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Original Research ARTICLE Provisionally accepted The full-text will be published soon. Notify me

Front. Ecol. Evol. | doi: 10.3389/fevo.2019.00393

Comparison of microphototrophic communities living in different soil environments in the High Arctic

  • 1University of Rostock, Germany
  • 2University of South Bohemia in České Budějovice, Czechia
  • 3University of Liège, Belgium
  • 4Faculty of Science, Masaryk University, Czechia

The Arctic region undergoes rapid climate change resulting in soil warming with consequent changes in microbial community structure. Therefore, it is important to gain more knowledge on the pioneer photosynthetic microorganisms and their relations to environmental factors. Here we provide a description of the community composition of microbial phototrophs in three different types of soils in the High Arctic (Svalbard): vegetated soil at a raised marine terrace, biological soil crust (BSC) at high elevation, and poorly-developed BSC in a glacier foreland. The studied sites differed from each other in microclimatic conditions (soil temperature and soil water content), soil chemistry and altitude. Combining morphological (cell biovolume) and molecular methods (NGS amplicon sequencing of cyanobacterial 16S rRNA and eukaryotic 18S rRNA sequences of isolates), we studied the diversity and biovolume of cyanobacteria and eukaryotic microalgae. The results showed that cyanobacteria prevailed in the high altitude BSC as well as in pioneering BSC samples in glacier foreland though with lower biomass. More specifically, filamentous cyanobacteria, mainly Leptolyngbya spp., dominated the BSCs from these two localities. In contrast, coccoid microalgae (green and yellow-green algae) had higher biovolume in low altitude vegetated soils. Thus, the results of this study contribute to a better understanding of microphototrophic communities in different types of Arctic soil environments.

Keywords: Microbial phototrophs, The Arctic, biological soil crust, Vegetated soil, diversity, Microclimate, Soil Chemistry

Received: 28 Jun 2019; Accepted: 01 Oct 2019.

Copyright: © 2019 Pushkareva, Wilmotte, Laska and Elster. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

* Correspondence: Dr. Ekaterina Pushkareva, University of Rostock, Rostock, Germany,