Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/bgd-10-18241-2013
https://doi.org/10.5194/bgd-10-18241-2013

  25 Nov 2013

25 Nov 2013

Review status: this preprint was under review for the journal BG but the revision was not accepted.

Methane production correlates positively with methanogens, sulfate-reducing bacteria and pore water acetate at an estuarine brackish-marsh landscape scale

C. Tong1, C. X. She2, Y. F. Jin1, P. Yang1, and J. F. Huang1 C. Tong et al.
  • 1Key Laboratory of Humid Sub-tropical Eco-geographical Process of Ministry of Education of China, Research Centre of Wetlands in Subtropical Region, School of Geographical Sciences, Fujian Normal University, Fuzhou 350007, China
  • 2College of Environmental Science and Engineering, Fujian Normal University, Fuzhou 350007, China

Abstract. Methane production is influenced by the abundance of methanogens and the availability of terminal substrates. Sulfate-reducing bacteria (SRB) also play an important role in the anaerobic decomposition of organic matter. However, the relationships between methane production and methanogen populations, pore water terminal substrates in estuarine brackish marshes are poorly characterized, and even to our knowledge, no published research has explored the relationship between methane production rate and abundance of SRB and pore water dimethyl sulfide (DMS) concentration. We investigated methane production rate, abundances of methanogens and SRB, concentrations of pore water terminal substrates and electron acceptors at a brackish marsh landscape dominated by Phragmites australis, Cyperus malaccensis and Spatina alterniflora marshes zones in the Min River estuary. The average rates of methane production at a soil depth of 30 cm in the three marsh zones were 0.142, 0.058 and 0.067 μg g−1 d−1, respectively. The abundance of both methanogens and SRB in the soil of the P. australis marsh with highest soil organic carbon content was higher than in the C. malaccensis and S. alterniflora marshes. The abundance of methanogens and SRB in the three soil layers was statistically indistinguishable. Mean pore water DMS concentrations at a soil depth of 30 cm under the S. alterniflora marsh were higher than those in the C. malaccensis and P. australis marshes. Methane production rate increased with the abundance of both methanogens and SRB across three marsh zones together at the landscape scale, and also increased with the concentration of pore water acetate, but did not correlate with concentrations of pore water DMS and dissolved CO2. Our results suggest that, provided that substrates are available in ample supply, methanogens can continue to produce methane regardless of whether SRB are prevalent in estuarine brackish marshes.

C. Tong et al.

C. Tong et al.

C. Tong et al.

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