eCite Digital Repository

Stromatolites on the rise in peat-bound karstic wetlands

Citation

Proemse, BC and Eberhard, RS and Sharples, C and Bowman, JP and Richards, K and Comfort, M and Barmuta, LA, Stromatolites on the rise in peat-bound karstic wetlands, Scientific Reports, 7 Article 15384. ISSN 2045-2322 (2017) [Refereed Article]


Preview
PDF (article PDF file)
Pending copyright assessment - Request a copy
3Mb
  

Official URL: http://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-017-15507-1

DOI: doi:10.1038/s41598-017-15507-1

Abstract

Stromatolites are the oldest evidence for life on Earth, but modern living examples are rare and predominantly occur in shallow marine or (hyper-) saline lacustrine environments, subject to exotic physico-chemical conditions. Here we report the discovery of living freshwater stromatolites in cooltemperate karstic wetlands in the Giblin River catchment of the UNESCO-listed Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area, Australia. These stromatolites colonize the slopes of karstic spring mounds which create mildly alkaline (pH of 7.0-7.9) enclaves within an otherwise uniformly acidic organosol terrain. The freshwater emerging from the springs is Ca-HCO3 dominated and water temperatures show no evidence of geothermal heating. Using 16S rRNA gene clone library analysis we revealed that the bacterial community is dominated by Cyanobacteria, Alphaproteobacteria and an unusually high proportion of Chloroflexi, followed by Armatimonadetes and Planctomycetes, and is therefore unique compared to other living examples. Macroinvertebrates are sparse and snails in particular are disadvantaged by the development of debilitating accumulations of carbonate on their shells, corroborating evidence that stromatolites flourish under conditions where predation by metazoans is suppressed. Our findings constitute a novel habitat for stromatolites because cool-temperate freshwater wetlands are not a conventional stromatolite niche, suggesting that stromatolites may be more common than previously thought.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:stromatolites, wetland, Tasmania, karstic spring
Research Division:Biological Sciences
Research Group:Microbiology
Research Field:Microbial Ecology
Objective Division:Expanding Knowledge
Objective Group:Expanding Knowledge
Objective Field:Expanding Knowledge in the Environmental Sciences
Author:Proemse, BC (Dr Bernadette Proemse)
Author:Sharples, C (Mr Chris Sharples)
Author:Bowman, JP (Associate Professor John Bowman)
Author:Barmuta, LA (Associate Professor Leon Barmuta)
ID Code:122451
Year Published:2017
Deposited By:Agriculture and Food Systems
Deposited On:2017-11-15
Last Modified:2017-11-20
Downloads:0

Repository Staff Only: item control page