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Mark Lever

Macrofaunal control of microbial community structure in continental margin sediments

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  • Longhui Deng, Eidgenossische Technische Hochschule Zurich
  • ,
  • Damian Bölsterli, Eidgenossische Technische Hochschule Zurich
  • ,
  • Erik Kristensen, University of Southern Denmark
  • ,
  • Christof Meile, University of Georgia
  • ,
  • Chih-Chieh Su, National Taiwan University
  • ,
  • Stefano Michele Bernasconi, Eidgenossische Technische Hochschule Zurich
  • ,
  • Marit-Solveig Seidenkrantz
  • Clemens Glombitza, Eidgenossische Technische Hochschule Zurich
  • ,
  • Lorenzo Lagostina, Eidgenossische Technische Hochschule Zurich
  • ,
  • Xingguo Han, Eidgenossische Technische Hochschule Zurich
  • ,
  • Bo Barker Jørgensen
  • Hans Røy
  • Mark Alexander Lever

Through a process called "bioturbation," burrowing macrofauna have altered the seafloor habitat and modified global carbon cycling since the Cambrian. However, the impact of macrofauna on the community structure of microorganisms is poorly understood. Here, we show that microbial communities across bioturbated, but geochemically and sedimentologically divergent, continental margin sites are highly similar but differ clearly from those in nonbioturbated surface and underlying subsurface sediments. Solid- and solute-phase geochemical analyses combined with modeled bioturbation activities reveal that dissolved O2 introduction by burrow ventilation is the major driver of archaeal community structure. By contrast, solid-phase reworking, which regulates the distribution of fresh, algal organic matter, is the main control of bacterial community structure. In nonbioturbated surface sediments and in subsurface sediments, bacterial and archaeal communities are more divergent between locations and appear mainly driven by site-specific differences in organic carbon sources.

Original languageEnglish
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Pages (from-to)15911-15922
Number of pages12
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2020

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