Interactions between methane and nitrogen cycling; current metagenomics studies and future trends

P.L.E. Bodelier, A.K. Steenbergh

Research output: Chapter in book/volumeChapterScientific

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Wetlands, lakes, soils and sediments are the most important biological sources as well sinks of the greenhouse gas methane. However, the dynamics, variability and uncertainty in methane emission models from these systems is high necessitating better knowledge of the underlying microbial processes. The impact of nitrogenous fertilizers and atmospheric nitrogen deposition on methane production and consumption in freshwater ecosystems (wetlands, lakes, rice paddies) as well as in upland soils has been the subject of intense research the past decades. However, our mechanistic understanding of the observed effects on methane and nitrogen cycling interactions in these ecosystems is poor which is even more so considering the novel microbial groups and pathways discovered. This chapter gives an overview of the main ways the nitrogen cycle interacts with the microbial methane cycling in freshwater wetlands, soils and sediments and summarizes the main current metagenomic studies that carried out on microbial groups involved. It can be concluded that metagenomic techniques developed and applied have the potential to obtain an integrative view of microbial communities and interactions and bear the potential to discover new pathways and organisms. The way forward is to apply these techniques in replicated, manipulative experimental set ups to obtain mechanistic understanding of methane-nitrogen cycle interactions.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationMetagenomics of the Microbial Nitrogen Cycle
EditorsDiana Marco
PublisherCaister Academic Press
ISBN (Print)978 190823 0607
Publication statusPublished - 2014


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