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Title: High Bacterial Diversity of Biological Soil Crusts in Water Tracks over Permafrost in the High Arctic Polar Desert

In this paper we report the bacterial diversity of biological soil crusts (biocrusts) inhabiting polar desert soils at the northern land limit of the Arctic polar region (83° 05 N). Employing pyrosequencing of bacterial 16S rRNA genes this study demonstrated that these biocrusts harbor diverse bacterial communities, often as diverse as temperate latitude communities. The effect of wetting pulses on the composition of communities was also determined by collecting samples from soils outside and inside of permafrost water tracks, hill slope flow paths that drain permafrost-affected soils. The intermittent flow regime in the water tracks was correlated with altered relative abundance of phylum level taxonomic bins in the bacterial communities, but the alterations varied between individual sampling sites. Bacteria related to the Cyanobacteria and Acidobacteria demonstrated shifts in relative abundance based on their location either inside or outside of the water tracks. Among cyanobacterial sequences, the proportion of sequences belonging to the family Oscillatoriales consistently increased in relative abundance in the samples from inside the water tracks compared to those outside. Acidobacteria showed responses to wetting pulses in the water tracks, increasing in abundance at one site and decreasing at the other two sites. Subdivision 4 acidobacterial sequences tended tomore » follow the trends in the total Acidobacteria relative abundance, suggesting these organisms were largely responsible for the changes observed in the Acidobacteria. Finally, taken together, these data suggest that the bacterial communities of these high latitude polar biocrusts are diverse but do not show a consensus response to intermittent flow in water tracks over high Arctic permafrost.« less
 [1] ;  [2] ;  [1] ;  [2]
  1. Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States). Bioscience Division
  2. Laval Univ., Quebec City, QC (Canada). Dept. of Biology. Centre for Northern Studies (CEN)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
Report Number(s):
Journal ID: ISSN 1932-6203
Grant/Contract Number:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 8; Journal Issue: 8; Journal ID: ISSN 1932-6203
Public Library of Science
Research Org:
Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE; National Science and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) (Canada); ArcticNet (Canada); Centre for Northern Studies (CEN) (Canada); Polar Continental Shelf Project (Canada)
Contributing Orgs:
Laval Univ., Quebec City, QC (Canada)
Country of Publication:
United States
59 BASIC BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES; Biological Science; lakes; cyanobacteria; Antarctica; ribosomal RNA; surface water; biodiversity; deserts; sequence analysis