Potential roles of anaerobic ammonium and methane oxidation in the nitrogen cycle of wetland ecosystems
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Anaerobic ammonium oxidation (anammox) and anaerobic methane oxidation (ANME coupled to denitrification) with nitrite as electron acceptor are two of the most recent discoveries in the microbial nitrogen cycle. Currently the anammox process has been relatively well investigated in a number of natural and man-made ecosystems, while ANME coupled to denitrification has only been observed in a limited number of freshwater ecosystems. The ubiquitous presence of anammox bacteria in marine ecosystems has changed our knowledge of the global nitrogen cycle. Up to 50% of N2 production in marine sediments and oxygen-depleted zones may be attributed to anammox bacteria. However, there are only few indications of anammox in natural and constructed freshwater wetlands. In this paper, the potential role of anammox and denitrifying methanotrophic bacteria in natural and artificial wetlands is discussed in relation to global warming. The focus of the review is to explore and analyze if suitable environmental conditions exist for anammox and denitrifying methanotrophic bacteria in nitrogen-rich freshwater wetlands.