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Autotrophic fixation of geogenic CO2 by microorganisms contributes to soil organic matter formation and alters isotope signatures in a wetland mofette

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http://pubman.mpdl.mpg.de/cone/persons/resource/persons128379

Nowak,  Martin
Molecular Biogeochemistry Group, Dr. G. Gleixner, Department Biogeochemical Processes, Prof. S. E. Trumbore, Max Planck Institute for Biogeochemistry, Max Planck Society;
IMPRS International Max Planck Research School for Global Biogeochemical Cycles, Max Planck Institute for Biogeochemistry , Max Planck Society;

http://pubman.mpdl.mpg.de/cone/persons/resource/persons62494

Muhr,  Jan
Tree Reserve Carbon Pools, Dr. J. Muhr, Department Biogeochemical Processes, Prof. S. E. Trumbore, Max Planck Institute for Biogeochemistry, Max Planck Society;

http://pubman.mpdl.mpg.de/cone/persons/resource/persons62589

Trumbore,  Susan E.
Department Biogeochemical Processes, Prof. S. E. Trumbore, Max Planck Institute for Biogeochemistry, Max Planck Society;

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Zitation

Nowak, M., Beulig, F., von Fischer, J., Muhr, J., Küsel, K., & Trumbore, S. E. (2015). Autotrophic fixation of geogenic CO2 by microorganisms contributes to soil organic matter formation and alters isotope signatures in a wetland mofette. Biogeosciences, 12(3), 7169-7183. doi:10.5194/bg-12-7169-2015.


Zitierlink: http://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-0028-4B4E-6
Zusammenfassung
To quantify the contribution of autotrophic microorganisms to organic matter formation (OM) in soils, we investigated natural CO2 vents (mofettes) situated in a wetland in NW Bohemia (Czech Republic). Mofette soils had higher SOM concentrations than reference soils due to restricted decomposition under high CO2 levels. We used radiocarbon (Δ14C) and stable carbon isotope ratios (δ13C) to characterize SOM and its sources in two moffetes and compared it with respective reference soils, which were not influenced by geogenic CO2. The geogenic CO2 emitted at these sites is free of radiocarbon and enriched in δ13C compared to atmospheric CO2. Together, these isotopic signals allow us to distinguish C fixed by plants from C fixed by autotrophic microorganisms using their differences in δ13C discrimination. We can then estimate that up to 27 % of soil organic matter in the 0–10 cm layer of these soils was derived from microbially assimilated CO2. Isotope values of bulk SOM were shifted towards more positive δ13C and more negative Δ14C values in mofettes compared to reference soils, suggesting that geogenic CO2 emitted from the soil atmosphere is incorporated into SOM. To distinguish whether geogenic CO2 was fixed by plants or by CO2 assimilating microorganisms, we first used the proportional differences in radiocarbon and δ13C values to indicate the magnitude of discrimination of the stable isotopes in living plants. Deviation from this relationship was taken to indicate the presence of microbial CO2 fixation, as microbial discrimination should differ from that of plants. 13CO2-labelling experiments confirmed high activity of CO2 assimilating microbes in the top 10 cm, where δ13C values of SOM were shifted up to 2 ‰ towards more negative values. Uptake rates of microbial CO2 fixation ranged up to 1.59 ± 0.16 μg gdw−1 d−1. We inferred that the negative δ13C shift was caused by the activity of chemo-lithoautotrophic microorganisms, as indicated from quantification of cbbL/cbbM marker genes encoding for RubisCO by quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) and by acetogenic and methanogenic microorganisms, shown present in the moffettes by previous studies. Combined Δ14C and δ13C isotope mass balances indicated that microbially derived carbon accounted for 8 to 27 % of bulk SOM in this soil layer. The findings imply that autotrophic organisms can recycle significant amounts of carbon in wetland soils and might contribute to observed reservoir effects influencing radiocarbon signatures in peat deposits.