Poorly known microbial taxa dominate the microbiome of permafrost thaw ponds.

Wurzbacher C, Nilsson RH, Rautio M, Peura S

ISME J 11 (8) 1938-1941 [2017-08-00; online 2017-04-21]

In the transition zone of the shifting permafrost border, thaw ponds emerge as hotspots of microbial activity, processing the ancient carbon freed from the permafrost. We analyzed the microbial succession across a gradient of recently emerged to older ponds using three molecular markers: one universal, one bacterial and one fungal. Age was a major modulator of the microbial community of the thaw ponds. Surprisingly, typical freshwater taxa comprised only a small fraction of the community. Instead, thaw ponds of all age classes were dominated by enigmatic bacterial and fungal phyla. Our results on permafrost thaw ponds lead to a revised perception of the thaw pond ecosystem and their microbes, with potential implications for carbon and nutrient cycling in this increasingly important class of freshwaters.

Affiliated researcher

Sari Peura

SciLifeLab Fellow

PubMed 28430187

DOI 10.1038/ismej.2017.54

Crossref 10.1038/ismej.2017.54

pii: ismej201754
pmc: PMC5520041

Publications 9.5.0