Bühring, Solveig I; Kamp, Anja; Wörmer, Lars; Ho, Stephanie; Hinrichs, Kai-Uwe (2014): Fatty acids and intact polar lipids of laminated microbial sediments from St. Peter Ording, German Wadden Sea. PANGAEA, https://doi.org/10.1594/PANGAEA.838809, Supplement to: Bühring, SI et al. (2014): Functional structure of laminated microbial sediments from a supratidal sandy beach of the German Wadden Sea (St. Peter-Ording). Journal of Sea Research, 85, 463-473, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.seares.2013.08.001
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Hidden for the untrained eye through a thin layer of sand, laminated microbial sediments occur in supratidal beaches along the North Sea coast. The inhabiting microbial communities organize themselves in response to vertical gradients of light, oxygen or sulfur compounds. We performed a fine-scale investigation on the vertical zonation of the microbial communities using a lipid biomarker approach, and assessed the biogeochemical processes using a combination of microsensor measurements and a 13C-labeling experiment. Lipid biomarker fingerprinting showed the overarching importance of cyanobacteria and diatoms in these systems, and heterocyst glycolipids revealed the presence of diazotrophic cyanobacteria even in 9 to 20 mm depth. High abundance of ornithine lipids (OL) throughout the system may derive from sulfate reducing bacteria, while a characteristic OL profile between 5 and 8 mm may indicate presence of purple non-sulfur bacteria. The fate of 13C-labeled bicarbonate was followed by experimentally investigating the uptake into microbial lipids, revealing an overarching importance of cyanobacteria for carbon fixation. However, in deeper layers, uptake into purple sulfur bacteria was evident, and a close microbial coupling could be shown by uptake of label into lipids of sulfate reducing bacteria in the deepest layer. Microsensor measurements in sediment cores collected at a later time point revealed the same general pattern as the biomarker analysis and the labeling experiments. Oxygen and pH-microsensor profiles showed active photosynthesis in the top layer. The sulfide that diffuses from deeper down and decreases just below the layer of active oxygenic photosynthesis indicates the presence of sulfur bacteria, like anoxygenic phototrophs that use sulfide instead of water for photosynthesis.
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Datasets listed in this publication series
- Bühring, SI; Kamp, A; Wörmer, L et al. (2014): Fatty acid composition of four sampled layers analysed in a sediment core from St. Peter-Ording, German Wadden Sea. https://doi.org/10.1594/PANGAEA.838720
- Bühring, SI; Kamp, A; Wörmer, L et al. (2014): Intact polar lipids of four sampled layers analysed in a sediment core from St. Peter-Ording, German Wadden Sea. https://doi.org/10.1594/PANGAEA.838808