Project description:Diazotrophs in the mangrove rhizosphere play a major role in providing new nitrogen to the mangrove ecosystem and their composition and activity are strongly influenced by anthropogenic activity and ecological conditions. In this study, the diversity of the diazotroph communities in the rhizosphere sediment of five tropical mangrove sites with different levels of pollution along the north and south coastline of Singapore were studied by pyrosequencing of the nifH gene. Bioinformatics analysis revealed that in all the studied locations, the diazotroph communities comprised mainly of members of the diazotrophic cluster I and cluster III. The detected cluster III diazotrophs, which were composed entirely of sulfate-reducing bacteria, were more abundant in the less polluted locations. The metabolic capacities of these diazotrophs indicate the potential for bioremediation and resiliency of the ecosystem to anthropogenic impact. In heavily polluted locations, the diazotrophic community structures were markedly different and the diversity of species was significantly reduced when compared with those in a pristine location. This, together with the increased abundance of Marinobacterium, which is a bioindicator of pollution, suggests that anthropogenic activity has a negative impact on the genetic diversity of diazotrophs in the mangrove rhizosphere.
Project description:Recent literature on the impact of cyclones on mangrove forest productivity indicates that nutrient fertilizations aided by tropical cyclones enhance the productivity of mangrove forests. We probe the implications of these predictions in the context of Indian mangroves to propose potential future directions for mangrove research in the subcontinent. First, we look at the time series trend (2000-2020) in satellite-derived gross primary productivity (GPP) datasets for seven mangrove forests across the country's coastline. Second, we compare seasonal changes in soil nutrient levels for a specific site to further the arguments proposed in the literature and investigate the role of potential drivers of mangrove productivity. We find overall increasing trends for GPP over the past two decades for all seven mangrove sites with seasonal fluctuations closely connected to the tropical storm activities for three sites (Bhitarkanika, Pichavaram, and Charao). Additionally, organic carbon and nitrogen levels showed no significant trend, but phosphorus levels were higher during the post-monsoon-winter period for Bhitarkanika. Our findings expand the predictions of previous studies that emphasized the role of storm-induced nutrient fluxes and freshwater supply as primary drivers of productivity gradients in mangroves. Our study provides insights on how mangrove productivity may change with fluctuating frequency and magnitude of cyclones under a changing climate, implying the need for more mechanistic studies in understanding the long-term impact on mangrove productivity in the region.
Project description:This study was conducted to evaluate selected biomolecular characteristics of rice root-associated diazotrophs isolated from the Tanjong Karang rice irrigation project area of Malaysia. Soil and rice plant samples were collected from seven soil series belonging to order Inceptisol (USDA soil taxonomy). A total of 38 diazotrophs were isolated using a nitrogen-free medium. The biochemical properties of the isolated bacteria, such as nitrogenase activity, indoleacetic acid (IAA) production and sugar utilization, were measured. According to a cluster analysis of Jaccard's similarity coefficients, the genetic similarities among the isolated diazotrophs ranged from 10% to 100%. A dendogram constructed using the unweighted pair-group method with arithmetic mean (UPGMA) showed that the isolated diazotrophs clustered into 12 groups. The genomic DNA rep-PCR data were subjected to a principal component analysis, and the first four principal components (PC) accounted for 52.46% of the total variation among the 38 diazotrophs. The 10 diazotrophs that tested highly positive in the acetylene reduction assay (ARA) were identified as Bacillus spp. (9 diazotrophs) and Burkholderia sp. (Sb16) using the partial 16S rRNA gene sequence analysis. In the analysis of the biochemical characteristics, three principal components were accounted for approximately 85% of the total variation among the identified diazotrophs. The examination of root colonization using scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and transmission electron microscopy (TEM) proved that two of the isolated diazotrophs (Sb16 and Sb26) were able to colonize the surface and interior of rice roots and fixed 22%-24% of the total tissue nitrogen from the atmosphere. In general, the tropical soils (Inceptisols) of the Tanjong Karang rice irrigation project area in Malaysia harbor a diverse group of diazotrophs that exhibit a large variation of biomolecular characteristics.
Project description:Diazotrophic communities make an essential contribution to the productivity through providing new nitrogen. However, knowledge of the roles that both mangrove tree species and geochemical parameters play in shaping mangove rhizosphere diazotrophic communities is still elusive. Here, a comprehensive examination of the diversity and structure of microbial communities in the rhizospheres of three mangrove species, Rhizophora apiculata, Avicennia marina, and Ceriops tagal, was undertaken using high-throughput sequencing of the 16S rRNA and nifH genes. Our results revealed a great diversity of both the total microbial composition and the diazotrophic composition specifically in the mangrove rhizosphere. Deltaproteobacteria and Gammaproteobacteria were both ubiquitous and dominant, comprising an average of 45.87 and 86.66% of total microbial and diazotrophic communities, respectively. Sulfate-reducing bacteria belonging to the Desulfobacteraceae and Desulfovibrionaceae were the dominant diazotrophs. Community statistical analyses suggested that both mangrove tree species and additional environmental variables played important roles in shaping total microbial and potential diazotroph communities in mangrove rhizospheres. In contrast to the total microbial community investigated by analysis of 16S rRNA gene sequences, most of the dominant diazotrophic groups identified by nifH gene sequences were significantly different among mangrove species. The dominant diazotrophs of the family Desulfobacteraceae were positively correlated with total phosphorus, but negatively correlated with the nitrogen to phosphorus ratio. The Pseudomonadaceae were positively correlated with the concentration of available potassium, suggesting that diazotrophs potentially play an important role in biogeochemical cycles, such as those of nitrogen, phosphorus, sulfur, and potassium, in the mangrove ecosystem.
Project description:Mangrove degradation is a well-documented trend, but the spread of mangroves within the Siangshan Wetland in Hsinchu, Taiwan, runs contrary to that trend. The spread of mangroves changes the structure and functions of habitats for benthic organisms, causes infilling of estuaries and flooding and creates breeding grounds for small black mosquitoes. A large-scale mangrove-removal project was undertaken by the Hsinchu City Government from October 2015 to March 2016. They also investigated the consequences of mangrove removal on benthic organisms and adjacent habitats from October 2015 to September 2016, and the density, species count, Shannon-Wiener index (H'), and Pielou's evenness index (J') of the mangrove and non-mangrove regions were compared. In this study, we used satellite telemetry images to monitor fluctuations in mangrove density from 2006 to 2016. The non-mangrove region exhibited more variations than the mangrove region. After mangrove removal, species returned to their original habitats and noteworthy biological values significantly increased in the mangrove regions. This study presents evidence to argue that mangrove removal benefits benthic organisms. The results indicate that mangrove removal can be an appropriate habitat rehabilitation strategy for benthic organisms. The ecological findings of this study can inform coastal managers or other officials who seek to steward mangrove biomass.
Project description:Biological nitrogen fixation can be an important source of nitrogen in tropical forests that serve as a major CO2 sink. Extensive deforestation of the Amazon is known to influence microbial communities and the biogeochemical cycles they mediate. However, it is unknown how diazotrophs (nitrogen-fixing microorganisms) respond to deforestation and subsequent ecosystem conversion to agriculture, as well as whether they can recover in secondary forests that are established after agriculture is abandoned. To address these knowledge gaps, we combined a spatially explicit sampling approach with high-throughput sequencing of nifH genes. The main objectives were to assess the functional distance decay relationship of the diazotrophic bacterial community in a tropical forest ecosystem and to quantify the roles of various factors that drive the observed changes in the diazotrophic community structure. We observed an increase in local diazotrophic diversity (?-diversity) with a decrease in community turnover (?-diversity), associated with a shift in diazotrophic community structure as a result of the forest-to-pasture conversion. Both diazotrophic community turnover and structure showed signs of recovery in secondary forests. Changes in the diazotrophic community were primarily driven by the change in land use rather than differences in geochemical characteristics or geographic distances. The diazotroph communities in secondary forests resembled those in primary forests, suggesting that at least partial recovery of diazotrophs is possible following agricultural abandonment.IMPORTANCE The Amazon region is a major tropical forest region that is being deforested at an alarming rate to create space for cattle ranching and agriculture. Diazotrophs (nitrogen-fixing microorganisms) play an important role in supplying soil N for plant growth in tropical forests. It is unknown how diazotrophs respond to deforestation and whether they can recover in secondary forests that establish after agriculture is abandoned. Using high-throughput sequencing of nifH genes, we characterized the response of diazotrophs' ?-diversity and identified major drivers of changes in diazotrophs from forest-to-pasture and pasture-to-secondary-forest conversions. Studying the impact of land use change on diazotrophs is important for a better understanding of the impact of deforestation on tropical forest ecosystem functioning, and our results on the potential recovery of diazotrophs in secondary forests imply the possible restoration of ecosystem functions in secondary forests.
Project description:We investigated the seasonal carbonate chemistry variability within a semi-enclosed tropical mangrove lagoon in southwestern Puerto Rico. Biweekly measurements of seawater temperature, salinity, total alkalinity (TA), and dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC) were conducted from 2014 to 2018. We describe the possible mechanisms driving the observed variability by correlating the DIC/TA ratio with pH and Ωarg, suggesting that the mean pH (7.87 ± 0.09) and aragonite saturation state (Ωarg, 2.96 ± 0.47) of the mangrove lagoon negatively affected calcification. The measured pCO2 and DIC/TA ratios indicate that heterotrophic activity was the primary driver for persistent acidification, which reached its maximum expression during the wet season. We conclude that mangrove lagoons with limited seawater exchange and high carbon input will not mitigate ocean acidification.
Project description:Mangrove ecosystems provide important ecological benefits and ecosystem services, including carbon storage and coastline stabilization, but they also suffer great anthropogenic pressures. Microorganisms associated with mangrove sediments and the rhizosphere play key roles in this ecosystem and make essential contributions to its productivity and carbon budget. Understanding this nexus and moving from descriptive studies of microbial taxonomy to hypothesis-driven field and lab studies will facilitate a mechanistic understanding of mangrove ecosystem interaction webs and open opportunities for microorganism-mediated approaches to mangrove protection and rehabilitation. Such an effort calls for a multidisciplinary and collaborative approach, involving chemists, ecologists, evolutionary biologists, microbiologists, oceanographers, plant scientists, conservation biologists, and stakeholders, and it requires standardized methods to support reproducible experiments. Here, we outline the Mangrove Microbiome Initiative, which is focused around three urgent priorities and three approaches for advancing mangrove microbiome research.
Project description:Mangrove forests are highly productive ecosystems but represent low nutrient environments. Nitrogen availability is one of the main factors limiting mangrove growth. Diazotrophs have been identified as key organisms that provide nitrogen to these environments. N2-fixation by such organisms was found to be higher in the mangrove roots than in surrounding rhizosphere. Moreover, previous studies showed that mangroves grew better in the presence of N2-fixers indicating a potentially mutualistic relationship. However, the molecular signals and mechanisms that govern these interactions are still poorly understood. Here we present novel insights in the interaction of a diazotroph with a mangrove species to improve our understanding of the molecular and ecophysiological relationship between these two organisms under controlled conditions. Our results showed that Marinobacterium mangrovicola is a versatile organism capable of competing with other organisms to survive for long periods in mangrove soils. N2-fixation by this bacterium was up-regulated in the presence of mangrove roots, indicating a possible beneficial interaction. The increase in N2-fixation was limited to cells of the exponential growth phase suggesting that N2-fixation differs over the bacterial growth cycle. Bacterial transformants harboring a transcriptional nifH::gusA fusion showed that M. mangrovicola successfully colonized mangrove roots and simultaneously conducted N2-fixation. The colonization process was stimulated by the lack of an external carbon source suggesting a possible mutualistic relationship. M. mangrovicola represents an interesting genetically accessible diazotroph, which colonize mangrove roots and exhibit higher N2-fixation in the presence of mangrove roots. Consequently, we propose this microorganism as a tool to study molecular interactions between N2-fixers and mangrove plants and to better understand how changes in the environment could impact these important and relatively unknown interactions.
Project description:We monitored coastal wetland vertical accretion, elevation gain and surface carbon (C) at Homebush Bay, Australia over 18 years (2000-2017) in three settings initially characterized by saltmarsh, mixed saltmarsh-mangrove ecotone and mangrove-dominated zones. During this time, the saltmarsh transitioned to mixed saltmarsh-mangrove ecotone, and the mixed saltmarsh-mangrove ecotone transitioned to mangrove, consistent with vegetation transitions observed across the east Australian continent in recent decades. In spite of mangrove recruitment and thickening in the former saltmarsh zone, and the dominance of mangrove root material as a contributing C source, the rate of C accumulation in the former saltmarsh zone did not change over the study period, and there was no significant increase in surface elevation. This contrasted with the response of sites with a longer history of mangrove colonization, which showed strong accretion and C accumulation over the period. The result suggests that the C accumulation and surface elevation gains made as a result of mangrove colonization may not be observable over initial decades, but will be significant in the longer term as forests reach maturity.