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Title: Microbial Community and Functional Gene Changes in Arctic Tundra Soils in a Microcosm Warming Experiment

Abstract

Microbial decomposition of soil organic carbon (SOC) in the thawing Arctic permafrost is one of the most important, but poorly understood, processes in determining the greenhouse gases feedback of tundra ecosystems to climate. Here in this paper, we examine changes in microbial community structure during an anoxic incubation at either –2 or 8 °C for up to 122 days using both an organic and a mineral soil collected from the Barrow Environmental Observatory in northern Alaska, USA. Soils were characterized for SOC chemistry, and GeoChips were used to determine microbial community structure and functional genes associated with C degradation and Fe(III) reduction. We observed notable decreases in functional gene diversity (at P < 0.05) in response to warming at 8 °C, particularly in the organic soil. A number of genes associated with SOC degradation, fermentation, methanogenesis, and iron cycling decreased significantly (P < 0.05) after 122 days of incubation, which coincided well with decreasing labile SOC content, soil respiration, methane production, and iron reduction. The soil type (i.e., organic vs. mineral) and the availability of labile SOC were among the most significant environmental factors impacting the functional community structure. In contrast, the functional structure was largely unchanged in the –2more » °C incubation due to low microbial activity resulting in less competition or exclusion. These results demonstrate the vulnerability of SOC in Arctic tundra to warming, facilitated by iron reduction and methanogenesis, and the importance of microbial communities in moderating such vulnerability.« less

Authors:
ORCiD logo [1];  [2];  [3];  [4];  [5];  [2];  [6]; ORCiD logo [7];  [8]; ORCiD logo [9];  [2]; ORCiD logo [5]
  1. Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States). Environmental Sciences Division; Oakland Univ., Rochester, MI (United States). Dept. of Chemistry
  2. Tsinghua Univ., Beijing (China). State Key Joint Lab. of Environment Simulation and Pollution Control, School of Environment
  3. Univ. of Oklahoma, Norman, OK (United States). Inst. for Environmental Genomics, Dept. of Microbiology and Plant Biology
  4. Tsinghua Univ., Beijing (China). State Key Joint Lab. of Environment Simulation and Pollution Control, School of Environment; Univ. of Oklahoma, Norman, OK (United States). Inst. for Environmental Genomics, Dept. of Microbiology and Plant Biology; Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. (LBNL), Berkeley, CA (United States)
  5. Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States). Environmental Sciences Division
  6. Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), Beijing (China). Research Center for Eco-Environmental Sciences
  7. Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States). Environmental Sciences Division; Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States). Climate Change Science Inst.
  8. Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States). Environmental Sciences Division; Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States). Environmental Molecular Sciences Lab. (EMSL)
  9. Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States). Biosciences Division
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States); Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. (LBNL), Berkeley, CA (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Science (SC), Biological and Environmental Research (BER) (SC-23)
OSTI Identifier:
1394250
Alternate Identifier(s):
OSTI ID: 1416922
Grant/Contract Number:  
AC05-00OR22725; AC02-05CH11231
Resource Type:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Frontiers in Microbiology
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 8; Journal ID: ISSN 1664-302X
Publisher:
Frontiers Research Foundation
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
54 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES; soil organic carbon; climate warming; microbial community; functional genes; permafrost

Citation Formats

Yang, Ziming, Yang, Sihang, Van Nostrand, Joy D., Zhou, Jizhong, Fang, Wei, Qi, Qi, Liu, Yurong, Wullschleger, Stan D., Liang, Liyuan, Graham, David E., Yang, Yunfeng, and Gu, Baohua. Microbial Community and Functional Gene Changes in Arctic Tundra Soils in a Microcosm Warming Experiment. United States: N. p., 2017. Web. doi:10.3389/fmicb.2017.01741.
Yang, Ziming, Yang, Sihang, Van Nostrand, Joy D., Zhou, Jizhong, Fang, Wei, Qi, Qi, Liu, Yurong, Wullschleger, Stan D., Liang, Liyuan, Graham, David E., Yang, Yunfeng, & Gu, Baohua. Microbial Community and Functional Gene Changes in Arctic Tundra Soils in a Microcosm Warming Experiment. United States. doi:10.3389/fmicb.2017.01741.
Yang, Ziming, Yang, Sihang, Van Nostrand, Joy D., Zhou, Jizhong, Fang, Wei, Qi, Qi, Liu, Yurong, Wullschleger, Stan D., Liang, Liyuan, Graham, David E., Yang, Yunfeng, and Gu, Baohua. Tue . "Microbial Community and Functional Gene Changes in Arctic Tundra Soils in a Microcosm Warming Experiment". United States. doi:10.3389/fmicb.2017.01741. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1394250.
@article{osti_1394250,
title = {Microbial Community and Functional Gene Changes in Arctic Tundra Soils in a Microcosm Warming Experiment},
author = {Yang, Ziming and Yang, Sihang and Van Nostrand, Joy D. and Zhou, Jizhong and Fang, Wei and Qi, Qi and Liu, Yurong and Wullschleger, Stan D. and Liang, Liyuan and Graham, David E. and Yang, Yunfeng and Gu, Baohua},
abstractNote = {Microbial decomposition of soil organic carbon (SOC) in the thawing Arctic permafrost is one of the most important, but poorly understood, processes in determining the greenhouse gases feedback of tundra ecosystems to climate. Here in this paper, we examine changes in microbial community structure during an anoxic incubation at either –2 or 8 °C for up to 122 days using both an organic and a mineral soil collected from the Barrow Environmental Observatory in northern Alaska, USA. Soils were characterized for SOC chemistry, and GeoChips were used to determine microbial community structure and functional genes associated with C degradation and Fe(III) reduction. We observed notable decreases in functional gene diversity (at P < 0.05) in response to warming at 8 °C, particularly in the organic soil. A number of genes associated with SOC degradation, fermentation, methanogenesis, and iron cycling decreased significantly (P < 0.05) after 122 days of incubation, which coincided well with decreasing labile SOC content, soil respiration, methane production, and iron reduction. The soil type (i.e., organic vs. mineral) and the availability of labile SOC were among the most significant environmental factors impacting the functional community structure. In contrast, the functional structure was largely unchanged in the –2 °C incubation due to low microbial activity resulting in less competition or exclusion. These results demonstrate the vulnerability of SOC in Arctic tundra to warming, facilitated by iron reduction and methanogenesis, and the importance of microbial communities in moderating such vulnerability.},
doi = {10.3389/fmicb.2017.01741},
journal = {Frontiers in Microbiology},
number = ,
volume = 8,
place = {United States},
year = {2017},
month = {9}
}

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