Microorganisms in small patterned ground features and adjacent vegetated soils along topographic and climatic gradients in the High Arctic, Canada

  • Authors: Gonzalez, G.; Rivera-Figueroa, F.J.; Gould, W.; Cantrell, S.A.; Pérez-Jiménez, J.R.
  • Publication Year: 2014
  • Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)
  • Source: Open Journal of Soil Science. 4: 47-55
  • DOI: 10.4236/ojss.2014.41007

Abstract

In this study, we determine differences in total biomass of soil microorganisms and community structure (using the most probable number of bacteria (MPN) and the number of fungal genera) in patterned ground features (PGF) and adjacent vegetated soils (AVS) in mesic sites from three High Arctic islands in order to characterize microbial dynamics as affected by cryoturbation, and a broad bioclimatic gradient. We also characterize total biomass of soil microorganisms and the most probable number of bacteria along a topographic gradient within each bioclimatic subzone to evaluate whether differences in topography lead to differences in microbial dynamics at a smaller scale. We found total microbial biomass C, the most probable number of heterotrophic bacteria, and fungal genera vary along this bioclimatic gradient. Microbial biomass C decreased with increasing latitude. Overall, microbial biomass C, MPN and the number of fungal isolates were higher in AVS than in PGFs. The effects which topographic position had on microbial biomass C varied across the bioclimatic gradient as there was no effect of topographic position in Isachsen (subzone A) and Mould Bay (subzone B), when compared to Green Cabin (subzone C, warmer site).There was no effect of topographic position on MPN counts at Mould Bay and Green Cabin. However, in Isachsen, MPN counts were highest in the wet topographic position as compared to the mesic and dry. In conclusion, PGFs seem to decouple the effect climate that might have on the total biomass of soil microorganisms along the bioclimatic gradient; and influence gets ameliorated as latitude increases. Similarly, the effect of topography on the total microbial biomass is significant at the warmest bioclimatic zone of the gradient. Thus, climate and topographic effects on total microbial biomass increase with warmer climate.

  • Citation: Gonzalez, G.; Rivera-Figueroa, F.J.; Gould, W.; Cantrell, S.A.; Pérez-Jiménez, J.R. 2014. Microorganisms in small patterned ground features and adjacent vegetated soils along topographic and climatic gradients in the High Arctic, Canada. Open Journal of Soil Science. 4: 47-55.
  • Keywords: Soil Microorganisms, High Arctic, Canada, Patterned Features, Microbial Biomass
  • Posted Date: September 10, 2014
  • Modified Date: September 29, 2014
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