Current Microbiology, Vol.77, No.6, 1061-1069, 2020
Diversity and Distribution of Methanogenic Community Between Two Typical Alpine Ecosystems on the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau
Alpine permafrost regions are important sources of biogenic CH4 and methanogens play an important role in the methane-producing process. The alpine permafrost on the Qinghai-Tibetan plateau comprises about one-sixth of China's land area, and there are various types of alpine ecosystems. However, the methanogenic communities in the typical alpine ecosystems are poorly understood. In this study, the active layers and permafrost layers of the natural ecosystem of alpine grassland (DZ2-1) and alpine swamp meadow (DZ2-5) were selected to investigate the diversity and abundance of methanogenic communities. Methanobacterium (63.65%) are overwhelmingly dominant in the active layer of the alpine grassland (DZ2-1A). ZC-I cluster (26.13%), RC-I cluster (19.56%), and Methanobacterium (15.02%) are the dominant groups in the permafrost layer of the alpine grassland (DZ2-1P). Methanosaeta (32.92%), Fen cluster (29.59%), Methanosarcina (16.33%), and Methanobacterium (13.95%) are the dominant groups in the active layer of the alpine swamp meadow (DZ2-5A), whereas the Fen cluster (50.85%), ZC-I cluster (27.63%), and RC-I cluster (14.15%) are relatively abundant in the permafrost layer of the alpine swamp meadow (DZ2-5P). qPCR data showed that the abundance of methanogens was higher in the natural ecosystem of alpine swamp meadow than in alpine grassland. We found that the community characteristics of methanogens were related to environmental factors. Pearson correlation analyses indicated that the relative abundance of Methanobacterium had a significantly positive correlation with hydrogen concentration (P < 0.01), while the relative abundances of Methanosaeta and Methanosarcina were positively correlated with acetate concentration (P < 0.05). This study will help us to understand the methanogenic communities and their surrounding environments in alpine ecosystems.