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The Effects of pH, Temperature, and Humic-Like Substances on Anaerobic Carbon Degradation and Methanogenesis in Ombrotrophic and Minerotrophic Alaskan Peatlands
Aquatic Geochemistry ( IF 1.103 ) Pub Date : 2020-04-06 , DOI: 10.1007/s10498-020-09372-0
Lin Zhang, Xiao Liu, Khrys Duddleston, Mark E. Hines

Methane production usually increases from the acidic sphagnum-dominated ombrotrophic peatlands to minerotrophic ones with more neutral pH and higher coverage of vascular plants. Along this ombrotrophic–minerotrophic gradient, pH, microbial communities, and properties of dissolved organic matter in porewater all vary greatly. The hydrographic change resulted from permafrost thaw and projected global warming can potentially connect the minerotrophic and ombrotrophic sites via porewater and turn acidic bogs to minerotrophic fens. It is thus very important to investigate how the anaerobic carbon degradation processes respond to changes in fundamental factors like pH, temperature, properties of dissolved organic matter, and microbial communities resulted from such hydrographic change. In this study, one ombrotrophic (pH = 3.9) and one minerotrophic peatland site were sampled in Fairbanks, Alaska in Sep 2017 and a 42-day-period anaerobic laboratory incubation was conducted to study the changes in anaerobic carbon degradation processes including primary and secondary fermentation, methanogenesis, and acetogenesis when pH, temperature, and porewater were manipulated individually and a combination of two or three of these factors. The results suggested lowering pH would inhibit many anaerobic carbon degradation processes in the minerotrophic peatland except primary fermentation. Elevating pH in the ombrotrophic site did not stimulate its methanogen community, but primary fermentation responded better with increasing pH than with increasing temperature alone. Replacing the porewater in the minerotrophic site with that from the ombrotrophic site with high aromaticity did not inhibit methanogenesis but potentially brought in highly efficient primary fermenters. Acetoclastic methanogenesis, acetogenesis, and syntrophy only exist in the minerotrophic site but not at the ombrotrophic one. Porewater from the minerotrophic site could potentially introduce acetoclastic methanogens and syntrophs to the ombrotrophic site but would not make them active unless both pH and temperature were increased. When ground water connects ombrotrophic and minerotrophic peatlands due to thawing of permafrost, secondary fermenters and acetoclastic methanogens could be introduced to acidic bogs and cooperate efficiently to degrade the stored carbon in ombrotrophic peatlands especially under elevated temperature conditions.
更新日期:2020-04-20

 

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