeny. Together, our results indicate that environmental and human-associated microbial communities harbor distinct resistance genes, suggesting that antibiotic resistance functions are largely constrained by ecology.

  1. 'Everything is everywhere: but the environment selects': ubiquitous distribution and ecological determinism in microbial biogeography.

    Science.gov (United States)

    O'Malley, Maureen A

    2008-09-01

    Recent discoveries of geographical patterns in microbial distribution are undermining microbiology's exclusively ecological explanations of biogeography and their fundamental assumption that 'everything is everywhere: but the environment selects'. This statement was generally promulgated by Dutch microbiologist Martinus Wilhelm Beijerinck early in the twentieth century and specifically articulated in 1934 by his compatriot, Lourens G. M. Baas Becking. The persistence of this precept throughout twentieth-century microbiology raises a number of issues in relation to its formulation and widespread acceptance. This paper will trace the conceptual history of Beijerinck's claim that 'everything is everywhere' in relation to a more general account of its theoretical, experimental and institutional context. His principle also needs to be situated in relationship to plant and animal biogeography, which, this paper will argue, forms a continuum of thought with microbial biogeography. Finally, a brief overview of the contemporary microbiological research challenging 'everything is everywhere' reveals that philosophical issues from Beijerinck's era of microbiology still provoke intense discussion in twenty-first century investigations of microbial biogeography.

  2. 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....

  3. 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.

  4. Divergence of feeding channels within the soil food web determined by ecosystem type.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crotty, Felicity V; Blackshaw, Rod P; Adl, Sina M; Inger, Richard; Murray, Philip J

    2014-01-01

    Understanding trophic linkages within the soil food web (SFW) is hampered by its opacity, diversity, and limited niche adaptation. We need to expand our insight between the feeding guilds of fauna and not just count biodiversity. The soil fauna drive nutrient cycling and play a pivotal, but little understood role within both the carbon (C) and nitrogen (N) cycles that may be ecosystem dependent. Here, we define the structure of the SFW in two habitats (grassland and woodland) on the same soil type and test the hypothesis that land management would alter the SFW in these habitats. To do this, we census the community structure and use stable isotope analysis to establish the pathway of C and N through each trophic level within the ecosystems. Stable isotope ratios of C and N from all invertebrates were used as a proxy for trophic niche, and community-wide metrics were obtained. Our empirically derived C/N ratios differed from those previously reported, diverging from model predictions of global C and N cycling, which was unexpected. An assessment of the relative response of the different functional groups to the change from agricultural grassland to woodland was performed. This showed that abundance of herbivores, microbivores, and micropredators were stimulated, while omnivores and macropredators were inhibited in the grassland. Differences between stable isotope ratios and community-wide metrics, highlighted habitats with similar taxa had different SFWs, using different basal resources, either driven by root or litter derived resources. Overall, we conclude that plant type can act as a top-down driver of community functioning and that differing land management can impact on the whole SFW.

  5. Determination of wetland ecosystem boundaries and validation of land use maps using remote sensing: Fuente de Piedra case study (Spain)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sánchez, Antonio; Malak, Dania Abdul; Schröder, Christoph; Martinez-Murillo, Juan F.

    2016-04-01

    Remote sensing techniques (SRS) are valid tools for wetland monitoring that could support wetland managers in assessing the spatial and temporal changes in wetland ecosystems as well as in understanding their condition and the ecosystem services they provide. This study focuses on the one hand, on drawing hydro-ecological guidelines for the delimitation of wetland ecosystems; and on the other hand, to assess the reliability of widely available satellite images (Landsat) in estimating the land use/ land cover types covering wetlands. This research develops comprehensive guidelines to determine the boundaries of the Fuente de Piedra wetland ecosystem located in Andalusia, Spain and defines the main land use/ land cover classes covering this ecosystem using Landsat 8 images. An accuracy of the SRS results delivered is tested using the regional inventory of land use produced by the regional government of Andalusia in 2011. By using the ecological and hydrological settings of the area, the boundaries of the Fuente de Piedra wetland ecosystem are determined as an alternative to improve the current delimitations methodology (the Ramsar and Natura 2000 delineations), used by the local authorities so far and based mainly on administrative reasoning. In terms of the land use land cover definition in the area, Fuente de Piedra wetland ecosystem shows to cover a total area of 195 km2 composed mainly by agricultural areas (81.46%): olive groves, non-irrigated arable land and pastures, being 54.82%, 25.71% and 0.93% of the surface respectively. Wetland related land covers (water surface, wetland vegetation) represent 6.85% while natural vegetation is distributed in forest, 1.67%, and shrub areas, 4.14%, being 5.81% in total. 4.58% of the area corresponds to urban and other artificial surfaces. The rest, 1.30%, is composed of different areas without vegetation (sands, bare rock, dumps, etc.). The classification of the Landsat images made with the newly developed SWOS toolbox

  6. Utility of Ochrobactrum anthropi YC152 in a Microbial Fuel Cell as an Early Warning Device for Hexavalent Chromium Determination

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Guey-Horng Wang

    2016-08-01

    Full Text Available Fast hexavalent chromium (Cr(VI determination is important for environmental risk and health-related considerations. We used a microbial fuel cell-based biosensor inoculated with a facultatively anaerobic, Cr(VI-reducing, and exoelectrogenic Ochrobactrum anthropi YC152 to determine the Cr(VI concentration in water. The results indicated that O. anthropi YC152 exhibited high adaptability to pH, temperature, salinity, and water quality under anaerobic conditions. The stable performance of the microbial fuel cell (MFC-based biosensor indicated its potential as a reliable biosensor system. The MFC voltage decreased as the Cr(VI concentration in the MFC increased. Two satisfactory linear relationships were observed between the Cr(VI concentration and voltage output for various Cr(VI concentration ranges (0.0125–0.3 mg/L and 0.3–5 mg/L. The MFC biosensor is a simple device that can accurately measure Cr(VI concentrations in drinking water, groundwater, and electroplating wastewater in 45 min with low deviations (<10%. The use of the biosensor can help in preventing the violation of effluent regulations and the maximum allowable concentration of Cr(VI in water. Thus, the developed MFC biosensor has potential as an early warning detection device for Cr(VI determination even if O. anthropi YC152 is a possible opportunistic pathogen.

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. The microbial content of raw and pasteurized cow milk as determined by molecular approaches.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Quigley, Lisa; McCarthy, Robert; O'Sullivan, Orla; Beresford, Tom P; Fitzgerald, Gerald F; Ross, R Paul; Stanton, Catherine; Cotter, Paul D

    2013-08-01

    The microbial composition of raw and pasteurized milk is assessed on a daily basis. However, many such tests are culture-dependent, and, thus, bacteria that are present at subdominant levels, or that cannot be easily grown in the laboratory, may be overlooked. To address this potential bias, we have used several culture-independent techniques, including flow cytometry, real-time quantitative PCR, and high-throughput DNA sequencing, to assess the microbial population of milk from a selection of commercial milk producers, pre- and postpasteurization. The combination of techniques employed reveals the presence of a previously unrecognized and diverse bacterial population in unpasteurized cow milk. Most notably, the use of high-throughput DNA sequencing resulted in several bacterial genera being identified in milk samples for the first time. These included Bacteroides, Faecalibacterium, Prevotella, and Catenibacterium. Our culture-independent analyses also indicate that the bacterial population of pasteurized milk is more diverse than previously appreciated, and that nonthermoduric bacteria within these populations are likely to be in a damaged, nonculturable form. It is thus apparent that the application of state-of-the-art approaches can provide a detailed insight into the bacterial composition of milk and could potentially be employed in the future to investigate the factors that influence the composition of these populations. Copyright © 2013 American Dairy Science Association. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  10. 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

  11. Determining preferences for ecosystem benefits in Great Lakes Areas of Concern from photographs posted to social media

    Science.gov (United States)

    Relative valuation of potentially affected ecosystem benefits can increase the legitimacy and social acceptance of ecosystem restoration projects. As an alternative or supplement to traditional methods of deriving beneficiary preference, we downloaded from social media and classi...

  12. Determining preferences for ecosystem benefits in Great Lakes Areas of Concern from photographs posted to social media (presentation)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Relative valuation of potentially affected ecosystem benefits can increase the legitimacy and social acceptance of ecosystem restoration projects. As an alternative or supplement to traditional methods of deriving beneficiary preference, we downloaded from social media and classi...

  13. Soil erosion determination using the Cs-137 concentration in the soil profile, in a rain fall seasonal ecosystem of Mexico

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Martinez, L.R.; Garcia, O.F.; Mass, J.M.

    1992-01-01

    The soils erosion is one of the main processes of environmental degradation. Latin America presents high levels of erosion however the works that quantificate this problem are few. The application of methods agreed to the tropical countries conditions represents an important limitation in the developing of these works. A methodological option that has arisen in the last years is the application of the distribution analysis of Cs-137 concentration in the soil profile, for estimating the soil motion in a seasonal tropical ecosystem in Chamela, Jalisco, Mexico. The low concentrations of Cs-137 were determined with a gamma spectroscopy system of high resolution and low noise. It is confirmed that the redistribution of Cs-137 in the landscape depends on erosive processes. The conclusion is that in the interpretation of Cs-137 levels it is necessary to incorporate morphology analysis of declivity since this is a low scale measurement. (Author)

  14. 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.

  15. 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...

  16. Feedback between Population and Evolutionary Dynamics Determines the Fate of Social Microbial Populations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sanchez, Alvaro; Gore, Jeff

    2013-01-01

    The evolutionary spread of cheater strategies can destabilize populations engaging in social cooperative behaviors, thus demonstrating that evolutionary changes can have profound implications for population dynamics. At the same time, the relative fitness of cooperative traits often depends upon population density, thus leading to the potential for bi-directional coupling between population density and the evolution of a cooperative trait. Despite the potential importance of these eco-evolutionary feedback loops in social species, they have not yet been demonstrated experimentally and their ecological implications are poorly understood. Here, we demonstrate the presence of a strong feedback loop between population dynamics and the evolutionary dynamics of a social microbial gene, SUC2, in laboratory yeast populations whose cooperative growth is mediated by the SUC2 gene. We directly visualize eco-evolutionary trajectories of hundreds of populations over 50–100 generations, allowing us to characterize the phase space describing the interplay of evolution and ecology in this system. Small populations collapse despite continual evolution towards increased cooperative allele frequencies; large populations with a sufficient number of cooperators “spiral” to a stable state of coexistence between cooperator and cheater strategies. The presence of cheaters does not significantly affect the equilibrium population density, but it does reduce the resilience of the population as well as its ability to adapt to a rapidly deteriorating environment. Our results demonstrate the potential ecological importance of coupling between evolutionary dynamics and the population dynamics of cooperatively growing organisms, particularly in microbes. Our study suggests that this interaction may need to be considered in order to explain intraspecific variability in cooperative behaviors, and also that this feedback between evolution and ecology can critically affect the demographic fate

  17. Nanoporous gold-based microbial biosensor for direct determination of sulfide.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Zhuang; Ma, Hanyue; Sun, Huihui; Gao, Rui; Liu, Honglei; Wang, Xia; Xu, Ping; Xun, Luying

    2017-12-15

    Environmental pollution caused by sulfide compounds has become a major problem for public health. Hence, there is an urgent need to explore a sensitive, selective, and simple sulfide detection method for environmental monitoring and protection. Here, a novel microbial biosensor was developed using recombinant Escherichia coli BL21 (E. coli BL21) expressing sulfide:quinone oxidoreductase (SQR) for sulfide detection. As an important enzyme involved in the initial step of sulfide metabolism, SQR oxidizes sulfides to polysulfides and transfers electrons to the electron transport chain. Nanoporous gold (NPG) with its unique properties was selected for recombinant E. coli BL21 cells immobilization, and then glassy carbon electrode (GCE) was modified by the resulting E. coli/NPG biocomposites to construct an E. coli/NPG/GCE bioelectrode. Due to the catalytic oxidation properties of NPG for sulfide, the electrochemical reaction of the E. coli/NPG/GCE bioelectrode is attributed to the co-catalysis of SQR and NPG. For sulfide detection, the E. coli/NPG/GCE bioelectrode showed a good linear response ranging from 50μM to 5mM, with a high sensitivity of 18.35μAmM -1 cm -2 and a low detection limit of 2.55μM. The anti-interference ability of the E. coli/NPG/GCE bioelectrode is better than that of enzyme-based inhibitive biosensors. Further, the E. coli/NPG/GCE bioelectrode was successfully applied to the detection of sulfide in wastewater. These unique properties potentially make the E. coli/NPG/GCE bioelectrode an excellent choice for reliable sulfide detection. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  18. feedback between population and evolutionary dynamics determines the fate of social microbial populations.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alvaro Sanchez

    Full Text Available The evolutionary spread of cheater strategies can destabilize populations engaging in social cooperative behaviors, thus demonstrating that evolutionary changes can have profound implications for population dynamics. At the same time, the relative fitness of cooperative traits often depends upon population density, thus leading to the potential for bi-directional coupling between population density and the evolution of a cooperative trait. Despite the potential importance of these eco-evolutionary feedback loops in social species, they have not yet been demonstrated experimentally and their ecological implications are poorly understood. Here, we demonstrate the presence of a strong feedback loop between population dynamics and the evolutionary dynamics of a social microbial gene, SUC2, in laboratory yeast populations whose cooperative growth is mediated by the SUC2 gene. We directly visualize eco-evolutionary trajectories of hundreds of populations over 50-100 generations, allowing us to characterize the phase space describing the interplay of evolution and ecology in this system. Small populations collapse despite continual evolution towards increased cooperative allele frequencies; large populations with a sufficient number of cooperators "spiral" to a stable state of coexistence between cooperator and cheater strategies. The presence of cheaters does not significantly affect the equilibrium population density, but it does reduce the resilience of the population as well as its ability to adapt to a rapidly deteriorating environment. Our results demonstrate the potential ecological importance of coupling between evolutionary dynamics and the population dynamics of cooperatively growing organisms, particularly in microbes. Our study suggests that this interaction may need to be considered in order to explain intraspecific variability in cooperative behaviors, and also that this feedback between evolution and ecology can critically affect the

  19. 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.

  20. Determination of the natural Uranium in the ecosystems around the site of INR-Pitesti

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Horhoianu, V.; Todoran, A.; Valeca, M.; Hirica, O.

    2002-01-01

    Natural radioactivity, a basic component of the environment, is determined by the presence in soil, atmosphere, water, vegetation, live elements and humans of radioactive matter of terrestrial origin, naturally existing from the very beginning. To all these, extra-terrestrial cosmic radiation must be added. Human exposure to terrestrial radiation is due to radionuclides present in the earth crust or to those transferred from atmosphere or hydrosphere. An abundance of radionuclides present in the crust are radioactive. Their lifetime is shorter or equal to the estimated age of the earth crust and, consequently, they are presumed to represent a primordial inventory. Uranium and thorium in natural state decay in three different series, the first ones being the radionuclides 2 38U , 2 35U and 2 32T h. The population exposure to radiation must take into account both natural and artificial radiation

  1. 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,...

  2. '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.

  3. 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.

  4. Determination of carbon and nitrogen in litter fall of mangrove ecosystem in peninsular Malaysia

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hemati, Z.; Hossain, M.

    2017-01-01

    Mangroves in Peninsular Malaysia are typical of tropical forest setting. Nevertheless, the state of the mangrove forests has led to various classifications; natural and degraded mangroves. The study aimed to utilize litter fall (production and standing crop) potential as a means of evaluating the degree of productivity of the mangrove types across seasons, in addition to determining the abundance of carbon and nitrogen in the Peninsular mangrove forest. Leaf litter accounted for more than 70% of the total litter production in both natural and degraded mangroves, and the peak month for such production was December; 82.7% and 82.2%, for Sungai Haji Dorani and Kuala Selangor Nature Park, respectively. The degraded mangrove recorded higher concentration of total N (6.16 mg/g) than the natural mangrove forest (5.60 mg/g) at significant level. However, the organic carbon (CO) content across the litter parts varied with the three seasons. The CO of leaf litter was at the peak during the dry season, however, analysis on the branch and fruit revealed that during the intermediate and wet seasons CO level could be higher than the concentration observed at dry season. Though, the study concluded that both mangrove types in Peninsular Malaysia showed high similarity in the degree of litter production, yet the identified differences suggest that counter measures need to be adopted in order to protect mangroves from degradation and possible productivity loss. (author)

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. Determining the Diversity and Species Abundance Patterns in Arctic Soils using Rational Methods for Exploring Microbial Diversity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ovreas, L.; Quince, C.; Sloan, W.; Lanzen, A.; Davenport, R.; Green, J.; Coulson, S.; Curtis, T.

    2012-12-01

    Arctic microbial soil communities are intrinsically interesting and poorly characterised. We have inferred the diversity and species abundance distribution of 6 Arctic soils: new and mature soil at the foot of a receding glacier, Arctic Semi Desert, the foot of bird cliffs and soil underlying Arctic Tundra Heath: all near Ny-Ålesund, Spitsbergen. Diversity, distribution and sample sizes were estimated using the rational method of Quince et al., (Isme Journal 2 2008:997-1006) to determine the most plausible underlying species abundance distribution. A log-normal species abundance curve was found to give a slightly better fit than an inverse Gaussian curve if, and only if, sequencing error was removed. The median estimates of diversity of operational taxonomic units (at the 3% level) were 3600-5600 (lognormal assumed) and 2825-4100 (inverse Gaussian assumed). The nature and origins of species abundance distributions are poorly understood but may yet be grasped by observing and analysing such distributions in the microbial world. The sample size required to observe the distribution (by sequencing 90% of the taxa) varied between ~ 106 and ~105 for the lognormal and inverse Gaussian respectively. We infer that between 5 and 50 GB of sequencing would be required to capture 90% or the metagenome. Though a principle components analysis clearly divided the sites into three groups there was a high (20-45%) degree of overlap in between locations irrespective of geographical proximity. Interestingly, the nearest relatives of the most abundant taxa at a number of most sites were of alpine or polar origin. Samples plotted on first two principal components together with arbitrary discriminatory OTUs

  9. An ecosystem approach to determining effects of prescribed fire on southwestern borderlands oak savannas: A baseline study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gerald J. Gottfried; Daniel G. Neary; Peter F. Ffolliott

    2007-01-01

    Many traditional land management activities and supporting research have concentrated on one or two resources, with limited evaluations of interactions among other potential values. An ecosystem approach to land management requires an evaluation of the blend of physical and biological factors needed to assure productive, healthy ecosystems. Ideally, social and economic...

  10. Determination of charge transfer resistance and capacitance of microbial fuel cell through a transient response analysis of cell voltage.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ha, Phuc Thi; Moon, Hyunsoo; Kim, Byung Hong; Ng, How Yong; Chang, In Seop

    2010-03-15

    An alternative method for determining the charge transfer resistance and double-layer capacitance of microbial fuel cells (MFCs), easily implemented without a potentiostat, was developed. A dynamic model with two parameters, the charge transfer resistance and double-layer capacitance of electrodes, was derived from a linear differential equation to depict the current generation with respect to activation overvoltage. This model was then used to fit the transient cell voltage response to the current step change during the continuous operation of a flat-plate type MFC fed with acetate. Variations of the charge transfer resistance and the capacitance value with respect to the MFC design conditions (biocatalyst existence and electrode area) and operating parameters (acetate concentration and buffer strength in the catholyte) were then determined to elucidate the validity of the proposed method. This model was able to describe the dynamic behavior of the MFC during current change in the activation loss region; having an R(2) value of over 0.99 in most tests. Variations of the charge transfer resistance value (thousands of Omega) according to the change of the design factors and operational factors were well-correlated with the corresponding MFC performances. However, though the capacitance values (approximately 0.02 F) reflected the expected trend according to the electrode area change and catalyst property, they did not show significant variation with changes in either the acetate concentration or buffer strength. (c) 2009 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  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. Landowner behavior can determine the success of conservation strategies for ecosystem migration under sea-level rise.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Field, Christopher R; Dayer, Ashley A; Elphick, Chris S

    2017-08-22

    The human aspects of conservation are often overlooked but will be critical for identifying strategies for biological conservation in the face of climate change. We surveyed the behavioral intentions of coastal landowners with respect to various conservation strategies aimed at facilitating ecosystem migration for tidal marshes. We found that several popular strategies, including conservation easements and increasing awareness of ecosystem services, may not interest enough landowners to allow marsh migration at the spatial scales needed to mitigate losses from sea-level rise. We identified less common conservation strategies that have more support but that are unproven in practice and may be more expensive. Our results show that failure to incorporate human dimensions into ecosystem modeling and conservation planning could lead to the use of ineffective strategies and an overly optimistic view of the potential for ecosystem migration into human dominated areas.

  14. 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.

  15. 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...

  16. 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...

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. Work Tasks as Determinants of Grain Dust and Microbial Exposure in the Norwegian Grain and Compound Feed Industry.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Straumfors, Anne; Heldal, Kari Kulvik; Wouters, Inge M; Eduard, Wijnand

    2015-07-01

    The grain and compound feed industry entails inevitable risks of exposure to grain dust and its microbial content. The objective of this study was therefore to investigate task-dependent exposure differences in order to create knowledge basis for awareness and exposure reducing measures in the Norwegian grain and compound feed industry. A total of 166 samples of airborne dust were collected by full-shift personal sampling during work in 20 grain elevators and compound feed mills during one autumn season and two winter seasons. The personal exposure to grain dust, endotoxins, β-1→3-glucans, bacteria, and fungal spores was quantified and used as individual outcomes in mixed models with worker nested in company as random effect and different departments and tasks as fixed effects. The exposure levels were highest in grain elevator departments. Exposure to endotoxins was particularly high. Tasks that represented the highest and lowest exposures varied depending on the bioaerosol component. The most important determinants for elevated dust exposure were cleaning and process controlling. Cleaning increased the dust exposure level by a factor of 2.44 of the reference, from 0.65 to 1.58mg m(-3), whereas process controlling increased the dust exposure level by a factor of 2.97, from 0.65 to 1.93mg m(-3). Process controlling was associated with significantly less grain dust exposure in compound feed mills and the combined grain elevators and compound feed mills, than in grain elevators. The exposure was reduced by a factor of 0.18 and 0.22, from 1.93 to 0.34mg m(-3) and to 0.42mg m(-3), respectively, compared with the grain elevators. Inspection/maintenance, cleaning, and grain rotation and emptying were determinants of higher exposure to both endotoxin and β-1→3-glucans. Seed winnowing was in addition a strong determinant for endotoxin, whereas mixing of animal feed implied higher β-1→3-glucan exposure. Cleaning was the only task that contributed significantly to

  20. 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.

  1. Changes in root-associated microbial communities are determined by species-specific plant growth responses to stress and disturbance

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Bouasria, A.; Mustafa, T.; de Bello, Francesco; Zinger, L.; Lemperiere, G.; Geremia, R. A.; Choler, P.

    2012-01-01

    Roč. 52, Sep-Oct 2012 (2012), s. 59-66 ISSN 1164-5563 Institutional support: RVO:67985939 Keywords : ecosystem function * bacterial communities * grassland communities Subject RIV: EF - Botanics Impact factor: 1.838, year: 2012

  2. History of adaptation determines short-term shifts in performance and community structure of hydrogen-producing microbial communities degrading wheat straw.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Valdez-Vazquez, Idania; Morales, Ana L; Escalante, Ana E

    2017-11-01

    This study addresses the question of ecological interest for the determination of structure and diversity of microbial communities that degrade lignocellulosic biomasses to produce biofuels. Two microbial consortia with different history, native of wheat straw (NWS) and from a methanogenic digester (MD) fed with cow manure, were contrasted in terms of hydrogen performance, substrate disintegration and microbial diversity. NWS outperformed the hydrogen production rate of MD. Microscopic images revealed that NWS acted on the cuticle and epidermis, generating cellulose strands with high crystallinity, while MD degraded deeper layers, equally affecting all polysaccharides. The bacterial composition markedly differed according to the inocula origin. NWS almost solely comprised hydrogen producers of the phyla Firmicutes and Proteobacteria, with 38% members of Enterococcus. After hydrogen fermentation, NWS comprised 8% Syntrophococcus, an acetogen that cleaves aryl ethers of constituent groups on the aromatic components of lignin. Conversely, MD comprised thirteen phyla, primarily including Firmicutes with H 2 -producing members, and Bacteroidetes with non-H 2 -producing members, which reduced the hydrogen performance. Overall, the results of this study provide clear evidence that the history of adaptation of NWS enhanced the hydrogen performance from untreated wheat straw. Further, native wheat straw communities have the potential to refine cellulose fibers and produce biofuels simultaneously. © 2017 The Authors. Microbial Biotechnology published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd and Society for Applied Microbiology.

  3. 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...

  4. Environmental controls on seasonal ecosystem evapotranspiration/potential evapotranspiration ratio as determined by the global eddy flux measurements

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chunwei Liu; Ge Sun; Steve McNulty; Asko Noormets; Yuan Fang

    2017-01-01

    The evapotranspiration / potential evapotranspiration (AET / PET) ratio is traditionally termed as the crop coefficient (Kc) and has been generally used as ecosystem evaporative stress index. In the current hydrology literature, Kc has been widely used as a parameter to estimate crop water demand by water managers but has...

  5. Quantifying causal mechanisms to determine how protected areas affect poverty through changes in ecosystem services and infrastructure

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ferraro, Paul J.; Hanauer, Merlin M.

    2014-01-01

    To develop effective environmental policies, we must understand the mechanisms through which the policies affect social and environmental outcomes. Unfortunately, empirical evidence about these mechanisms is limited, and little guidance for quantifying them exists. We develop an approach to quantifying the mechanisms through which protected areas affect poverty. We focus on three mechanisms: changes in tourism and recreational services; changes in infrastructure in the form of road networks, health clinics, and schools; and changes in regulating and provisioning ecosystem services and foregone production activities that arise from land-use restrictions. The contributions of ecotourism and other ecosystem services to poverty alleviation in the context of a real environmental program have not yet been empirically estimated. Nearly two-thirds of the poverty reduction associated with the establishment of Costa Rican protected areas is causally attributable to opportunities afforded by tourism. Although protected areas reduced deforestation and increased regrowth, these land cover changes neither reduced nor exacerbated poverty, on average. Protected areas did not, on average, affect our measures of infrastructure and thus did not contribute to poverty reduction through this mechanism. We attribute the remaining poverty reduction to unobserved dimensions of our mechanisms or to other mechanisms. Our study empirically estimates previously unidentified contributions of ecotourism and other ecosystem services to poverty alleviation in the context of a real environmental program. We demonstrate that, with existing data and appropriate empirical methods, conservation scientists and policymakers can begin to elucidate the mechanisms through which ecosystem conservation programs affect human welfare. PMID:24567397

  6. 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.

  7. Stoichiometry and Life-History Interact to Determine the Magnitude of Cross-Ecosystem Element and Biomass Fluxes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Thomas M. Luhring

    2017-05-01

    Full Text Available Ecosystems are linked through the transfer of materials and energy. Studies examining material fluxes across habitat boundaries frequently quantify unidirectional flows of nutrients and energy. However, material fluxes can be multidirectional, and we lack a conceptual framework to describe how their quantity and stoichiometry influence the net transfer of individual elements between ecosystems. Here we develop a zero net transfer isocline (ZNTI framework that integrates the relative mass and stoichiometry of fluxes into and out of an ecosystem. We then use case studies with amphibians and salmon to elucidate how life history, ontogenetic shifts in stoichiometry, and trophic interactions shape relative fluxes of nutrients between aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems. Because they increase in both size and Ca content from ova to metamorphs, amphibian life histories strongly bias them toward net Ca export into the terrestrial environment. Because amphibian biomass, C, P, and Ca ZNTIs do not overlap, there is no value of survivorship where the net flux of biomass, C, P, and Ca are simultaneously balanced between terrestrial and aquatic habitats. The degree of iteroparity and semelparity in salmon strongly affects both the magnitude of net biomass and P flux between riverine and marine environments. While the net direction of biomass flux generally remains strongly biased toward import into the riverine system, net P flux can reach net export into the marine environment because of increasing adult breeding survival leading to reduced mass and %P of what they deposit in rivers (e.g., ova vs. whole carcasses. These examples highlight how ontogenetic shifts in body size and stoichiometry result in asymmetric fluxes of elements and biomass that can lead to simultaneous net imports and exports of different elements within the same system. Furthermore, they demonstrate how changes in life-history characteristics and stage-specific survivorship can lead to

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. Work Tasks as Determinants of Grain Dust and Microbial Exposure in the Norwegian Grain and Compound Feed Industry

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Straumfors, Anne; Heldal, Kari Kulvik; Wouters, Inge M; Eduard, Wijnand

    OBJECTIVES: The grain and compound feed industry entails inevitable risks of exposure to grain dust and its microbial content. The objective of this study was therefore to investigate task-dependent exposure differences in order to create knowledge basis for awareness and exposure reducing measures

  12. Development of an integrated ecosystem model to determine effectiveness of potential watershed management projects on improving Old Tampa Bay

    Science.gov (United States)

    Edward T. Sherwood; Holly Greening; Lizanne Garcia; Kris Kaufman; Tony Janicki; Ray Pribble; Brett Cunningham; Steve Peene; Jim Fitzpatrick; Kellie Dixon; Mike Wessel

    2016-01-01

    The Tampa Bay estuary has undergone a remarkable ecosystem recovery since the 1980s despite continued population growth within the region. However during this time, the Old Tampa Bay (OTB) segment has lagged behind the rest of the Bay’s recovery relative to improvements in overall water quality and seagrass coverage. In 2011, the Tampa Bay Estuary Program, 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. Determination of Cu, Zn, Pb and Cd by atomic emission spectrometry with inductively coupled plasma in waters and sediments from San Juan Ecosystem, Santiago de Cuba

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Argota Perez, George; Argota Coello, Humberto; Fernandez-Heredia, Angel

    2014-01-01

    In this paper the levels of concentration of copper, zinc, lead and cadmium in waters and sediments from the ecosystem San Juan in the Santiago of Cuba province were evaluated. Two sampling of the ecosystem in two stations belonging to the high and middle part of the river, in rainy and little rainy periods were carried out. The conservation and treatment of the samples were developed according to established standards and the determinations of the elements were realized using atomic emission spectrometry with inductively coupled plasma. The concentrations intervals of the studied elements were established so much in the superficial waters like in the sediments and it was demonstrated that exists statistical significant differences for the factors station, period and type of sample, being the middle part of the river, the little rainy period and the sediments, where the grater concentrations of the pollutants appear

  15. Variable nutrient stoichiometry (carbon:nitrogen:phosphorus) across trophic levels determines community and ecosystem properties in an oligotrophic mangrove system.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scharler, U M; Ulanowicz, R E; Fogel, M L; Wooller, M J; Jacobson-Meyers, M E; Lovelock, C E; Feller, I C; Frischer, M; Lee, R; McKee, K; Romero, I C; Schmit, J P; Shearer, C

    2015-11-01

    Our study investigated the carbon:nitrogen:phosphorus (C:N:P) stoichiometry of mangrove island of the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef (Twin Cays, Belize). The C:N:P of abiotic and biotic components of this oligotrophic ecosystem was measured and served to build networks of nutrient flows for three distinct mangrove forest zones (tall seaward fringing forest, inland dwarf forests and a transitional zone). Between forest zones, the stoichiometry of primary producers, heterotrophs and abiotic components did not change significantly, but there was a significant difference in C:N:P, and C, N, and P biomass, between the functional groups mangrove trees, other primary producers, heterotrophs, and abiotic components. C:N:P decreased with increasing trophic level. Nutrient recycling in the food webs was highest for P, and high transfer efficiencies between trophic levels of P and N also indicated an overall shortage of these nutrients when compared to C. Heterotrophs were sometimes, but not always, limited by the same nutrient as the primary producers. Mangrove trees and the primary tree consumers were P limited, whereas the invertebrates consuming leaf litter and detritus were N limited. Most compartments were limited by P or N (not by C), and the relative depletion rate of food sources was fastest for P. P transfers thus constituted a bottleneck of nutrient transfer on Twin Cays. This is the first comprehensive ecosystem study of nutrient transfers in a mangrove ecosystem, illustrating some mechanisms (e.g. recycling rates, transfer efficiencies) which oligotrophic systems use in order to build up biomass and food webs spanning various trophic levels.

  16. Variable nutrient stoichiometry (carbon:nitrogen:phosphorus) across trophic levels determines community and ecosystem properties in an oligotrophic mangrove system

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scharler, U.M.; Ulanowicz, Robert E.; Fogel, M.L.; Wooller, M.J.; Jacobson-Meyers, M.E.; Lovelock, C.E.; Feller, I.C.; Frischer, M.; Lee, R.; Mckee, Karen L.; Romero, I.C.; Schmit, J.P.; Shearer, C.

    2015-01-01

    Our study investigated the carbon:nitrogen:phosphorus (C:N:P) stoichiometry of mangrove island of the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef (Twin Cays, Belize). The C:N:P of abiotic and biotic components of this oligotrophic ecosystem was measured and served to build networks of nutrient flows for three distinct mangrove forest zones (tall seaward fringing forest, inland dwarf forests and a transitional zone). Between forest zones, the stoichiometry of primary producers, heterotrophs and abiotic components did not change significantly, but there was a significant difference in C:N:P, and C, N, and P biomass, between the functional groups mangrove trees, other primary producers, heterotrophs, and abiotic components. C:N:P decreased with increasing trophic level. Nutrient recycling in the food webs was highest for P, and high transfer efficiencies between trophic levels of P and N also indicated an overall shortage of these nutrients when compared to C. Heterotrophs were sometimes, but not always, limited by the same nutrient as the primary producers. Mangrove trees and the primary tree consumers were P limited, whereas the invertebrates consuming leaf litter and detritus were N limited. Most compartments were limited by P or N (not by C), and the relative depletion rate of food sources was fastest for P. P transfers thus constituted a bottleneck of nutrient transfer on Twin Cays. This is the first comprehensive ecosystem study of nutrient transfers in a mangrove ecosystem, illustrating some mechanisms (e.g. recycling rates, transfer efficiencies) which oligotrophic systems use in order to build up biomass and food webs spanning various trophic levels.

  17. 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...

  18. 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…

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. Variations in soil carbon sequestration and their determinants along a precipitation gradient in seasonally dry tropical forest ecosystems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Campo, Julio; Merino, Agustín

    2016-05-01

    The effect of precipitation regime on the C cycle of tropical forests is poorly understood, despite the existence of models that suggest a drier climate may substantially alter the source-sink function of these ecosystems. Along a precipitation regime gradient containing 12 mature seasonally dry tropical forests growing under otherwise similar conditions (similar annual temperature, rainfall seasonality, and geological substrate), we analyzed the influence of variation in annual precipitation (1240 to 642 mm) and duration of seasonal drought on soil C. We investigated litterfall, decomposition in the forest floor, and C storage in the mineral soil, and analyzed the dependence of these processes and pools on precipitation. Litterfall decreased slightly - about 10% - from stands with 1240 mm yr(-1) to those with 642 mm yr(-1), while the decomposition decreased by 56%. Reduced precipitation strongly affected C storage and basal respiration in the mineral soil. Higher soil C storage at the drier sites was also related to the higher chemical recalcitrance of litter (fine roots and forest floor) and the presence of charcoal across sites, suggesting an important indirect influence of climate on C sequestration. Basal respiration was controlled by the amount of recalcitrant organic matter in the mineral soil. We conclude that in these forest ecosystems, the long-term consequences of decreased precipitation would be an increase in organic layer and mineral soil C storage, mainly due to lower decomposition and higher chemical recalcitrance of organic matter, resulting from changes in litter composition and, likely also, wildfire patterns. This could turn these seasonally dry tropical forests into significant soil C sinks under the predicted longer drought periods if primary productivity is maintained. © 2016 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  2. 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…

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. Urban morphological determinants of temperature regulating ecosystem services in African cities: the case of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cavan, Gina; Lindley, Sarah; Kibassa, Deusdedit; Shemdoe, Riziki; Capuano, Paolo; De Paola, Francesco; Renner, Florian; Pauleit, Stephan

    2013-04-01

    Urban green structure provides important regulating ecosystem services, such as temperature and flood regulation, and thus, has the potential to increase the resilience of African cities to climate change. Green structures within urban areas are not only limited to discrete units associated with recreational parks, agricultural areas and open spaces: they also exist within zones which have other primary functions, such as church yards, along transport routes, and within residential areas. Differing characteristics of urban areas can be conceptualised and subsequently mapped through the idea of urban morphology types. Urban morphology types are classifications which combine facets of urban form and function. When mapped, UMT units provide biophysically relevant meso-scale geographical zones which can be used as the basis for understanding climate-related impacts and adaptations. For example, they support the assessment of urban temperature patterns and the temperature regulating services provided by urban green structures. There are some examples of the use of UMTs for assessing regulating ecosystem services in European cities but little similar knowledge is available in an African context. This paper outlines the concept of urban morphology types (UMTs) and how they were applied to African case study cities (Cavan et al., 2012). It then presents the methods used to understand temperature regulating ecosystem services across an example African case study city, including (i) a GIS-based assessment of urban green structures, and (ii) applying an energy balance model to estimate current and future surface temperatures under climate change projections. The assessment is carried out for Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. Existing evidence suggests increases in both mean and extreme temperatures in the city. Historical analysis of the number of hot days per year suggests a rise from a maximum of 47 days per year in the period 1961-87 to 72 days per year in 2003-2011 (Giugni et al

  6. Seasonal and episodic moisture controls on plant and microbial contributions to soil respiration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carbone, Mariah S; Still, Christopher J; Ambrose, Anthony R; Dawson, Todd E; Williams, A Park; Boot, Claudia M; Schaeffer, Sean M; Schimel, Joshua P

    2011-09-01

    Moisture inputs drive soil respiration (SR) dynamics in semi-arid and arid ecosystems. However, determining the contributions of root and microbial respiration to SR, and their separate temporal responses to periodic drought and water pulses, remains poorly understood. This study was conducted in a pine forest ecosystem with a Mediterranean-type climate that receives seasonally varying precipitation inputs from both rainfall (in the winter) and fog-drip (primarily in the summer). We used automated SR measurements, radiocarbon SR source partitioning, and a water addition experiment to understand how SR, and its separate root and microbial sources, respond to seasonal and episodic changes in moisture. Seasonal changes in SR were driven by surface soil water content and large changes in root respiration contributions. Superimposed on these seasonal patterns were episodic pulses of precipitation that determined the short-term SR patterns. Warm season precipitation pulses derived from fog-drip, and rainfall following extended dry periods, stimulated the largest SR responses. Microbial respiration dominated these SR responses, increasing within hours, whereas root respiration responded more slowly over days. We conclude that root and microbial respiration sources respond differently in timing and magnitude to both seasonal and episodic moisture inputs. These findings have important implications for the mechanistic representation of SR in models and the response of dry ecosystems to changes in precipitation patterns.

  7. 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.

  8. Determination of human pathogen profiles in food by quality assured microbial assays. Proceedings of a final Research Coordination Meeting

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NONE

    2005-01-15

    This publication includes the results of a Coordinated Research Project (CRP). Major food microbial contaminants were identified in some of the main foods exported in the international food market. Thousands of samples in a wide variety of foods were selected to be studied during different points of the food chain: meat (chicken, beef and pork), seafood (shellfish such as shrimp, prawns, scampi, squid, and lobsters, and different types of fish such as salmon, cuttle fish, rohu, fin herring, catfish, milkfish, and tilapia), spices (pepper, paprika), frozen vegetables (asparagus, peas and corn) and other products (coconut and dairy products). The analysis included pathogenic bacteria such as Salmonella spp. (several serotypes), Escherichia coli, E. coli 0157:H7, Staphylococcus aureus, Clostridium perfringens, Bacillus cereus, Vibrio choleare, Vibrio parahaemolitycus and Yersinia enterolítica. This publication includes data that may be used to conduct better risk assessments on food by importing as well as exporting countries.

  9. A rapid method for the determination of microbial susceptibility using the firefly luciferase assay for adenosine triphosphate (ATP)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vellend, H.; Tuttle, S. A.; Barza, M.; Weinstein, L.; Picciolo, G. L.; Chappelle, E. W.

    1975-01-01

    Luciferase assay for adenosine triphosphate (ATP) was optimized for pure bacteria in broth in order to evaluate if changes in bacterial ATP content could be used as a rapid measure of antibiotic effect on microorganisms. Broth cultures of log phase bacteria were incubated at 310 K (37 C) for 2.5 hours at antimicrobial concentrations which resulted in the best discrimination between sensitive and resistant strains. Eighty-seven strains of 11 bacterial species were studied for their susceptibility to 12 commonly used antimicrobial agents: ampicillin, Penicillin G, nafcillin, carbenicillin, cephalothin, tetracycline, erythromycin, clindamycin, gentamicin, nitrofurantoin, colistin, and chloramplenicol. The major advantage of the ATP system over existing methods of rapid microbial susceptibility testing is that the assay can be made specific for bacterial ATP.

  10. 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...

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. Ecosystem services trade-offs and determinants in China's Yangtze River Economic Belt from 2000 to 2015.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xu, Xibao; Yang, Guishan; Tan, Yan; Liu, Jingping; Hu, Huizhi

    2018-09-01

    Ecosystem services (ES) play an important role in sustaining ecological security, sustainable development and human well-being. This study investigates spatio-temporal changes in five key ES in the Yangtze River Economic Belt of China in 2000-2015-water conservation (WC), soil retention (SR), carbon sequestration (CS), biodiversity conservation (BC) and food supply (FS), by applying three ecological models (InVEST, RUSLE, CASA). Employing scenario simulations, the study quantifies distinct effects of significant factors on ES changes. Using spatial overlapping and Spearman's rank correlation respectively, the study distinguishes spatial patterns of synergies and trade-offs between five ES at the grid and city-scales. The results show that CS, FS, WC and SR presented an overall upward trend, increasing by 22.7%, 16.9%, 6.4% and 4.7%, respectively, while BC remained steady with a marginal degradation. Change in these five ES exhibited dramatic spatial heterogeneity. Across 131 cities, 98.5% of which increased in CS, 87.7% in WC, 68.5% in FS, and 53.1% in SR, while more than half experienced slight degradation in BC. There is high heterogeneity and a great diversity among spatial distributions of ES synergies and trade-offs, which is largely dependent on ES pairs and spatial patterns of land use. Land use/land cover change was the dominant force driving changes in SR, BC and CS, while meteorological factors exhibited a greater effect on WS change than land use/land cover change. The paper examines the synergies between WC-SR, CS-BC and BC-FS on the city level, while WC-BC exhibits significant trade-offs, and no significant relationships for other ES pairs. It is imperative that ES trade-offs at different scales are incorporated to strengthen ecological protection and management policies in project implementation, maintaining ES within vital regions in China. More sophisticated methods and more ES indicators need to be incorporated to enhance the robustness and

  15. Nuclear techniques to determine microbial protein synthesis and productive performance of barki lambs fed rations containing some medicinal plants

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Mohamed, M.M.S.

    2009-01-01

    This study included two experiments, the first experiment was carried out in vitro to evaluate the effect of adding two levels of Lemongrass or Rosemary in ruminant rations on microbial protein synthesis using radio active sulfur S 35 . While, the second experiment was to study the effect of Lemongrass (CC) and Rosemary (RO) as feed additives in rations of lambs on feed intake, nutrient digestibility, some parameters of blood and rumen activity. Meanwhile, body weight and economical efficiency were studied. Twenty five of Barki male lambs with average body weight of 19.8 kg ± 1 kg and 3- 4 months of age were divided into 5 similar groups (5 lambs each). The first group (control) (R1) was fed on a concentrate feed mixture (CFM) plus rice straw (RS). While, R2 and R3 were fed as R1 ration supplemented with 100 or 200 mg Lemongrass /kg LBW/d respectively. Meantime, R4 and R5 were fed as R1 ration supplemented with 100 or 200 mg Rosemary /kg LBW/d respectively.The results indicated that more microbial protein synthesis was noticed with 4 mg of Lemongrass followed by 2 mg Rosemary, 2 mg Lemongrass and control which was higher than 4 mg Rosemary/ 0.5 g concentrate mixture. The differences were not statistically significant. The dry matter intake (DMI) was not significantly different for R4 and R3 when compared with R1 (control) and it significantly decreased in R5 and R2 compared with R1. The digestibilities of DM, OM, CP, EE and NFE in the supplemented groups were not significantly differing compared with R1. The digestibility of CF was significantly increased in R2 and R4 compared with R1 and there were no significant differences for R3 and R5 compared with R1. There were no significant differences in nutritive values as TDN, DCP and SV among all supplemented groups compared with R1. Rumen liquor TVFA,s was not significantly differ at zero time, but it decreased at 3 h and 6 h with all additives compared with the control with no significant differences among all

  16. Determination of Microbial Nitrogen Production by Using Urinary Allantoin and Blood Metabolite Concentrate in Growing Brahman Cattle Fed the Different Proportion of Roughage and Concentrate in Diets

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Suthikrai, Wanvipa; Usawang, Sungwon; Kijsamrej, Suriya; Sophon, Sunpetch; Jetana, Thongsuk

    2003-06-01

    Determination of microbial nitrogen synthesis by using urinary allantoin and blood metabolite for evaluating the efficiency of feed utilization, in this study was conducted by using four Brahman bulls (about 1 year old). Animals were fed ad libitum with 4 fixed diets of four combinations of pineapple fibre (P) and concentrate (C) in the proportions, on dry matter basis of 0.8:0.2 (P80:C20), 0.6:0.04(P60:C40), 0.4:0.6(P40:C60) and 0.2:0.8 (P20:C80). The experiment was designed as a 4x4 Latin square design The Results showed that increasing in the proportion of concentrate linearly increased the rumen microbial nitrogen production (p<0.001), the concentrations of Insulin and urea-N in plasma and the concentration of urea-N in the urine, but not affected on the concentrations of glucose and creatinine in plasma. In conclusion, the using of allantoin urinary associated with blood metabolite can evaluate the accuracy in evaluation of feed utilization in Brahman cattle

  17. Application of 13C-labeling and 13C-13C COSY NMR experiments in the structure determination of a microbial natural product.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kwon, Yun; Park, Sunghyouk; Shin, Jongheon; Oh, Dong-Chan

    2014-08-01

    The elucidation of the structures of complex natural products bearing many quaternary carbons remains challenging, even in this advanced spectroscopic era. (13)C-(13)C COSY NMR spectroscopy shows direct couplings between (13)C and (13)C, which comprise the backbone of a natural product. Thus, this type of experiment is particularly useful for natural products bearing consecutive quaternary carbons. However, the low sensitivity of (13)C-based NMR experiments, due to the low natural abundance of the (13)C nucleus, is problematic when applying these techniques. Our efforts in the (13)C labeling of a microbial natural product, cyclopiazonic acid (1), by feeding (13)C-labeled glucose to the fungal culture, enabled us to acquire (13)C-(13)C COSY NMR spectra on a milligram scale that clearly show the carbon backbone of the compound. This is the first application of (13)C-(13)C COSY NMR experiments for a natural product. The results suggest that (13)C-(13)C COSY NMR spectroscopy can be routinely used for the structure determination of microbial natural products by (13)C-enrichment of a compound with (13)C-glucose.

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. The Gellyfish: an in-situ equilibrium-based sampler for determining multiple free metal ion concentrations in marine ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Free metal ions are usually the most bioavailable and toxic metal species to aquatic organisms, but they are difficult to measure because of their extremely low concentrations in the marine environment. Many of the current methods for determining free metal ions are complicated a...

  3. Spatial heterogeneity of physicochemical properties explains differences in microbial composition in arid soils from Cuatro Cienegas, Mexico

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Silvia Pajares

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available Arid ecosystems are characterized by high spatial heterogeneity, and the variation among vegetation patches is a clear example. Soil biotic and abiotic factors associated with these patches have also been well documented as highly heterogeneous in space. Given the low vegetation cover and little precipitation in arid ecosystems, soil microorganisms are the main drivers of nutrient cycling. Nonetheless, little is known about the spatial distribution of microorganisms and the relationship that their diversity holds with nutrients and other physicochemical gradients in arid soils. In this study, we evaluated the spatial variability of soil microbial diversity and chemical parameters (nutrients and ion content at local scale (meters occurring in a gypsum-based desert soil, to gain knowledge on what soil abiotic factors control the distribution of microbes in arid ecosystems. We analyzed 32 soil samples within a 64 m2 plot and: (a characterized microbial diversity using T-RFLPs of the bacterial 16S rRNA gene, (b determined soil chemical parameters, and (c identified relationships between microbial diversity and chemical properties. Overall, we found a strong correlation between microbial composition heterogeneity and spatial variation of cations (Ca2, K+ and anions (HCO ${}_{3}^{-}$ 3 − , Cl−, SO ${}_{4}^{2-}$ 4 2 − content in this small plot. Our results could be attributable to spatial differences of soil saline content, favoring the patchy emergence of salt and soil microbial communities.

  4. Determination of water-soluble vitamins using a colorimetric microbial viability assay based on the reduction of water-soluble tetrazolium salts.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tsukatani, Tadayuki; Suenaga, Hikaru; Ishiyama, Munetaka; Ezoe, Takatoshi; Matsumoto, Kiyoshi

    2011-07-15

    A method for the determination of water-soluble vitamins using a colorimetric microbial viability assay based on the reduction of the tetrazolium salt {2-(2-methoxy-4-nitrophenyl)-3-(4-nitrophenyl)-5-(2,4-disulfophenyl)-2H-tetrazolium, monosodium salt (WST-8)} via 2-methyl-1,4-napthoquinone (NQ) was developed. Measurement conditions were optimized for the microbiological determination of water-soluble vitamins, such as vitamin B(6), biotin, folic acid, niacin, and pantothenic acid, using microorganisms that have a water-soluble vitamin requirement. A linear relationship between absorbance and water-soluble vitamin concentration was obtained. The proposed method was applied to determine the concentration of vitamin B(6) in various foodstuffs. There was good agreement between vitamin B(6) concentrations determined after 24h using the WST-8 colorimetric method and those obtained after 48h using a conventional method. The results suggest that the WST-8 colorimetric assay is a useful method for the rapid determination of water-soluble vitamins in a 96-well microtiter plate. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  5. 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

  6. Community structure and function of high-temperature chlorophototrophic microbial mats inhabiting diverse geothermal environments

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Klatt, Christian G.; Inskeep, William P.; Herrgard, Markus

    2013-01-01

    Six phototrophic microbial mat communities from different geothermal springs (YNP) were studied using metagenome sequencing and geochemical analyses. The primary goals of this work were to determine differences in community composition of high-temperature phototrophic mats distributed across...... the Yellowstone geothermal ecosystem, and to identify metabolic attributes of predominant organisms present in these communities that may correlate with environmental attributes important in niche differentiation. Random shotgun metagenome sequences from six phototrophic communities (average 53Mbp/site) were...

  7. Metabolism of the Lignan Macromolecule into Enterolignans in the Gastrointestinal Lumen As Determined in the Simulator of the Human Intestinal Microbial Ecosystem

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Eeckhaut, E.; Struijs, K.; Possemiers, S.; Vincken, J.P.; Keukeleire, de D.; Verstraete, W.

    2008-01-01

    Estrogenic plant compounds from the human diet such as the lignan secoisolariciresinol diglucoside (SDG, 1) can exert biological activity in the human body upon ingestion and bioactivation to enterodiol (END, 5) and enterolactone (ENL, 6). Bioavailability of lignans is influenced by the food matrix

  8. Use of static Quantitative Microbial Risk Assessment to determine pathogen risks in an unconfined carbonate aquifer used for Managed Aquifer Recharge.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Toze, Simon; Bekele, Elise; Page, Declan; Sidhu, Jatinder; Shackleton, Mark

    2010-02-01

    Managed Aquifer Recharge (MAR) is becoming a mechanism used for recycling treated wastewater and captured urban stormwater and is being used as a treatment barrier to remove contaminants such as pathogens from the recharged water. There is still a need, however, to demonstrate the effectiveness of MAR to reduce any residual risk of pathogens in the recovered water. A MAR research site recharging secondary treated wastewater in an unconfined carbonate aquifer was used in conjunction with a static Quantitative Microbial Risk Assessment (QMRA) to assess the microbial pathogen risk in the recovered water following infiltration and aquifer passage. The research involved undertaking a detailed hydrogeological assessment of the aquifer at the MAR site and determining the decay rates of reference pathogens from an in-situ decay study. These variables along with literature data were then used in the static QMRA which demonstrated that the recovered water at this site did not meet the Australian Guidelines for recycled water when used for differing private green space irrigation scenarios. The results also confirmed the importance of obtaining local hydrogeological data as local heterogeneity can influence of residence time in the aquifer which, in turn, influences the outcomes. The research demonstrated that a static QMRA can be used to determine the residual risk from pathogens in recovered water and showed that it can be a valuable tool in the preliminary design and operation of MAR systems and the incorporation of complementary engineered treatment processes to ensure that there is acceptable health risk from the recovered water. Crown Copyright 2009. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  9. 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.

  10. A Disease-Associated Microbial and Metabolomics State in Relatives of Pediatric Inflammatory Bowel Disease Patients.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jacobs, Jonathan P; Goudarzi, Maryam; Singh, Namita; Tong, Maomeng; McHardy, Ian H; Ruegger, Paul; Asadourian, Miro; Moon, Bo-Hyun; Ayson, Allyson; Borneman, James; McGovern, Dermot P B; Fornace, Albert J; Braun, Jonathan; Dubinsky, Marla

    2016-11-01

    Microbes may increase susceptibility to inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) by producing bioactive metabolites that affect immune activity and epithelial function. We undertook a family based study to identify microbial and metabolic features of IBD that may represent a predisease risk state when found in healthy first-degree relatives. Twenty-one families with pediatric IBD were recruited, comprising 26 Crohn's disease patients in clinical remission, 10 ulcerative colitis patients in clinical remission, and 54 healthy siblings/parents. Fecal samples were collected for 16S ribosomal RNA gene sequencing, untargeted liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry metabolomics, and calprotectin measurement. Individuals were grouped into microbial and metabolomics states using Dirichlet multinomial models. Multivariate models were used to identify microbes and metabolites associated with these states. Individuals were classified into 2 microbial community types. One was associated with IBD but irrespective of disease status, had lower microbial diversity, and characteristic shifts in microbial composition including increased Enterobacteriaceae, consistent with dysbiosis. This microbial community type was associated similarly with IBD and reduced microbial diversity in an independent pediatric cohort. Individuals also clustered bioinformatically into 2 subsets with shared fecal metabolomics signatures. One metabotype was associated with IBD and was characterized by increased bile acids, taurine, and tryptophan. The IBD-associated microbial and metabolomics states were highly correlated, suggesting that they represented an integrated ecosystem. Healthy relatives with the IBD-associated microbial community type had an increased incidence of elevated fecal calprotectin. Healthy first-degree relatives can have dysbiosis associated with an altered intestinal metabolome that may signify a predisease microbial susceptibility state or subclinical inflammation. Longitudinal prospective

  11. Functional diversity of microbial decomposers facilitates plant coexistence in a plant-microbe-soil feedback model.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miki, Takeshi; Ushio, Masayuki; Fukui, Shin; Kondoh, Michio

    2010-08-10

    Theory and empirical evidence suggest that plant-soil feedback (PSF) determines the structure of a plant community and nutrient cycling in terrestrial ecosystems. The plant community alters the nutrient pool size in soil by affecting litter decomposition processes, which in turn shapes the plant community, forming a PSF system. However, the role of microbial decomposers in PSF function is often overlooked, and it remains unclear whether decomposers reinforce or weaken litter-mediated plant control over nutrient cycling. Here, we present a theoretical model incorporating the functional diversity of both plants and microbial decomposers. Two fundamental microbial processes are included that control nutrient mineralization from plant litter: (i) assimilation of mineralized nutrient into the microbial biomass (microbial immobilization), and (ii) release of the microbial nutrients into the inorganic nutrient pool (net mineralization). With this model, we show that microbial diversity may act as a buffer that weakens plant control over the soil nutrient pool, reversing the sign of PSF from positive to negative and facilitating plant coexistence. This is explained by the decoupling of litter decomposability and nutrient pool size arising from a flexible change in the microbial community composition and decomposition processes in response to variations in plant litter decomposability. Our results suggest that the microbial community plays a central role in PSF function and the plant community structure. Furthermore, the results strongly imply that the plant-centered view of nutrient cycling should be changed to a plant-microbe-soil feedback system, by incorporating the community ecology of microbial decomposers and their functional diversity.

  12. Determination of Leaf Area Index, Total Foliar N, and Normalized Difference Vegetation Index for Arctic Ecosystems Dominated by Cassiope tetragona

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Campioli, M; Street, LE; Michelsen, Anders

    2009-01-01

    have not been accurately quantified. We address this knowledge gap by (i) direct measurements of LAI and TFN for C. tetragona, and (ii) determining TFN-LAI and LAI–normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) relationships for typical C. tetragona tundras in the subarctic (Sweden) and High Arctic...... leaf N and biomass. The LAI-NDVI and TFN-LAI relationships showed high correlation and can be used to estimate indirectly LAI and TFN. The LAI-NDVI relationship for C. tetragona vegetation differed from a generic LAI-NDVI relationship for arctic tundra, whereas the TFN-LAI relationship did not. Overall...

  13. Determination of the feasibility of using open path FTIR to monitor levels of 3-methylfuran and 1-octen-3-ol for the purpose of detecting microbial contamination in indoor environments

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Olive, Brent [Univ. of Alabama, Birmingham, AL (United States)

    1996-03-01

    Studies have shown that the presence of microbial growth correlates with health complaints associated with sick building syndrome. Microbial growth may be found in damp places within a building, and may be dispersed to other areas if present in the HVAC system. Certain individuals may be especially sensitive to the presence of these microorganisms, and may experience adverse reactions at extremely low concentrations. Unfortunately, the source of the problem may not be discovered because many times the microbial growth is not visible. However, there are some volatile organic compounds that are given off by certain microorganisms which may be used to determine the presence of microbial contamination. 3-Methylfuran is an excellent indicator of growing fungi. It is produced by a majority of fungi, and can be used as an indicator of ongoing growth. 1-Octen-3-ol is also produced by a number of fungi, and has been used in the past as an indicator of such. These two compounds and many other volatiles given off by microorganisms have been termed microbial volatile organic compounds (MVOCs). Many of these compounds are commonly found in indoor air, and thus, may be present even when there is not microbial contamination.

  14. Cellulolytic potential under environmental changes in microbial communities from grassland litter

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Renaud eBerlemont

    2014-11-01

    Full Text Available In many ecosystems, global changes are likely to profoundly affect microorganisms. In Southern California, changes in precipitation and nitrogen deposition may influence the composition and functional potential of microbial communities and their resulting ability to degrade plant material. To test whether environmental changes impact the distribution of functional groups involved in leaf litter degradation, we determined how the genomic diversity of microbial communities in a semi-arid grassland ecosystem changed under reduced precipitation or increased N deposition. We monitored communities seasonally over a period of two years to place environmental change responses into the context of natural variation. Fungal and bacterial communities displayed strong seasonal patterns, Fungi being mostly detected during the dry season whereas Bacteria were common during wet periods. Most putative cellulose degraders were associated with 33 bacterial genera and constituted ~18.2% of the microbial community. Precipitation reduction reduced bacterial abundance and cellulolytic potential whereas nitrogen addition did not affect the cellulolytic potential of the microbial community. Finally, we detected a strong correlation between the frequencies of genera putative cellulose degraders and cellulase genes. Thus, microbial taxonomic composition was predictive of cellulolytic potential. This work provides a framework for how environmental changes affect microorganisms responsible for plant litter deconstruction.

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. Determination of key environmental factors responsible for distribution patterns of fiddler crabs in a tropical mangrove ecosystem.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mohammad Mokhtari

    Full Text Available In tropical regions, different species of fiddler crabs coexist on the mangrove floor, which sometimes makes it difficult to define species-specific habitat by visual inspection. The aim of this study is to find key environmental parameters which affect the distribution of fiddler crabs and to determine the habitats in which each species was most abundant. Crabs were collected from 19 sites within the mudflats of Sepang-Lukut mangrove forest. Temperature, porewater salinity, organic matter, water content, carbon and nitrogen content, porosity, chlorophyll content, pH, redox potential, sediment texture and heavy metals were determined in each 1 m2 quadrate. Pearson correlation indicated that all sediment properties except pH and redox potential were correlated with sediment grain size. Canonical correspondence analysis (CCA indicated that Uca paradussumieri was negatively correlated with salinity and redox potential. Sand dwelling species, Uca perplexa and Uca annulipes, were highly dependent on the abundance of 250 μm and 150 μm grain size particles in the sediment. Canonical Discriminative Analysis (CDA indicated that variation in sediment grain size best explained where each crab species was most abundant. Moreover, U. paradussumieri commonly occupies muddy substrates of low shore, while U. forcipata lives under the shade of mangrove trees. U. annulipes and U. perplexa with the high number of spoon tipped setae on their second maxiliped are specialized to feed on the sandy sediments. U. rosea and U. triangularis are more common on muddy sediment with high sediment density. In conclusion, sediment grain size that influences most sediment properties acts as a main factor responsible for sediment heterogeneity. In this paper, the correlation between fiddler crab species and environmental parameters, as well as the interaction between sediment characteristics, was explained in order to define the important environmental factors in fiddler crab

  19. Microbial Community and Functional Gene Changes in Arctic Tundra Soils in a Microcosm Warming Experiment

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ziming Yang

    2017-09-01

    Full Text Available Microbial decomposition of soil organic carbon (SOC in thawing Arctic permafrost is important in determining greenhouse gas feedbacks of tundra ecosystems to climate. However, the changes in microbial community structure during SOC decomposition are poorly known. Here we examine these changes using frozen soils from Barrow, Alaska, USA, in anoxic microcosm incubation at −2 and 8°C for 122 days. The functional gene array GeoChip was used to determine microbial community structure and the functional genes associated with SOC degradation, methanogenesis, and Fe(III reduction. Results show that soil incubation after 122 days at 8°C significantly decreased functional gene abundance (P < 0.05 associated with SOC degradation, fermentation, methanogenesis, and iron cycling, particularly in organic-rich soil. These observations correspond well with decreases in labile SOC content (e.g., reducing sugar and ethanol, methane and CO2 production, and Fe(III reduction. In contrast, the community functional structure was largely unchanged in the −2°C incubation. Soil type (i.e., organic vs. mineral and the availability of labile SOC were among the most significant factors impacting microbial community structure. These results demonstrate the important roles of microbial community in SOC degradation and support previous findings that SOC in organic-rich Arctic tundra is highly vulnerable to microbial degradation under warming.

  20. 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.

  1. Effects of Monoculture, Crop Rotation, and Soil Moisture Content on Selected Soil Physicochemical and Microbial Parameters in Wheat Fields

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. Marais

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Different plants are known to have different soil microbial communities associated with them. Agricultural management practices such as fertiliser and pesticide addition, crop rotation, and grazing animals can lead to different microbial communities in the associated agricultural soils. Soil dilution plates, most-probable-number (MPN, community level physiological profiling (CLPP, and buried slide technique as well as some measured soil physicochemical parameters were used to determine changes during the growing season in the ecosystem profile in wheat fields subjected to wheat monoculture or wheat in annual rotation with medic/clover pasture. Statistical analyses showed that soil moisture had an over-riding effect on seasonal fluctuations in soil physicochemical and microbial populations. While within season soil microbial activity could be differentiated between wheat fields under rotational and monoculture management, these differences were not significant.

  2. 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

  3. Assessing wildlife benefits and carbon storage from restored and natural coastal marshes in the Nisqually River Delta: Determining marsh net ecosystem carbon balance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anderson, Frank; Bergamaschi, Brian; Windham-Myers, Lisamarie; Woo, Isa; De La Cruz, Susan; Drexler, Judith; Byrd, Kristin; Thorne, Karen M.

    2016-06-24

    Working in partnership since 1996, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Nisqually Indian Tribe have restored 902 acres of tidally influenced coastal marsh in the Nisqually River Delta (NRD), making it the largest estuary-restoration project in the Pacific Northwest to date. Marsh restoration increases the capacity of the estuary to support a diversity of wildlife species. Restoration also increases carbon (C) production of marsh plant communities that support food webs for wildlife and can help mitigate climate change through long-term C storage in marsh soils.In 2015, an interdisciplinary team of U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) researchers began to study the benefits of carbon for wetland wildlife and storage in the NRD. Our primary goals are (1) to identify the relative importance of the different carbon sources that support juvenile chinook (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha) food webs and contribute to current and historic peat formation, (2) to determine the net ecosystem carbon balance (NECB) in a reference marsh and a restoration marsh site, and (3) to model the sustainability of the reference and restoration marshes under projected sea-level rise conditions along with historical vegetation change. In this fact sheet, we focus on the main C sources and exchanges to determine NECB, including carbon dioxide (CO2) uptake through plant photosynthesis, the loss of CO2 through plant and soil respiration, emissions of methane (CH4), and the lateral movement or leaching loss of C in tidal waters.

  4. 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

  5. Effects of vegetation type on microbial biomass carbon and nitrogen in subalpine mountain forest soils.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ravindran, Anita; Yang, Shang-Shyng

    2015-08-01

    Microbial biomass plays an important role in nutrient transformation and conservation of forest and grassland ecosystems. The objective of this study was to determine the microbial biomass among three vegetation types in subalpine mountain forest soils of Taiwan. Tatachia is a typical high-altitude subalpine temperate forest ecosystem in Taiwan with an elevation of 1800-3952 m and consists of three vegetation types: spruce, hemlock, and grassland. Three plots were selected in each vegetation type. Soil samples were collected from the organic layer, topsoil, and subsoil. Microbial biomass carbon (Cmic) was determined by the chloroform fumigation-extraction method, and microbial biomass nitrogen (Nmic) was determined from the total nitrogen (Ntot) released during fumigation-extraction. Bacteria, actinomycetes, fungi, cellulolytic microbes, phosphate-solubilizing microbes, and nitrogen-fixing microbes were also counted. The Cmic and Nmic were highest in the surface soil and declined with the soil depth. These were also highest in spruce soils, followed by in hemlock soils, and were lowest in grassland soils. Cmic and Nmic had the highest values in the spring season and the lowest values in the winter season. Cmic and Nmic had significantly positive correlations with total organic carbon (Corg) and Ntot. Contributions of Cmic and Nmic, respectively, to Corg and Ntot indicated that the microbial biomass was immobilized more in spruce and hemlock soils than in grassland soils. Microbial populations of the tested vegetation types decreased with increasing soil depth. Cmic and Nmic were high in the organic layer and decreased with the depth of layers. These values were higher for spruce and hemlock soils than for grassland soils. Positive correlations were observed between Cmic and Nmic and between Corg and Ntot. Copyright © 2014. Published by Elsevier B.V.

  6. 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.

  7. 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

    Microarrays have proven to be a useful and high-throughput method to provide targeted DNA sequence information for up to many thousands of specific genetic regions in a single test. A microarray consists of multiple DNA oligonucleotide probes that, under high stringency conditions, hybridize only to specific complementary nucleic acid sequences (targets). A fluorescent signal indicates the presence and, in many cases, the abundance of genetic regions of interest. In this chapter we will look at how microarrays are used in microbial ecology, especially with the recent increase in microbial community DNA sequence data. Of particular interest to microbial ecologists, phylogenetic microarrays are used for the analysis of phylotypes in a community and functional gene arrays are used for the analysis of functional genes, and, by inference, phylotypes in environmental samples. A phylogenetic microarray that has been developed by the Andersen laboratory, the PhyloChip, will be discussed as an example of a microarray that targets the known diversity within the 16S rRNA gene to determine microbial community composition. Using multiple, confirmatory probes to increase the confidence of detection and a mismatch probe for every perfect match probe to minimize the effect of cross-hybridization by non-target regions, the PhyloChip is able to simultaneously identify any of thousands of taxa present in an environmental sample. The PhyloChip is shown to reveal greater diversity within a community than rRNA gene sequencing due to the placement of the entire gene product on the microarray compared with the analysis of up to thousands of individual molecules by traditional sequencing methods. A functional gene array that has been developed by the Zhou laboratory, the GeoChip, will be discussed as an example of a microarray that dynamically identifies functional activities of multiple members within a community. The recent version of GeoChip contains more than 24,000 50mer

  8. Integrated Field, Laboratory, and Modeling Studies to Determine the Effects of Linked Microbial and Physical Spatial Heterogeneity on Engineered Vadose Zone Bioremediation

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Fred Brokman; John Selker; Mark Rockhold

    2004-01-26

    While numerous techniques exist for remediation of contaminant plumes in groundwater or near the soil surface, remediation methods in the deep vadose zone are less established due to complex transport dynamics and sparse microbial populations. There is a lack of knowledge on how physical and hydrologic features of the vadose zone control microbial growth and colonization in response to nutrient delivery during bioremediation. Yet pollution in the vadose zone poses a serious threat to the groundwater resources lying deeper in the sediment. While the contaminants may be slowly degraded by native microbial communities, microbial degradation rates rarely keep pace with the spread of the pollutant. It is crucial to increase indigenous microbial degradation in the vadose zone to combat groundwater contamination.

  9. Integrated Field, Laboratory, and Modeling Studies to Determine the Effects of Linked Microbial and Physical Spatial Heterogeneity on Engineered Vadose Zone Bioremediation

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Brockman, Fred J.; Selker, John S.; Rockhold, Mark L.

    2004-10-31

    Executive Summary - While numerous techniques exist for remediation of contaminant plumes in groundwater or near the soil surface, remediation methods in the deep vadose zone are less established due to complex transport dynamics and sparse microbial populations. There is a lack of knowledge on how physical and hydrologic features of the vadose zone control microbial growth and colonization in response to nutrient delivery during bioremediation. Yet pollution in the vadose zone poses a serious threat to the groundwater resources lying deeper in the sediment. While the contaminants may be slowly degraded by native microbial communities, microbial degradation rates rarely keep pace with the spread of the pollutant. It is crucial to increase indigenous microbial degradation in the vadose zone to combat groundwater contamination...

  10. Extensive Management Promotes Plant and Microbial Nitrogen Retention in Temperate Grassland

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Vries, Franciska T.; Bloem, Jaap; Quirk, Helen; Stevens, Carly J.; Bol, Roland; Bardgett, Richard D.

    2012-01-01

    Leaching losses of nitrogen (N) from soil and atmospheric N deposition have led to widespread changes in plant community and microbial community composition, but our knowledge of the factors that determine ecosystem N retention is limited. A common feature of extensively managed, species-rich grasslands is that they have fungal-dominated microbial communities, which might reduce soil N losses and increase ecosystem N retention, which is pivotal for pollution mitigation and sustainable food production. However, the mechanisms that underpin improved N retention in extensively managed, species-rich grasslands are unclear. We combined a landscape-scale field study and glasshouse experiment to test how grassland management affects plant and soil N retention. Specifically, we hypothesised that extensively managed, species-rich grasslands of high conservation value would have lower N loss and greater N retention than intensively managed, species-poor grasslands, and that this would be due to a greater immobilisation of N by a more fungal-dominated microbial community. In the field study, we found that extensively managed, species-rich grasslands had lower N leaching losses. Soil inorganic N availability decreased with increasing abundance of fungi relative to bacteria, although the best predictor of soil N leaching was the C/N ratio of aboveground plant biomass. In the associated glasshouse experiment we found that retention of added 15N was greater in extensively than in intensively managed grasslands, which was attributed to a combination of greater root uptake and microbial immobilisation of 15N in the former, and that microbial immobilisation increased with increasing biomass and abundance of fungi. These findings show that grassland management affects mechanisms of N retention in soil through changes in root and microbial uptake of N. Moreover, they support the notion that microbial communities might be the key to improved N retention through tightening linkages

  11. Relating microbial community structure to functioning in forest soil organic carbon transformation and turnover.

    Science.gov (United States)

    You, Yeming; Wang, Juan; Huang, Xueman; Tang, Zuoxin; Liu, Shirong; Sun, Osbert J

    2014-03-01

    Forest soils store vast amounts of terrestrial carbon, but we are still limited in mechanistic understanding on how soil organic carbon (SOC) stabilization or turnover is controlled by biotic and abiotic factors in forest ecosystems. We used phospholipid fatty acids (PLFAs) as biomarker to study soil microbial community structure and measured activities of five extracellular enzymes involved in the degradation of cellulose (i.e., β-1,4-glucosidase and cellobiohydrolase), chitin (i.e., β-1,4-N-acetylglucosaminidase), and lignin (i.e., phenol oxidase and peroxidase) as indicators of soil microbial functioning in carbon transformation or turnover across varying biotic and abiotic conditions in a typical temperate forest ecosystem in central China. Redundancy analysis (RDA) was performed to determine the interrelationship between individual PFLAs and biotic and abiotic site factors as well as the linkage between soil microbial structure and function. Path analysis was further conducted to examine the controls of site factors on soil microbial community structure and the regulatory pathway of changes in SOC relating to microbial community structure and function. We found that soil microbial community structure is strongly influenced by water, temperature, SOC, fine root mass, clay content, and C/N ratio in soils and that the relative abundance of Gram-negative bacteria, saprophytic fungi, and actinomycetes explained most of the variations in the specific activities of soil enzymes involved in SOC transformation or turnover. The abundance of soil bacterial communities is strongly linked with the extracellular enzymes involved in carbon transformation, whereas the abundance of saprophytic fungi is associated with activities of extracellular enzymes driving carbon oxidation. Findings in this study demonstrate the complex interactions and linkage among plant traits, microenvironment, and soil physiochemical properties in affecting SOC via microbial regulations.

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. Predator- and Scavenger-Mediated Ecosystem Services Determined by Distance to Field-Forest Interface in the Maine Lowbush Blueberry Agroecosystem.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jones, Matthew S; Halteman, William A; Drummond, Francis A

    2016-10-01

    Predators and scavengers play a vital role in regulating insect pests, weeds, and vertebrate scat in perennial agroecosystems. Understanding how farm management practices and surrounding habitat influence these beneficial ecosystem services contributes to our understanding of these complex ecological systems and guides future management decisions. In a mensurative 2-yr study, we determined how different pest management strategies and surrounding forest composition influenced levels of sentinel insect pupae, weed seeds, and deer scat (feces) removal. Removal of these bioresources was measured within 12 commercial lowbush blueberry fields during 2011 and 2012; farms differed in surrounding landscape composition and farm management strategies. Both the removal of sentinel pupae and scat, was significantly higher within field interiors than at field edges and within adjacent forests. Additionally, farm management strategy interacted with field position to result in significantly higher scat removal in conventional field interiors than organic field interiors. Surrounding forest composition had variable effects on removal of materials. Our results indicate higher levels of activity within field centers as opposed to field edges; this is contrary to what has been observed in other perennial cropping agroecosystems. © The Authors 2016. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Entomological Society of America. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  15. 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

  16. Microbes in the Anthropocene: spillover of agriculturally selected bacteria and their impact on natural ecosystems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bell, Thomas; Tylianakis, Jason M

    2016-12-14

    Soil microbial communities are enormously diverse, with at least millions of species and trillions of genes unknown to science or poorly described. Soil microbial communities are key components of agriculture, for example, in provisioning nitrogen and protecting crops from pathogens, providing overall ecosystem services in excess of $1000bn per year. It is important to know how humans are affecting this hidden diversity. Much is known about the negative consequences of agricultural intensification on higher organisms, but almost nothing is known about how alterations to landscapes affect microbial diversity, distributions and processes. We review what is known about spatial flows of microbes and their response to land-use change, and outline nine hypotheses to advance research of microbiomes across landscapes. We hypothesize that intensified agriculture selects for certain taxa and genes, which then 'spill over' into adjacent unmodified areas and generate a halo of genetic differentiation around agricultural fields. Consequently, the spatial configuration and management intensity of different habitats combines with the dispersal ability of individual taxa to determine the extent of spillover, which can impact the functioning of adjacent unmodified habitats. When landscapes are heterogeneous and dispersal rates are high, this will select for large genomes that allow exploitation of multiple habitats, a process that may be accelerated through horizontal gene transfer. Continued expansion of agriculture will increase genotypic similarity, making microbial community functioning increasingly variable in human-dominated landscapes, potentially also impacting the consistent provisioning of ecosystem services. While the resulting economic costs have not been calculated, it is clear that dispersal dynamics of microbes should be taken into consideration to ensure that ecosystem functioning and services are maintained in agri-ecosystem mosaics. © 2016 The Authors.

  17. Microbes in the Anthropocene: spillover of agriculturally selected bacteria and their impact on natural ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    2016-01-01

    Soil microbial communities are enormously diverse, with at least millions of species and trillions of genes unknown to science or poorly described. Soil microbial communities are key components of agriculture, for example, in provisioning nitrogen and protecting crops from pathogens, providing overall ecosystem services in excess of $1000bn per year. It is important to know how humans are affecting this hidden diversity. Much is known about the negative consequences of agricultural intensification on higher organisms, but almost nothing is known about how alterations to landscapes affect microbial diversity, distributions and processes. We review what is known about spatial flows of microbes and their response to land-use change, and outline nine hypotheses to advance research of microbiomes across landscapes. We hypothesize that intensified agriculture selects for certain taxa and genes, which then ‘spill over’ into adjacent unmodified areas and generate a halo of genetic differentiation around agricultural fields. Consequently, the spatial configuration and management intensity of different habitats combines with the dispersal ability of individual taxa to determine the extent of spillover, which can impact the functioning of adjacent unmodified habitats. When landscapes are heterogeneous and dispersal rates are high, this will select for large genomes that allow exploitation of multiple habitats, a process that may be accelerated through horizontal gene transfer. Continued expansion of agriculture will increase genotypic similarity, making microbial community functioning increasingly variable in human-dominated landscapes, potentially also impacting the consistent provisioning of ecosystem services. While the resulting economic costs have not been calculated, it is clear that dispersal dynamics of microbes should be taken into consideration to ensure that ecosystem functioning and services are maintained in agri-ecosystem mosaics. PMID:27928044

  18. Functional soil microbial diversity across Europe estimated by EEA, MicroResp and BIOLOG

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Winding, Anne; Rutgers, Michiel; Creamer, Rachel

    consisting of 81 soil samples covering five Biogeograhical Zones and three land-uses in order to test the sensitivity, ease and cost of performance and biological significance of the data output. The techniques vary in how close they are to in situ functions; dependency on growth during incubation......Soil microorganisms are abundant and essential for the bio-geochemical processes of soil, soil quality and soil ecosystem services. All this is dependent on the actual functions the microbial communities are performing in the soil. Measuring soil respiration has for many years been the basis...... of estimating soil microbial activity. However, today several techniques are in use for determining microbial functional diversity and assessing soil biodiversity: Methods based on CO2 development by the microbes such as substrate induced respiration (SIR) on specific substrates have lead to the development...

  19. Microbial incorporation of nitrogen in stream detritus

    Science.gov (United States)

    Diane M. Sanzone; Jennifer L. Tank; Judy L. Meyer; Patrick J. Mulholland; Stuart E.G. Findlay

    2001-01-01

    We adapted the chloroform fumigation method to determine microbial nitrogen (N) and microbial incorporation of 15N on three common substrates [leaves, wood and fine benthic organic matter (FBOM)] in three forest streams. We compared microbial N and 15 content of samples collected during a 6-week15N-NH...

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. Environmental modulation of autoimmune arthritis involves the spontaneous microbial induction of T cell responses to regulatory determinants within heat shock protein 65.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moudgil, K D; Kim, E; Yun, O J; Chi, H H; Brahn, E; Sercarz, E E

    2001-03-15

    Both genetic and environmental factors are believed to be involved in the induction of autoimmune diseases. Adjuvant arthritis (AA) is inducible in susceptible rat strains by injection of Mycobacterium tuberculosis, and arthritic rats raise T cell responses to the 65-kDa mycobacterial heat-shock protein (Bhsp65). We observed that Fischer 344 (F344) rats raised in a barrier facility (BF-F344) are susceptible to AA, whereas F344 rats maintained in a conventional facility (CV-F344) show significantly reduced incidence and severity of AA, despite responding well to the arthritogenic determinant within Bhsp65. The acquisition of protection from AA can be circumvented if rats are maintained on neomycin/acidified water. Strikingly, naive unimmunized CV-F344 rats but not BF-F344 rats raised T cell responses to Bhsp65 C-terminal determinants (BCTD) (we have previously shown that BCTD are involved in regulation of acute AA in the Lewis rat); however, T cells of naive CV-F344 and BF-F344 gave a comparable level of proliferative response to a mitogen, but no response at all to an irrelevant Ag. Furthermore, adoptive transfer into naive BF-F344 rats of splenic cells of naive CV-F344 rats (restimulated with BCTD in vitro) before induction of AA resulted in a considerably reduced severity of AA. These results suggest that spontaneous (inadvertent) priming of BCTD-reactive T cells, owing to determinant mimicry between Bhsp65 and its homologues in microbial agents in the conventional environment, is involved in modulating the severity of AA in CV-F344 rats. These results have important implications in broadening understanding of the host-microbe interaction in human autoimmune diseases.

  5. The role of microbial community composition and groundwater chemistry in determining isoproturon degradation potential in UK aquifers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnson, Andrew; Llewellyn, Neville; Smith, Jennifer; van der Gast, Christopher; Lilley, Andrew; Singer, Andrew; Thompson, Ian

    2004-07-01

    The community response of indigenous sandstone, chalk and limestone groundwater microorganisms to the addition of the commonly used herbicide isoproturon was examined. The addition of 100 microg l(-1) isoproturon generally caused an increase in species diversity determined by chemotaxonomic analysis (fatty methyl ester analysis) of isolates resulting from incubation of cultures at 18 degrees C for 4 days. Amongst the groundwater samples to which isoproturon was added, isoproturon degradation rates were correlated with increasing dominance of a few species. However, the changes in community profile associated with isoproturon degradation varied from site to site. Repeated sub-culturing with 100 microg l(-1) isoproturon and sterile groundwater was carried out to examine whether this level of pesticide could exert a selection pressure, and hence stimulate more rapid degradation. Significantly increased degradation was observed in a groundwater sample from the chalk, but not in sandstone, or limestone samples. The addition of filter-sterilised sandstone groundwater to bacteria on filter paper from slow degrading limestone sites significantly improved their degrading performance. The addition of filter-sterilised limestone groundwater to the sandstone bacteria reduced their degradation rate only slightly. The data suggested that the nature of the indigenous community does influence pesticide degradation in groundwater, but that the groundwater chemistry may also play a role.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. New methods for determination of microbial adherence and colonization to bio material surface pre and post-irradiation treatment in cancer patients

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Shehata, M.M.K.K.

    2007-01-01

    Biomaterials are being used with increasing frequency in medical fields in the saving of patients' lives and enhancing the quality of life for many others.Colonization of biomaterials by some pathogenic microorganisms depends on their ability to grow and adhere to the solid surface which then allows microorganisms to from bio films in which they are protected from host defense mechanisms and antimicrobial chemotherapy. Adherence and colonization followed by biofilm formation has been implicated as a potential virulence factor of some pathogenic strains responsible for catheter related infections in immuno-compromised cancer patients. Adherence assay and quantitation of bio films of microorganisms isolated and identified from catheter associated urinary tract infections from bladder cancer patients was performed by spectrophotometric method, hydrophobicities of some tested strains were also evaluated by adhesion to p-xylene, MICs of various antibiotics for isolated strains in conjunction with plasmid profiles and algD gene responsible for biofilm formation of selected strains were determined before and after in-vitro exposure to test dose of 24.14 Gy gamma radiation in studying the role of radiotherapy on the microorganisms and their virulence and also enable the design for new approaches to the prevention of serious microbial infections by interfering with adhesion process

  9. 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).

  10. 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.)

  11. The determination of the real nano-scale sizes of bacteria in chernozem during microbial succession by means of hatching of a soil in aerobic and anaerobic conditions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gorbacheva, M.

    2012-04-01

    M.A. Gorbacheva,L.M. Polyanskaya The Faculty of Soil Science, Moscow State University, Leninskie Gory, GSP-1, Moscow,119991,Russia In recent years there's been particular attention paid to the smallest life's forms- bacteria which size can be measured in nanometer. These are the forms of bacteria with diameter of 5-200 nm. Theoretical calculations based on the content of the minimum number of DNA, enzyme, lipids in and ribosome in cells indicates impossibility of existence of a living cells within diameter less than 300 nm. It is theoretically possible for a living cell to exist within possible diameter of approximately 140 nm. Using a fluorescence microscope there's been indicated in a number of samples from lakes, rivers, soil, snow and rain water that 200 nm is the smallest diameter of a living cell. Supposingly, such a small size of bacteria in soil is determined by natural conditions which limit their development by nutritious substances and stress-factors. Rejuvenescence of nanobacteria under unfavourable natural conditions and stress-factors is studied in laboratory environment. The object of the current study has become the samples of typical arable chernozem of the Central Chernozem State Biosphere Reserve in Kursk. The detailed morphological description of the soil profile and its basic analytical characteristics are widely represented in scientific publications. The soil is characterized by a high carbon content which makes up 3,96% ,3,8% , and 2,9% for the upper layers of the A horizon, and 0,79% for the layer of the B horizon. A microbial succession was studied under aerobic and anaerobic conditions by means of experiments with microcosms in upper A horizons and B horizon of a chernozem. The final aim is to identify the cells size of bacteria in aerobic and anaerobic soil conditions in chernozem during the microbial succession, by dampening and application of chitin by means of «cascade filtration» method. The study of the microcosms is important for

  12. Soil microbial community profiles and functional diversity in limestone cedar glades

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cartwright, Jennifer M.; Dzantor, E. Kudjo; Momen, Bahram

    2016-01-01

    Rock outcrop ecosystems, such as limestone cedar glades (LCGs), are known for their rare and endemic plant species adapted to high levels of abiotic stress. Soils in LCGs are thin (< 25 cm), soil-moisture conditions fluctuate seasonally between xeric and saturated, and summer soil temperatures commonly exceed 48 °C. The effects of these stressors on soil microbial communities (SMC) remain largely unstudied, despite the importance of SMC-plant interactions in regulating the structure and function of terrestrial ecosystems. SMC profiles and functional diversity were characterized in LCGs using community level physiological profiling (CLPP) and plate-dilution frequency assays (PDFA). Most-probable number (MPN) estimates and microbial substrate-utilization diversity (H) were positively related to soil thickness, soil organic matter (OM), soil water content, and vegetation density, and were diminished in alkaline soil relative to circumneutral soil. Soil nitrate showed no relationship to SMCs, suggesting lack of N-limitation. Canonical correlation analysis indicated strong correlations between microbial CLPP patterns and several physical and chemical properties of soil, primarily temperature at the ground surface and at 4-cm depth, and secondarily soil-water content, enabling differentiation by season. Thus, it was demonstrated that several well-described abiotic determinants of plant community structure in this ecosystem are also reflected in SMC profiles.

  13. Investigations to determine whether viable microorganisms are required during intestinal lactose hydrolysis of fermented milk products by microbial ß-galactosidase using gnotobiotic Göttingen minipigs

    OpenAIRE

    Winchenbach, Andrea

    2010-01-01

    The most common reason worldwide for the indigestibility of milk is the lack of ß-galactosidases in the small intestine, leading to the malabsorbtion of lactose. Fermented dairy products are very often much better tolerated than raw (not fermented) milk, because of the microbial ß-galactosidases they contain. The aim of this thesis was to elucidate the question as to weather lactose hydrolysis in the small intestine requires the presence of living bacteria (with their microbial ß-galac...

  14. [Chromatographic mass spectrometric determination of low-molecular-weight aromatic compounds of microbial origin in the serum from patients with sepsis].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beloborodova, N V; Arkhipova, A S; Beloborodov, D M; Boĭko, N B; Mel'ko, A I; Olenin, A Iu

    2006-02-01

    The investigation quantitatively determined the content of low-molecular-weight aromatic compounds of microbial origin in the sera of 34 individuals by chromatographic mass spectrometry. An "Agilent Technogies 6890N" gas chromatograph with a 5973 mass selective detector was applied; chromatographic separation of components was effected on an Hp-5MS quartz capillary column. Aromatic small molecules originating from microbes (SMOM) were determined in the sera of 7 patients with sepsis. The diagnosis of sepsis was documented by the presence of the systemic inflammation syndrome and by that of bacteriemia and/or artificial ventilation-associated pneumonia along with the level of procalcitonin of higher than 10 ng/ml. The levels of aromatic SMOM were compared in 10 healthy donors, 8 preoperative cardiosurgical patients, and 9 patients with different abnormalities without sepsis treated in an intensive care unit (ICU). Serum phenylacetic and 3-phenylpropionic acids were found to be prevalent in the healthy donors and postoperative cardiosurgical patients. In ICU patients with different complications without sepsis, more than half the compounds under study were undetectable, the others were found in very low concentrations, which may be accounted for by antibiotic therapy. At the same time, almost the whole spectrum of the test compounds (other than 3-phenylpropionic acid) with the highest concentrations of 3-phenyllactic, p-hydroxyphenylacetic, 3-(p-hydroxyphenyl)lactic and 2-hydroxybutanic acids, was detectable in septic patients receiving a more intensive therapy. The differences were statistically significant (by the Mann-Whitney U-test; p < 0.05). By taking into account the potentially high biological activity of the test compounds, studies are to be continued in this area.

  15. Human activities cause distinct dissolved organic matter composition across freshwater ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Williams, Clayton J.; Frost, Paul C.; Morales-Williams, Ana M.; Larson, James H.; Richardson, William B.; Chiandet, Aisha S.; Xenopoulos, Marguerite A.

    2016-01-01

    Dissolved organic matter (DOM) composition in freshwater ecosystems is influenced by interactions between physical, chemical, and biological processes that are controlled, at one level, by watershed landscape, hydrology, and their connections. Against this environmental template, humans may strongly influence DOM composition. Yet, we lack a comprehensive understanding of DOM composition variation across freshwater ecosystems differentially affected by human activity. Using optical properties, we described DOM variation across five ecosystem groups of the Laurentian Great Lakes Region: large lakes, Kawartha Lakes, Experimental Lakes Area, urban stormwater ponds, and rivers (n = 184 sites). We determined how between ecosystem variation in DOM composition related to watershed size, land use and cover, water quality measures (conductivity, dissolved organic carbon (DOC), nutrient concentration, chlorophyll a), and human population density. The five freshwater ecosystem groups had distinctive DOM composition from each other. These significant differences were not explained completely through differences in watershed size nor spatial autocorrelation. Instead, multivariate partial least squares regression showed that DOM composition was related to differences in human impact across freshwater ecosystems. In particular, urban/developed watersheds with higher human population densities had a unique DOM composition with a clear anthropogenic influence that was distinct from DOM composition in natural land cover and/or agricultural watersheds. This nonagricultural, human developed impact on aquatic DOM was most evident through increased levels of a microbial, humic-like parallel factor analysis component (C6). Lotic and lentic ecosystems with low human population densities had DOM compositions more typical of clear water to humic-rich freshwater ecosystems but C6 was only present at trace to background levels. Consequently, humans are strongly altering the quality of DOM in

  16. A Disease-Associated Microbial and Metabolomics State in Relatives of Pediatric Inflammatory Bowel Disease PatientsSummary

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jonathan P. Jacobs

    2016-11-01

    Full Text Available Background & Aims: Microbes may increase susceptibility to inflammatory bowel disease (IBD by producing bioactive metabolites that affect immune activity and epithelial function. We undertook a family based study to identify microbial and metabolic features of IBD that may represent a predisease risk state when found in healthy first-degree relatives. Methods: Twenty-one families with pediatric IBD were recruited, comprising 26 Crohn’s disease patients in clinical remission, 10 ulcerative colitis patients in clinical remission, and 54 healthy siblings/parents. Fecal samples were collected for 16S ribosomal RNA gene sequencing, untargeted liquid chromatography–mass spectrometry metabolomics, and calprotectin measurement. Individuals were grouped into microbial and metabolomics states using Dirichlet multinomial models. Multivariate models were used to identify microbes and metabolites associated with these states. Results: Individuals were classified into 2 microbial community types. One was associated with IBD but irrespective of disease status, had lower microbial diversity, and characteristic shifts in microbial composition including increased Enterobacteriaceae, consistent with dysbiosis. This microbial community type was associated similarly with IBD and reduced microbial diversity in an independent pediatric cohort. Individuals also clustered bioinformatically into 2 subsets with shared fecal metabolomics signatures. One metabotype was associated with IBD and was characterized by increased bile acids, taurine, and tryptophan. The IBD-associated microbial and metabolomics states were highly correlated, suggesting that they represented an integrated ecosystem. Healthy relatives with the IBD-associated microbial community type had an increased incidence of elevated fecal calprotectin. Conclusions: Healthy first-degree relatives can have dysbiosis associated with an altered intestinal metabolome that may signify a predisease microbial

  17. 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.

  18. Resource quantity and quality determine the inter-specific associations between ecosystem engineers and resource users in a cavity-nest web.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Robles, Hugo; Martin, Kathy

    2013-01-01

    While ecosystem engineering is a widespread structural force of ecological communities, the mechanisms underlying the inter-specific associations between ecosystem engineers and resource users are poorly understood. A proper knowledge of these mechanisms is, however, essential to understand how communities are structured. Previous studies suggest that increasing the quantity of resources provided by ecosystem engineers enhances populations of resource users. In a long-term study (1995-2011), we show that the quality of the resources (i.e. tree cavities) provided by ecosystem engineers is also a key feature that explains the inter-specific associations in a tree cavity-nest web. Red-naped sapsuckers (Sphyrapicusnuchalis) provided the most abundant cavities (52% of cavities, 0.49 cavities/ha). These cavities were less likely to be used than other cavity types by mountain bluebirds (Sialiacurrucoides), but provided numerous nest-sites (41% of nesting cavities) to tree swallows (Tachycinetabicolour). Swallows experienced low reproductive outputs in northern flicker (Colaptesauratus) cavities compared to those in sapsucker cavities (1.1 vs. 2.1 fledglings/nest), but the highly abundant flickers (33% of cavities, 0.25 cavities/ha) provided numerous suitable nest-sites for bluebirds (58%). The relative shortage of cavities supplied by hairy woodpeckers (Picoidesvillosus) and fungal/insect decay (high quality nest-sites for both bluebirds and swallows. Because both the quantity and quality of resources supplied by different ecosystem engineers may explain the amount of resources used by each resource user, conservation strategies may require different management actions to be implemented for the key ecosystem engineer of each resource user. We, therefore, urge the incorporation of both resource quantity and quality into models that assess community dynamics to improve conservation actions and our understanding of ecological communities based on ecosystem engineering.

  19. Determinação de fósforo microbiano: comparação entre métodos e coberturas florestais Evaluation of microbial phosphorus: comparison of determination methods in forest soils

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ecila Mercês de Albuquerque Villani

    2009-08-01

    studies focused on microbial P (MPH, especially in relation to the determination methods of MPH in these ecosystems. For an evaluation of the methods used to determine microbial P (MPH in soils, three methods were evaluated: fumigation-extraction (FE; radiation with microwave-extraction (RE; and radiation by microwave-extraction with a membrane for anionic exchange (EMAE. Samples of a very clayey dystrophic Red-Yellow Latosol (LVAd were collected at depths of 0-5 cm and 5-10 cm in soils under pine (Pinus taeda, eucalypt plantations (Eucalyptus grandis, and native forest, in Viçosa, state of Minas Gerais. In general, lower MPH contents were obtained by the RE than by the FE method. The MPH contents established by the three methods in the areas with eucalypt and native forest varied significantly in the surface layer. Under pine, only the RE method was significantly different in the 5-10 cm layer. The lowest coefficients of variation (CV were obtained by FE, expressing the greater precision of this method. Under the studied conditions, however, where a large-scale analysis of samples is required, the RE method turned out to be, in terms of functionality, most adequate for the MPH determination. In relation to the stands, none of the three tested methods could be indicated as uniquely most precise method for the evaluation of the MPH, due to the great variability in the CV for each forest type.

  20. 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....

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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)

  5. 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)

  6. Photodegradation alleviates the lignin bottleneck for carbon turnover in terrestrial ecosystems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Austin, Amy T; Méndez, M Soledad; Ballaré, Carlos L

    2016-04-19

    A mechanistic understanding of the controls on carbon storage and losses is essential for our capacity to predict and mitigate human impacts on the global carbon cycle. Plant litter decomposition is an important first step for carbon and nutrient turnover, and litter inputs and losses are essential in determining soil organic matter pools and the carbon balance in terrestrial ecosystems. Photodegradation, the photochemical mineralization of organic matter, has been recently identified as a mechanism for previously unexplained high rates of litter mass loss in arid lands; however, the global significance of this process as a control on carbon cycling in terrestrial ecosystems is not known. Here we show that, across a wide range of plant species, photodegradation enhanced subsequent biotic degradation of leaf litter. Moreover, we demonstrate that the mechanism for this enhancement involves increased accessibility to plant litter carbohydrates for microbial enzymes. Photodegradation of plant litter, driven by UV radiation, and especially visible (blue-green) light, reduced the structural and chemical bottleneck imposed by lignin in secondary cell walls. In leaf litter from woody species, specific interactions with UV radiation obscured facilitative effects of solar radiation on biotic decomposition. The generalized effect of sunlight exposure on subsequent microbial activity, mediated by increased accessibility to cell wall polysaccharides, 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.

  7. 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.

  8. Soil microbial community structure is unaltered by plant invasion, vegetation clipping, and nitrogen fertilization in experimental semi-arid grasslands

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chelsea J Carey

    2015-05-01

    Full Text Available Global and regional environmental changes often co-occur, creating complex gradients of disturbance on the landscape. Soil microbial communities are an important component of ecosystem response to environmental change, yet little is known about how microbial structure and function respond to multiple disturbances, or whether multiple environmental changes lead to unanticipated interactive effects. Our study used experimental semi-arid grassland plots in a Mediterranean-climate to determine how soil microbial communities in a seasonally variable ecosystem respond to one, two, or three simultaneous environmental changes: exotic plant invasion, plant invasion + vegetation clipping (to simulate common management practices like mowing or livestock grazing, plant invasion + nitrogen (N fertilization, and plant invasion + clipping + N fertilization. We examined microbial community structure 5-6 years after plot establishment via sequencing of >1 million 16S rRNA genes. Abiotic soil properties (soil moisture, temperature, pH, and inorganic N and microbial functioning (nitrification and denitrification potentials were also measured and showed treatment-induced shifts, including altered NO3- availability, temperature, and nitrification potential. Despite these changes, bacterial and archaeal communities showed little variation in composition and diversity across treatments. Even communities in plots exposed to three interacting environmental changes were similar to those in restored native grassland plots. Historical exposure to large seasonal and inter-annual variations in key soil properties, in addition to prior site cultivation, may select for a functionally plastic or largely dormant microbial community, resulting in a microbial community that is structurally robust to single and multiple environmental changes.

  9. 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.

  10. Assessment of microbial processes on radionuclide mobility in shallow land burial

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Colombo, P.; Tate, R.L. III; Weiss, A.J.

    1982-07-01

    The impact of microbial metabolism of the organic substituents of low level radioactive wastes on radionuclide mobility in disposal sites, the nature of the microbial transformations involved in this metabolism and the effect of the prevailing environmental parameters on the quantities and types of metabolic intermediates accumulated were examined. Since both aerobic and anaerobic periods can occur during trench ecosystem development, oxidation capacities of the microbial community in the presence and absence of oxygen were analyzed. Results of gas studies performed at three commercial low level radioactive waste disposal sites were reviewed. Several deficiencies in available data were determined. Further research needs are suggested. This assessment has demonstrated that the biochemical capabilities expressed within the low level radioactive waste disposal site are common to a wide variety of soil bacteria. Hence, assuming trenches would not be placed in sites with such extreme abiotic conditions that all microbial activity is precluded, the microbial populations needed for colonization and decomposition of the organic waste substances are readily provided from the waste itself and from the soil of existing and any proposed disposal sites. Indeed, considering the ubiquity of occurrence of the microorganisms responsible for waste decomposition and the chemical nature of the organic waste material, long-term prevention of biodecomposition is difficult, if not impossible

  11. Microbial communities of the deep unfrozen: Do microbes in taliks increase permafrost carbon vulnerability? (Invited)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Waldrop, M. P.; Blazewicz, S.; Jones, M.; Mcfarland, J. W.; Harden, J. W.; Euskirchen, E. S.; Turetsky, M.; Hultman, J.; Jansson, J.

    2013-12-01

    The vast frozen terrain of northern latitude ecosystems is typically thought of as being nearly biologically inert for the winter period. Yet deep within the frozen ground of northern latitude soils reside microbial communities that can remain active during the winter months. As we have shown previously, microbial communities may remain active in permafrost soils just below the freezing point of water. Though perhaps more importantly, microbial communities persist in unfrozen areas of water, soil, and sediment beneath water bodies the entire year. Microbial activity in taliks may have significant impacts on biogeochemical cycling in northern latitude ecosystems because their activity is not limited by the winter months. Here we present compositional and functional data, including long term incubation data, for microbial communities within permafrost landscapes, in permafrost and taliks, and the implications of these activities on permafrost carbon decomposition and the flux of CO2 and CH4. Our experiment was conducted at the Alaska Peatland Experiment (APEX) within the Bonanza Creek LTER in interior Alaska. Our site consists of a black spruce forest on permafrost that has degraded into thermokarst bogs at various times over the last five hundred years. We assume the parent substrate of the deep (1-1.5m) thermokarst peat was similar to the nearby forest soil and permafrost C before thaw. At this site, flux tower and autochamber data show that the thermokarst bog is a sink of CO2 , but a significant source of CH4. Yet this does not tell the whole story as these data do not fully capture microbial activity within the deep unfrozen talik layer. There is published evidence that within thermokarst bogs, relatively rapid decomposition of old forest floor material may be occurring. There are several possible mechanisms for this pattern; one possible mechanism for accelerated decomposition is the overwintering activities of microbial communities in taliks of thermokarst

  12. Host specificity for bacterial, archaeal and fungal communities determined for high- and low-microbial abundance sponge species in two genera

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Mares, De Maryam Chaib; Sipkema, Detmer; Huang, Sixing; Bunk, Boyke; Overmann, Jörg; Elsas, van Jan Dirk

    2017-01-01

    Sponges are engaged in intimate symbioses with a diversity of microorganisms from all three domains of life, namely Bacteria, Archaea and Eukarya. Sponges have been well studied and categorized for their bacterial communities, some displaying a high microbial abundance (HMA), while others show

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. Microbial respiration, but not biomass, responded linearly to increasing light fraction organic matter input: Consequences for carbon sequestration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rui, Yichao; Murphy, Daniel V; Wang, Xiaoli; Hoyle, Frances C

    2016-10-18

    Rebuilding 'lost' soil carbon (C) is a priority in mitigating climate change and underpinning key soil functions that support ecosystem services. Microorganisms determine if fresh C input is converted into stable soil organic matter (SOM) or lost as CO 2 . Here we quantified if microbial biomass and respiration responded positively to addition of light fraction organic matter (LFOM, representing recent inputs of plant residue) in an infertile semi-arid agricultural soil. Field trial soil with different historical plant residue inputs [soil C content: control (tilled) = 9.6 t C ha -1 versus tilled + plant residue treatment (tilled + OM) = 18.0 t C ha -1 ] were incubated in the laboratory with a gradient of LFOM equivalent to 0 to 3.8 t C ha -1 (0 to 500% LFOM). Microbial biomass C significantly declined under increased rates of LFOM addition while microbial respiration increased linearly, leading to a decrease in the microbial C use efficiency. We hypothesise this was due to insufficient nutrients to form new microbial biomass as LFOM input increased the ratio of C to nitrogen, phosphorus and sulphur of soil. Increased CO 2 efflux but constrained microbial growth in response to LFOM input demonstrated the difficulty for C storage in this environment.

  16. Atacama Desert: Determination of two new extremophilic microbial model systems for space exploration and astrobiology studies - data from a large-scale transect study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boy, Diana; Godoy, Roberto; Guggenberger, Georg; Möller, Ralf; Boy, Jens

    2017-04-01

    The hyper-arid region of Yungay in the Atacama Desert in Chile is believed to be the driest place on Earth thus harboring the most desiccation-resistant microorganisms. Hence the search for new extremophilic model organisms is traditionally limited to this rather narrow strip. However, it is not clear whether Yungay is indeed the most arid place, as this should be the one with the lowest soil organic carbon (SOC) stock and soil water (SW) content. Therefore we tested soil samples from a humidity-gradient transect with comparable sites (inclination, location in the rain shadow of the coastal mountain range, 100 km distance between the sites) spanning roughly 600 km in the Atacama Desert for SOC stocks and SW content. We found, that SOC stocks decreased with aridity from 25.5 to 2.1 kg m-2 cm-1, while the SW contents decreased at 5 of our sites and increased in the hyper-arid zone. To our surprise, we identified two sites located 100 km north and south of Yungay which had substantially lower (1.92 ± 0.73 kg m-2 cm-1) or slightly higher (2.39 ± 1.2 kg m-2 cm-1) SOC stocks than Yungay (2.21 ± 0.75 kg m-2 cm-1), but with 0.043 ± 0.03 g respectively 0.0033 ± 0.0016 g of water per 1 g of soil comparable or substantially lower SW contents, while Yungay has 0.043 ± 0.06 g. Thus we consider these sites to display different growth conditions and ecological niches compared to Yungay and therefore as promising candidate sites for the identification of new species of polyextremophilic radiation-resistant microorganisms, as the resistance against desiccation is paired with a distinct resistance to ionizing radiation due to same microbial DNA repair mechanisms. Soil samples were irradiated with high doses of gamma radiation up to 25 000 Gy. Surviving colonies were cultivated on a medium favoring the growth of Deinococcus-like species, currently the most radiation-resistant organisms on Earth, and their affiliation was determined using 16SrRNA next generation sequencing. Here

  17. Intensive agriculture to semi-natural grassland: evaluating changes in ecosystem service provision to help determine costs and benefits of agri-environment schemes

    OpenAIRE

    Horrocks, Claire Alice

    2013-01-01

    Intensive agriculture has led to an increase in production; however this has often coincided with a decline in the provision of other Ecosystem Services (ES). ES affected include those regulated by soil chemical, physical and biological properties such as biodiversity provision and the regulation of nutrient cycling, water quality and rates of greenhouse gas emissions. A growing awareness of the value of nonproduction ES to human health and wellbeing has encouraged the funding ...

  18. The maturing of microbial ecology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schmidt, Thomas M

    2006-09-01

    A.J. Kluyver and C.B. van Niel introduced many scientists to the exceptional metabolic capacity of microbes and their remarkable ability to adapt to changing environments in The Microbe's Contribution to Biology. Beyond providing an overview of the physiology and adaptability of microbes, the book outlined many of the basic principles for the emerging discipline of microbial ecology. While the study of pure cultures was highlighted, provided a unifying framework for understanding the vast metabolic potential of microbes and their roles in the global cycling of elements, extrapolation from pure cultures to natural environments has often been overshadowed by microbiologists inability to culture many of the microbes seen in natural environments. A combination of genomic approaches is now providing a culture-independent view of the microbial world, revealing a more diverse and dynamic community of microbes than originally anticipated. As methods for determining the diversity of microbial communities become increasingly accessible, a major challenge to microbial ecologists is to link the structure of natural microbial communities with their functions. This article presents several examples from studies of aquatic and terrestrial microbial communities in which culture and culture-independent methods are providing an enhanced appreciation for the microbe's contribution to the evolution and maintenance of life on Earth, and offers some thoughts about the graduate-level educational programs needed to enhance the maturing field of microbial ecology.

  19. Microbial electrode sensor for alcohols

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hikuma, M [Ajinomoto Co., Inc., Kawasaki, Japan; Kubo, T; Yasuda, T; Karube, I; Suzuki, S

    1979-10-01

    A microbial electrode consisting of immobilized microorganisms, a gas permeable Teflon membrane, and an oxygen electrode was prepared for the continuous determination of methyl and ethyl alcohols. Immobilized Trichosporon brassicae was employed for a microbial electrode sensor for ethyl alcohol. When a sample solution containing ethyl alcohol was injected into a microbial electrode system, the current of the electrode decreased markedly with time until a steady state was reached. The response time was within 10 min by the steady state method and within 6 min by the pulse method. A linear relationship was observed between the current decrease and the concentration of ethyl alcohol below 22.5 mg/liter. The current was reproducible within +- 6% of the relative error when a sample solution containing 16.5 mg/liter ethyl alcohol. The standard deviation was 0.5 mg/liter in 40 experiments. The selectivity of the microbial electrode sensor for ethyl alcohol was satisfactory. The microbial electrode sensor was applied to a fermentation broth of yeasts and satisfactory comparative results were obtained (correlation coefficient 0.98). The current output of the microbial electrode sensor was almost constant for more than three weeks and 2100 assays. A microbial electrode sensor using immobilized bacteria for methyl alcohol was also described.

  20. 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...

  1. Functional Gene Diversity and Metabolic Potential of the Microbial Community in an Estuary-Shelf Environment

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yu Wang

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available Microbes play crucial roles in various biogeochemical processes in the ocean, including carbon (C, nitrogen (N, and phosphorus (P cycling. Functional gene diversity and the structure of the microbial community determines its metabolic potential and therefore its ecological function in the marine ecosystem. However, little is known about the functional gene composition and metabolic potential of bacterioplankton in estuary areas. The East China Sea (ECS is a dynamic marginal ecosystem in the western Pacific Ocean that is mainly affected by input from the Changjiang River and the Kuroshio Current. Here, using a high-throughput functional gene microarray (GeoChip, we analyzed the functional gene diversity, composition, structure, and metabolic potential of microbial assemblages in different ECS water masses. Four water masses determined by temperature and salinity relationship showed different patterns of functional gene diversity and composition. Generally, functional gene diversity [Shannon–Weaner’s H and reciprocal of Simpson’s 1/(1-D] in the surface water masses was higher than that in the bottom water masses. The different presence and proportion of functional genes involved in C, N, and P cycling among the bacteria of the different water masses showed different metabolic preferences of the microbial populations in the ECS. Genes involved in starch metabolism (amyA and nplT showed higher proportion in microbial communities of the surface water masses than of the bottom water masses. In contrast, a higher proportion of genes involved in chitin degradation was observed in microorganisms of the bottom water masses. Moreover, we found a higher proportion of nitrogen fixation (nifH, transformation of hydroxylamine to nitrite (hao and ammonification (gdh genes in the microbial communities of the bottom water masses compared with those of the surface water masses. The spatial variation of microbial functional genes was significantly correlated

  2. From Field to Laboratory: A New Database Approach for Linking Microbial Field Ecology with Laboratory Studies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bebout, Leslie; Keller, R.; Miller, S.; Jahnke, L.; DeVincenzi, D. (Technical Monitor)

    2002-01-01

    The Ames Exobiology Culture Collection Database (AECC-DB) has been developed as a collaboration between microbial ecologists and information technology specialists. It allows for extensive web-based archiving of information regarding field samples to document microbial co-habitation of specific ecosystem micro-environments. Documentation and archiving continues as pure cultures are isolated, metabolic properties determined, and DNA extracted and sequenced. In this way metabolic properties and molecular sequences are clearly linked back to specific isolates and the location of those microbes in the ecosystem of origin. Use of this database system presents a significant advancement over traditional bookkeeping wherein there is generally little or no information regarding the environments from which microorganisms were isolated. Generally there is only a general ecosystem designation (i.e., hot-spring). However within each of these there are a myriad of microenvironments with very different properties and determining exactly where (which microenvironment) a given microbe comes from is critical in designing appropriate isolation media and interpreting physiological properties. We are currently using the database to aid in the isolation of a large number of cyanobacterial species and will present results by PI's and students demonstrating the utility of this new approach.

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. Subduction zone forearc serpentinites as incubators for deep microbial life

    Science.gov (United States)

    Plümper, Oliver; King, Helen E.; Geisler, Thorsten; Liu, Yang; Pabst, Sonja; Savov, Ivan P.; Rost, Detlef; Zack, Thomas

    2017-04-01

    Serpentinization-fueled systems in the cool, hydrated forearc mantle of subduction zones may provide an environment that supports deep chemolithoautotrophic life. Here, we examine serpentinite clasts expelled from mud volcanoes above the Izu-Bonin-Mariana subduction zone forearc (Pacific Ocean) that contain complex organic matter and nanosized Ni-Fe alloys. Using time-of-flight secondary ion mass spectrometry and Raman spectroscopy, we determined that the organic matter consists of a mixture of aliphatic and aromatic compounds and functional groups such as amides. Although an abiotic or subduction slab-derived fluid origin cannot be excluded, the similarities between the molecular signatures identified in the clasts and those of bacteria-derived biopolymers from other serpentinizing systems hint at the possibility of deep microbial life within the forearc. To test this hypothesis, we coupled the currently known temperature limit for life, 122 °C, with a heat conduction model that predicts a potential depth limit for life within the forearc at ˜10,000 m below the seafloor. This is deeper than the 122 °C isotherm in known oceanic serpentinizing regions and an order of magnitude deeper than the downhole temperature at the serpentinized Atlantis Massif oceanic core complex, Mid-Atlantic Ridge. We suggest that the organic-rich serpentinites may be indicators for microbial life deep within or below the mud volcano. Thus, the hydrated forearc mantle may represent one of Earth’s largest hidden microbial ecosystems. These types of protected ecosystems may have allowed the deep biosphere to thrive, despite violent phases during Earth’s history such as the late heavy bombardment and global mass extinctions.

  7. Subduction zone forearc serpentinites as incubators for deep microbial life.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Plümper, Oliver; King, Helen E; Geisler, Thorsten; Liu, Yang; Pabst, Sonja; Savov, Ivan P; Rost, Detlef; Zack, Thomas

    2017-04-25

    Serpentinization-fueled systems in the cool, hydrated forearc mantle of subduction zones may provide an environment that supports deep chemolithoautotrophic life. Here, we examine serpentinite clasts expelled from mud volcanoes above the Izu-Bonin-Mariana subduction zone forearc (Pacific Ocean) that contain complex organic matter and nanosized Ni-Fe alloys. Using time-of-flight secondary ion mass spectrometry and Raman spectroscopy, we determined that the organic matter consists of a mixture of aliphatic and aromatic compounds and functional groups such as amides. Although an abiotic or subduction slab-derived fluid origin cannot be excluded, the similarities between the molecular signatures identified in the clasts and those of bacteria-derived biopolymers from other serpentinizing systems hint at the possibility of deep microbial life within the forearc. To test this hypothesis, we coupled the currently known temperature limit for life, 122 °C, with a heat conduction model that predicts a potential depth limit for life within the forearc at ∼10,000 m below the seafloor. This is deeper than the 122 °C isotherm in known oceanic serpentinizing regions and an order of magnitude deeper than the downhole temperature at the serpentinized Atlantis Massif oceanic core complex, Mid-Atlantic Ridge. We suggest that the organic-rich serpentinites may be indicators for microbial life deep within or below the mud volcano. Thus, the hydrated forearc mantle may represent one of Earth's largest hidden microbial ecosystems. These types of protected ecosystems may have allowed the deep biosphere to thrive, despite violent phases during Earth's history such as the late heavy bombardment and global mass extinctions.

  8. 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.

  9. Temporal and Spatial Distribution of the Microbial Community of Winogradsky Columns.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    David J Esteban

    Full Text Available Winogradsky columns are model microbial ecosystems prepared by adding pond sediment to a clear cylinder with additional supplements and incubated with light. Environmental gradients develop within the column creating diverse niches that allow enrichment of specific bacteria. The enrichment culture can be used to study soil and sediment microbial community structure and function. In this study we used a 16S rRNA gene survey to characterize the microbial community dynamics during Winogradsky column development to determine the rate and extent of change from the source sediment community. Over a period of 60 days, the microbial community changed from the founding pond sediment population: Cyanobacteria, Chloroflexi, Nitrospirae, and Planctomycetes increased in relative abundance over time, while most Proteobacteria decreased in relative abundance. A unique, light-dependent surface biofilm community formed by 60 days that was less diverse and dominated by a few highly abundant bacteria. 67-72% of the surface community was comprised of highly enriched taxa that were rare in the source pond sediment, including the Cyanobacteria Anabaena, a member of the Gemmatimonadetes phylum, and a member of the Chloroflexi class Anaerolinea. This indicates that rare taxa can become abundant under appropriate environmental conditions and supports the hypothesis that rare taxa serve as a microbial seed bank. We also present preliminary findings that suggest that bacteriophages may be active in the Winogradsky community. The dynamics of certain taxa, most notably the Cyanobacteria, showed a bloom-and-decline pattern, consistent with bacteriophage predation as predicted in the kill-the-winner hypothesis. Time-lapse photography also supported the possibility of bacteriophage activity, revealing a pattern of colony clearance similar to formation of viral plaques. The Winogradsky column, a technique developed early in the history of microbial ecology to enrich soil

  10. 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...

  11. Measurement of undisturbed di-nitrogen emissions from aquatic ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Qin, Shuping, Clough, Timothy, Lou, Jiafa; Hu, Chunsheng; Oenema, Oene; Wrage-Mönnig, Nicole; Zhang, Yuming

    2016-04-01

    Increased production of reactive nitrogen (Nr) from atmospheric di-nitrogen (N2) during the last century has greatly contributed to increased food production1-4. However, enriching the biosphere with Nr through N fertilizer production, combustion, and biological N2 fixation has also caused a series of negative effects on global ecosystems 5,6, especially aquatic ecosystems7. The main pathway converting Nr back into the atmospheric N2 pool is the last step of the denitrification process, i.e., the reduction of nitrous oxide (N2O) into N2 by micro-organisms7,8. Despite several attempts9,10, there is not yet an accurate, fast and direct method for measuring undisturbed N2 fluxes from denitrification in aquatic sediments at the field scale11-14. Such a method is essential to study the feedback of aquatic ecosystems to Nr inputs1,2,7. Here we show that the measurement of both N2O emission and its isotope signature can be used to infer the undisturbed N2 fluxes from aquatic ecosystems. The microbial reduction of N2O increases the natural abundance of 15N-N2O relative to 14N-N2O (δ15N-N2O). We observed linear relationships between δ15N-N2O and the logarithmic transformed N2O/(N2+N2O) emission ratios. Through independent measurements, we verified that the undisturbed N2 flux from aquatic ecosystems can be inferred from measurements of N2O emissions and the δ15N-N2O signature. Our method allows the determination of field-scale N2 fluxes from undisturbed aquatic ecosystems, and thereby allows model predictions of denitrification rates to be tested. The undisturbed N2 fluxes observed are almost one order of magnitude higher than those estimated by the traditional method, where perturbation of the system occurs, indicating that the ability of aquatic ecosystems to remove Nr may have been severely underestimated.

  12. An assessment of the hypervariable domains of the 16S rRNA genes for their value in determining microbial community diversity: the paradox of traditional ecological indices.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mills, DeEtta K; Entry, James A; Voss, Joshua D; Gillevet, Patrick M; Mathee, Kalai

    2006-09-01

    Amplicon length heterogeneity PCR (LH-PCR) was investigated for its ability to distinguish between microbial community patterns from the same soil type under different land management practices. Natural sagebrush and irrigated mouldboard-ploughed soils from Idaho were queried as to which hypervariable domains, or combinations of 16S rRNA gene domains, were the best molecular markers. Using standard ecological indices to measure richness, diversity and evenness, the combination of three domains, V1, V3 and V1+V2, or the combined V1 and V3 domains were the markers that could best distinguish the undisturbed natural sagebrush communities from the mouldboard-ploughed microbial communities. Bray-Curtis similarity and multidimensional scaling were found to be better metrics to ordinate and cluster the LH-PCR community profiling data. The use/misuse of traditional ecological indices such as diversity and evenness to study microbial community profiles will remain a major point to consider when performing metagenomic studies.

  13. Metal oxides, clay minerals and charcoal determine the composition of microbial communities in matured artificial soils and their response to phenanthrene.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Babin, Doreen; Ding, Guo-Chun; Pronk, Geertje Johanna; Heister, Katja; Kögel-Knabner, Ingrid; Smalla, Kornelia

    2013-10-01

    Microbial communities in soil reside in a highly heterogeneous habitat where diverse mineral surfaces, complex organic matter and microorganisms interact with each other. This study aimed to elucidate the long-term effect of the soil mineral composition and charcoal on the microbial community composition established in matured artificial soils and their response to phenanthrene. One year after adding sterile manure to different artificial soils and inoculating microorganisms from a Cambisol, the matured soils were spiked with phenanthrene or not and incubated for another 70 days. 16S rRNA gene and internal transcribed spacer fragments amplified from total community DNA were analyzed by denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis. Metal oxides and clay minerals and to a lesser extent charcoal influenced the microbial community composition. Changes in the bacterial community composition in response to phenanthrene differed depending on the mineral composition and presence of charcoal, while no shifts in the fungal community composition were observed. The abundance of ring-hydroxylating dioxygenase genes was increased in phenanthrene-spiked soils except for charcoal-containing soils. Here we show that the formation of biogeochemical interfaces in soil is an ongoing process and that different properties present in artificial soils influenced the bacterial response to the phenanthrene spike. © 2012 Federation of European Microbiological Societies. Published by Blackwell Publishing Ltd. All rights reserved.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. MICROBIAL DEGRADATION OF SEVEN AMIDES BY SUSPENDED BACTERIAL POPULATIONS

    Science.gov (United States)

    Microbial transformation rate constants were determined for seven amides in natural pond water. A second-order mathematical rate expression served as the model for describing the microbial transformation. Also investigated was the relationship between the infrared spectra and the...

  18. Ecosystem services provided by bats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kunz, Thomas H; Braun de Torrez, Elizabeth; Bauer, Dana; Lobova, Tatyana; Fleming, Theodore H

    2011-03-01

    Ecosystem services are the benefits obtained from the environment that increase human well-being. Economic valuation is conducted by measuring the human welfare gains or losses that result from changes in the provision of ecosystem services. Bats have long been postulated to play important roles in arthropod suppression, seed dispersal, and pollination; however, only recently have these ecosystem services begun to be thoroughly evaluated. Here, we review the available literature on the ecological and economic impact of ecosystem services provided by bats. We describe dietary preferences, foraging behaviors, adaptations, and phylogenetic histories of insectivorous, frugivorous, and nectarivorous bats worldwide in the context of their respective ecosystem services. For each trophic ensemble, we discuss the consequences of these ecological interactions on both natural and agricultural systems. Throughout this review, we highlight the research needed to fully determine the ecosystem services in question. Finally, we provide a comprehensive overview of economic valuation of ecosystem services. Unfortunately, few studies estimating the economic value of ecosystem services provided by bats have been conducted to date; however, we outline a framework that could be used in future studies to more fully address this question. Consumptive goods provided by bats, such as food and guano, are often exchanged in markets where the market price indicates an economic value. Nonmarket valuation methods can be used to estimate the economic value of nonconsumptive services, including inputs to agricultural production and recreational activities. Information on the ecological and economic value of ecosystem services provided by bats can be used to inform decisions regarding where and when to protect or restore bat populations and associated habitats, as well as to improve public perception of bats. © 2011 New York Academy of Sciences.

  19. Implementing the optimal provision of ecosystem services.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Polasky, Stephen; Lewis, David J; Plantinga, Andrew J; Nelson, Erik

    2014-04-29

    Many ecosystem services are public goods whose provision depends on the spatial pattern of land use. The pattern of land use is often determined by the decisions of multiple private landowners. Increasing the provision of ecosystem services, though beneficial for society as a whole, may be costly to private landowners. A regulator interested in providing incentives to landowners for increased provision of ecosystem services often lacks complete information on landowners' costs. The combination of spatially dependent benefits and asymmetric cost information means that the optimal provision of ecosystem services cannot be achieved using standard regulatory or payment for ecosystem services approaches. Here we show that an auction that sets payments between landowners and the regulator for the increased value of ecosystem services with conservation provides incentives for landowners to truthfully reveal cost information, and allows the regulator to implement the optimal provision of ecosystem services, even in the case with spatially dependent benefits and asymmetric information.

  20. Interactions between plant and rhizosphere microbial communities in a metalliferous soil

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Epelde, Lur; Becerril, Jose M.; Barrutia, Oihana; Gonzalez-Oreja, Jose A.; Garbisu, Carlos

    2010-01-01

    In the present work, the relationships between plant consortia, consisting of 1-4 metallicolous pseudometallophytes with different metal-tolerance strategies (Thlaspi caerulescens: hyperaccumulator; Jasione montana: accumulator; Rumex acetosa: indicator; Festuca rubra: excluder), and their rhizosphere microbial communities were studied in a mine soil polluted with high levels of Cd, Pb and Zn. Physiological response and phytoremediation potential of the studied pseudometallophytes were also investigated. The studied metallicolous populations are tolerant to metal pollution and offer potential for the development of phytoextraction and phytostabilization technologies. T. caerulescens appears very tolerant to metal stress and most suitable for metal phytoextraction; the other three species enhance soil functionality. Soil microbial properties had a stronger effect on plant biomass rather than the other way around (35.2% versus 14.9%). An ecological understanding of how contaminants, ecosystem functions and biological communities interact in the long-term is needed for proper management of these fragile metalliferous ecosystems. - Rhizosphere microbial communities in highly polluted mine soils are determinant for the growth of pseudometallophytes.

  1. Microbial Community Response to Terrestrially Derived Dissolved Organic Matter in the Coastal Arctic

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rachel E. Sipler

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available Warming at nearly twice the global rate, higher than average air temperatures are the new ‘normal’ for Arctic ecosystems. This rise in temperature has triggered hydrological and geochemical changes that increasingly release carbon-rich water into the coastal ocean via increased riverine discharge, coastal erosion, and the thawing of the semi-permanent permafrost ubiquitous in the region. To determine the biogeochemical impacts of terrestrially derived dissolved organic matter (tDOM on marine ecosystems we compared the nutrient stocks and bacterial communities present under ice-covered and ice-free conditions, assessed the lability of Arctic tDOM to coastal microbial communities from the Chukchi Sea, and identified bacterial taxa that respond to rapid increases in tDOM. Once thought to be predominantly refractory, we found that ∼7% of dissolved organic carbon and ∼38% of dissolved organic nitrogen from tDOM was bioavailable to receiving marine microbial communities on short 4 – 6 day time scales. The addition of tDOM shifted bacterial community structure toward more copiotrophic taxa and away from more oligotrophic taxa. Although no single order was found to respond universally (positively or negatively to the tDOM addition, this study identified 20 indicator species as possible sentinels for increased tDOM. These data suggest the true ecological impact of tDOM will be widespread across many bacterial taxa and that shifts in coastal microbial community composition should be anticipated.

  2. Interactions between plant and rhizosphere microbial communities in a metalliferous soil

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Epelde, Lur [NEIKER-Tecnalia, Department of Ecosystems, c/Berreaga 1, E-48160 Derio (Spain); Becerril, Jose M.; Barrutia, Oihana [Department of Plant Biology and Ecology, University of the Basque Country, UPV/EHU, P.O. Box 644, E-48080 Bilbao (Spain); Gonzalez-Oreja, Jose A. [NEIKER-Tecnalia, Department of Ecosystems, c/Berreaga 1, E-48160 Derio (Spain); Garbisu, Carlos, E-mail: cgarbisu@neiker.ne [NEIKER-Tecnalia, Department of Ecosystems, c/Berreaga 1, E-48160 Derio (Spain)

    2010-05-15

    In the present work, the relationships between plant consortia, consisting of 1-4 metallicolous pseudometallophytes with different metal-tolerance strategies (Thlaspi caerulescens: hyperaccumulator; Jasione montana: accumulator; Rumex acetosa: indicator; Festuca rubra: excluder), and their rhizosphere microbial communities were studied in a mine soil polluted with high levels of Cd, Pb and Zn. Physiological response and phytoremediation potential of the studied pseudometallophytes were also investigated. The studied metallicolous populations are tolerant to metal pollution and offer potential for the development of phytoextraction and phytostabilization technologies. T. caerulescens appears very tolerant to metal stress and most suitable for metal phytoextraction; the other three species enhance soil functionality. Soil microbial properties had a stronger effect on plant biomass rather than the other way around (35.2% versus 14.9%). An ecological understanding of how contaminants, ecosystem functions and biological communities interact in the long-term is needed for proper management of these fragile metalliferous ecosystems. - Rhizosphere microbial communities in highly polluted mine soils are determinant for the growth of pseudometallophytes.

  3. Self-feedbacks determine the sustainability of human interventions in eco-social complex systems: Impacts on biodiversity and ecosystem health.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ortiz, Marco; Levins, Richard

    2017-01-01

    Several administrative polices have been implemented in order to reduce the negative impacts of fishing on natural ecosystems. Four eco-social models with different levels of complexity were constructed, which represent the seaweed harvest in central-northern Chile under two different regimes, Management and Exploitation Areas for Benthic Resources (MAEBRs) and Open Access Areas (OAAs). The dynamics of both regimes were analyzed using the following theoretical frameworks: (1) Loop Analysis, which allows the local stability or sustainability of the models and scenarios to be assessed; and (2) Hessian´s optimization procedure of a global fishery function (GFF) that represents each dynamics of each harvest. The results suggest that the current fishing dynamics in MAEBRs are not sustainable unless the market demand presents some type of control (i.e. taxes). Further, the results indicated that if the demand changes to a self-negative feedback (self-control) in MAEBRs, the stability is increased and, simultaneously, a relative maximum for the GFF is reached. Contrarily, the sustainability of the model/system representing the harvest (principally by cutting plants) in OAAs is not reached. The implementation of an "ecological" tax for intensive artisanal fisheries with low operational cost is proposed. The network analysis developed here is proposed as a general strategy for studying the effects of human interventions in marine coastal ecosystems under transient (short-term) dynamics.

  4. Self-feedbacks determine the sustainability of human interventions in eco-social complex systems: Impacts on biodiversity and ecosystem health.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marco Ortiz

    Full Text Available Several administrative polices have been implemented in order to reduce the negative impacts of fishing on natural ecosystems. Four eco-social models with different levels of complexity were constructed, which represent the seaweed harvest in central-northern Chile under two different regimes, Management and Exploitation Areas for Benthic Resources (MAEBRs and Open Access Areas (OAAs. The dynamics of both regimes were analyzed using the following theoretical frameworks: (1 Loop Analysis, which allows the local stability or sustainability of the models and scenarios to be assessed; and (2 Hessian´s optimization procedure of a global fishery function (GFF that represents each dynamics of each harvest. The results suggest that the current fishing dynamics in MAEBRs are not sustainable unless the market demand presents some type of control (i.e. taxes. Further, the results indicated that if the demand changes to a self-negative feedback (self-control in MAEBRs, the stability is increased and, simultaneously, a relative maximum for the GFF is reached. Contrarily, the sustainability of the model/system representing the harvest (principally by cutting plants in OAAs is not reached. The implementation of an "ecological" tax for intensive artisanal fisheries with low operational cost is proposed. The network analysis developed here is proposed as a general strategy for studying the effects of human interventions in marine coastal ecosystems under transient (short-term dynamics.

  5. The methane sink associated to soils of natural and agricultural ecosystems in Italy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Castaldi, Simona; Costantini, Massimo; Cenciarelli, Pietro; Ciccioli, Paolo; Valentini, Riccardo

    2007-01-01

    In the present work, the CH4 sink associated to Italian soils was calculated by using a process-based model controlled by gas diffusivity and microbial activity, which was run by using a raster-based geographical information system. Georeferenced data included land cover CLC2000, soil properties from the European Soil Database, climatic data from the MARS-STAT database, plus several derived soils properties based on published algorithms applied to the above mentioned databases. Overall CH4 consumption from natural and agricultural sources accounted for a total of 43.3 Gg CH4 yr(-1), with 28.1 Gg CH4 yr(-1) removed in natural ecosystems and 15.1 Gg CH4 yr(-1) in agricultural ecosystems. The highest CH4 uptake rates were obtained for natural areas of Southern Apennines and islands of Sardinia and Sicily, and were mainly associated to areas covered by sclerophyllous vegetation (259.7+/-30.2 mg CH4 m(-2) yr(-1)) and broad-leaved forest (237.5 mg CH4 m(-2) yr(-1)). In terms of total sink strength broad-leaved forests were the dominant ecosystem. The overall contribution of each ecosystem type to the whole CH4 sink depended on the total area covered by the specific ecosystem and on its exact geographic distribution. The latter determines the type of climate present in the area and the dominant soil type, both factors which showed to have a strong influence on CH4 uptake rates. The aggregated CH4 sink, calculated for natural ecosystems present in the Italian region, is significantly higher than previously reported estimates, which were extrapolated from fluxes measured in other temperate ecosystems.

  6. How and to what extent does precipitation on multi-temporal scales and soil moisture at different depths determine carbon flux responses in a water-limited grassland ecosystem?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fang, Qingqing; Wang, Guoqiang; Xue, Baolin; Liu, Tingxi; Kiem, Anthony

    2018-04-23

    In water-limited ecosystems, hydrological processes significantly affect the carbon flux. The semi-arid grassland ecosystem is particularly sensitive to variations in precipitation (PRE) and soil moisture content (SMC), but to what extent is not fully understood. In this study, we estimated and analyzed how hydrological variables, especially PRE at multi-temporal scales (diurnal, monthly, phenological-related, and seasonal) and SMC at different soil depths (0-20 cm, 20-40 cm, 40-60 cm, 60-80 cm) affect the carbon flux. For these aims, eddy covariance data were combined with a Vegetation Photosynthesis and Respiration Model (VPRM) to simulate the regional gross primary productivity (GPP), ecosystem respiration (R eco ), and net ecosystem exchange of CO 2 (NEE). Interestingly, carbon flux showed no relationship with diurnal PRE or phenological-related PRE (precipitation in the growing season and non-growing season). However, carbon flux was significantly related to monthly PRE and to seasonal PRE (spring + summer, autumn). The GPP, R eco , and NEE increased in spring and summer but decreased in autumn with increasing precipitation due to the combined effect of salinization in autumn. The GPP, R eco , and NEE were more responsive to SMC at 0-20 cm depth than at deeper depths due to the shorter roots of herbaceous vegetation. The NEE increased with increasing monthly PRE because soil microbes responded more quickly than plants. The NEE significantly decreased with increasing SMC in shallow surface due to a hysteresis effect on water transport. The results of our study highlight the complex processes that determine how and to what extent PRE at multi-temporal scale and SMC at different depths affect the carbon flux response in a water-limited grassland. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  7. Biogeochemical cycling of lignocellulosic carbon in marine and freshwater ecosystems: relative contributions of procaryotes and eucaryotes

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Benner, R.; Moran, M.A.; Hodson, R.E.

    1986-01-01

    The relative contributions of procaryotes and eucaryotes to the degradation of the lignin and polysaccharide components of lignocellulosic detritus in two marine and two freshwater wetland ecosystems were determined. Two independent methods - physical separation of bacteria from fungi and other eucaryotes by size fractionation, and antibiotic treatments - were used to estimate procaryotic and eucaryotic contributions to the degradation of [ 14 C-lignin]lignocelluloses and [ 13 C-polysaccharide]lignocelluloses in samples of water and decaying plant material from each environment. Both methods yielded similar results; bacteria were the predominant degraders of lignocellulose in each of the aquatic ecosystems. These results indicate a basic difference between the microbial degradation of lignocellulosic material in terrestrial and aquatic environments. Fungi have long been considered the predominant degraders of lignocellulose in terrestrial systems; our results indicate that in aquatic systems bacteria are the predominant degraders of lignocellulose

  8. 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.

  9. Merging Marine Ecosystem Models and Genomics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Coles, V.; Hood, R. R.; Stukel, M. R.; Moran, M. A.; Paul, J. H.; Satinsky, B.; Zielinski, B.; Yager, P. L.

    2015-12-01

    oceanography. One of the grand challenges of oceanography is to develop model techniques to more effectively incorporate genomic information. As one approach, we developed an ecosystem model whose community is determined by randomly assigning functional genes to build each organism's "DNA". Microbes are assigned a size that sets their baseline environmental responses using allometric response cuves. These responses are modified by the costs and benefits conferred by each gene in an organism's genome. The microbes are embedded in a general circulation model where environmental conditions shape the emergent population. This model is used to explore whether organisms constructed from randomized combinations of metabolic capability alone can self-organize to create realistic oceanic biogeochemical gradients. Realistic community size spectra and chlorophyll-a concentrations emerge in the model. The model is run repeatedly with randomly-generated microbial communities and each time realistic gradients in community size spectra, chlorophyll-a, and forms of nitrogen develop. This supports the hypothesis that the metabolic potential of a community rather than the realized species composition is the primary factor setting vertical and horizontal environmental gradients. Vertical distributions of nitrogen and transcripts for genes involved in nitrification are broadly consistent with observations. Modeled gene and transcript abundance for nitrogen cycling and processing of land-derived organic material match observations along the extreme gradients in the Amazon River plume, and they help to explain the factors controlling observed variability.

  10. Short-term bioavailability of carbon in soil organic matter fractions of different particle sizes and densities in grassland ecosystems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Breulmann, Marc; Masyutenko, Nina Petrovna; Kogut, Boris Maratovich; Schroll, Reiner; Dörfler, Ulrike; Buscot, François; Schulz, Elke

    2014-11-01

    The quality, stability and availability of organic carbon (OC) in soil organic matter (SOM) can vary widely between differently managed ecosystems. Several approaches have been developed for isolating SOM fractions to examine their ecological roles, but links between the bioavailability of the OC of size-density fractions and soil microbial communities have not been previously explored. Thus, in the presented laboratory study we investigated the potential bioavailability of OC and the structure of associated microbial communities in different particle-size and density fractions of SOM. For this we used samples from four grassland ecosystems with contrasting management intensity regimes and two soil types: a Haplic Cambisol and a typical Chernozem. A combined size-density fractionation protocol was applied to separate clay-associated SOM fractions (CF1, <1 μm; CF2, 1-2 μm) from light SOM fractions (LF1, <1.8 g cm(-3); LF2, 1.8-2.0 g cm(-3)). These fractions were used as carbon sources in a respiration experiment to determine their potential bioavailability. Measured CO2-release was used as an index of substrate accessibility and linked to the soil microbial community structure, as determined by phospholipid fatty acids (PLFA) analysis. Several key factors controlling decomposition processes, and thus the potential bioavailability of OC, were identified: management intensity and the plant community composition of the grasslands (both of which affect the chemical composition and turnover of OC) and specific properties of individual SOM fractions. The PLFA patterns highlighted differences in the composition of microbial communities associated with the examined grasslands, and SOM fractions, providing the first broad insights into their active microbial communities. From observed interactions between abiotic and biotic factors affecting the decomposition of SOM fractions we demonstrate that increasing management intensity could enhance the potential bioavailability of

  11. Soil structure and microbial activity dynamics in 20-month field-incubated organic-amended soils

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Arthur, Emmanuel; Schjønning, Per; Møldrup, Per

    2014-01-01

    to determine compressive strength. During incubation, the amount of WDC depended on soil carbon content while the trends correlated with moisture content. Organic amendment only yielded modest decreases (mean of 14% across all sampling times and soils) in WDC, but it was sufficient to stimulate the microbial......Soil structure formation is essential to all soil ecosystem functions and services. This study aims to quantify changes in soil structure and microbial activity during and after field incubation and examine the effect of carbon, organic amendment and clay on aggregate characteristics. Five soils...... community (65–100% increase in FDA). Incubation led to significant macroaggregate formation (>2 mm) for all soils. Friability and strength of newly-formed aggregates were negatively correlated with clay content and carbon content, respectively. Soil workability was best for the kaolinite-rich soil...

  12. 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

  13. 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...

  14. 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:...

  15. Looking inside the box: using Raman microspectroscopy to deconstruct microbial biomass stoichiometry one cell at a time

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hall, Edward K.; Singer, Gabriel A.; Pölzl, Marvin; Hämmerle, Ieda; Schwarz, Christian; Daims, Holger; Maixner, Frank; Battin, Tom J.

    2011-01-01

    Stoichiometry of microbial biomass is a key determinant of nutrient recycling in a wide variety of ecosystems. However, little is known about the underlying causes of variance in microbial biomass stoichiometry. This is primarily because of technological constraints limiting the analysis of macromolecular composition to large quantities of microbial biomass. Here, we use Raman microspectroscopy (MS), to analyze the macromolecular composition of single cells of two species of bacteria grown on minimal media over a wide range of resource stoichiometry. We show that macromolecular composition, determined from a subset of identified peaks within the Raman spectra, was consistent with macromolecular composition determined using traditional analytical methods. In addition, macromolecular composition determined by Raman MS correlated with total biomass stoichiometry, indicating that analysis with Raman MS included a large proportion of a cell's total macromolecular composition. Growth phase (logarithmic or stationary), resource stoichiometry and species identity each influenced each organism's macromolecular composition and thus biomass stoichiometry. Interestingly, the least variable peaks in the Raman spectra were those responsible for differentiation between species, suggesting a phylogenetically specific cellular architecture. As Raman MS has been previously shown to be applicable to cells sampled directly from complex environments, our results suggest Raman MS is an extremely useful application for evaluating the biomass stoichiometry of environmental microorganisms. This includes the ability to partition microbial biomass into its constituent macromolecules and increase our understanding of how microorganisms in the environment respond to resource heterogeneity.

  16. Emergent biosynthetic capacity in simple microbial communities.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hsuan-Chao Chiu

    2014-07-01

    Full Text Available Microbes have an astonishing capacity to transform their environments. Yet, the metabolic capacity of a single species is limited and the vast majority of microorganisms form complex communities and join forces to exhibit capabilities far exceeding those achieved by any single species. Such enhanced metabolic capacities represent a promising route to many medical, environmental, and industrial applications and call for the development of a predictive, systems-level understanding of synergistic microbial capacity. Here we present a comprehensive computational framework, integrating high-quality metabolic models of multiple species, temporal dynamics, and flux variability analysis, to study the metabolic capacity and dynamics of simple two-species microbial ecosystems. We specifically focus on detecting emergent biosynthetic capacity--instances in which a community growing on some medium produces and secretes metabolites that are not secreted by any member species when growing in isolation on that same medium. Using this framework to model a large collection of two-species communities on multiple media, we demonstrate that emergent biosynthetic capacity is highly prevalent. We identify commonly observed emergent metabolites and metabolic reprogramming patterns, characterizing typical mechanisms of emergent capacity. We further find that emergent secretion tends to occur in two waves, the first as soon as the two organisms are introduced, and the second when the medium is depleted and nutrients become limited. Finally, aiming to identify global community determinants of emergent capacity, we find a marked association between the level of emergent biosynthetic capacity and the functional/phylogenetic distance between community members. Specifically, we demonstrate a "Goldilocks" principle, where high levels of emergent capacity are observed when the species comprising the community are functionally neither too close, nor too distant. Taken together

  17. Large Plankton Enhance Heterotrophy Under Experimental Warming in a Temperate Coastal Ecosystem

    KAUST Repository

    Huete-Stauffer, Tamara Megan

    2017-12-15

    Microbes are key players in oceanic carbon fluxes. Temperate ecosystems are seasonally variable and thus suitable for testing the effect of warming on microbial carbon fluxes at contrasting oceanographic conditions. In four experiments conducted in February, April, August and October 2013 in coastal NE Atlantic waters, we monitored microbial plankton stocks and daily rates of primary production, bacterial heterotrophic production and respiration at in situ temperature and at 2 and 4°C over ambient values during 4-day incubations. Ambient total primary production (TPP) exceeded total community respiration (< 200 µm, TR) in winter and fall but not in spring and summer. The bacterial contribution to ecosystem carbon fluxes was low, with bacterial production representing on average 6.9 ± 3.2% of TPP and bacterial respiration (between 0.8 and 0.2 µm) contributing on average 35 ± 7% to TR. Warming did not result in a uniform increase in the variables considered, and most significant effects were found only for the 4°C increase. In the summer and fall experiments, under warm and nutrient-deficient conditions, the net TPP/TR ratio decreased by 39 and 34% in the 4°C treatment, mainly due to the increase in respiration of large organisms rather than bacteria. Our results indicate that the interaction of temperature and substrate availability in determining microbial carbon fluxes has a strong seasonal component in temperate planktonic ecosystems, with temperature having a more pronounced effect and generating a shift toward net heterotrophy under more oligotrophic conditions as found in summer and early fall.

  18. Soil microbial activities beneath Stipa tenacissima L. and in surrounding bare soil

    Science.gov (United States)

    Novosadová, I.; Ruiz Sinoga, J. D.; Záhora, J.; Fišerová, H.

    2010-05-01

    open steppe dominated by Stipa tenacissima. In February 2009 representative soil samples from the top 10 cm were taken beneath grass tussock and from bare soil. Soil samples in three replicates were incubated after rewetting with distilled water (basal microbial activities) and after rewetting with the glucose solution and with the mixture of glucose and peptone solution (potential microbial activities). The CO2, C2H4 evolved under controlled conditions (60% WHC, 24°C) during a 37-day aerobic incubation were determined. Ammonia and nitrate nitrogen were estimated in percolates after simulated rainfall (on the 16th day of incubation) and in the incubated soil samples at the end of incubation. Net ammonification and net nitrification rates were determined by subtracting initial soil mineral N from both mineral N in percolates plus final mineral N contents at 37th day. Basal, potential microbial respiration and net nitrification in the soils beneath S. tenacissima were, in general, not significantly different from the bare soils. The differences between plant-covered soil and bare soil in cumulative values of CO2 production and in amounts of accumulated NO3--N (net nitrification) were less than ± 10%. Greater differences were found in the net ammonification, which were higher beneath S. tenacissima, mainly in the control (basal activities) variant (about 38 %). Significantly less ethylene produced by microbial activity in soils beneath S. tenacissima after the addition of glucose indicates the dependence of rhizospheric microbial communities on available carbon compounds mainly from root exudates. It can be concluded, similarly as published Goberna et al., (2007), that the distribution of soil microbial properties in semi-arid Mediterranean ecosystems is not necessarily associated with the patchy plant distribution and that some microbial activities characteristics can be unexpectedly homogenous.

  19. 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.

  20. MICROBIAL SURFACTANTS IN ENVIRONMENTAL TECHNOLOGIES

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    T. P. Pirog

    2015-08-01

    Full Text Available It was shown literature and own experimental data concerning the use of microbial surface active glycolipids (rhamno-, sophoro- and trehalose lipids and lipopeptides for water and soil purification from oil and other hydrocarbons, removing toxic heavy metals (Cu2+, Cd2+, Ni2+, Pb2+, degradation of complex pollution (oil and other hydrocarbons with heavy metals, and the role of microbial surfactants in phytoremediation processes. The factors that limit the use of microbial surfactants in environmental technologies are discussed. Thus, at certain concentrations biosurfactant can exhibit antimicrobial properties and inhibit microorganisms destructing xenobiotics. Microbial biodegradability of surfactants may also reduce the effectiveness of bioremediation. Development of effective technologies using microbial surfactants should include the following steps: monitoring of contaminated sites to determine the nature of pollution and analysis of the autochthonous microbiota; determining the mode of surfactant introduction (exogenous addition of stimulation of surfactant synthesis by autochthonous microbiota; establishing an optimal concentration of surfactant to prevent exhibition of antimicrobial properties and rapid biodegradation; research both in laboratory and field conditions.

  1. 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...

  2. 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)

  3. Incorporating the soil environment and microbial community into plant competition theory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ke, Po-Ju; Miki, Takeshi

    2015-01-01

    Plants affect microbial communities and abiotic properties of nearby soils, which in turn influence plant growth and interspecific interaction, forming a plant-soil feedback (PSF). PSF is a key determinant influencing plant population dynamics, community structure, and ecosystem functions. Despite accumulating evidence for the importance of PSF and development of specific PSF models, different models are not yet fully integrated. Here, we review the theoretical progress in understanding PSF. When first proposed, PSF was integrated with various mathematical frameworks to discuss its influence on plant competition. Recent theoretical models have advanced PSF research at different levels of ecological organizations by considering multiple species, applying spatially explicit simulations to examine how local-scale predictions apply to larger scales, and assessing the effect of PSF on plant temporal dynamics over the course of succession. We then review two foundational models for microbial- and litter-mediated PSF. We present a theoretical framework to illustrate that although the two models are typically presented separately, their behavior can be understood together by invasibility analysis. We conclude with suggestions for future directions in PSF theoretical studies, which include specifically addressing microbial diversity to integrate litter- and microbial-mediated PSF, and apply PSF to general coexistence theory through a trait-based approach.

  4. Microbial community structure across a wastewater-impacted riparian buffer zone in the southeastern coastal plain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ducey, T F; Johnson, P R; Shriner, A D; Matheny, T A; Hunt, P G

    2013-01-01

    Riparian buffer zones are important for both natural and developed ecosystems throughout the world because of their ability to retain nutrients, prevent soil erosion, protect aquatic environments from excessive sedimentation, and filter pollutants. Despite their importance, the microbial community structures of riparian buffer zones remains poorly defined. Our objectives for this study were twofold: first, to characterize the microbial populations found in riparian buffer zone soils; and second, to determine if microbial community structure could be linked to denitrification enzyme activity (DEA). To achieve these objectives, we investigated the microbial populations of a riparian buffer zone located downslope of a pasture irrigated with swine lagoon effluent, utilizing DNA sequencing of the 16S rDNA, DEA, and quantitative PCR (qPCR) of the denitrification genes nirK, nirS, and nosZ. Clone libraries of the 16S rDNA gene were generated from each of twelve sites across the riparian buffer with a total of 986 partial sequences grouped into 654 operational taxonomic units (OTUs). The Proteobacteria were the dominant group (49.8% of all OTUs), with the Acidobacteria also well represented (19.57% of all OTUs). Analysis of qPCR results identified spatial relationships between soil series, site location, and gene abundance, which could be used to infer both incomplete and total DEA rates.

  5. Incorporating the soil environment and microbial community into plant competition theory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ke, Po-Ju; Miki, Takeshi

    2015-01-01

    Plants affect microbial communities and abiotic properties of nearby soils, which in turn influence plant growth and interspecific interaction, forming a plant-soil feedback (PSF). PSF is a key determinant influencing plant population dynamics, community structure, and ecosystem functions. Despite accumulating evidence for the importance of PSF and development of specific PSF models, different models are not yet fully integrated. Here, we review the theoretical progress in understanding PSF. When first proposed, PSF was integrated with various mathematical frameworks to discuss its influence on plant competition. Recent theoretical models have advanced PSF research at different levels of ecological organizations by considering multiple species, applying spatially explicit simulations to examine how local-scale predictions apply to larger scales, and assessing the effect of PSF on plant temporal dynamics over the course of succession. We then review two foundational models for microbial- and litter-mediated PSF. We present a theoretical framework to illustrate that although the two models are typically presented separately, their behavior can be understood together by invasibility analysis. We conclude with suggestions for future directions in PSF theoretical studies, which include specifically addressing microbial diversity to integrate litter- and microbial-mediated PSF, and apply PSF to general coexistence theory through a trait-based approach. PMID:26500621

  6. Incorporating the soil environment and microbial community into plant competition theory

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Po-Ju eKe

    2015-10-01

    Full Text Available Plants affect microbial communities and abiotic properties of nearby soils, which in turn influence plant growth and interspecific interaction, forming a plant-soil feedback (PSF. PSF is a key determinant influencing plant population dynamics, community structure, and ecosystem functions. Despite accumulating evidence for the importance of PSF and development of specific PSF models, different models are not yet fully integrated. Here, we review the theoretical progress in understanding PSF. When first proposed, PSF was integrated with various mathematical frameworks to discuss its influence on plant competition. Recent theoretical models have advanced PSF research at different levels of ecological organizations by considering multiple species, applying spatially explicit simulations to examine how local-scale predictions apply to larger scales, and assessing the effect of PSF on plant temporal dynamics over the course of succession. We then review two foundational models for microbial- and litter-mediated PSF. We present a theoretical framework to illustrate that although the two models are typically presented separately, their behavior can be understood together by invasibility analysis. We conclude with suggestions for future directions in PSF theoretical studies, which include specifically addressing microbial diversity to integrate litter- and microbial-mediated PSF, and apply PSF to general coexistence theory through a trait-based approach.

  7. Assessment of microbial processes on radionuclide mobility in shallow land burial. [West Valley, NY; Beatty, Nevada; Maxey Flats, Kentucky

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Colombo, P.; Tate, R.L. III; Weiss, A.J.

    1982-07-01

    The impact of microbial metabolism of the organic substituents of low level radioactive wastes on radionuclide mobility in disposal sites, the nature of the microbial transformations involved in this metabolism and the effect of the prevailing environmental parameters on the quantities and types of metabolic intermediates accumulated were examined. Since both aerobic and anaerobic periods can occur during trench ecosystem development, oxidation capacities of the microbial community in the presence and absence of oxygen were analyzed. Results of gas studies performed at three commercial low level radioactive waste disposal sites were reviewed. Several deficiencies in available data were determined. Further research needs are suggested. This assessment has demonstrated that the biochemical capabilities expressed within the low level radioactive waste disposal site are common to a wide variety of soil bacteria. Hence, assuming trenches would not be placed in sites with such extreme abiotic conditions that all microbial activity is precluded, the microbial populations needed for colonization and decomposition of the organic waste substances are readily provided from the waste itself and from the soil of existing and any proposed disposal sites. Indeed, considering the ubiquity of occurrence of the microorganisms responsible for waste decomposition and the chemical nature of the organic waste material, long-term prevention of biodecomposition is difficult, if not impossible.

  8. Marine Microbial Systems Ecology: Microbial Networks in the Sea

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Muijzer, G.; Stal, L.J.; Cretoiu, M.S.

    2016-01-01

    Next-generation sequencing of DNA has revolutionized microbial ecology. Using this technology, it became for the first time possible to analyze hundreds of samples simultaneously and in great detail. 16S rRNA amplicon sequencing, metagenomics and metatranscriptomics became available to determine the

  9. Tillage and manure effect on soil microbial biomass and respiration ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The objective of this study was to determine the influence of both tillage and liquid pig manure application on soil microbial biomass, enzyme activities and microbial respiration in a meadow soil. The results obtained did not show any significant effect of tillage and manure on microbial biomass carbon (C) and nitrogen (N) ...

  10. The effects of boron management on soil microbial population and ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Soil microorganisms directly influence boron content of soil as maximum boron release corresponds with the highest microbial activity. The objective of this study is to determine the effects of different levels of boron fertilizer on microbial population, microbial respiration and soil enzyme activities in different soil depths in ...

  11. [Characterization and microbial community shifts of rice strawdegrading microbial consortia].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Chunfang; Ma, Shichun; Huang, Yan; Liu, Laiyan; Fan, Hui; Deng, Yu

    2016-12-04

    To study the relationship between microbial community and degradation rate of rice straw, we compared and analyzed cellulose-decomposing ability, microbial community structures and shifts of microbial consortia F1 and F2. We determined exoglucanase activity by 3, 5-dinitrosalicylic acid colorimetry. We determined content of cellulose, hemicellulose and lignin in rice straw by Van Soest method, and calculated degradation rates of rice straw by the weight changes before and after a 10-day incubation. We analyzed and compared the microbial communities and functional microbiology shifts by clone libraries, Miseq analysis and real time-PCR based on the 16S rRNA gene and cel48 genes. Total degradation rate, cellulose, and hemicellulose degradation rate of microbial consortia F1 were significantly higher than that of F2. The variation trend of exoglucanase activity in both microbial consortia F1 and F2 was consistent with that of cel48 gene copies. Microbial diversity of F1 was complex with aerobic bacteria as dominant species, whereas that of F2 was simple with a high proportion of anaerobic cellulose decomposing bacteria in the later stage of incubation. In the first 4 days, unclassified Bacillales and Bacillus were dominant in both F1 and F2. The dominant species and abundance became different after 4-day incubation, Bacteroidetes and Firmicutes were dominant phyla of F1 and F2, respectively. Although Petrimonas and Pusillimonas were common dominant species in F1 and F2, abundance of Petrimonas in F2 (38.30%) was significantly higher than that in F1 (9.47%), and the abundance of Clostridiales OPB54 in F2 increased to 14.85% after 8-day incubation. The abundance of cel48 gene related with cellulose degradation rate and exoglucanase activity, and cel48 gene has the potential as a molecular marker to monitor the process of cellulose degradation. Microbial community structure has a remarkable impact on the degradation efficiency of straw cellulose, and Petrimonas

  12. Ecological effects of soil properties and metal concentrations on the composition and diversity of microbial communities associated with land use patterns in an electronic waste recycling region.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wu, Wencheng; Dong, Changxun; Wu, Jiahui; Liu, Xiaowen; Wu, Yingxin; Chen, Xianbin; Yu, Shixiao

    2017-12-01

    Soil microbes play vital roles in ecosystem functions, and soil microbial communities may be strongly structured by land use patterns associated with electronic waste (e-waste) recycling activities, which can increase the heavy metal concentration in soils. In this study, a suite of soils from five land use types (paddy field, vegetable field, dry field, forest field, and e-waste recycling site) were collected in Longtang Town, Guangdong Province, South China. Soil physicochemical properties and heavy metal concentrations were measured, and the indigenous microbial assemblages were profiled using 16S rRNA high-throughput sequencing and clone library analyses. The results showed that mercury concentration was positively correlated with both Faith's PD and Chao1 estimates, suggesting that the soil microbial alpha diversity was predominantly regulated by mercury. In addition, redundancy analysis indicated that available phosphorus, soil moisture, and mercury were the three major drivers affecting the microbial assemblages. Overall, the microbial composition was determined primarily by land use patterns, and this study provides a novel insight on the composition and diversity of microbial communities in soils associated with e-waste recycling activities. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  13. Determination of the Proportion of Total Soil Extracellular Acid Phosphomonoesterase (E.C. 3.1.3.2 Activity Represented by Roots in the Soil of Different Forest Ecosystems

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Klement Rejsek

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available The aim of this study is to present a new method for determining the root-derived extracellular acid phosphomonoesterase (EAPM activity fraction within the total EAPM activity of soil. EAPM activity was determined for roots, organic and mineral soil. Samples were collected using paired PVC cylinders, inserted to a depth of 15 cm, within seven selected forest stands. Root-derived EAPM formed between 4 and18% of the total EAPM activity of soil from forests of differing maturity. A new approach, presented in this work, enables separation of root-derived EAPM activity from total soil EAPM. Separation of root-derived EAPM from soil provides a better understanding of its role in P-cycling in terrestrial ecosystems. The method presented in this work is a first step towards the separation of root- and microbe-derived EAPM in soils, which are thought to possess different kinetic properties and different sensitivity to environmental change.

  14. Towards an integration of biodiversity-ecosystem functioning and food web theory to evaluate relationships between multiple ecosystem services

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hines, Jes; van der Putten, W.H.; De Deyn, G.B.; Wagg, Cameron; Voigt, Winfried; Mulder, Christian; Weisser, Wolfgang W.; Engel, Jan; Melian, Carlos; Scheu, Stefan; Birkhofer, Klaus; Ebeling, Anne; Scherber, Christoph; Eisenhauer, Nico

    2015-01-01

    Ecosystem responses to changes in species diversity are often studied individually. However, changes in species diversity can simultaneously influence multiple interdependent ecosystem functions. Therefore, an important challenge is to determine when and how changes in species diversity that

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. Extreme CO2 disturbance and the resilience of soil microbial communities

    Science.gov (United States)

    McFarland, Jack W.; Waldrop, Mark P.; Haw, Monica

    2013-01-01

    Carbon capture and storage (CSS) technology has the potential to inadvertently release large quantities of CO2 through geologic substrates and into surrounding soils and ecosystems. Such a disturbance has the potential to not only alter the structure and function of plant and animal communities, but also soils, soil microbial communities, and the biogeochemical processes they mediate. At Mammoth Mountain, we assessed the soil microbial community response to CO2 disturbance (derived from volcanic ‘cold’ CO2) that resulted in localized tree kill; soil CO2 concentrations in our study area ranged from 0.6% to 60%. Our objectives were to examine how microbial communities and their activities are restructured by extreme CO2 disturbance, and assess the response of major microbial taxa to the reintroduction of limited plant communities following an extensive period (15–20 years) with no plants. We found that CO2-induced tree kill reduced soil carbon (C) availability along our sampling transect. In response, soil microbial biomass decreased by an order of magnitude from healthy forest to impacted areas. Soil microorganisms were most sensitive to changes in soil organic C, which explained almost 60% of the variation for microbial biomass C (MBC) along the CO2gradient. We employed phospholi