The microbial landscape in bioturbated mangrove sediment: A resource for promoting nature-based solutions for mangroves

Jenny Marie Booth, Marco Fusi, Ramona Marasco, Daniele Daffonchio

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Globally, soils and sediments are affected by the bioturbation activities of benthic species. The consequences of these activities are particularly impactful in intertidal sediment, which is generally anoxic and nutrient-poor. Mangrove intertidal sediments are of particular interest because, as the most productive forests and one of the most important stores of blue carbon, they provide global-scale ecosystem services. The mangrove sediment microbiome is fundamental for ecosystem functioning, influencing the efficiency of nutrient cycling and the abundance and distribution of key biological elements. Redox reactions in bioturbated sediment can be extremely complex, with one reaction creating a cascade effect on the succession of respiration pathways. This facilitates the overlap of different respiratory metabolisms important in the element cycles of the mangrove sediment, including carbon, nitrogen, sulphur and iron cycles, among others. Considering that all ecological functions and services provided by mangrove environments involve microorganisms, this work reviews the microbial roles in nutrient cycling in relation to bioturbation by animals and plants, the main mangrove ecosystem engineers. We highlight the diversity of bioturbating organisms and explore the diversity, dynamics and functions of the sediment microbiome, considering both the impacts of bioturbation. Finally, we review the growing evidence that bioturbation, through altering the sediment microbiome and environment, determining a 'halo effect', can ameliorate conditions for plant growth, highlighting the potential of the mangrove microbiome as a nature-based solution to sustain mangrove development and support the role of this ecosystem to deliver essential ecological services.
Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalMicrobial Biotechnology
StatePublished - May 20 2023

Bibliographical note

KAUST Repository Item: Exported on 2023-05-23
Acknowledged KAUST grant number(s): REI/1/4483-01-01
Acknowledgements: D.D. acknowledges the financial support of King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) through its baseline research funds and the Circular Carbon Economy initiative (grant no. REI/1/4483-01-01).


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