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Microbial communities in peatlands along a chronosequence on the Sanjiang Plain, China

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Microbial communities play crucial roles in the global carbon cycle, particularly in peatland ecosystems under climate change. The peatlands of the Sanjiang Plain could be highly vulnerable to global warming because they are mainly located at the southern limit of northern peatlands. In this study, the alpha diversity and composition of bacterial communities in three different minerotrophic fens along a chronosequence were investigated. We captured a rich microbial community that included many rare operational taxonomic units (OTUs) but was dominated by a few bacterial classes that have frequently been detected in other peatland ecosystems. Notably, a large diversity of methanotrophs affiliated with Alpha- and Gammaproteobacteria was also detected. Bacterial alpha diversity and composition varied as a function of peat depth and its associated physical-chemical properties, such as total carbon, total nitrogen, pH and bulk density. We also found that bacterial community turnover (beta diversity) to be significantly correlated with soil age, whereas bacterial alpha diversity was not.




Zhou, X., Zhang, Z., Tian, L., Li, X., & Tian, C. (2017). Microbial communities in peatlands along a chronosequence on the Sanjiang Plain, China. Scientific Reports, 7(1).

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