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Field and laboratory studies of methane oxidation in an anoxic marine sediment: Evidence for a methanogen‐sulfate reducer consortium

Field and laboratory studies of methane oxidation in an anoxic marine sediment: Evidence for a... Field and laboratory studies of anoxic sediments from Cape Lookout Bight, North Carolina, suggest that anaerobic methane oxidation is mediated by a consortium of methanogenic and sulfate‐reducing bacteria. A seasonal survey of methane oxidation and CO2 reduction rates indicates that methane production was confined to sulfate‐depleted sediments at all times of year, while methane oxidation occurred in two modes. In the summer, methane oxidation was confined to sulfate‐depleted sediments and occurred at rates lower than those of CO2 reduction. In the winter, net methane oxidation occurred in an interval at the base of the sulfate‐containing zone. Sediment incubation experiments suggest both methanogens and sulfate reducers were responsible for the observed methane oxidation. In one incubation experiment both modes of oxidation were partially inhibited by 2‐bromoethanesulfonic acid (a specific inhibitor of methanogens). This evidence, along with the apparent confinement of methane oxidation to sulfate‐depleted sediments in the summer, indicates that methanogenic bacteria are involved in methane oxidation. In a second incubation experiment, net methane oxidation was induced by adding sulfate to homogenized methanogenic sediments, suggesting that sulfate reducers also play a role in the process. We hypothesize that methanogens oxidize methane and produce hydrogen via a reversal of CO2 reduction. The hydrogen is efficiently removed and maintained at low concentrations by sulfate reducers. Pore water H2 concentrations in the sediment incubation experiments (while net methane oxidation was occurring) were low enough that methanogenic bacteria could derive sufficient energy for growth from the oxidation of methane. The methanogen‐sulfate reducer consortium is consistent not only with the results of this study, but may also be a feasible mechanism for previously documented anaerobic methane oxidation in both freshwater and marine environments. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Global Biogeochemical Cycles Wiley

Field and laboratory studies of methane oxidation in an anoxic marine sediment: Evidence for a methanogen‐sulfate reducer consortium

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References (76)

Publisher
Wiley
Copyright
Copyright © 1994 by the American Geophysical Union.
ISSN
0886-6236
eISSN
1944-9224
DOI
10.1029/94GB01800
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Field and laboratory studies of anoxic sediments from Cape Lookout Bight, North Carolina, suggest that anaerobic methane oxidation is mediated by a consortium of methanogenic and sulfate‐reducing bacteria. A seasonal survey of methane oxidation and CO2 reduction rates indicates that methane production was confined to sulfate‐depleted sediments at all times of year, while methane oxidation occurred in two modes. In the summer, methane oxidation was confined to sulfate‐depleted sediments and occurred at rates lower than those of CO2 reduction. In the winter, net methane oxidation occurred in an interval at the base of the sulfate‐containing zone. Sediment incubation experiments suggest both methanogens and sulfate reducers were responsible for the observed methane oxidation. In one incubation experiment both modes of oxidation were partially inhibited by 2‐bromoethanesulfonic acid (a specific inhibitor of methanogens). This evidence, along with the apparent confinement of methane oxidation to sulfate‐depleted sediments in the summer, indicates that methanogenic bacteria are involved in methane oxidation. In a second incubation experiment, net methane oxidation was induced by adding sulfate to homogenized methanogenic sediments, suggesting that sulfate reducers also play a role in the process. We hypothesize that methanogens oxidize methane and produce hydrogen via a reversal of CO2 reduction. The hydrogen is efficiently removed and maintained at low concentrations by sulfate reducers. Pore water H2 concentrations in the sediment incubation experiments (while net methane oxidation was occurring) were low enough that methanogenic bacteria could derive sufficient energy for growth from the oxidation of methane. The methanogen‐sulfate reducer consortium is consistent not only with the results of this study, but may also be a feasible mechanism for previously documented anaerobic methane oxidation in both freshwater and marine environments.

Journal

Global Biogeochemical CyclesWiley

Published: Dec 1, 1994

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