To understand better the link between atmospheric CO2 concentrations and climate over geological time, records of past CO2 are reconstructed from geochemical proxies. Although these records have provided us with a broad picture of CO2 variation throughout the Phanerozoic eon (the past 544 Myr), inconsistencies and gaps remain that still need to be resolved. Here I present a continuous 300-Myr record of stomatal abundance from fossil leaves of four genera of plants that are closely related to the present-day Ginkgo tree. Using the known relationship between leaf stomatal abundance and growing season CO2 concentrations, I reconstruct past atmospheric CO2 concentrations. For the past 300 Myr, only two intervals of low CO2 (2,000 p.p.m.v.) concentrations. These results are consistent with some reconstructions of past CO2 (refs 1, 2) and palaeotemperature records, but suggest that CO2 reconstructions based on carbon isotope proxies may be compromised by episodic outbursts of isotopically light methane. These results support the role of water vapour, methane and CO2 in greenhouse climate warming over the past 300 Myr.
Comment In: Nature. 2001 May 17;411(6835):247-811357108
Numeric abundance, identity and pH preferences of methanotrophic Gammaproteobacteria (type I methanotrophs) inhabiting the northern acidic wetlands were studied. The rates of methane oxidation by peat samples from six-wetlands of European Northern Russia (pH 3.9-4.7) varied from 0.04 to 0.60 µg CH4 g(-1) peat h(-1). The number of cells revealed by hybridization with fluorochrome-labeled probes M84 + M705 specific for type I methanotrophs was 0.05-2.16 x 10(5) cells g(-1) dry peat, i.e. 0.4-12.5% of the total number of methanotrophs and 0.004-0.39% of the total number of bacteria. Analysis of the fragments of the pmoA gene encoding particulate methane monooxygenase revealed predominance of the genus Methylocystis (92% of the clones) in the studied sample of acidic peat, while the proportion of the pmoA sequences of type I methanotrophs was insignificant (8%). PCR amplification of the 16S rRNA gene fragments of type I methanotrophs with TypeIF-Type IR primers had low specificity, since only three sequences out of 53 analyzed belonged to methanotrophs and exhibited 93-99% similarity to those of Methylovulum, Methylomonas, and Methylobacter species. Isolates of type I methanotrophs obtained from peat (strains SH10 and 83A5) were identified as members of the species Methylomonaspaludis and Methylovulum miyakonense, respectively. Only Methylomonaspaludum SH10 was capable of growth in acidic media (pH range for growth 3.8-7.2 with the optimum at pH 5.8-6.2), while Methylovulum miyakonense 83A5 exhibited the typical growth characteristics of neutrophilic methanotrophs (pH range for growth 5.5-8.0 with the optimum at pH 6.5-7.5).
Active microbial communities of deep crystalline bedrock fracture water were investigated from seven different boreholes in Olkiluoto (Western Finland) using bacterial and archaeal 16S rRNA, dsrB, and mcrA gene transcript targeted 454 pyrosequencing. Over a depth range of 296-798?m below ground surface the microbial communities changed according to depth, salinity gradient, and sulphate and methane concentrations. The highest bacterial diversity was observed in the sulphate-methane mixing zone (SMMZ) at 250-350?m depth, whereas archaeal diversity was highest in the lowest boundaries of the SMMZ. Sulphide-oxidizing e-proteobacteria (Sulfurimonas sp.) dominated in the SMMZ and ?-proteobacteria (Pseudomonas spp.) below the SMMZ. The active archaeal communities consisted mostly of ANME-2D and Thermoplasmatales groups, although Methermicoccaceae, Methanobacteriaceae, and Thermoplasmatales (SAGMEG, TMG) were more common at 415-559?m depth. Typical indicator microorganisms for sulphate-methane transition zones in marine sediments, such as ANME-1 archaea, a-, ß- and d-proteobacteria, JS1, Actinomycetes, Planctomycetes, Chloroflexi, and MBGB Crenarchaeota were detected at specific depths. DsrB genes were most numerous and most actively transcribed in the SMMZ while the mcrA gene concentration was highest in the deep methane rich groundwater. Our results demonstrate that active and highly diverse but sparse and stratified microbial communities inhabit the Fennoscandian deep bedrock ecosystems.
Thawing submarine permafrost is a source of methane to the subsurface biosphere. Methane oxidation in submarine permafrost sediments has been proposed, but the responsible microorganisms remain uncharacterized. We analyzed archaeal communities and identified distinct anaerobic methanotrophic assemblages of marine and terrestrial origin (ANME-2a/b, ANME-2d) both in frozen and completely thawed submarine permafrost sediments. Besides archaea potentially involved in anaerobic oxidation of methane (AOM) we found a large diversity of archaea mainly belonging to Bathyarchaeota, Thaumarchaeota, and Euryarchaeota. Methane concentrations and d13C-methane signatures distinguish horizons of potential AOM coupled either to sulfate reduction in a sulfate-methane transition zone (SMTZ) or to the reduction of other electron acceptors, such as iron, manganese or nitrate. Analysis of functional marker genes (mcrA) and fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) corroborate potential activity of AOM communities in submarine permafrost sediments at low temperatures. Modeled potential AOM consumes 72-100% of submarine permafrost methane and up to 1.2?Tg of carbon per year for the total expected area of submarine permafrost. This is comparable with AOM habitats such as cold seeps. We thus propose that AOM is active where submarine permafrost thaws, which should be included in global methane budgets.
Cites: Environ Microbiol. 2016 Sep;18(9):3073-91 PMID 26971539
Cites: Front Microbiol. 2015 Dec 18;6:1423 PMID 26733968
Cites: Nat Commun. 2015 Jun 30;6:7477 PMID 26123199
Cites: Science. 2016 Feb 12;351(6274):703-7 PMID 26912857
Water and Environmental Research Center, Institute of Northern Engineering, University of Alaska Fairbanks, 306 Tanana Loop, 99775 Fairbanks, AK, USA; Biotechnology and Bioengineering Department, Cinvestav, 2508 IPN Av, 07360, Mexico City, Mexico. Electronic address: email@example.com.
Anaerobic oxidation of methane (AOM) is a biological process that plays an important role in reducing the CH4 emissions from a wide range of ecosystems. Arctic and sub-Arctic lakes are recognized as significant contributors to global methane (CH4) emission, since CH4 production is increasing as permafrost thaws and provides fuels for methanogenesis. Methanotrophy, including AOM, is critical to reducing CH4 emissions. The identity, activity, and metabolic processes of anaerobic methane oxidizers are poorly understood, yet this information is critical to understanding CH4 cycling and ultimately to predicting future CH4 emissions. This study sought to identify the microorganisms involved in AOM in sub-Arctic lake sediments using DNA- and phospholipid-fatty acid (PLFA)- based stable isotope probing. Results indicated that aerobic methanotrophs belonging to the genus Methylobacter assimilate carbon from CH4, either directly or indirectly. Other organisms that were found, in minor proportions, to assimilate CH4-derived carbon were methylotrophs and iron reducers, which might indicate the flow of CH4-derived carbon from anaerobic methanotrophs into the broader microbial community. While various other taxa have been reported in the literature to anaerobically oxidize methane in various environments (e.g. ANME-type archaea and Methylomirabilis Oxyfera), this report directly suggest that Methylobacter can perform this function, expanding our understanding of CH4 oxidation in anaerobic lake sediments.
The melting of permafrost and the associated potential for methane emissions to the atmosphere are major concerns in the context of global warming. However, soils can also represent a significant sink for methane through the activity of methane-oxidizing bacteria (MOB). In this study, we looked at the activity, diversity, and community structure of MOB at two sampling depths within the active layer in three soils from the Canadian high Arctic. These soils had the capacity to oxidize methane at low (15 ppm) and high (1000 ppm) methane concentrations, but rates differed greatly depending on the sampling date, depth, and site. The pmoA gene sequences related to two genotypes of uncultured MOB involved in atmospheric methane oxidation, the 'upland soil cluster gamma' and the 'upland soil cluster alpha', were detected in soils with near neutral and acidic pH, respectively. Other groups of MOB, including Type I methanotrophs and the 'Cluster 1' genotype, were also detected, indicating a broader diversity of MOB than previously reported for Arctic soils. Overall, the results reported here showed that methane oxidation at both low and high methane concentrations occurs in high Arctic soils and revealed that different groups of atmospheric MOB inhabit these soils.