Abundance and functional importance of complete ammonia-oxidizing bacteria (comammox) versus canonical nitrifiers in temperate forest soils

Ernest D. Osburn, J. E. Barrett

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

50 Scopus citations

Abstract

Forest disturbance increases soil nitrification rates in temperate ecosystems, but little is understood regarding contributions of newly discovered complete ammonia-oxidizing bacteria (i.e., comammox) to this important ecosystem process. We sampled soils across eight historically disturbed and adjacent reference forested watersheds at the Coweeta Hydrologic Laboratory in North Carolina and used qPCR to determine abundance of three groups of nitrifiers: canonical ammonia-oxidizing bacteria (AOB), ammonia-oxidizing archaea (AOA), and comammox bacteria (CAOB). All three groups exhibited significantly higher abundance in disturbed soils, though CAOB were more abundant than either AOA or AOB. Further, CAOB showed similar correlations with soil variables compared with AOB, suggesting similar niche requirements. CAOB were better predictors of soil NO3 relative to AOA and AOB, suggesting CAOB are functionally relevant to nitrification in temperate forests.

Original languageEnglish
Article number107801
JournalSoil Biology and Biochemistry
Volume145
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 2020

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020

Keywords

  • AOA
  • AOB
  • Comammox
  • Disturbance
  • Forest
  • Nitrification

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • Soil Science

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