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Aquatic Microbial Ecology

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AME 77:1-10 (2016)  -  DOI:

Vertical micro-distribution of microbial communities living in Sphagnum fallax

Lihong Song1,2,3,*, Daniel Gilbert1, Donghui Wu2

1Laboratoire Chrono-Environnement/UMR 6249, CNRS, Université Bourgogne Franche-Comté, 25000 Besançon, France
2Key Laboratory of Wetland Ecology and Environment, Northeast Institute of Geography and Agroecology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Changchun 130102, PR China
3Present address: College of agriculture, Guizhou University, Guiyang 550025, PR China
*Corresponding author:

ABSTRACT: Distributions of microbial communities living along a close vertical gradient in a Sphagnum fallax peatland were studied. Samples were collected from the top 6 cm of sphagnum moss at intervals of 0-0.5, 0.5-1, 1-2, 2-3, 3-4, 4-5, and 5-6 cm. Different microbial trophic groups, primary producers (microalgae and cyanobacteria), consumers (ciliates, heterotrophic flagellates, testate amoebae, rotifers and nematodes) and decomposers (fungi and bacteria) were examined. There was no significant difference in the total vertical microbial biomass. However, the biomass of ciliates and rotifers significantly decreased with depth, while the biomass of fungi and bacteria significantly increased. Testate amoebae biomass showed a similar vertical distribution, but strong and significant species-specific variations were observed. Cluster analysis organized the microbial community from the top 6 cm of sphagnum moss into 3 layers: capitula (0-1 cm), dominated by mixotrophic consumers (mixotrophic ciliates and testate amoebae); green stems (1-3 cm), characterized by microbial primary producers; and litter (3-6 cm), dominated by heterotrophic consumers and decomposers. These results highlight the potential of using these layers to better describe microbial communities in S. fallax.

KEY WORDS: Peatlands · Sphagnum · Microbial food web · Vertical distribution · Testate amoebae

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Cite this article as: Song L, Gilbert D, Wu D (2016) Vertical micro-distribution of microbial communities living in Sphagnum fallax. Aquat Microb Ecol 77:1-10.

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