- Publication Date:
- NSF-PAR ID:
- Journal Name:
- Frontiers in Microbiology
- Sponsoring Org:
- National Science Foundation
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Defining the Sphagnum Core Microbiome across the North American Continent Reveals a Central Role for Diazotrophic Methanotrophs in the Nitrogen and Carbon Cycles of Boreal Peatland EcosystemsMartiny, Jennifer B. (Ed.)ABSTRACT Peat mosses of the genus Sphagnum are ecosystem engineers that frequently predominate over photosynthetic production in boreal peatlands. Sphagnum spp. host diverse microbial communities capable of nitrogen fixation (diazotrophy) and methane oxidation (methanotrophy), thereby potentially supporting plant growth under severely nutrient-limited conditions. Moreover, diazotrophic methanotrophs represent a possible “missing link” between the carbon and nitrogen cycles, but the functional contributions of the Sphagnum -associated microbiome remain in question. A combination of metagenomics, metatranscriptomics, and dual-isotope incorporation assays was applied to investigate Sphagnum microbiome community composition across the North American continent and provide empirical evidence for diazotrophic methanotrophy in Sphagnum -dominated ecosystems. Remarkably consistent prokaryotic communities were detected in over 250 Sphagnum SSU rRNA libraries from peatlands across the United States (5 states, 17 bog/fen sites, 18 Sphagnum species), with 12 genera of the core microbiome comprising 60% of the relative microbial abundance. Additionally, nitrogenase ( nifH ) and SSU rRNA gene amplicon analysis revealed that nitrogen-fixing populations made up nearly 15% of the prokaryotic communities, predominated by Nostocales cyanobacteria and Rhizobiales methanotrophs. While cyanobacteria comprised the vast majority (>95%) of diazotrophs detected in amplicon and metagenome analyses, obligate methanotrophs of the genus Methyloferula (order Rhizobiales ) accounted for one-quartermore »
Biological Soil Crust Bacterial Communities Vary Along Climatic and Shrub Cover Gradients Within a Sagebrush Steppe EcosystemNumerous studies have examined bacterial communities in biological soil crusts (BSCs) associated with warm arid to semiarid ecosystems. Few, however, have examined bacterial communities in BSCs associated with cold steppe ecosystems, which often span a wide range of climate conditions and are sensitive to trends predicted by relevant climate models. Here, we utilized Illumina sequencing to examine BSC bacterial communities with respect to climatic gradients (elevation), land management practices (grazing vs. non-grazing), and shrub/intershrub patches in a cold sagebrush steppe ecosystem in southwestern Idaho, United States. Particular attention was paid to shifts in bacterial community structure and composition. BSC bacterial communities, including keystone N-fixing taxa, shifted dramatically with both elevation and shrub-canopy microclimates within elevational zones. BSC cover and BSC cyanobacteria abundance were much higher at lower elevation (warmer and drier) sites and in intershrub areas. Shrub-understory BSCs were significantly associated with several non-cyanobacteria diazotrophic genera, including Mesorhizobium and Allorhizobium - Neorhizobium - Pararhizobium - Rhizobium . High elevation (wetter and colder) sites had distinct, highly diverse, but low-cover BSC communities that were significantly indicated by non-cyanobacterial diazotrophic taxa including families in the order Rhizobiales and the family Frankiaceae. Abiotic soil characteristics, especially pH and ammonium, varied with both elevationmore »
Small Mammal Exclosure Study (SMES) Vegetation Data from the Chihuahuan Desert Grassland and Shrubland at the Sevilleta National Wildlife Refuge, New Mexico (1995-2009)
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Remotely detected aboveground plant function predicts belowground processes in two prairie diversity experiments
Imaging spectroscopy provides the opportunity to incorporate leaf and canopy optical data into ecological studies, but the extent to which remote sensing of vegetation can enhance the study of belowground processes is not well understood. In terrestrial systems, aboveground and belowground vegetation quantity and quality are coupled, and both influence belowground microbial processes and nutrient cycling. We hypothesized that ecosystem productivity, and the chemical, structural and phylogenetic‐functional composition of plant communities would be detectable with remote sensing and could be used to predict belowground plant and soil processes in two grassland biodiversity experiments: the BioDIV experiment at Cedar Creek Ecosystem Science Reserve in Minnesota and the Wood River Nature Conservancy experiment in Nebraska. We tested whether aboveground vegetation chemistry and productivity, as detected from airborne sensors, predict soil properties, microbial processes and community composition. Imaging spectroscopy data were used to map aboveground biomass, green vegetation cover, functional traits and phylogenetic‐functional community composition of vegetation. We examined the relationships between the image‐derived variables and soil carbon and nitrogen concentration, microbial community composition, biomass and extracellular enzyme activity, and soil processes, including net nitrogen mineralization. In the BioDIV experiment—which has low overall diversity and productivity despite high variation in each—belowground processesmore »
Differentiating spatial from environmental effects on foliar fungal communities of Populus trichocarpa
Foliar fungi – pathogens, endophytes, epiphytes – form taxonomically diverse communities that affect plant health and productivity. The composition of foliar fungal communities is variable at spatial scales both small (e.g. individual plants) and large (e.g. continents), yet few studies have attempted to tease apart spatial from climatic factors influencing these communities. Moreover, few studies have sampled in more than 1 year to gauge interannual variation in community structure.
The Pacific Northwest of western North America.
Foliar fungi associated with the deciduous tree
Populus trichocarpa. Methods
In two consecutive years, we used DNA metabarcoding to characterize foliar fungal communities of
Populus trichocarpaacross its geographic range, which encompasses a sharp climatic transition as it crosses the Cascade Mountain Range. We used multivariate analyses to (a) test for and differentiate spatial and environmental factors affecting community composition and (b) test for temporal variation in community composition across spatial and environmental gradients. Results
In both study years, we found that foliar fungal community composition varied among sites and between regions (east vs. west of the Cascades). We found that climate explained more variation in community composition than geographic distance, although the majority of variation explained by each was shared. We also found that interannual variation in communitymore »
Our results suggest that the environment plays a greater role in structuring foliar fungal communities than dispersal limitation.