Importance of Extracellular Enzymes for Biogeochemical Processes in Temporary River Sediments during Fluctuating Dry–Wet Conditions

  • Annamaria ZoppiniEmail author
  • Jürgen Marxsen
Part of the Soil Biology book series (SOILBIOL, volume 22)


Climate change represents an emerging problem for temporary waters by increasing the frequency and duration of drought periods, with potentially important effects on fluvial biogeochemical processes. Although benthic microbial processes have been recognized to have a most important role in carbon, nutrient and energy flux, few studies have documented the response to dry–wet cycles in temporary waters. Data so far obtained demonstrate that microbial communities are significantly affected by water stress conditions and that their structure changes with a drastic reduction of cell abundance, vitality and metabolic activity. But hydrolytic enzymes constitute an exception to this trend. They are preserved even if the cells in which they originated become non-viable. We postulate that the preservation of these enzymes represents an important mechanism for the fast recovery of surviving microbial cells after flooding and the re-establishment of the metabolic functions of microbial communities.


Microbial Community Extracellular Polymeric Substance Extracellular Enzyme Activity Water Stress Condition Aminopeptidase Activity 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Istituto di Ricerca Sulle AcqueConsiglio Nazionale delle RicercheMonterotondoItaly
  2. 2.Limnologische Fluss-Station des Max-Planck-Instituts für LimnologieSchlitzGermany
  3. 3.Institut für Allgemeine und Spezielle ZoologieTierökologie, Justus-Liebig-Universität GießenGießenGermany

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