Publication Details

Category Text Publication
Reference Category Journals
DOI 10.1128/mBio.01366-16
Licence creative commons licence
Title (Primary) Large blooms of Bacillales (Firmicutes) underlie the response to wetting of cyanobacterial biocrusts at various stages of maturity
Author Karaoz, U.; Couradeau, E.; Nunes da Rocha, U.; Lim, H.-C.; Northen, T.; Garcia-Pichel, F.; Brodie, E.L.
Journal mBio
Year 2018
Department UMB
Volume 9
Issue 2
Page From e01366-16
Language englisch
Keywords Firmicutes, biological soil crust, carbon loss, ecological succession, ecosystem services, pulsed-activity event, resistance, stability
Abstract Biological soil crusts (biocrusts) account for a substantial portion of primary production in dryland ecosystems. They successionally mature to deliver a suite of ecosystem services, such as carbon sequestration, water retention and nutrient cycling, and climate regulation. Biocrust assemblages are extremely well adapted to survive desiccation and to rapidly take advantage of the periodic precipitation events typical of arid ecosystems. Here we focus on the wetting response of incipient cyanobacterial crusts as they mature from “light” to “dark.” We sampled a cyanobacterial biocrust chronosequence before (dry) and temporally following a controlled wetting event and used high-throughput 16S rRNA and rRNA gene sequencing to monitor the dynamics of microbial response. Overall, shorter-term changes in phylogenetic beta diversity attributable to periodic wetting were as large as those attributable to biocrust successional stage. Notably, more mature crusts showed significantly higher resistance to precipitation disturbance. A large bloom of a few taxa within the Firmicutes, primarily in the order Bacillales, emerged 18 h after wetting, while filamentous crust-forming cyanobacteria showed variable responses to wet-up across the successional gradient, with populations collapsing in less-developed light crusts but increasing in later-successional-stage dark crusts. Overall, the consistent Bacillales bloom accompanied by the variable collapse of pioneer cyanobacteria of the Oscillatoriales order across the successional gradient suggests that the strong response of few organisms to a hydration pulse with the mortality of the autotroph might have important implications for carbon (C) balance in semiarid ecosystems.
Persistent UFZ Identifier
Karaoz, U., Couradeau, E., Nunes da Rocha, U., Lim, H.-C., Northen, T., Garcia-Pichel, F., Brodie, E.L. (2018):
Large blooms of Bacillales (Firmicutes) underlie the response to wetting of cyanobacterial biocrusts at various stages of maturity
mBio 9 (2), e01366-16