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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2008 Nov 18;105(46):17842-7. doi: 10.1073/pnas.0808254105. Epub 2008 Nov 12.

Environmental and anthropogenic controls over bacterial communities in wetland soils.

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  • 1Duke University Wetland Center, Nicholas School of the Environment, Duke University, Durham, NC 27708, USA. whh3@duke.edu


Soil bacteria regulate wetland biogeochemical processes, yet little is known about controls over their distribution and abundance. Bacteria in North Carolina swamps and bogs differ greatly from Florida Everglades fens, where communities studied were unexpectedly similar along a nutrient enrichment gradient. Bacterial composition and diversity corresponded strongly with soil pH, land use, and restoration status, but less to nutrient concentrations, and not with wetland type or soil carbon. Surprisingly, wetland restoration decreased bacterial diversity, a response opposite to that in terrestrial ecosystems. Community level patterns were underlain by responses of a few taxa, especially the Acidobacteria and Proteobacteria, suggesting promise for bacterial indicators of restoration and trophic status.

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