Methanogens and methane oxidizing bacteria in forested, urban unrestored, and urban restored streams

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
McKenzie K. Smith (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site:
Parke Rublee

Abstract: Microbial methanogenesis, carried out by methanogens, and methane oxidation, carried out by methanotrophs, are integral parts of the carbon cycle and global climate change. These two processes have received attention in recent years in aquatic systems including major rivers, lakes, wetlands, and oceans. However, far less attention has been paid to flowing waters, especially low order streams, and to the potential impact of methane cycle processes in these environments. Streams are important to carbon cycling because as connectors to terrestrial ecosystems they are sites of organic matter processing, and important to biogeochemical cycling across the landscape. Twelve streams in the piedmont of North Carolina, consisting of three stream types: forested, urban unrestored, and urban restored, were sampled seasonally. Genomic DNA from seston, sediment, and epilithon samples was extracted and real-time PCR performed to analyze the abundance of methanogens and methanotrophs using group specific primers. Water samples were taken to measure methane concentration. There were significant differences in methanogen DNA abundance in late fall and methanotroph DNA abundance in late summer between stream types superimposed on a background of seasonal differences. The differences may be explained by the timing and magnitude of organic matter and inorganic matter inputs in forested versus urban streams. Urban unrestored streams receive a large pulse of input in late fall and little through the winter because stormwater is piped in directly to the streams from impervious surfaces; in contrast forested streams receive organic input over time because it enters the stream through subsurface flow.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2013
Methane, Methanogens, Methanotrophs, qPCR, St
Methane $x Environmental aspects $z North Carolina
Stream ecology $z North Carolina

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