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Variation in prokaryotic community composition as a function of resource availability in tidal creek sediments.


ABSTRACT: In anaerobic coastal sediments, hydrolytic and/or fermentative bacteria degrade polymeric material and produce labile intermediates, which are used by terminal metabolizers to complete the conversion of organic material to CO(2). We used molecular approaches to evaluate the response of two bacterial terminal metabolizer groups from a coastal tidal creek sediments, sulfate reducers and methanogens, to controlled changes in carbon resource supply. Tidal creek sediment bioreactors were established in April and August 2004. For each date, intact sediment sections were continuously supplied with flowthrough seawater that was either unamended or amended with the high-molecular-weight polysaccharide dextran. Biogeochemical data indicate that the activity of fermenting bacteria and the terminal metabolizers was limited by organic carbon supply during both experiments, with a significant increase in net volatile fatty acid (VFA) production and rates of sulfate reduction and methanogenesis following dextran addition. Community composition (measured by using terminal restriction fragment length polymorphism analysis, and functional gene [dsrA, mcrA] clone libraries) changed from April to August. However, community composition was not different between amended and unamended cores within each month, despite the change in resource level. Moreover, there was no relationship between community richness and evenness with resource level. This lack of variation in community composition with C addition could be attributed to the dynamic environment these sediment communities experience in situ. Fluctuations in VFA concentrations are most likely very high, so that the dominant bacterial species must be able to outcompete other species at both high and low resource levels.

SUBMITTER: Edmonds JW 

PROVIDER: S-EPMC2268307 | BioStudies | 2008-01-01

REPOSITORIES: biostudies

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