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Front Microbiol. 2014 Jul 23;5:371. doi: 10.3389/fmicb.2014.00371. eCollection 2014.

Community size and composition of ammonia oxidizers and denitrifiers in an alluvial intertidal wetland ecosystem.

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Department of Microbiology and Microbial Engineering, School of Life Sciences, Fudan University Shanghai, China.
Ministry of Education Key Laboratory for Biodiversity Science and Ecological Engineering, Institute of Biodiversity Science, Fudan University Shanghai, China.


Global nitrogen cycling is mainly mediated by the activity of microorganisms. Nitrogen cycle processes are mediated by functional groups of microorganisms that are affected by constantly changing environmental conditions and substrate availability. In this study, we investigated the temporal and spatial patterns of nitrifier and denitrifier communities in an intertidal wetland. Soil samples were collected over four distinct seasons from three locations with different vegetative cover. Multiple environmental factors and process rates were measured and analyzed together with the community size and composition profiles. We observed that the community size and composition of the nitrifiers and denitrifiers are affected significantly by seasonal factors, while vegetative cover affected the community composition. The seasonal impacts on the community size of ammonia oxidizing archaea (AOA) are much higher than that of ammonia oxidizing bacteria (AOB). The seasonal change was a more important indicator for AOA community composition patterns, while vegetation was more important for the AOB community patterns. The microbial process rates were correlated with both the community size and composition.


community composition; community size; denitrification; intertidal wetland; nitrification

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