New! Sign up for our free email newsletter.
Science News
from research organizations

A continental-scale prediction on the functional diversity of stream microbes

Date:
June 15, 2020
Source:
University of Helsinki
Summary:
Climate mediates continental scale patterns of stream microbial functional diversity.
Share:
FULL STORY

A recent research find indicates that climate change increases the functional diversity of microbes living in streams. Consequently, climate change may, in certain cases, be beneficial to ecosystems.

The functional genes of microbes and their sufficient diversity are important indicators of the efficiency of ecosystem processes. Bacteria, single-celled fungi and other microbes are an essential element of the nutrient cycle, and their functional diversity boosts the decomposition of organic carbon.

Stream microbe samples were collected in a collaboration among Finnish, Spanish and Chinese researchers. In previous studies utilising the material collected from mountainous areas in Norway, Spain and China, the focus has been on the species of stream microbes. Now, the frozen samples have been used to identify a total of nearly 16,000 functional genes of three different microbial groups, in addition to which the researchers have completed a forecast encompassing Europe and Asia.

A key to understanding ecosystem processes

The article, published in the Microbiome journal, focuses on the diversity and composition of the functional genes of stream microbes.

Based on observations made in the field, a forecast was completed on how the diversity and composition of functional genes will change across Eurasia as a result of climate change.

"We saw that the diversity of functional genes in microbes decreases in mountainous areas when moving from warm valleys towards the colder peaks," Professor Janne Soininen says.

Therefore, the functional diversity of microbes is likely to grow as the climate becomes warmer, while ecosystem processes vital to waterways, such as the decomposition of organic matter and nutrient cycling, may become increasingly efficient.

In the case of Eurasia, the change will be most marked in its northern regions where the diversity of functional genes can grow by as much as 30% and the composition of functional genes can change by as much as 35% by 2060-2080 compared to the current situation, depending on the climate scenario used.


Story Source:

Materials provided by University of Helsinki. Original written by Riitta-Leena Inki. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Félix Picazo, Annika Vilmi, Juha Aalto, Janne Soininen, Emilio O. Casamayor, Yongqin Liu, Qinglong Wu, Lijuan Ren, Jizhong Zhou, Ji Shen, Jianjun Wang. Climate mediates continental scale patterns of stream microbial functional diversity. Microbiome, 2020; 8 (1) DOI: 10.1186/s40168-020-00873-2

Cite This Page:

University of Helsinki. "A continental-scale prediction on the functional diversity of stream microbes." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 15 June 2020. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2020/06/200615115824.htm>.
University of Helsinki. (2020, June 15). A continental-scale prediction on the functional diversity of stream microbes. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 17, 2024 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2020/06/200615115824.htm
University of Helsinki. "A continental-scale prediction on the functional diversity of stream microbes." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2020/06/200615115824.htm (accessed April 17, 2024).

Explore More

from ScienceDaily

RELATED STORIES