Rapid microbial response to the presence of an ancient relic
Details of Research
TitleRapid microbial response to the presence of an ancient relic in the Antarctic Dry ValleysAbstractThe extreme cold and aridity of the Antarctic McMurdo Dry Valleys have led to the longstanding belief that metabolic rates of soil microbiota are negligible, and that ecosystem changes take place over millennia. Here we report the first direct experimental evidence that soil microbial communities undergo rapid and lasting changes in response to contemporary environmental conditions. Mummified seals, curious natural artifacts found scattered throughout Dry Valleys, alter their underlying soil environment by stabilizing temperatures, elevating relative humidity and reducing ultraviolet exposure. In a unique, multi-year mummified seal transplantation experiment, we found that endemic Dry Valley microbial communities responded to these changes within 3 years, resulting in a sevenfold increase in CO2 flux and a significant reduction in biodiversity. These findings challenge prevailing ideas about Antarctic Dry Valley ecosystems and indicate that current and future environmental conditions may strongly influence the ecology of the dominant biota in the Dry Valleys. c 2012 Macmillan Publishers Limited. All rights reserved.AcknowledgementsThis work was supported through grants from the New Zealand Foundation for Research Science and Technology, Antarctica New Zealand, and the National Science Foundation (OPP-0739648 and 0944560) to S.C.C., and the study was partially conducted during the New Zealand Terrestrial Antarctic Biocomplexity Survey. G.T. was supported by a George Peabody Gardner Fellowship, and C.K.L. was supported by the New Zealand Foundation for Research, Science and Technology Postdoctoral Research Fellowship and the New Zealand Marsden Foundation (UOW1003). Dating of seal tissue samples was performed by the University of Waikato Carbon Dating Unit. Pyrosequencing of PCR amplicons was provided by Taxon Biosciences. We thank various participants of Antarctica New Zealand events K020 and K023 for their assistance in carrying out the fieldwork.
1st AuthorTiao, G.AuthorTiao, G.Lee, C.McDonald, I.Cowan, D.Cary, S.Year2012JournalNature CommunicationsVolume3DOI10.1038/ncomms1645URLhttps://www.scopus.com/inward/recor.....208d01b6fa3aa25a278009acaKeywordscarbon dioxideRNA 16S, Antarcticaarticlebiodiversitybiotacontrolled studyecologyenvironmental factorexperimental studyhumiditymicrobial activitynonhumansealsoil microfloraultraviolet radiationanimalAntarcticabiodiversitycold climateDNA sequenceecologyecosystemenvironmentmetabolismmethodologymicrobiologymolecular geneticspaleopathologyPhocaphylogenysoiltemperature, AnimalsAntarctic RegionsBiodiversityCold ClimateEcologyEcosystemEnvironmentMolecular Sequence DataMummiesPhylogenyRNA, Ribosomal, 16SSeals, EarlessSequence Analysis, DNASoilSoil MicrobiologyTemperature, rank5
TypeArticleCitationTiao, G., Lee, C., McDonald, I., Cowan, D. and Cary, S. (2012) Rapid microbial response to the presence of an ancient relic in the Antarctic Dry Valleys. Nature Communications, 3 doi:10.1038/ncomms1645
Rapid microbial response to the presence of an ancient relic Antarctica NZ, accessed 28 Nov 2022, https://adam.antarcticanz.govt.nz/nodes/view/63797, 10.1038/ncomms1645