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Nitrogen and methanogen community composition within and among three Sphagnum dominated peatlands in Scandinavia
Department of Thematic Studies – Environmental Change, Linköping University, SE-581 83 Linköping, Sweden.
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Biology, Department of Ecology and Genetics, Limnology.
Ecology and Biodiversity Group, Institute of Environmental Biology, Utrecht University, Padualaan 8, 3584 CH Utrecht, The Netherlands.
MEM-group, Department of Biosciences, University of Helsinki, FIN-00014 Helsinki, Finland.
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2015 (English)In: Soil Biology and Biochemistry, ISSN 0038-0717, E-ISSN 1879-3428, Vol. 81, 204-211 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Abstract Ombrotrophic raised bogs are nutrient poor acidic peatlands accumulating organic matter. They are widely spread on northern latitudes and are substantial sources of methane emissions to the atmosphere being of great concern from a climate change perspective. We investigated the methanogen community composition along microtopographic gradients within three bogs in Scandinavia, receiving different amounts of nitrogen precipitation. Methanogenic community analyses by terminal restriction fragment length polymorphism of the mcrA gene showed different profiles among the three sites, while no influence of the microtopographic gradients was observed. Peat temperature and dissolved organic carbon were the major edaphic variables explaining 38% of the variation of the methanogenic community diversity among the bogs. The family Methanoregulaceae (hydrogenotrophic methanogens) showed the largest relative proportion and highest activity in all three sites. Quantitative PCR of the mcrA gene and transcripts showed that the most northern site, receiving the lowest atmospheric nitrogen load, had significantly lower abundance and activity of methanogens (4.7 × 106 and 2.4 × 104 mcrA copies per gram of soil, respectively), compared to the most southern site (8.2 × 107 and 4.6 × 105 mcrA copies per gram of soil, respectively), receiving the highest nitrogen load. No patterns of the mcrA gene and transcript abundances were observed along the microtopography. The results indicated that the difference in occurrence of methanogens is mainly due to geoclimatological conditions rather than site intrinsic microtopographic variation. The study further suggests that environmental changes on the site intrinsic topography will not affect the methanogenic activity, while increasing average temperatures in Scandinavian ombrotrophic raised bogs might contribute to an increase of the methanogenic archaeal activity resulting in an increase of methane production.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015. Vol. 81, 204-211 p.
Keyword [en]
Methanogenic archaea, mcrA gene, Peatland, Microtopography, T-RFLP, qPCR
National Category
Natural Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-268325DOI: 10.1016/j.soilbio.2014.11.016OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-268325DiVA: diva2:876523
Available from: 2015-12-04 Created: 2015-12-04 Last updated: 2016-08-10Bibliographically approved

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Publisher's full texthttp://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0038071714004027

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