, Volume 71, Issue 1, pp 78–90

Geochemical Peculiarities of the Carbonate Constructions Formed during Microbial Oxidation of Methane under Anaerobic Conditions


  • A. Yu. Lein
    • Russian Academy of SciencesShirshov Institute of Oceanology
  • M. V. Ivanov
    • Russian Academy of SciencesInstitute of Microbiology
  • N. V. Pimenov
    • Russian Academy of SciencesInstitute of Microbiology
  • M. B. Gulin
    • Institute of Biology of Southern SeasNational Academy of Sciences of Ukraine

DOI: 10.1023/A:1017906501726

Cite this article as:
Lein, A.Y., Ivanov, M.V., Pimenov, N.V. et al. Microbiology (2002) 71: 78. doi:10.1023/A:1017906501726


The aragonite constructions of the Black Sea are formed in a stable anaerobic zone and are a perfect object to study the natural mechanism of anaerobic methane oxidation. The most probable pathway of methane oxidation is its methanogen-mediated reaction with bicarbonates, dissolved in seawater, with the formation of water and acetate, which is then consumed by other components of the anaerobic community. Comparison of the δ13C values of carbonate minerals and organic matter once more demonstrated that the formation of the organic matter of biomass is accompanied by intense fractionation of carbon isotopes, as a result of which the total organic matter of biomass acquires an extremely light isotopic composition, characterized by δ13C values as low as –83.8‰.

carbonate constructions isotopic composition anaerobic methane oxidation

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© MAIK “Nauka/Interperiodica” 2002