Methanotrophic community structure and activity under warming and grazing of alpine meadow on the Tibetan Plateau

Zheng, Yong; Yang, Wei; Sun, Xiang; Wang, Shi-Ping; Rui, Yi-Chao; Luo, Cai-Yun; Guo, Liang-Dong
March 2012
Applied Microbiology & Biotechnology;Mar2012, Vol. 93 Issue 5, p2193
Academic Journal
Knowledge about methanotrophs and their activities is important to understand the microbial mediation of the greenhouse gas CH under climate change and human activities in terrestrial ecosystems. The effects of simulated warming and sheep grazing on methanotrophic abundance, community composition, and activity were studied in an alpine meadow soil on the Tibetan Plateau. There was high abundance of methanotrophs (1.2-3.4 × 10 pmoA gene copies per gram of dry weight soil) assessed by real-time PCR, and warming significantly increased the abundance regardless of grazing. A total of 64 methanotrophic operational taxonomic units (OTUs) were obtained from 1,439 clone sequences, of these OTUs; 63 OTUs (98.4%) belonged to type I methanotrophs, and only one OTU was Methylocystis of type II methanotrophs. The methanotroph community composition and diversity were not apparently affected by the treatments. Warming and grazing significantly enhanced the potential CH oxidation activity. There were significantly negative correlations between methanotrophic abundance and soil moisture and between methanotrophic abundance and NH-N content. The study suggests that type I methanotrophs, as the dominance, may play a key role in CH oxidation, and the alpine meadow has great potential to consume more CH under future warmer and grazing conditions on the Tibetan Plateau.


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