Anaerobic Metabolism in Tidal Freshwater Wetlands: II. Effects of Plant Removal on Archaeal Microbial Communities
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- Emerson, D., Bellows, W., Keller, J.K. et al. Estuaries and Coasts (2013) 36: 471. doi:10.1007/s12237-012-9496-9
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The interaction of plant and microbial communities are known to influence the dynamics of methane emission in wetlands. Plant manipulations were conducted in an organic rich (JB-organic) and a mineral rich (JB-mineral) site in a tidal freshwater wetland to determine if plant removal impacted archaeal populations. In concert, a suite of process-based measurements also determined the effects of plant removal on rates of methanogenesis and Fe-reduction. The microbial populations were analyzed with clone libraries of the SSU ribosomal RNA (rRNA) gene from selected plots, and terminal restriction length polymorphism (tRFLP) of the SSU rRNA and the methyl-coenzyme M reductase (mcrA) gene. Overall, methanogenesis dominated anaerobic carbon mineralization at both sites during the most active growing season. A total of 114 SSU rRNA clones from four different plots revealed a diversity of Euryarchaeota including representatives of the Methanomicrobiales, Methanosarcinales and Thermoplasmatales. The clone libraries were dominated by the Thaumarchaeota, accounting for 65 % of clones, although their diversity was low. A total of 112 tRFLP profiles were generated from 56 samples from 25 subplots; the patterns for both SSU rRNA and mcrA showed little variation between sites, either with plant treatment or with the growing season. Overall these results suggest that wetland soil archaeal populations were resilient to changes in the associated surface plant communities. The work also revealed the presence of novel, mesophilic Thaumarchaeota of unknown metabolic function.