Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/bg-2021-51
https://doi.org/10.5194/bg-2021-51

  11 Mar 2021

11 Mar 2021

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

Disturbance Triggers Non-Linear Microbe-Environment Feedbacks

Aditi Sengupta1,, Sarah J. Fansler2,, Rosalie K. Chu3, Robert E. Danczak2, Vanessa A. Garayburu-Caruso2, Lupita Renteria2, Hyun-Seob Song4, Jason Toyoda3, Jacqueline Wells5, and James C. Stegen2 Aditi Sengupta et al.
  • 1California Lutheran University, Thousand Oaks, CA
  • 2Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Ecosystem Science Team, Richland, WA
  • 3Environmental Molecular Sciences Laboratory, Richland, WA
  • 4University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Lincoln, NE
  • 5Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR
  • These authors contributed equally to this work.

Abstract. Conceptual frameworks linking microbial community membership, properties, and processes with the environment and emergent function have been proposed but remain untested. Here we refine and test a recent conceptual framework using hyporheic zone sediments exposed to wetting/drying transitions. Throughout the system we found threshold-like responses to the duration of desiccation. Membership of the putatively active community – but not the whole community – responded due to enhanced deterministic selection (an emergent community property). Concurrently, the thermodynamic properties of organic matter became less favorable for oxidation (an environmental component) and respiration decreased (a microbial process). While these responses were step functions of desiccation, we observed continuous monotonic relationships among community assembly, respiration, and organic matter thermodynamics. Placing the results in context of our conceptual framework points to previously unrecognized internal feedbacks that are initiated by disturbance, mediated by thermodynamics, and that cause the impacts of disturbance to be dependent on the history of disturbance.

Aditi Sengupta et al.

Status: closed

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • RC1: 'Comment on bg-2021-51', Stephanie Jurburg, 13 Apr 2021
    • AC1: 'Reply on RC1', James Stegen, 13 May 2021
  • RC2: 'Comment on bg-2021-51', Anonymous Referee #2, 17 Apr 2021
    • AC2: 'Reply on RC2', James Stegen, 13 May 2021

Status: closed

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • RC1: 'Comment on bg-2021-51', Stephanie Jurburg, 13 Apr 2021
    • AC1: 'Reply on RC1', James Stegen, 13 May 2021
  • RC2: 'Comment on bg-2021-51', Anonymous Referee #2, 17 Apr 2021
    • AC2: 'Reply on RC2', James Stegen, 13 May 2021

Aditi Sengupta et al.

Aditi Sengupta et al.

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Short summary
Conceptual models link microbes with the environment, but are untested. We test a recent model using riverbed sediments. We exposed sediments to disturbances, going dry and becoming wet again. As the length of dry conditions got longer, there was a sudden shift in the ecology of microbes, chemistry of organic matter, and rates of microbial metabolism. We propose a new model based on feedbacks initiated by disturbance that cascade across biological, chemical, and functional aspects of the system.
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