Brazilian Semi-Arid Mangroves-Associated Microbiome as Pools of Richness and Complexity in a Changing World.

Tallita Cruz Lopes Tavares, Walderly Melgaço Bezerra, Leonardo Ribeiro Oliveira Normando, Alexandre Soares Rosado, Vânia Maria Maciel Melo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Mangrove microbiomes play an essential role in the fate of mangroves in our changing planet, but the factors regulating the biogeographical distribution of mangrove microbial communities remain essentially vague. This paper contributes to our understanding of mangrove microbiomes distributed along three biogeographical provinces and ecoregions, covering the exuberant mangroves of Amazonia ecoregion (North Brazil Shelf) as well as mangroves located in the southern limit of distribution (Southeastern ecoregion, Warm Temperate Southwestern Atlantic) and mangroves localized on the drier semi-arid coast (Northeastern ecoregion, Tropical Southwestern Atlantic), two important ecotones where poleward and landward shifts, respectively, are expected to occur related to climate change. This study compared the microbiomes associated with the conspicuous red mangrove ($\textit{Rhizophora mangle}$) root soils encompassing soil properties, latitudinal factors, and amplicon sequence variants of 105 samples. We demonstrated that, although the northern and southern sites are over 4,000 km apart, and despite $\textit{R. mangle}$ genetic divergences between north and south populations, their microbiomes resemble each other more than the northern and northeastern neighbors. In addition, the northeastern semi-arid microbiomes were more diverse and displayed a higher level of complexity than the northern and southern ones. This finding may reflect the endurance of the northeast microbial communities tailored to deal with the stressful conditions of semi-aridity and may play a role in the resistance and growing landward expansion observed in such mangroves. Minimum temperature, precipitation, organic carbon, and potential evapotranspiration were the main microbiota variation drivers and should be considered in mangrove conservation and recovery strategies in the Anthropocene. In the face of changes in climate, land cover, biodiversity, and chemical composition, the richness and complexity harbored by semi-arid mangrove microbiomes may hold the key to mangrove adaptability in our changing planet.
Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalFrontiers in microbiology
StatePublished - Sep 13 2021

Bibliographical note

KAUST Repository Item: Exported on 2021-09-17
Acknowledged KAUST grant number(s): BAS/1/1096-01-01
Acknowledgements: We would like to thank Walderly Melgaço, Alysson Angelim, and Samantha Costa for their valuable assistance with the soils collection. We also thank the Genomic and Bioinformatics Facility (CeGenBio) of the Federal University of Ceará, Brazil. TT, AR, and VM are members of the Mangrove Microbiome Initiative (MMI) international network. Funding. The National Council for Scientific and Technological Development (CNPq; Grant Numbers 407754/2013-0 and 434823/2018-0) and KAUST (Grant Number BAS/1/1096-01-01) supported this research.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Microbiology


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