Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/bg-2021-103
https://doi.org/10.5194/bg-2021-103

  17 May 2021

17 May 2021

Review status: this preprint is currently under review for the journal BG.

Stochastic process determines the spatial variations in microbial community inhabiting terrestrial mud volcanoes across the Eurasian continent

Tzu-Hsuan Tu1,2,3, Li-Ling Chen2, Yi-Ping Chiu3, Li-Hung Lin3,4, Li-Wei Wu5, Francesco Italiano6, J. Bruce H. Shyu3, Seyed Naser Raisossadat7,8, and Pei-Ling Wang2,4 Tzu-Hsuan Tu et al.
  • 1Department of Oceanography, National Sun Yat-sen University, Kaohsiung, Taiwan
  • 2Institute of Oceanography, National Taiwan University, Taipei, Taiwan
  • 3Department of Geosciences, National Taiwan University, Taipei, Taiwan
  • 4Research Center for Future Earth, National Taiwan University, Taipei, Taiwan
  • 5Department of Life Science, Tunghai University, Taichung, Taiwan
  • 6National Institute of Geophysics and Volcanology, Palermo, Italy
  • 7Department of Geology, University of Birjand, Birjand, Iran
  • 8Earth Science Research Group, University of Birjand, Birjand, Iran

Abstract. Terrestrial mud volcanoes (MVs) represent the surface expression of conduits tapping fluid and gas reservoirs in the deep subsurface. Such plumbing channels provide a direct, effective means to extract deep microbial communities fueled by geologically produced gases and fluids. The drivers accounting for the diversity and composition of these MV microbial communities distributed over a wide geographic range remain elusive. This study characterized microbial communities of 15 terrestrial MVs across a distance of ~10,000 km of the Eurasian continent to test the validity of distance control and physiochemical factors in explaining biogeographic patterns. Our analyses yielded diverse community compositions with a total of 28,928 amplicon sequence variances taxonomically assigned to 73 phyla. Although no cosmopolitan member was found, community variance between geographic locations was higher than within sites, generating a slope of distance–decay relationship exceeding those for marine seeps and MVs, and seawater columns. For comparison, physiochemical parameters explained 12 % of community variance, and specific geochemical parameters were correlated with specific taxa. Overall, the apparent lack of fluid exchange renders terrestrial MVs a patchy habitat with microbiome comprising specific colonists that are highly adapted to the local environmental context and restricted in terms of dispersal capability.

Tzu-Hsuan Tu et al.

Status: final response (author comments only)

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • RC1: 'Comment on bg-2021-103', Anonymous Referee #1, 02 Aug 2021
    • AC1: 'Reply on RC1', Tzu-Hsuan Tu, 11 Sep 2021
  • RC2: 'Comment on bg-2021-103', Anonymous Referee #2, 21 Aug 2021
    • AC2: 'Reply on RC2', Tzu-Hsuan Tu, 11 Sep 2021

Tzu-Hsuan Tu et al.

Tzu-Hsuan Tu et al.

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Short summary
This investigation of microbial biogeography in terrestrial mud volcanoes expands the studying sites with a geographic distance up to 10,000 km. It compares microbial community compositions coupling with geochemical data across a 3D space in the Eurasian continent. We demonstrate stochastic processes operating at continental scales and environmental filtering at local scales drive the formation of patchy habitats and the pattern of diversification for microbes in terrestrial MVs.
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