Influence of soil copper and zinc levels on the abundance of methanotrophic, nitrifying, and N2O-reducing microorganisms in drylands worldwide

Mario Corrochano-Monsalve*, Hugo Saiz, Fernando T. Maestre

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Understanding soil microbial populations influencing biogeochemical cycles with potential implications for greenhouse gas (GHG) fluxes emissions is crucial. Methanotrophic, nitrifying and N2O-reducing microorganisms are major drivers of CH4 and N2O fluxes in soils. The metabolism of these organisms relies on enzymes that require as cofactors metal ions scarcely available in the soil, such as copper (Cu) and zinc (Zn). Despite the importance of these ions, how their concentrations relate to the abundance of these microbes at the global scale has not been addressed yet. Here, we used data from a global survey carried out in 47 drylands from 12 countries to evaluate the role of soil Cu and Zn concentrations, and their relationship with aridity, as drivers of the abundance of methanotrophs, archaeal and bacterial nitrifiers, and N2O reducers. To do so, we performed qPCR analyses of the marker genes pmoA, archaeal and bacterial amoA and nosZI. We did not find an association between the abundance of methanotrophs and Cu or Zn availability. However, our results highlight the importance of Cu influencing the abundance of nitrifying bacteria and N2O reducers, two main actors involved in the N2O cycle. Our findings indicate that dryland soils can be prone to reduce the N2O coming from nitrification to innocuous N2, but reductions in soil Cu availability (e.g., by increased aridity conditions due to climate change) could shift this trend.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number105284
JournalApplied Soil Ecology
Volume196
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 2024

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2024 The Authors

Keywords

  • amoA
  • Climate change
  • Drylands
  • Greenhouse gases
  • nosZI
  • pmoA

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Soil Science

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