Ageing well: methane oxidation and methane oxidizing bacteria along a chronosequence of 2000 years
Article first published online: 27 SEP 2011
© 2011 Society for Applied Microbiology and Blackwell Publishing Ltd
Environmental Microbiology Reports
Volume 3, Issue 6, pages 738–743, December 2011
How to Cite
Ho, A., Lüke, C., Cao, Z. and Frenzel, P. (2011), Ageing well: methane oxidation and methane oxidizing bacteria along a chronosequence of 2000 years. Environmental Microbiology Reports, 3: 738–743. doi: 10.1111/j.1758-2229.2011.00292.x
- Issue published online: 14 NOV 2011
- Article first published online: 27 SEP 2011
- Received 22 May, 2011; accepted 12 August, 2011.
Rice is the staple food for more than half of the world's growing population. While the area planted to wetland rice is expected to increase further, virtually nothing is known about the long-term development of the respective microbial communities, and how these might influence biogeochemistry. Focusing on methane oxidizing bacteria, we studied a chronosequence of paddy fields in China aged 50–2000 years. Potential methanotrophic activity increased substantially with age of soil. Community composition was relatively similar in all fields. However, growth and activity of one particular subgroup of methanotrophs correlated to soil age suggesting an intricate abiotic control on methanotrophs evolving with time. Our results demonstrate that continuous rice agriculture does not only shape the microbial community, but also modifies the micro-environment in a way enabling faster growth and higher activity of selected populations.