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Evidence of microbial regulation of biogeochemical cycles from a study on methane flux and land use change


Nazaries, L and Pan, Y and Bodrossy, L and Braggs, EM and Millard, P and Murrell, JC and Singh, BK, Evidence of microbial regulation of biogeochemical cycles from a study on methane flux and land use change, Applied and Environmental Microbiology, 79, (13) pp. 4031-4040. ISSN 0099-2240 (2013) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2013 American Society for Microbiology

DOI: doi:10.1128/AEM.00095-13


Microbes play an essential role in ecosystem functions, including carrying out biogeochemical cycles, but are currently considered a black box in predictive models and all global biodiversity debates. This is due to (i) perceived temporal and spatial variations in microbial communities and (ii) lack of ecological theory explaining how microbes regulate ecosystem functions. Providing evidence of the microbial regulation of biogeochemical cycles is key for predicting ecosystem functions, including greenhouse gas fluxes, under current and future climate scenarios. Using functional measures, stable-isotope probing, and molecular methods, we show that microbial (community diversity and function) response to land use change is stable over time. We investigated the change in net methane flux and associated microbial communities due to afforestation of bog, grassland, and moorland. Afforestation resulted in the stable and consistent enhancement in sink of atmospheric methane at all sites. This change in function was linked to a niche-specific separation of microbial communities (methanotrophs). The results suggest that ecological theories developed for macroecology may explain the microbial regulation of the methane cycle. Our findings provide support for the explicit consideration of microbial data in ecosystem/climate models to improve predictions of biogeochemical cycles.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:northern European soils, 16S ribsomal-RNA, methanotrophic bacteria, atmospheric methane, climate change, diagnostic microarray, upland soils, sp nov, diversity, biodiversity
Research Division:Agricultural, Veterinary and Food Sciences
Research Group:Agriculture, land and farm management
Research Field:Agricultural land management
Objective Division:Environmental Management
Objective Group:Terrestrial systems and management
Objective Field:Evaluation, allocation, and impacts of land use
UTAS Author:Bodrossy, L (Dr Levente Bodrossy)
ID Code:120012
Year Published:2013
Web of Science® Times Cited:58
Deposited By:Tasmanian Institute of Agriculture
Deposited On:2017-08-08
Last Modified:2017-09-07

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