Editor: Max Häggblom
Community structure and physiological characterization of microbial mats in Byers Peninsula, Livingston Island (South Shetland Islands, Antarctica)
Article first published online: 27 OCT 2006
FEMS Microbiology Ecology
Volume 59, Issue 2, pages 377–385, February 2007
How to Cite
Fernández-Valiente, E., Camacho, A., Rochera, C., Rico, E., Vincent, W. F. and Quesada, A. (2007), Community structure and physiological characterization of microbial mats in Byers Peninsula, Livingston Island (South Shetland Islands, Antarctica). FEMS Microbiology Ecology, 59: 377–385. doi: 10.1111/j.1574-6941.2006.00221.x
- Issue published online: 27 OCT 2006
- Article first published online: 27 OCT 2006
- Received 2 June 2006; revised 1 August 2006; accepted 16 August 2006.First published online 27 October 2006.
- microbial mat;
- nitrogen assimilation;
- N2 fixation;
- photosynthetic pigments
The community structure and physiological characteristics of three microbial mat communities in Byers Peninsula (Livingston Island, South Shetland Islands, Antarctica) were compared. One of the mats was located at the edge of a stream and was dominated by diatoms (with a thin basal layer of oscillatorian cyanobacteria), whereas the other two mats, located over moist soil and the bottom of a pond, respectively, were dominated by cyanobacteria throughout their vertical profiles. The predominant xanthophyll was fucoxanthin in the stream mat and myxoxanthophyll in the cyanobacteria-dominated mats. The sheath pigment scytonemin was absent in the stream mat but present in the soil and pond mats. The stream mat showed significantly lower δ13C and higher δ15N values than the other two mats. Consistent with the δ15N values, N2 fixation was negligible in the stream mat. The soil mat was the physiologically most active community. It showed rates of photosynthesis three times higher than in the other mats, and had the highest rates of ammonium uptake, nitrate uptake and N2 fixation. These observations underscore the taxonomic and physiological diversity of microbial mat communities in the maritime Antarctic region.