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https://doi.org/10.5194/bg-2019-482
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/bg-2019-482
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Submitted as: research article 27 Jan 2020

Submitted as: research article | 27 Jan 2020

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This preprint is currently under review for the journal BG.

Lake mixing regime selects methane-oxidation kinetics of the methanotroph assemblage

Magdalena J. Mayr1,2,*, Matthias Zimmermann1,2,*, Jason Dey1, Bernhard Wehrli1,2, and Helmut Bürgmann2 Magdalena J. Mayr et al.
  • 1Department of Surface Waters – Research and Management, Eawag, Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology, Kastanienbaum, Switzerland
  • 2Institute of Biogeochemistry and Pollutant Dynamics, Department of Environmental Systems Science, ETH Zurich, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Zurich, Switzerland
  • *These authors contributed equally to this work.

Abstract. In freshwater lakes, large amounts of methane are produced in anoxic sediments. Methane-oxidizing bacteria effectively convert this potent greenhouse gas into biomass and carbon dioxide. These bacteria are present throughout the water column where methane concentrations can range from nanomolar to millimolar concentrations. In this study, we tested the hypothesis that methanotroph assemblages in seasonally stratified lakes are adapted to the contrasting methane concentrations in the epi- and hypolimnion. We further hypothesized that lake overturn would change the methane oxidation kinetics as more methane becomes available in the epilimnion. Together with the change of methane oxidation kinetics, we investigated changes in the transcription of genes encoding methane monooxygenase, the enzyme responsible for the first step of methane oxidation, with metatranscriptomics. We show that the half-saturation constant (Km) for methane, obtained from laboratory experiments with the natural microbial community, differed by two orders of magnitude between epi- and hypolimnion during stable stratification. During lake overturn, however, the kinetic constants in the epi- and hypolimnion converged along with a change of the transcriptionally active methanotroph assemblage. Conventional particulate methane monooxygenase appeared to be responsible for methane oxidation under different methane concentrations. Our results suggest that methane availability is important for creating niches for methanotroph assemblages with well-adapted methane-oxidation kinetics. This rapid selection and succession of adapted lacustrine methanotroph assemblages allows high methane removal efficiency of more than 90 % to be maintained even under rapidly changing conditions during lake overturn. Consequently, only a small fraction of methane stored in the anoxic hypolimnion is emitted to the atmosphere.

Magdalena J. Mayr et al.

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Status: open (until 09 Mar 2020)
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Magdalena J. Mayr et al.

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Data for: Lake mixing regime selects methane-oxidation kinetics of the methanotroph assemblage M. J. Mayr, M. Zimmermann, J. Dey, B. Wehrli, and H. Bürgmann https://doi.org/10.25678/0001fa

Magdalena J. Mayr et al.

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