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Biogeosciences An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/bg-2020-223
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/bg-2020-223
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

  03 Jul 2020

03 Jul 2020

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A revised version of this preprint was accepted for the journal BG and is expected to appear here in due course.

New Insight to Niche Partitioning and Ecological Function of Ammonia Oxidizing Archaea in Subtropical Estuarine Ecosystem

Yanhong Lu1,2,, Shunyan Cheung2,, Ling Chen3, Shuh-Ji Kao3, Xiaomin Xia4, Jianping Gan1, Minhan Dai3, and Hongbin Liu2,5 Yanhong Lu et al.
  • 1SZU-HKUST Joint PhD Program in Marine Environmental Science, Shenzhen University, Shenzhen, China
  • 2Department of Ocean Science, The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, Hong Kong, China
  • 3State Key Laboratory of Marine Environmental Science, Xiamen University, China
  • 4Key Laboratory of Tropical Marine Bio-resources and Ecology, South China Sea Institute of Oceanology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Guangzhou, China
  • 5Hong Kong Branch of Southern Marine Science & Engineering Guangdong Laboratory, The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, Hong Kong, China
  • These authors contributed equally to this work.

Abstract. Nitrification plays a central role in estuarine nitrogen cycle. Previous studies in estuary mainly focused on the niche-partition between ammonia-oxidizing archaea (AOA) and bacteria (AOB), while the diversity, activity, biogeography and ecophysiology of different AOA groups remained unclear. Here, we first time reported niche partitioning as well as differentially distributed active populations among diverse AOA (inferred from amoA gene) in a typical subtropical estuary–Pearl River estuary (PRE). In the water column of PRE, the AOA communities mainly consisted of WCA and SCM1-like sublineages. Surprisingly, we observed a strong disagreement of AOA communities at DNA and RNA levels. In DNA samples, WCA generally dominated the AOA community, and the distributional pattern indicated that WCA I and WCA II sublineages preferred oceanic and coastal conditions, respectively. In contrast, diverse SCM1-like sublineages were identified and outnumbering WCA at RNA level, in which SCM1-like-III was limited to freshwater while the rest sublineages were widely distributed in the estuary. The SCM1-like sublineages strongly correlated with nitrification rate indicated their important contribution to ammonia oxidation. Furthermore, intense nitrification contributed significantly to hypoxia conditions (nitrification contributed averaged 15.30 % of oxygen consumption) in the estuary. These results unraveled different ammonia-oxidizing activities and niche partitioning among different AOA sublineages in estuarine water, which was unexplored in previous DNA and clone library-based studies. The ecological significance and functioning of the diverse AOA should be further explored in the marine ecosystem.

Yanhong Lu et al.

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Yanhong Lu et al.

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Short summary
Through a comprehensive investigation, we observed differential niche-partitioning among diverse AOA sublineages in a typical subtropical estuary. Besides, distinct AOA communities observed at DNA and RNA levels suggested that a strong divergence of ammonia-oxidizing activity among different AOA groups. Our result highlights the importance of identifying major ammonia oxidizers at RNA level in future studies.
Through a comprehensive investigation, we observed differential niche-partitioning among diverse...
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