Project description:Boreal lakes are major components of the global carbon cycle, partly because of sediment-bound heterotrophic microorganisms that decompose within-lake and terrestrially derived organic matter (t-OM). The ability for sediment bacteria to break down and alter t-OM may depend on environmental characteristics and community composition. However, the connection between these two potential drivers of decomposition is poorly understood. We tested how bacterial activity changed along experimental gradients in the quality and quantity of t-OM inputs into littoral sediments of two small boreal lakes, a dark and a clear lake, and measured the abundance of operational taxonomic units and functional genes to identify mechanisms underlying bacterial responses. We found that bacterial production (BP) decreased across lakes with aromatic dissolved organic matter (DOM) in sediment pore water, but the process underlying this pattern differed between lakes. Bacteria in the dark lake invested in the energetically costly production of extracellular enzymes as aromatic DOM increased in availability in the sediments. By contrast, bacteria in the clear lake may have lacked the nutrients and/or genetic potential to degrade aromatic DOM and instead mineralized photo-degraded OM into CO2 . The two lakes differed in community composition, with concentrations of dissolved organic carbon and pH differentiating microbial assemblages. Furthermore, functional genes relating to t-OM degradation were relatively higher in the dark lake. Our results suggest that future changes in t-OM inputs to lake sediments will have different effects on carbon cycling depending on the potential for photo-degradation of OM and composition of resident bacterial communities.
Project description:Nutrient enrichment of high-elevation freshwater ecosystems by atmospheric deposition is increasing worldwide, and bacteria are a key conduit for the metabolism of organic matter in these oligotrophic environments. We conducted two distinct in situ microcosm experiments in a high-elevation lake (Emerald Lake, Sierra Nevada, California, USA) to evaluate responses in bacterioplankton growth, carbon utilization, and community structure to short-term enrichment by nitrate and phosphate. The first experiment, conducted just following ice-off, employed dark dilution culture to directly assess the impact of nutrients on bacterioplankton growth and consumption of terrigenous dissolved organic matter during snowmelt. The second experiment, conducted in transparent microcosms during autumn overturn, examined how bacterioplankton in unmanipulated microbial communities responded to nutrients concomitant with increasing phytoplankton-derived organic matter. In both experiments, phosphate enrichment (but not nitrate) caused significant increases in bacterioplankton growth, changed particulate organic stoichiometry, and induced shifts in bacterial community composition, including consistent declines in the relative abundance of Actinobacteria. The dark dilution culture showed a significant increase in dissolved organic carbon removal in response to phosphate enrichment. In transparent microcosms nutrient enrichment had no effect on concentrations of chlorophyll, carbon, or the fluorescence characteristics of dissolved organic matter, suggesting that bacterioplankton responses were independent of phytoplankton responses. These results demonstrate that bacterioplankton communities in unproductive high-elevation habitats can rapidly alter their taxonomic composition and metabolism in response to short-term phosphate enrichment. Our results reinforce the key role that phosphorus plays in oligotrophic lake ecosystems, clarify the nature of bacterioplankton nutrient limitation, and emphasize that evaluation of eutrophication in these habitats should incorporate heterotrophic microbial communities and processes.
Project description:We studied a complete Holocene sediment record from shallow (zmax = 9.7 m) Lake Harris, Florida (USA) to infer the historical development of the lake and its current eutrophic status. We used (210)Pb and (14)C to date the 5.9-m sediment sequence (core LH-6-13) and determined accumulation rates for bulk sediment, organic matter, calcium carbonate, phosphorus fractions and biogenic silica fractions. The chronology of changes in sediment characteristics for LH-6-13 is consistent with the general paleoenvironmental framework established by core studies from other Florida lakes. Lake Harris began to fill with water in the early Holocene, ca. 10,680 cal a BP. A shift from carbonate-dominated to organic-rich sediments ca. 5,540 cal a BP corresponds to a transition to wetter climate in the middle Holocene. A rapid increase in diatom biogenic silica concentrations and accumulation rates ca. 2,600 cal a BP signals that the lake had deepened to its modern limnetic state. In LH-6-13, an up-core decrease in rates of accumulation for several sediment variables indicates time-course oligotrophication of the lake through the Holocene. In near-surface sediments, abrupt increases in the accumulation rates of these same variables indicate progressive cultural eutrophication after ca. AD 1900. Comparison of the modern state of Lake Harris to its condition 50-100 years ago provides a measure of the impact of recent cultural eutrophication. Because the pre-disturbance trajectory of this lake was one of oligotrophication, the true impact of cultural eutrophication is even greater than what is inferred from the changes over the past century.
Project description:Anaerobic nitrate-dependent Fe(II) oxidation is widespread in various environments and is known to be performed by both heterotrophic and autotrophic microorganisms. Although Fe(II) oxidation is predominantly biological under acidic conditions, to date most of the studies on nitrate-dependent Fe(II) oxidation were from environments of circumneutral pH. The present study was conducted in Lake Grosse Fuchskuhle, a moderately acidic ecosystem receiving humic acids from an adjacent bog, with the objective of identifying, characterizing and enumerating the microorganisms responsible for this process. The incubations of sediment under chemolithotrophic nitrate-dependent Fe(II)-oxidizing conditions have shown the enrichment of TM3 group of uncultured Actinobacteria. A time-course experiment done on these Actinobacteria showed a consumption of Fe(II) and nitrate in accordance with the expected stoichiometry (1:0.2) required for nitrate-dependent Fe(II) oxidation. Quantifications done by most probable number showed the presence of 1 × 10(4) autotrophic and 1 × 10(7) heterotrophic nitrate-dependent Fe(II) oxidizers per gram fresh weight of sediment. The analysis of microbial community by 16S rRNA gene amplicon pyrosequencing showed that these actinobacterial sequences correspond to ~0.6% of bacterial 16S rRNA gene sequences. Stable isotope probing using (13)CO2 was performed with the lake sediment and showed labeling of these Actinobacteria. This indicated that they might be important autotrophs in this environment. Although these Actinobacteria are not dominant members of the sediment microbial community, they could be of functional significance due to their contribution to the regeneration of Fe(III), which has a critical role as an electron acceptor for anaerobic microorganisms mineralizing sediment organic matter. To the best of our knowledge this is the first study to show the autotrophic nitrate-dependent Fe(II)-oxidizing nature of TM3 group of uncultured Actinobacteria.
Project description:Lonar Lake is a hypersaline and hyperalkaline soda lake and the only meteorite impact crater in the world situated in basalt rocks. Although culture-dependent studies have been reported, a comprehensive understanding of microbial community composition and structure in Lonar Lake remains elusive. In the present study, microbial community structure associated with Lonar Lake sediment and water samples was investigated using high-throughput sequencing. Microbial diversity analysis revealed the existence of diverse, yet largely consistent communities. Proteobacteria (30%), Actinobacteria (24%), Firmicutes (11%), and Cyanobacteria (5%) predominated in the sequencing survey, whereas Bacteroidetes (1.12%), BD1-5 (0.5%), Nitrospirae (0.41%), and Verrucomicrobia (0.28%) were detected in relatively minor abundances in the Lonar Lake ecosystem. Within the Proteobacteria phylum, the Gammaproteobacteria represented the most abundantly detected class (21-47%) within sediment samples, but only a minor population in the water samples. Proteobacteria and Firmicutes were found at significantly higher abundance (p ? 0.05) in sediment samples, whereas members of Actinobacteria, Candidate division TM7 and Cyanobacteria (p ? 0.05) were significantly abundant in water samples. Compared to the microbial communities of other hypersaline soda lakes, those of Lonar Lake formed a distinct cluster, suggesting a different microbial community composition and structure. Here we report for the first time, the difference in composition of indigenous microbial communities between the sediment and water samples of Lonar Lake. An improved census of microbial community structure in this Lake ecosystem provides a foundation for exploring microbial biogeochemical cycling and microbial function in hypersaline lake environments.
Project description:Sediment microbial communities play an important role in lake trophic status. This study determined millions of Illumina reads (16S rRNA gene amplicons) to compare the bacterial communities in moderately eutrophic, lightly eutrophic, and moderately trophic regions using a technically consistent approach. The results indicated that the sediments from moderately eutrophic and trophic lake had the higher bacterial diversity than lightly eutrophic lake. Proteobacteria was the most abundant phylum (22.7%-86.2%) across samples from three regions. The sediments from moderately eutrophic region were enriched with Chloroflexi and Nitrospirae. Alphaproteobacteria, Gammaproteobacteria, and Bacteroidetes were enriched in the sediments from lightly eutrophic lake. The sediments from moderately trophic lake contained a high abundance of Acidobacteria and Deltaproteobacteria because of the low pH of the sediments in this lake. In moderately eutrophic region, Nitrospira held an absolute predominance, while Lysobacter and Flavobacterium were the most predominant genera in lightly eutrophic region. Temperature was the main factor influencing the bacterial community in the three lakes. The bacterial communities in the sediment samples obtained from moderately eutrophic lake were associated with nutrient concentration, whereas organic matter and total nitrogen contents mainly influenced the bacterial communities in sediments obtained from lightly eutrophic lake and moderately trophic lake, respectively.
Project description:Subglacial Lake Whillans (SLW) is located beneath ?800 m of ice on the Whillans Ice Stream in West Antarctica and was sampled in January of 2013, providing the first opportunity to directly examine water and sediments from an Antarctic subglacial lake. To minimize the introduction of surface contaminants to SLW during its exploration, an access borehole was created using a microbiologically clean hot water drill designed to reduce the number and viability of microorganisms in the drilling water. Analysis of 16S rRNA genes (rDNA) amplified from samples of the drilling and borehole water allowed an evaluation of the efficacy of this approach and enabled a confident assessment of the SLW ecosystem inhabitants. Based on an analysis of 16S rDNA and rRNA (i.e., reverse-transcribed rRNA molecules) data, the SLW community was found to be bacterially dominated and compositionally distinct from the assemblages identified in the drill system. The abundance of bacteria (e.g., Candidatus Nitrotoga, Sideroxydans, Thiobacillus, and Albidiferax) and archaea (Candidatus Nitrosoarchaeum) related to chemolithoautotrophs was consistent with the oxidation of reduced iron, sulfur, and nitrogen compounds having important roles as pathways for primary production in this permanently dark ecosystem. Further, the prevalence of Methylobacter in surficial lake sediments combined with the detection of methanogenic taxa in the deepest sediment horizons analyzed (34-36 cm) supported the hypothesis that methane cycling occurs beneath the West Antarctic Ice Sheet. Large ratios of rRNA to rDNA were observed for several operational taxonomic units abundant in the water column and sediments (e.g., Albidiferax, Methylobacter, Candidatus Nitrotoga, Sideroxydans, and Smithella), suggesting a potentially active role for these taxa in the SLW ecosystem. Our findings are consistent with chemosynthetic microorganisms serving as the ecological foundation in this dark subsurface environment, providing new organic matter that sustains a microbial ecosystem beneath the West Antarctic Ice Sheet.
Project description:We report the first census of natural microbial communities of the Bonneville Salt Flats (BSF), a perennial salt pan at the Utah-Nevada border. Environmental DNA sequencing of archaeal and bacterial 16S rRNA genes was conducted on samples from multiple evaporite sediment layers collected from the upper 30?cm of the surface salt crust. Our results show that at the time of sampling (September 2016), BSF hosted a robust microbial community dominated by diverse halobacteria and Salinibacter species. Sequences identical to Geitlerinema sp. strain PCC 9228, an anoxygenic cyanobacterium that uses sulfide as the electron donor for photosynthesis, are also abundant in many samples. We identified taxonomic groups enriched in each layer of the salt crust sediment and revealed that the upper gypsum sediment layer found immediately under the uppermost surface halite contains a robust microbial community. In these sediments, we found an increased presence of Thermoplasmatales, Hadesarchaeota, Nanoarchaeaeota, Acetothermia, Desulfovermiculus, Halanaerobiales, Bacteroidetes, and Rhodovibrio This study provides insight into the diversity, spatial heterogeneity, and geologic context of a surprisingly complex microbial ecosystem within this macroscopically sterile landscape.IMPORTANCE Pleistocene Lake Bonneville, which covered a third of Utah, desiccated approximately 13,000?years ago, leaving behind the Bonneville Salt Flats (BSF) in the Utah West Desert. The potash salts that saturate BSF basin are extracted and sold as an additive for agricultural fertilizers. The salt crust is a well-known recreational and economic commodity, but the biological interactions with the salt crust have not been studied. This study is the first geospatial analysis of microbially diverse populations at this site using cultivation-independent environmental DNA sequencing methods. Identification of the microbes present within this unique, dynamic, and valued sedimentary evaporite environment is an important step toward understanding the potential consequences of perturbations to the microbial ecology on the surrounding landscape and ecosystem.
Project description:Methane-derived carbon, incorporated by methane-oxidizing bacteria, has been identified as a significant source of carbon in food webs of many lakes. By measuring the stable carbon isotopic composition (?13C values) of particulate organic matter, Chironomidae and Daphnia spp. and their resting eggs (ephippia), we show that methane-derived carbon presently plays a relevant role in the food web of hypertrophic Lake De Waay, The Netherlands. Sediment geochemistry, diatom analyses and ?13C measurements of chironomid and Daphnia remains in the lake sediments indicate that oligotrophication and re-eutrophication of the lake during the twentieth century had a strong impact on in-lake oxygen availability. This, in turn, influenced the relevance of methane-derived carbon in the diet of aquatic invertebrates. Our results show that, contrary to expectations, methane-derived relative to photosynthetically produced organic carbon became more relevant for at least some invertebrates during periods with higher nutrient availability for algal growth, indicating a proportionally higher use of methane-derived carbon in the lake's food web during peak eutrophication phases. Contributions of methane-derived carbon to the diet of the investigated invertebrates are estimated to have ranged from 0-11% during the phase with the lowest nutrient availability to 13-20% during the peak eutrophication phase.
Project description:The ability to compare the composition and metabolic potential of microbial communities inhabiting the subsurface sediment in geographically distinct locations is one of the keys to understanding the evolution and function of the subsurface biosphere. Prospective areas for study of the subsurface biosphere are the sites of hydrocarbon discharges on the bottom of the Lake Baikal rift, where ascending fluxes of gas-saturated fluids and oil from deep layers of bottom sediments seep into near-surface sediment. The samples of surface sediments collected in the area of the Posolskaya Bank methane seep were cultured for 17 months under thermobaric conditions (80°C, 5 MPa) with the addition of complementary organic substrate, and a different composition for the gas phase. After incubation, the presence of intact cells of microorganisms, organic matter transformation and the formation of oil biomarkers was confirmed in the samples, with the addition of Baikal diatom alga Synedra acus detritus, and gas mixture CH4:H2:CO2. Taxonomic assignment of the 16S rRNA sequence data indicates that the predominant sequences in the enrichment were Sphingomonas (55.3%), Solirubrobacter (27.5%) and Arthrobacter (16.6%). At the same time, in heat-killed sediment and in sediment without any additional substrates, which were cultivated in a CH4 atmosphere, no geochemical changes were detected, nor the presence of intact cells and 16S rRNA sequences of Bacteria and Archaea. This data may suggest that the decomposition of organic matter under culturing conditions could be performed by microorganisms from low-temperature sediment layers. One possible explanation of this phenomenon is migration of the representatives of the deep thermophilic community through fault zones in the near surface sediment layers, together with gas-bearing fluids.