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Publication Type J
Authors Keith-Roach, MJ; Bryan, ND; Bardgett, RD; Livens, FR
Author Full Name Keith-Roach, MJ; Bryan, ND; Bardgett, RD; Livens, FR
Title Seasonal changes in the microbial community of a salt marsh, measured by phospholipid fatty acid analysis
Source BIOGEOCHEMISTRY
Language English
Document Type Article
Author Keywords element cycling; mahalanobis; phospholipid fatty acid; salt marsh; statistical analysis
Keywords Plus EUTROPHIC BAYS; SEDIMENTS; BIOMASS; SOIL; GRASSLANDS; MANAGEMENT
Abstract Microbial activity within the environment can have distinct geochemical effects, and so changes in a microbial community structure can result in geochemical change. We examined seasonal changes in both the microbial community and the geochemistry of an inter-tidal salt marsh in north-west England to characterise biogeochemical processes occurring at this site. Phospholipid fatty acid (PLFA) analysis of sediment samples collected at monthly intervals was used to measure seasonal changes in microbial biomass and community structure. The PLFA data were analysed using multivariate techniques (Ward's method and the Mahalanobis distance metric), and we show that the use of the Mahalanobis distance metric improves the statistical analysis by providing detailed information on the reasons samples cluster together and identifying the distinguishing features between the separate clusters. Five clusters of like samples were defined, showing differences in the community structure over the course of a year. At all times, the microbial community was dominated by PLFA associated with aerobic bacteria, but this was most pronounced in summer (August). The abundance of branched fatty acids, a measure of the biomass of anaerobes, started to increase later in the year than did those associated with aerobes and the fungal biomarker 18:2omega6 showed a brief late-summer peak. The salt marsh remained mildly oxic throughout the year despite the increase in microbial respiration, suggested by the large increases in the abundance of PLFA, in the warmer months. The conditions therefore remained most favourable for aerobic species throughout the year, explaining their continual dominance at this site. However, as the abundance of PLFA synthesised by anaerobes increased, increases in dissolved Mn concentrations were observed, which we suggest were due to anaerobic respiration of Mn(IV) to Mn(II). Overall, the geochemical conditions were consistent with the microbial community structure and changes within it.
Author Address Univ Manchester, Dept Chem, Manchester M13 9PL, Lancs, England; Univ Manchester, Sch Biol Sci, Manchester M13 9PT, Lancs, England
Reprint Address Keith-Roach, MJ (reprint author), Riso Natl Lab, Dept Nucl Safety Res, POB 49, DK-4000 Roskilde, Denmark.
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Cited Reference Count 30
Times Cited 25
Total Times Cited Count (WoS, BCI, and CSCD) 28
Publisher KLUWER ACADEMIC PUBL
Publisher City DORDRECHT
Publisher Address VAN GODEWIJCKSTRAAT 30, 3311 GZ DORDRECHT, NETHERLANDS
ISSN 0168-2563
29-Character Source Abbreviation BIOGEOCHEMISTRY
ISO Source Abbreviation Biogeochemistry
Publication Date AUG
Year Published 2002
Volume 60
Issue 1
Beginning Page 77
Ending Page 96
Digital Object Identifier (DOI) 10.1023/A:1016553225977
Page Count 20
Web of Science Category Environmental Sciences; Geosciences, Multidisciplinary
Subject Category Environmental Sciences & Ecology; Geology
Document Delivery Number 577DU
Unique Article Identifier WOS:000177046900004
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