Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology, Vol.99, No.6, 2895-2909, 2015
Primary effects of extracellular enzyme activity and microbial community on carbon and nitrogen mineralization in estuarine and tidal wetlands
Estuarine and tidal wetlands with high primary productivity and biological activity play a crucial role in coastal nutrient dynamics. Here, to better reveal the effects of extracellular enzymes and microbial community on carbon (C) and nitrogen (N) mineralization, the incubation experiments with different C and N addition patterns to the tidal sediments of the Yangtze Estuary (China) were conducted. The results suggested a significant increase in cumulative CO2 effluxes in the C and CN treatment experiments, while no significant difference in cumulative CO2 effluxes between the N treatment and control (CK) experiments was observed. In addition, the nutrient addition patterns had a great influence on dissolve organic C and N levels, but a small effect on microbial biomass C and N. Microbial community composition and microbial activity were found to be positively correlated with organic C (OC) and the molar ratio of C to N (C/N). Partial correlation analysis, controlling for C/N, supported direct effects of OC on the activity of carbon-cycling extracellular enzymes (cellulase and polyphenol oxidase), while C/N exhibited negatively correlations with urease and Gram-positive bacteria to Gram-negative bacteria (G+/G-). Strong relationships were found between CO2 efflux and mineral nitrogen with the activity of specific enzymes (sucrase, cellulase, and polyphenol oxidase) and abundances of Gram-negative bacteria, arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi, and fungi, suggesting the significant influences of microbial community and enzyme activity on C and N mineralization in the estuarine and tidal wetlands. Furthermore, this study could highlight the need to explore effects of nutrient supply on microbial communities and enzyme activity changes associated with the C and N mineralization in these wetlands induced by the climate change.