Microbial community composition correlates with metal sorption in an ombrotrophic boreal bog: Implications for radionuclide retention

Merja Lusa (Corresponding Author), Malin Bomberg

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Abstract

Microbial communities throughout the 6.5 m depth profile of a boreal ombrotrophic bog were characterized using amplicon sequencing of archaeal, fungal, and bacterial marker genes. Microbial populations and their relationship to oxic and anoxic batch sorption of radionuclides (using radioactive tracers of I, Se, Cs, Ni, and Ag) and the prevailing metal concentrations in the natural bog was investigated. The majority of the detected archaea belonged to the Crenarchaeota, Halobacterota, and Thermoplasmatota, whereas the fungal communities consisted of Ascomycota, Basidiomycota, and unclassified fungi. The bacterial communities consisted mostly of Acidobacteriota, Proteobacteria, and Chloroflexi. The occurrence of several microbial genera were found to statistically significantly correlate with metal concentrations as well as with Se, Cs, I, and Ag batch sorption data. We suggest that the metal concentrations of peat, gyttja, and clay layers affect the composition of the microbial populations in these nutrient-low conditions and that particularly parts of the bacterial and archaeal communities tolerate high concentrations of potentially toxic metals and may concurrently contribute to the total retention of metals and radionuclides in this ombrotrophic environment. In addition, the varying metal concentrations together with chemical, mineralogical, and physical factors may contribute to the shape of the total archaeal and bacterial populations and most probably shifts the populations for more metal resistant genera.
Original languageEnglish
Article number19
JournalSoil Systems
Volume5
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2021
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

Keywords

  • Boreal environment
  • Heavy metal tolerance
  • Microbial communities
  • Radionuclide sorption

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