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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-2020-318
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/bg-2020-318
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

  11 Sep 2020

11 Sep 2020

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This preprint is currently under review for the journal BG.

Carbon sources of benthic fauna in temperate lakes across multiple trophic states

Annika Fiskal1, Eva Anthamatten1, Longhui Deng1, Xingguo Han1, Lorenzo Lagostina1, Anja Michel1, Rong Zhu1, Nathalie Dubois2,3, Carsten J. Schubert1,4, Stefano M. Bernasconi3, and Mark A. Lever1 Annika Fiskal et al.
  • 1Institute of Biogeochemistry and Pollutant Dynamics (IBP), ETH Zurich, Universitätstrasse 16, 8092 Zurich, Switzerland
  • 2Surface Waters Research – Management, Eawag, Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology, Überlandstrasse 133, 8600 Dübendorf, Switzerland
  • 3Department of Earth Sciences, ETH Zurich, Sonneggstrasse 5, 8092 Zurich, Switzerland
  • 4Department of Surface Waters – Research and Management, Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology (EAWAG), Seestrasse 79, 6047 Kastanienbaum, Switzerland

Abstract. Previous studies have shown that microbially produced methane can be a dominant carbon source of lacustrine sedimentary macrofauna in eutrophic lakes, most likely through grazing on methane-oxidizing bacteria. Here we investigate the contributions of different carbon sources to macrofaunal biomass across five lakes in central Switzerland that range from oligotrophic to highly eutrophic. Macrofaunal communities change with trophic state, with chironomid larvae dominating oligotrophic and tubificid oligochaetes dominating eutrophic lake sediments. 13C-isotopic data suggest that the average contribution of methane-derived carbon to the biomass of both macrofaunal groups is similar, but consistently remains minor, ranging from only ~ 1 % in the oligotrophic lake to at most 12 % in the eutrophic lakes. The remaining biomass can be explained with assimilation of detritus-derived organic carbon. Low abundances of methane cycling microorganisms in macrofaunal specimens, burrows, and surrounding sediment based on 16S ribosomal RNA (rRNA) gene sequences and copy numbers of genes involved in anaerobic and aerobic methane cycling (mcrA, pmoA) support the interpretation of isotopic data. Notably, 16S rRNA gene sequences of macrofauna, including macrofaunal guts, are highly divergent from those in tubes or sediments. Many macrofaunal specimens are dominated by a single 16S rRNA phylotype of Fusobacteria, α-, β-, γ-, or ε-Proteobacteria, Bacteroidetes, or Parcubacteria. This raises the question whether dominant lake macrofauna live in so far uncharacterized relationships with detrital organic matter-degrading bacterial endosymbionts.

Annika Fiskal et al.

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Annika Fiskal et al.

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