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Title: Methanogenesis in oxygenated soils is a substantial fraction of wetland methane emissions

The current paradigm, widely incorporated in soil biogeochemical models, is that microbial methanogenesis can only occur in anoxic habitats. In contrast, here we show clear geochemical and biological evidence for methane production in well-oxygenated soils of a freshwater wetland. A comparison of oxic to anoxic soils reveal up to ten times greater methane production and nine times more methanogenesis activity in oxygenated soils. Metagenomic and metatranscriptomic sequencing recover the first near-complete genomes for a novel methanogen species, and show acetoclastic production from this organism was the dominant methanogenesis pathway in oxygenated soils. This organism, Candidatus Methanothrix paradoxum, is prevalent across methane emitting ecosystems, suggesting a global significance. Moreover, in this wetland, we estimate that up to 80% of methane fluxes could be attributed to methanogenesis in oxygenated soils. Together, our findings challenge a widely held assumption about methanogenesis, with significant ramifications for global methane estimates and Earth system modeling.
Authors:
 [1] ;  [1] ;  [1] ;  [2] ; ORCiD logo [1] ;  [1] ;  [1] ;  [1] ;  [1] ; ORCiD logo [3] ;  [4] ; ORCiD logo [2] ; ORCiD logo [1] ;  [1]
  1. The Ohio State Univ., Columbus, OH (United States)
  2. Univ. of Colorado, Denver, CO (United States)
  3. Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States)
  4. Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. (LBNL), Berkeley, CA (United States)
Publication Date:
Grant/Contract Number:
AC02-05CH11231
Type:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Nature Communications
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 8; Journal Issue: 1; Journal ID: ISSN 2041-1723
Publisher:
Nature Publishing Group
Research Org:
Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. (LBNL), Berkeley, CA (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Science (SC), Biological and Environmental Research (BER) (SC-23)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
54 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES
OSTI Identifier:
1419456