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Mangrove Succession Enriches The Sediment Microbial Community In South China

Q. Chen, Q. Zhao, J. Li, S. Jian, H. Ren
Published 2016 · Environmental Science, Medicine

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Sediment microorganisms help create and maintain mangrove ecosystems. Although the changes in vegetation during mangrove forest succession have been well studied, the changes in the sediment microbial community during mangrove succession are poorly understood. To investigate the changes in the sediment microbial community during succession of mangroves at Zhanjiang, South China, we used phospholipid fatty acid (PLFA) analysis and the following chronosequence from primary to climax community: unvegetated shoal; Avicennia marina community; Aegiceras corniculatum community; and Bruguiera gymnorrhiza + Rhizophora stylosa community. The PLFA concentrations of all sediment microbial groups (total microorganisms, fungi, gram-positive bacteria, gram-negative bacteria, and actinomycetes) increased significantly with each stage of mangrove succession. Microbial PLFA concentrations in the sediment were significantly lower in the wet season than in the dry season. Regression and ordination analyses indicated that the changes in the microbial community with mangrove succession were mainly associated with properties of the aboveground vegetation (mainly plant height) and the sediment (mainly sediment organic matter and total nitrogen). The changes in the sediment microbial community can probably be explained by increases in nutrients and microhabitat heterogeneity during mangrove succession.
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This work was supported by the Guangdong Sci-Tech Planning Project (No.2014A030305014, 2015A030303014) and the National Science & Technology Infrastructure Program of China
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