AME 64:27-40 (2011)  -  DOI: https://doi.org/10.3354/ame01506

Spatial and temporal variation in denitrification and in the denitrifier community in a boreal lake

Antti Juhani Rissanen1,2,*, Marja Tiirola1, Anne Ojala3

1Department of Biological and Environmental Science, University of Jyväskylä, Survontie 9, 40500 Jyväskylä, Finland
2Lammi Biological Station, University of Helsinki, Pääjärventie 320, 16900 Lammi, Finland
3Department of Environmental Sciences, University of Helsinki, Niemenkatu 73, 15140 Lahti, Finland

ABSTRACT: We investigated the spatial and temporal variation in denitrification rates (isotope-­pairing technique, IPT) and in the denitrifier community (examination of gene nirK by denaturing-gradient gel electrophoresis [DGGE] of microbial DNA) in the sediments of a boreal, clear-water, eutrophic lake using samples collected from shallow littoral, deep littoral and shallow profundal ­sediments during early summer, mid-summer, autumn and winter. The measured denitrification rates (44 to 613 ┬Ámol N m−2 d−1) are among the lowest ever reported from lacustrine sediments. Denitri­fi­cation rates varied both spatially and temporally, being highest in the profundal zone during mid-­summer and in the littoral zones during winter. Correlation analyses indicated that these variations were due to variations in the concentrations of nitrate and oxygen in the water overlying the sediment. The structure of the denitrifier community was temporally extremely stable and differed only slightly between the sites. Distance-based linear model (DISTLM) analysis indicated that the observed variation was probably due mainly to variations in the content of organic matter, and in the porosity, of the sediment. The structure of the denitrifier community and the denitrifying activities were uncoupled.


KEY WORDS: Denitrification · Lake · Sediment · nirK · Bacterial diversity · Boreal


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Cite this article as: Rissanen AJ, Tiirola M, Ojala A (2011) Spatial and temporal variation in denitrification and in the denitrifier community in a boreal lake. Aquat Microb Ecol 64:27-40. https://doi.org/10.3354/ame01506

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