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Annual growth layers as proxies of past growth conditions for benthic microbial mats in a perennially ice-covered Antarctic lake

Annual growth layers as proxies of past growth conditions for benthic microbial mats in a... Perennial microbial mats can be the dominant autotrophic community in Antarctic lakes. Their seasonal growth results in clearly discernible annual growth layering. We examined features of live microbial mats from a range of depths in Lake Hoare, Antarctica, that are likely to be preserved in these layers to determine their potential as proxies of past growth performance. Cyanobacteria dominated the mat for all but the deepest depth sampled. Changes in areal concentrations of phycobilin pigments, organic matter and extracellular polysaccharide and in species composition did not correspond to changes in various water column properties, but showed a linear relationship with irradiance. Carbonate accumulation in the mats correlated with biomass markers and may be inferred as an index of mat performance. We examined the carbonate content of annual layers laid down from 1958–1959 to 1994–1995 in sediment cores from 12 m depth. The carbonate content in the layer showed a significant correlation with the mean summer air temperature. These data suggest a link between air temperature and microbial mat growth performance, and suggest that it is mediated via irradiance. Laminated microbial mats in Antarctic lakes have the potential to act as fine-resolution records of environmental conditions in the recent past, although interpretation is complex. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png FEMS Microbiology Ecology Oxford University Press

Annual growth layers as proxies of past growth conditions for benthic microbial mats in a perennially ice-covered Antarctic lake

FEMS Microbiology Ecology , Volume 67 (2) – Feb 22, 2009

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References (47)

Publisher
Oxford University Press
Copyright
© 2008 Federation of European Microbiological Societies. Published by Blackwell Publishing Ltd. All rights reserved
ISSN
0168-6496
eISSN
1574-6941
DOI
10.1111/j.1574-6941.2008.00621.x
pmid
19120468
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Perennial microbial mats can be the dominant autotrophic community in Antarctic lakes. Their seasonal growth results in clearly discernible annual growth layering. We examined features of live microbial mats from a range of depths in Lake Hoare, Antarctica, that are likely to be preserved in these layers to determine their potential as proxies of past growth performance. Cyanobacteria dominated the mat for all but the deepest depth sampled. Changes in areal concentrations of phycobilin pigments, organic matter and extracellular polysaccharide and in species composition did not correspond to changes in various water column properties, but showed a linear relationship with irradiance. Carbonate accumulation in the mats correlated with biomass markers and may be inferred as an index of mat performance. We examined the carbonate content of annual layers laid down from 1958–1959 to 1994–1995 in sediment cores from 12 m depth. The carbonate content in the layer showed a significant correlation with the mean summer air temperature. These data suggest a link between air temperature and microbial mat growth performance, and suggest that it is mediated via irradiance. Laminated microbial mats in Antarctic lakes have the potential to act as fine-resolution records of environmental conditions in the recent past, although interpretation is complex.

Journal

FEMS Microbiology EcologyOxford University Press

Published: Feb 22, 2009

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