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Aquatic Microbial Ecology

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AME 56:255-261 (2009)  -  DOI:

Community respiration studies in saltern crystallizer ponds

Mareike Warkentin1, Rhena Schumann1, Aharon Oren2,*

1Department of Biological Sciences, Applied Ecology, University of Rostock, Albert-Einstein-Strasse 3, 18059 Rostock, Germany
2The Institute of Life Sciences, and the Moshe Shilo Minerva Center for Marine Biogeochemistry, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Jerusalem, Israel
*Corresponding author. Email:

ABSTRACT: To measure community respiration by the heterotrophic Archaea (dominated by Haloquadratum) and Bacteria (Salinibacter) in the NaCl-saturated crystallizer brines of the solar salterns in Eilat, Israel, and to obtain information on the substrates preferred by the community as energy sources, we used 2 complementary approaches: monitoring of changes in oxygen concentration using planar optode sensors in short (up to 30 min) experiments, and long-term (up to 40–50 h) incubations using Winkler titration to assess changes in oxygen levels. Respiration rates measured were ~3 fmol cell–1 h–1. Respiration was markedly stimulated by glycerol, dihydroxyacetone and pyruvate, but not by yeast extract, succinate, and fumarate. These findings are discussed in view of genomic information on the dominant heterotrophic organisms in the community as well as the outcome of earlier studies on the behavior of halophilic prokaryotes in situ and in laboratory cultures. Despite the low in situ respiration rate, the oxygen uptake studies added information on the activities of the heterotrophic communities in salt-saturated ecosystems and on the substrates metabolized by the microorganisms present.

KEY WORDS: Salterns · Respiration · Optodes · Glycerol · Dihydroxyacetone

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Cite this article as: Warkentin M, Schumann R, Oren A (2009) Community respiration studies in saltern crystallizer ponds. Aquat Microb Ecol 56:255-261.

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