3 years ago

Functional structure of the bromeliad tank microbiome is strongly shaped by local geochemical conditions

Michael Doebeli, Aliny P. F. Pires, Stilianos Louca, Angélica L. González, Vinicius F. Farjalla, Juliana S. Leal, Saulo M. S. Jacques
Phytotelmata in tank-forming Bromeliaceae plants are regarded as potential miniature models for aquatic ecology, but detailed investigations of their microbial communities are rare. Hence, the biogeochemistry in bromeliad tanks remains poorly understood. Here we investigate the structure of bacterial and archaeal communities inhabiting the detritus within the tanks of two bromeliad species, Aechmea nudicaulis and Neoregelia cruenta, from a Brazilian sand dune forest. We used metagenomic sequencing for functional community profiling and 16S sequencing for taxonomic profiling. We estimated the correlation between functional groups and various environmental variables, and compared communities between bromeliad species. In all bromeliads, microbial communities spanned a metabolic network adapted to oxygen-limited conditions, including all denitrification steps, ammonification, sulfate respiration, methanogenesis, reductive acetogenesis and anoxygenic phototrophy. Overall, CO2 reducers dominated in abundance over sulfate reducers, and anoxygenic phototrophs largely outnumbered oxygenic photoautotrophs. Functional community structure correlated strongly with environmental variables, between and within a single bromeliad species. Methanogens and reductive acetogens correlated with detrital volume and canopy coverage, and exhibited higher relative abundances in N. cruenta. A comparison of bromeliads to freshwater lake sediments and soil from around the world, revealed stark differences in terms of taxonomic as well as functional microbial community structure.

Publisher URL: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/resolve/doi

DOI: 10.1111/1462-2920.13788

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