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Methanotrophy under versatile conditions in the water column of the ferruginous meromictic Lake La Cruz (Spain)

Publikationsart Peer-reviewed
Publikationsform Originalbeitrag (peer-reviewed)
Autor/in Oswald Kirsten, Jegge Corinne, Tischer Jana, Berg Jasmin, Brand Andreas, Miracle Maria, Soria Xavier, Vicente Eduarado, Lehmann Moritz, Zopfi J, Schubert Carsten,
Projekt Factors governing methane oxidation pathways at redox boundaries in lakes
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Originalbeitrag (peer-reviewed)

Zeitschrift Frontiers in Microbiology
Volume (Issue) 7(1762)
Seite(n) 1 - 16
Titel der Proceedings Frontiers in Microbiology
DOI 10.3389/fmicb.2016.01762

Open Access


Lakes represent a considerable natural source of methane to the atmosphere compared to their small global surface area. Methanotrophs in sediments and in the water column largely control methane fluxes from these systems, yet the diversity, electron accepting capacity, and nutrient requirements of these microorganisms have only been partially identified. Here, we investigated the role of electron acceptors alternative to oxygen and sulfate in microbial methane oxidation at the oxycline and in anoxic waters of the ferruginous meromictic Lake La Cruz, Spain. Active methane turnover in a zone extending well below the oxycline was evidenced by stable carbon isotope-based rate measurements. We observed a strong methane oxidation potential throughout the anoxic water column, which did not vary substantially from that at the oxic/anoxic interface. Both in the redox-transition and anoxic zones, only aerobic methane-oxidizing bacteria (MOB) were detected by fluorescence in situ hybridization and sequencing techniques, suggesting a close coupling of cryptic photosynthetic oxygen production and aerobic methane turnover. Additions of nitrate, nitrite and to a lesser degree iron and manganese oxides also stimulated bacterial methane consumption. We could not confirm a direct link between the reduction of these compounds and methane oxidation and we cannot exclude the contribution of unknown anaerobic methanotrophs. Nevertheless, our findings from Lake La Cruz support recent laboratory evidence that aerobic methanotrophs may be able to utilize alternative terminal electron acceptors under oxygen limitation.