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Article: Hypolithic cyanobacteria, dry limit of photosynthesis, and microbial ecology in the hyperarid Atacama Desert

TitleHypolithic cyanobacteria, dry limit of photosynthesis, and microbial ecology in the hyperarid Atacama Desert
Authors
Issue Date2006
PublisherSpringer New York LLC. The Journal's web site is located at http://link.springer.de/link/service/journals/00248/index.htm
Citation
Microbial Ecology, 2006, v. 52 n. 3, p. 389-398 How to Cite?
AbstractThe occurrence of hypolithic cyanobacteria colonizing translucent stones was quantified along the aridity gradient in the Atacama Desert in Chile, from less arid areas to the hyperarid core where photosynthetic life and thus primary production reach their limits. As mean rainfall declines from 21 to ≤2 mm year -1, the abundance of hypolithic cyanobacteria drops from 28 to <0.1%, molecular diversity declines threefold, and organic carbon residence times increase by three orders of magnitude. Communities contained a single Chroococcidiopsis morphospecies with heterotrophic associates, yet molecular analysis revealed that each stone supported a number of unique 16S rRNA gene-defined genotypes. A fivefold increase in steady-state residence times for organic carbon within communities in the hyperarid core (3200 years turnover time) indicates a significant decline in biological carbon cycling. Six years of microclimate data suggest that the dry limit corresponds to ≤5 mm year -1 rainfall and/or decadal periods of no rain, with <75 h year -1 of liquid water available to cyanobacteria under light conditions suitable for photosynthesis. In the hyperarid core, hypolithic cyanobacteria are rare and exist in small spatially isolated islands amidst a microbially depauperate bare soil. These findings suggest that photosynthetic life is extremely unlikely on the present-day surface of Mars, but may have existed in the past. If so, such microhabitats would probably be widely dispersed, difficult to detect, and millimeters away from virtually lifeless surroundings. © 2006 Springer Science+Business Media, Inc.
Persistent Identifierhttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/178950
ISSN
2015 Impact Factor: 3.232
2015 SCImago Journal Rankings: 1.346
ISI Accession Number ID
References

 

DC FieldValueLanguage
dc.contributor.authorWarrenRhodes, KAen_US
dc.contributor.authorRhodes, KLen_US
dc.contributor.authorPointing, SBen_US
dc.contributor.authorEwing, SAen_US
dc.contributor.authorLacap, DCen_US
dc.contributor.authorGómezSilva, Ben_US
dc.contributor.authorAmundson, Ren_US
dc.contributor.authorFriedmann, EIen_US
dc.contributor.authorMckay, CPen_US
dc.date.accessioned2012-12-19T09:50:59Z-
dc.date.available2012-12-19T09:50:59Z-
dc.date.issued2006en_US
dc.identifier.citationMicrobial Ecology, 2006, v. 52 n. 3, p. 389-398en_US
dc.identifier.issn0095-3628en_US
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/178950-
dc.description.abstractThe occurrence of hypolithic cyanobacteria colonizing translucent stones was quantified along the aridity gradient in the Atacama Desert in Chile, from less arid areas to the hyperarid core where photosynthetic life and thus primary production reach their limits. As mean rainfall declines from 21 to ≤2 mm year -1, the abundance of hypolithic cyanobacteria drops from 28 to <0.1%, molecular diversity declines threefold, and organic carbon residence times increase by three orders of magnitude. Communities contained a single Chroococcidiopsis morphospecies with heterotrophic associates, yet molecular analysis revealed that each stone supported a number of unique 16S rRNA gene-defined genotypes. A fivefold increase in steady-state residence times for organic carbon within communities in the hyperarid core (3200 years turnover time) indicates a significant decline in biological carbon cycling. Six years of microclimate data suggest that the dry limit corresponds to ≤5 mm year -1 rainfall and/or decadal periods of no rain, with <75 h year -1 of liquid water available to cyanobacteria under light conditions suitable for photosynthesis. In the hyperarid core, hypolithic cyanobacteria are rare and exist in small spatially isolated islands amidst a microbially depauperate bare soil. These findings suggest that photosynthetic life is extremely unlikely on the present-day surface of Mars, but may have existed in the past. If so, such microhabitats would probably be widely dispersed, difficult to detect, and millimeters away from virtually lifeless surroundings. © 2006 Springer Science+Business Media, Inc.en_US
dc.languageengen_US
dc.publisherSpringer New York LLC. The Journal's web site is located at http://link.springer.de/link/service/journals/00248/index.htmen_US
dc.relation.ispartofMicrobial Ecologyen_US
dc.subject.meshBiodiversityen_US
dc.subject.meshBiogenesisen_US
dc.subject.meshCarbon - Metabolismen_US
dc.subject.meshChileen_US
dc.subject.meshCyanobacteria - Physiologyen_US
dc.subject.meshDesert Climateen_US
dc.subject.meshEnvironmental Monitoringen_US
dc.subject.meshMarsen_US
dc.subject.meshPhotosynthesisen_US
dc.subject.meshRainen_US
dc.subject.meshSoil Microbiologyen_US
dc.titleHypolithic cyanobacteria, dry limit of photosynthesis, and microbial ecology in the hyperarid Atacama Deserten_US
dc.typeArticleen_US
dc.identifier.emailPointing, SB: pointing@hkucc.hku.hken_US
dc.identifier.authorityPointing, SB=rp00771en_US
dc.description.naturelink_to_subscribed_fulltexten_US
dc.identifier.doi10.1007/s00248-006-9055-7en_US
dc.identifier.pmid16865610-
dc.identifier.scopuseid_2-s2.0-33746570778en_US
dc.identifier.hkuros115569-
dc.relation.referenceshttp://www.scopus.com/mlt/select.url?eid=2-s2.0-33746570778&selection=ref&src=s&origin=recordpageen_US
dc.identifier.volume52en_US
dc.identifier.issue3en_US
dc.identifier.spage389en_US
dc.identifier.epage398en_US
dc.identifier.isiWOS:000242464700003-
dc.publisher.placeUnited Statesen_US
dc.identifier.scopusauthoridWarrenRhodes, KA=6507272414en_US
dc.identifier.scopusauthoridRhodes, KL=55168440900en_US
dc.identifier.scopusauthoridPointing, SB=6603986412en_US
dc.identifier.scopusauthoridEwing, SA=15044347400en_US
dc.identifier.scopusauthoridLacap, DC=9640383000en_US
dc.identifier.scopusauthoridGómezSilva, B=6506160677en_US
dc.identifier.scopusauthoridAmundson, R=7005994343en_US
dc.identifier.scopusauthoridFriedmann, EI=7006787912en_US
dc.identifier.scopusauthoridMcKay, CP=7101952183en_US
dc.identifier.citeulike993515-

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