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Title

Active biogeochemical role of cave sediments microbiota in CO2 fluxes

AuthorsMartín-Pozas, Tamara CSIC ORCID; Cuezva, Soledad CSIC ORCID; Seijas, Naomí CSIC; Benavente, David; Cañaveras, Juan Carlos CSIC ORCID; Sánchez-Moral, Sergio CSIC ORCID ; Fernández-Cortés, Ángel
Issue Date22-Jun-2022
PublisherUniversidad de Málaga
CitationThe European Conference on Karst Hydrogeology and Carbonate Reservoirs (2022)
AbstractThe assessment of carbon cycle in the Earth-climate system is one the highest challenge in science nowadays. It still remains some key knowledge gaps and uncertainties concerning the budgets of greenhouse gases (GHG) at ecosystem scale. Covering up to 25 % of the land surface and acting alternately as CO2 source or sink, karstic subterranean ecosystems play a decisive role in carbon cycle in terms of it contribution to global balance of this GHG. The interactions between geological, microbiological and chemical processes are responsible for the physical-chemical properties of the atmosphere and especially for changes in its composition. However, there are still essential gaps in our knowledge about the possible feedback mechanisms between the environmental-microclimatic conditions and the rates and type of activity of microbial communities in natural subterranean ecosystems. Here we study, for the first time, the interactions between the microbiota and the subterranean ecosystem (Pindal cave, northern Spain), with a special focus on environmental controls and feedback, as a key challenge to clarify the effective and accurate contribution of subterranean ecosystems to the global carbon cycle. We applied in situ and real-time monitoring diffusive fluxes using closed chamber-based gas exchange system coupled with NDIR and FTIR gas analysers, a coeval ¿13C geochemical tracing by cavity ring-down spectroscopy and metagenomics analyses, to evaluate and quantify the CO2 fluxes from microbial communities associated with cave sediments and bioinduced-carbonate deposits as moonmilk. Our results on carbon isotopes and CO2 fluxes suggest a source of organic carbon due to Actinobacteria metabolism linked to calcite moonmilk formation and the higher CO2 fixation by the chemoautotrophic bacteria, while in the raw cave sediments (i.e. those not covered with moonmilk deposits) prevails the carbon oxidation of this organic matter by autotrophic and heterotrophic communities, leading to an in-situ production of isotopically heavier CO2. The net CO2-flux rates from the raw cave sediments to cave air varied from 24 to 27 mg CO2 per hour, twice higher than the maximum flux rates registered on the moonmilk surfaces. These findings demonstrate how microbiomes influence the systems in which they inhabit, having direct implications on current challenges of the scientific community including, the study of potential extra-terrestrial analogues through biosignature detection and the design of appropriate strategies for the conservation of subterranean sites with a valuable heritage.
DescriptionEl congreso tuvo lugar en Málaga del 22 al 25 de junio de 2022
URIhttp://hdl.handle.net/10261/287587
Appears in Collections:(MNCN) Comunicaciones congresos




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