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Type: Journal article
Title: Geogenic factors as drivers of microbial community diversity in soils overlying polymetallic deposits
Author: Reith, F.
Zammit, C.
Pohrib, R.
Gregg, A.
Wakelin, S.
Citation: Applied and Environmental Microbiology, 2015; 81(22):7822-7832
Publisher: American Society for Microbiology
Issue Date: 2015
ISSN: 0099-2240
Statement of
Frank Reith, Carla M. Zammit, Rebecca Pohrib, Adrienne L. Gregg, Steven A. Wakelin
Abstract: This study shows that the geogenic factors landform, lithology and underlying mineral deposits (expressed by elevated metal concentrations in overlying soils) are key-drivers of microbial community diversity in naturally metal-rich Australian soils with different landuse, i.e., agriculture vs. natural bushland. 168 soil samples were obtained from two metal-rich provinces in Australia, i.e., the Fifield Au-Pt-field (New South Wales) and the Hillside Cu-Au-U-rare-earth-element (REE) deposit (South Australia). Soils were analyzed using three-domain multiplex terminal-restriction-fragment-length-polymorphism (M-TRFLP) and PhyloChip microarrays. Geogenic factors were determined using field-mapping techniques and analyses of >50 geochemical parameters. At Fifield, microbial communities differed significantly with geogenic factors and equally with landuse (P<0.05). At Hillside, communities in surface soil (0.03-0.2 m depth) differed significantly with landform and landuse (P<0.05). Communities in deeper soils (>0.2 m) differed significantly with lithology and the mineral deposit (P<0.05). Across both sites, elevated metal contents in soils overlying mineral deposits were selective for a range of bacterial taxa, most importantly Acidobacteria, Bacilli, and Beta- and Epsilon-Proteobacteria. In conclusion, long-term geogenic factors can be equally important in determining soil microbial community diversity than landuse.
Keywords: crobial communities; landform; landuse; lithology; mineral deposits; metals
Rights: © 2015, American Society for Microbiology. All Rights Reserved.
DOI: 10.1128/AEM.01856-15
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Appears in Collections:Aurora harvest 3
Ecology, Evolution and Landscape Science publications

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