Peatlands of all latitudes play an integral role in global climate change by serving as a carbon sink and a primary source of atmospheric methane, however, the microbial ecology of mid-latitude peatlands is vastly understudied. Herein, next generation Illumina amplicon sequencing of small subunit rRNA genes was utilized to elucidate the microbial communities in three southern Appalachian peatlands. In contrast to northern peatlands, Proteobacteria dominated over Acidobacteria in all three sites. An average of 11 bacterial phyla was detected at relative abundance values >1%, with three candidate divisions (OP3, WS3 and NC10) represented, indicating high phylogenetic diversity. Physiological traits of isolates within the candidate alphaproteobacterial order, Ellin 329, obtained here and in previous studies indicate that bacteria of this order may be involved in hydrolysis of poly-, di- and monosaccharides. Community analyses indicate that Ellin 329 is the third most abundant order and is most abundant near the surface layers where plant litter decomposition should be primarily occurring. In sum, members of Ellin 329 likely play important roles in organic matter decomposition, in southern Appalachian peatlands and should be investigated further in other peatlands and ecosystem types.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Journal||FEMS Microbiology Letters|
|State||Published - Aug 1 2016|
- Microbial communities
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Molecular Biology