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Speleology in Kazakhstan

Shakalov on 04 Jul, 2018
Hello everyone!   I pleased to invite you to the official site of Central Asian Karstic-Speleological commission ("Kaspeko")   There, we regularly publish reports about our expeditions, articles and reports on speleotopics, lecture course for instructors, photos etc. ...

Speleology in Kazakhstan

Shakalov on 04 Jul, 2018
Hello everyone!   I pleased to invite you to the official site of Central Asian Karstic-Speleological commission ("Kaspeko")   There, we regularly publish reports about our expeditions, articles and reports on speleotopics, lecture course for instructors, photos etc. ...

Speleology in Kazakhstan

Shakalov on 11 Jul, 2012
Hello everyone!   I pleased to invite you to the official site of Central Asian Karstic-Speleological commission ("Kaspeko")   There, we regularly publish reports about our expeditions, articles and reports on speleotopics, lecture course for instructors, photos etc. ...

New publications on hypogene speleogenesis

Klimchouk on 26 Mar, 2012
Dear Colleagues, This is to draw your attention to several recent publications added to KarstBase, relevant to hypogenic karst/speleogenesis: Corrosion of limestone tablets in sulfidic ground-water: measurements and speleogenetic implications Galdenzi,

The deepest terrestrial animal

Klimchouk on 23 Feb, 2012
A recent publication of Spanish researchers describes the biology of Krubera Cave, including the deepest terrestrial animal ever found: Jordana, Rafael; Baquero, Enrique; Reboleira, Sofía and Sendra, Alberto. ...

Caves - landscapes without light

akop on 05 Feb, 2012
Exhibition dedicated to caves is taking place in the Vienna Natural History Museum   The exhibition at the Natural History Museum presents the surprising variety of caves and cave formations such as stalactites and various crystals. ...

Did you know?

That total dissolved solids, TDS is 1. the total concentration of dissolved constituents in solution, usually expressed in milligrams per liter [22]. 2. the total concentration of dissolved material in water [as] ordinarily determined from the weight of the dry residue remaining after evaporation of the volatile portion of an aliquot of the water sample [22].?

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Chemistry and Karst, White, William B.
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Geochemical and mineralogical fingerprints to distinguish the exploited ferruginous mineralisations of Grotta della Monaca (Calabria, Italy), Dimuccio, L.A.; Rodrigues, N.; Larocca, F.; Pratas, J.; Amado, A.M.; Batista de Carvalho, L.A.
Karst environment, Culver D.C.
Mushroom Speleothems: Stromatolites That Formed in the Absence of Phototrophs, Bontognali, Tomaso R.R.; D’Angeli Ilenia M.; Tisato, Nicola; Vasconcelos, Crisogono; Bernasconi, Stefano M.; Gonzales, Esteban R. G.; De Waele, Jo
Calculating flux to predict future cave radon concentrations, Rowberry, Matt; Marti, Xavi; Frontera, Carlos; Van De Wiel, Marco; Briestensky, Milos
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Your search for microbial communities (Keyword) returned 30 results for the whole karstbase:
Showing 1 to 15 of 30
Oxidation of organic matter in a karstic hydrologic unit supplied through stream sinks (Loiret, France), 1998, Alberic P, Lepiller M,
The aim of this paper is to appraise the ability of the oxidation of riverine organic matter in the control of limestone dissolution, in a karst network. Biogeochemical processes during infiltration of river water into an alluvial aquifer have already been described for an average flow velocity of 4-5 m d(-1) (Jacobs, L. A., von Gunten, H. R., Keil, R, and Kuslys, M. (1988) Geochemical changes along a river-groundwater infiltration flow path: Glattfelden, Switzerland. Geochim. Cosmochim. Acta 52, 2693-2706; Von Gunten, H. R., Karametaxas, G., Krahenbuhl, U., Kuslys, M., Giovanoli R., Hoehn E. and Keil R. (1991) Seasonal biogeochemical cycles in riverborne groundwater. Geochim. Cosmochim. Acta 55, 3597-3609; Bourg, A. C. M. and Bertin, C. (1993) Quantitative appraisal of biogeochemical chemical processes during the infiltration of river water into an alluvial aquifer. Environ. Sci. Technol. 27, 661-666). Karstic drainage networks, such as in the River Loire-Val d'Orleans hydrologic system (Fig. 1), make possible flow velocities up to 200 m h(-1 a) and provide convenient access to different water samples several tens of km apart, at both extremities of the hydrologic unit (Chery, J.-L. (1983) Etude hydrochimique d'un aquifere karstique alimente par perte de cours d'eau (la Loire): Le systeme des calcaires de Beauce sous le val d'Orleans. These, Universite d'Orleans; Livrozet, E. (1984) Influence des apports de la Loire sur la qualite bacteriologique et chimique de l'aquifere karstique du val d'Orleans. These, Universite d'Orleans). Recharge of the karstic aquifer occurs principally from influent waters from stream sinks, either through coarse alluvial deposits or directly from outcrops of the regional limestone bedrock (Calcaires de Beauce). Recharge by seepage waters From the local catchment basin is small (Zunino, C., Bonnet, M. and Lelong, F. (1980) Le Val d'Orleans: un exemple d'aquifere a alimentation laterale. C. R. somm. Soc. Geol. Fr. 5, 195-199; Gonzalez R. (1992) Etude de l'organisation et evaluation des echanges entre la Loire moyenne et l'aquifere des calcaires de Beauce. These, Universite d'Orleans) and negligible in summer. This karstic hydrologic: system is the largest in France in terms of flow (tens to hundreds of m(3)/s) and provides the main water resource of the city of Orleans. Chemical compositions of influent waters (River Loire) and effluent waters (spring of the river Loiret) were compared, in particular during floods in summer 1992 and 1993 (Figs 2-4). Variation of chloride in the River Loire during the stream rise can be used as an environmental tracer of the underground flow (Fig. 2). Short transit times of about 3 days are detectable (Fig, 2) which are consistent with earlier estimations obtained with chemical tracers (Ref. in Chery, J.-L. (1983) These, Universite d'Orleans). Depending on the hydrological regime of the river, organic carbon discharge ranges between 3-7 and 2-13 mg/l for dissolved and particulate matter respectively (Fig. 3). Eutrophic characteristics and high algal biomasses are found in the River Loire during low water (Lair, N. and Sargos, D. (1993) A 10 year study at four sites of the middle course of the River Loire. I - Patterns of change in hydrological, physical and chemical variables in relation to algal biomass. Hudroecol. Appl. 5, 1-27) together with more organic carbon rich suspended particulate matter than during floods (30-40 C-org % dry weight versus 5-10%). Amounts of total organic carbon and dissolved oxygen (Fig. 3) dramatically decrease during the underground transport, whereas conversely, dissolved calcium, alkalinity and inorganic carbon increase (Fig. 4). Anoxia of outflows map start in April. Dissolution of calcium carbonates along the influent path outweighs closed system calcite equilibrium of inflow river waters (Table 3). The impact of organic matter oxidation on calcite dissolution may be traced by variations of alkalinity and total carbonates in water. Following, Jacobs, L. A., von Gunten, H. R., Keil, R. and Kuslys, M. (1988) Geochemical changes along a river-groundwater infiltration flow path: Glattfelden, Switzerland. Geochim. Cosmochim. Acta 52, 2693-2706), results are shown graphically (Fig. 5). Extent of reactions is controlled by the consumption of dissolved O-2 and nitrate for organic matter oxidation and by the release of Ca2 for calcite dissolution (Table 2). The karstic network is considered to behave like a biological reactor not exchanging with the atmosphere, with steady inhabitant microbial communities (Mariotti A., Landreau A, and Simon B. (1988) N-15 isotope biogeochemisrry and natural denitrification process in groundwater: Application to the chalk aquifer of northern France. Geochim. Cosmochim. Acta 52, 1869-1878; Gounot, A.-M. (1991) Ecologie microbienne des eaux ei des sediments souterrains. Hydrogeologie, 239-248). Thus, energy requirements only are considered, not carbon assimilation. Moreover, there is no necessity to invoke any delay for nitrification enhancement, as observed elsewhere, after waste water discharge into the river (Chesterikoff, A., Garban, B., Billen, G. and Poulin, M. (1992) Inorganic nitrogen dynamics in the River Seine downstream from Paris (France). Biogeochem. 17, 147-164). Main microbial processes are assumed to be aerobic respiration, nitrification and denitrification. Reactions with iron and manganese, real but not quantitatively important, were neglected. Sulphate reduction and methane formation, certainly not active, were not considered. Denitrification, which is suggested by low nitrate and ammonium concentrations and anoxia in the outflow, is known to be rapid enough to be achieved in a short time (Dupain, S. (1992) Denitrification biologique heterotrophe appliquee au traitement des eaux d'alimentation: Conditions de fonclionnement et mise au point d'un procede. These, Universite Claude Bernard, Lyon). Reaction are somewhat arbitrary but conform to general acceptance (Morel, M. M. and Hering, J. G. (1993) Principles and Applications of Aquatic Chemistry. Wiley, New York). Anaerobic ammonium oxidation (Mulder A., van de Graaf, A. A., Robertson, L: A. and Kuenen, J. G. (1995) Anaerobic ammonium oxidation discovered in a denitrifying fluidized bed reactor. FEMS Microbiol. Ecol. 16, 177-184). although possible, was not considered. In fact, C/N ratio of the reactive organic matter has only mild repercussions on the results; i.e. in the same range as the analytical errors for alkalinity and total carbonates. The objective was simply to roughly confront characteristics of outflowing waters and the calculation. Respective roles of aerobes and denitrifiers, for instance, are not certain. Several periods during low water or floods were selected with various ranges for calcium dissolution or nitrate and oxygen concentrations. The result is that in most cases simulation and data are in reasonable accordance (Fig. 5). Amounts of organic matter in River Loire are generally sufficient to sustain the process (Table 3. Particulate organic matter is probably the most reactive. The balance of oxidation of organic matter indicates that about 65 mu g C-org/l.h are oxidized during the transport without much variation with the river regime or organic discharge. It is concluded that limestone dissolution is directly dependent on organic matter oxidation, but variation occurs (7-29 mg CuCO3/l) with the level of bases that can be neutralized in the River Loire water. (C) 1998 Elsevier Science Ltd. 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Symposium Poster: Substrate preference of microbial communities in cave sediments and forest soils in Gunung Mulu National Park, Malaysia, 1999, Burgess S.

Microbial communities associated with hydromagnesite and needle-fiber aragonite deposits in a karstic cave (Altamira, northern Spain), 1999, Canaveras Jc, Hoyos M, Sanchezmoral S, Sanzrubio E, Bedoya J, Soler V, Groth I, Schumann P, Laiz L, Gonzalez I, Sainzjimenez C,
Microbial communities, where Streptomyces species predominate, were found in association with hydromagnesite, Mg-5(CO3)(4)(OH)(2). 4H(2)O, and needle-fiber aragonite deposits in an Altamira cave. The ability to precipitate calcium carbonate in laboratory cultures suggests that these and other bacteria present in the cave may play a role in the formation of moonmilk deposits

Evidence for Geomicrobiological Interactions in Guadalupe Caves, 2000, Northup, D. E. , Dahm, C. N. , Melim, L. A. , Spilde, M. N. , Crossey, L. J. , Lavoie, K. H. , Mallory, L. M. , Boston, P. J. , Cummingham, K. I. , Barns, S. M.
Caves in the Guadalupe Mountains offer intriguing examples of possible past or present geomicrobiological interactions within features such as corrosion residues, pool fingers, webulites, u-loops, and moonmilk. Scanning electron microscopy, transmission electron microscopy, molecular biology techniques, enrichment cultures, bulk chemistry, and X-ray diffraction techniques have revealed the presence of iron- and manganese-oxidizing bacteria in corrosion residues, which supports the hypothesis that these organisms utilize reduced iron and manganese from the limestone, leaving behind oxidized iron and manganese. Metabolically active populations of bacteria are also found in punk rock beneath the corrosion residues. Microscopic examination of pool fingers demonstrates that microorganisms can be inadvertently caught and buried in pool fingers, or can be more active participants in their formation. Enrichment cultures of moonmilk demonstrate the presence of a variety of microorganisms. Humans can have a deleterious impact on microbial communities in Guadalupe caves

Deposition of calcium carbonate in karst caves: role of bacteria in Stiffe's cave, 2001, Cacchio Paola, Cappuccio Giorgio, Ercole Claudia, Lepidi Aldo
Bacteria make a significant contribution to the accumulation of carbonate in severa! natural habitats where large amounts of carbonates are deposited. However, the role played by microbial communities in speleothem formation (stalactites, stalagmites etc.) in caves is still unclear. In bacteria carbonate is formed by autotrophic pathways, which deplete CO2 from the environment, and by heterotrophic pathways, leading to active or passive precipitation. We isolated cultivab!e heterotrophic microbial strains, able to induce CaCO3 precipitation in vitro, from samples taken from speleothems in the galleries of Stiffe's cave, L'Aquila, Italy. We found a large number of bacteria in the calcite formations (1 x 104 to 5 x 109 cells g-1). Microscopic examination, in laboratory conditions at different temperatures, showed that most of the isolates were able to form calcium carbonate microcrystals. The most crystalline precipitates were observed at 32C. No precipitation was detected in un-inoculated controls media or in media that had been inoculated with autoclaved bacterial cells. X-ray diffraction (XRD) analysis showed that most of the carbonate crystals produced were calcite. Bacillus strains were the most common calcifying isolates collected from Stiffe's Cave. Analysis of carbonate-solubilization capability revealed that the non-calcifying bacteria were carbonate solubilizers.

Ecological assessment and geological significance of microbial communities from Cesspool Cave, Virginia, 2001, Engel As, Porter Ml, Kinkle Bk, Kane Tc,
Microbial mats from hydrogen sulfide-rich waters and cave-wall biofilms were investigated from Cesspool Cave, Virginia, to determine community composition and potential geomicrobiological functioning of acid-producing bacteria. Rates of microbial mat chemoautotrophic productivity were estimated using [C-14]-bicarbonate incorporations and microbial heterotrophy was determined using [C-14]-leucine incubations. Chemoautotrophic fixation was measured at 30.4 12.0 ng C mg dry wt(1) h(1), whereas heterotrophic productivity was significantly less at 0.17 0.02 ng C mg dry wt(1) h(1). The carbon to nitrogen ratios of the microbial mats averaged 13.5, indicating that the mats are not a high quality food source for higher trophic levels. Ribosomal RNA-based methods were used to examine bacterial diversity in the microbial mats, revealing the presence of at least five strains of bacteria. The identity of some of the strains could be resolved to the genus Thiothrix and the Flexibacter-Cytophaga-Bacteriodes phylum, and the identity of the remaining strains was to either the Helicobacter or Thiovulum group. Two of 10 sulfur-oxidizing, chemoautotrophic pure cultures of Thiobacillus spp. (syn. Thiomonas gen. nov.) demonstrated the ability to corrode calcium carbonate, suggesting that the colonization and metabolic activity of these bacteria may be enhancing cave enlargement

Diverse microbial communities inhabiting ferromanganese deposits in Lechuguilla and Spider Caves, 2003, Northup D. E. , Barns S. M. , Yu L. E. , Spilde M. N. , Schelble R. T. , Dano K. E. , Crossey L. J. , Connolly C. A. , Boston P. J. , Natvig D. O. , Dahm C. N. ,
Lechuguilla Cave is an ancient, deep, oligotrophic subterranean environment that contains an abundance of low-density ferromanganese deposits, the origin of which is uncertain. To assess the possibility that biotic factors may be involved in the production of these deposits and to investigate the nature of the microbial community in these materials, we carried out culture-independent, small subunit ribosomal RNA (SSU rRNA) sequence-based studies from two sites and from manganese and iron enrichment cultures inoculated with ferromanganese deposits from Lechuguilla and Spider Caves. Sequence analysis showed the presence of some organisms whose closest relatives are known iron- and manganese-oxidizing/reducing bacteria, including Hyphomicrobium, Pedomicrobium, Leptospirillum, Stenotrophomonas and Pantoea. The dominant clone types in one site grouped with mesophilic Archaea in both the Crenarchaeota and Euryarchaeota. The second site was dominated almost entirely by lactobacilli. Other clone sequences were most closely related to those of nitrite-oxidizing bacteria, nitrogen-fixing bacteria, actinomycetes and beta- and gamma-Proteobacteria. Geochemical analyses showed a fourfold enrichment of oxidized iron and manganese from bedrock to darkest ferromanganese deposits. These data support our hypothesis that microorganisms may contribute to the formation of manganese and iron oxide-rich deposits and a diverse microbial community is present in these unusual secondary mineral formations

Microbial communities in gypsum caves and soils of karst landscapes in Arkhangelsk oblast, 2004, Semikolennykh A. A. , Ivanova A. E. , Dobrovol'skaya T. G. ,
Microbial communities of actively developing karst caves, which are closely connected with the surface, differ from microbial communities of soils formed above the caves. Significant differences are found in the structure of these microbial communities, whereas their species composition remains approximately the same both in the caves and in the soils. Specific physical and climatic conditions, discrete character of substrates, and the absence of competition between species in cave habitats cause the replacement of dominants by rare species and the prevalence of oligotrophic and psychrotolerant forms

Bacterial dynamics in spring water of alpine karst aquifers indicates the presence of stable autochthonous microbial endokarst communities, 2005, Farnleitner Ah, Wilhartitz I, Ryzinska G, Kirschner Akt, Stadler H, Burtscher Mm, Hornek R, Szewzyk U, Herndl G, Mach Rl,
Spring water of two alpine karst aquifers differing in hydrogeology but of nearby catchments were investigated for their bacterial population dynamics. Dolomite karst aquifer spring 1 (DKAS 1) represents a dolomitic-limestone karst aquifer spring showing high average water residence time and relative constant flow. Limestone karst aquifer spring 2 (LKAS 2) constitutes a typical limestone karst aquifer spring with a dynamic hydrological regime and discharge. Dolomite karst aquifer spring 1 yielded constantly lower cell counts and biomasses (median of 15 x 10(6) cells l(-1) and 0.22 mu g C l(-1)) as the LKAS 2 (median of 63 x 10(6) cells l(-1) and 1.1 mu g C l(-1)) and distribution of morphotypes and mean cell volumes was also different between the considered systems, indicating the influence of hydrogeology on microbial spring water quality. Molecular bacterial V3 16S-rDNA profiles revealed remarkable constancy within each spring water throughout the investigation period. Time course analysis of a flood event in LKAS 2 further supported the trend of the temporal constancy of the microbial community. Except for one case, retrieval of partial and full length 16S rDNA gene sequences from the relative constant DKAS 1 revealed similarities to presently known sequences between 80% to 96%, supporting the discreteness of the microbial populations. The gathered results provide first evidence for the presence of autochthonous microbial endokarst communities (AMEC). Recovery of AMEC may be considered of relevance for the understanding of alpine karst aquifer biogeochemistry and ecology, which is of interest as many alpine and mountainous karst springs are important water resources throughout the world

Geomicrobiology of cave ferromanganese deposits: A field and laboratory investigation, 2005, Spilde M. N. , Northup D. E. , Boston P. J. , Schelble R. T. , Dano K. E. , Crossey L. J. , Dahm C. N. ,
Unusual ferromanganese deposits are found in several caves in New Mexico. The deposits are enriched in iron and manganese by as much as three orders of magnitude over the bedrock, differing significantly in mineralogy and chemistry from bedrock-derived insoluble residue. The deposits contain metabolically active microbial communities. Enrichment cultures inoculated from the ferromanganese deposits produced manganese oxides that were initially amorphous but developed into crystalline minerals over an 8-month period and beyond; no such progression occurred in killed controls. Phylogenetic analyses of sequences from clone libraries constructed from culture DNA identified two genera known to oxidize manganese, but most clones represent previously unknown manganese oxidizers. We suggest that this community is breaking down the bedrock and accumulating iron and manganese oxides in an oligotrophic environment

Dominant Microbial Populations in Limestone-Corroding Stream Biofilms, Frasassi Cave System, Italy, 2006, Macalady Jennifer L. , Lyon Ezra H. , Koffman Bess, Albertson Lindsey K. , Meyer Katja, Galdenzi Sandro, Mariani Sandro,
Waters from an extensive sulfide-rich aquifer emerge in the Frasassi cave system, where they mix with oxygen-rich percolating water and cave air over a large surface area. The actively forming cave complex hosts a microbial community, including conspicuous white biofilms coating surfaces in cave streams, that is isolated from surface sources of C and N. Two distinct biofilm morphologies were observed in the streams over a 4-year period. Bacterial 16S rDNA libraries were constructed from samples of each biofilm type collected from Grotta Sulfurea in 2002. {beta}-, {gamma}-, {delta}-, and {varepsilon}-proteobacteria in sulfur-cycling clades accounted for [≥]75% of clones in both biofilms. Sulfate-reducing and sulfur-disproportionating {delta}-proteobacterial sequences in the clone libraries were abundant and diverse (34% of phylotypes). Biofilm samples of both types were later collected at the same location and at an additional sample site in Ramo Sulfureo and examined, using fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH). The biomass of all six stream biofilms was dominated by filamentous {gamma}-proteobacteria with Beggiatoa-like and/or Thiothrix-like cells containing abundant sulfur inclusions. The biomass of {varepsilon}-proteobacteria detected using FISH was consistently small, ranging from 0 to less than 15% of the total biomass. Our results suggest that S cycling within the stream biofilms is an important feature of the cave biogeochemistry. Such cycling represents positive biological feedback to sulfuric acid speleogenesis and related processes that create subsurface porosity in carbonate rocks

Extremely acidic, pendulous cave wall biofilms from the Frasassi cave system, Italy, 2007, Jennifer L. Macalady, * Daniel S. Jones And Ezra H. Lyon
The sulfide-rich Frasassi cave system hosts an aphotic, subsurface microbial ecosystem including extremely acidic (pH 0?1), viscous biofilms (snottites) hanging from the cave walls. We investigated the diversity and population structure of snottites from three locations in the cave system using full cycle rRNA methods and culturing. The snottites were composed primarily of bacteria related to Acidithiobacillus species. Other populations present in the snottites included Thermoplasmata group archaea, bacteria related to Sulfobacillus, Acidimicrobium, and the proposed bacterial lineage TM6, protists, and filamentous fungi. Based on fluorescence in situ hybridization population counts, Acidithiobacillus are key members of the snottite communities, accompanied in some cases by smaller numbers of archaea related to Ferroplasma and other Thermoplasmata. Diversity estimates show that the Frasassi snottites are among the lowestdiversity natural microbial communities known, with one to six prokaryotic phylotypes observed depending on the sample. This study represents the first in-depth molecular survey of cave snottite microbial diversity and population structure, and contributes to understanding of rapid limestone dissolution and cave formation by microbially mediated sulfuric acid speleogenesis.

The impact of host rock geochemistry on bacterial community structure in oligotrophic cave environments, 2007, Barton Hazel A. , Taylor Nicholas M. , Kreate Michael P. , Springer Austin C. , Oehrle Stuart A. And Bertog Janet L.
Despite extremely starved conditions, caves contain surprisingly diverse microbial communities. Our research is geared toward understanding what ecosystems drivers are responsible for this high diversity. To asses the effect of rock fabric and mineralogy, we carried out a comparative geomicrobiology study within Carlsbad Cavern, New Mexico, USA. Samples were collected from two different geologic locations within the cave: WF1 in the Massive Member of the Capitan Formation and sF88 in the calcareous siltstones of the Yates Formation. We examined the organic content at each location using liquid chromatography mass spectroscopy and analyzed microbial community structure using molecular phylogenetic analyses. In order to assess whether microbial activity was leading to changes in the bedrock at each location, the samples were also examined by petrology, X-ray diffraction (XRD) and scanning electron microscopy with energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (SEM-EDX). Our results suggest that on the chemically complex Yates Formation (sF88), the microbial community was significantly more diverse than on the limestone surfaces of the Capitan (WF1), despite a higher total number of cells on the latter. Further, the broader diversity of bacterial species at sF88 reflected a larger range of potential metabolic capabilities, presumably due to opportunities to use ions within the rock as nutrients and for chemolithotrophic energy production. The use of these ions at sF88 is supported by the formation of a corrosion residue, presumably through microbial scavenging activities. Our results suggest that rock fabric and mineralogy may be an important driver of ecosystem function and should be carefully reviewed when carrying out microbial community analysis in cave environments.

The impact of host rock geochemistry on bacterial community structure in oligotrophic cave environments., 2007, Barton Hazel A. , Taylor Nicholas M. , Kreate Michael P. , Springer Austin C. , Oehrle Stuart A, Bertog Janet L.
Despite extremely starved conditions, caves contain surprisingly diverse microbial communities. Our research is geared toward understanding what ecosystems drivers are responsible for this high diversity. To asses the effect of rock fabric and mineralogy, we carried out a comparative geomicrobiology study within Carlsbad Cavern, New Mexico, USA. Samples were collected from two different geologic locations within the cave: WF1 in the Massive Member of the Capitan Formation and sF88 in the calcareous siltstones of the Yates Formation. We examined the organic content at each location using liquid chromatography mass spectroscopy and analyzed microbial community structure using molecular phylogenetic analyses. In order to assess whether microbial activity was leading to changes in the bedrock at each location, the samples were also examined by petrology, X-ray diffraction (XRD) and scanning electron microscopy with energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (SEM-EDX). Our results suggest that on the chemically complex Yates Formation (sF88), the microbial community was significantly more diverse than on the limestone surfaces of the Capitan (WF1), despite a higher total number of cells on the latter. Further, the broader diversity of bacterial species at sF88 reflected a larger range of potential metabolic capabilities, presumably due to opportunities to use ions within the rock as nutrients and for chemolithotrophic energy production. The use of these ions at sF88 is supported by the formation of a corrosion residue, presumably through microbial scavenging activities. Our results suggest that rock fabric and mineralogy may be an important driver of ecosystem function and should be carefully reviewed when carrying out microbial community analysis in cave environments.

The impact of host rock geochemistry on bacterial community structure in oligotrophic cave environments, 2007, Barton H. A. , Taylor N. M. , Kreate M. P. , Springer A. C. , Oehrle S. A. , Bertog J. L.

Despite extremely starved conditions, caves contain surprisingly diverse microbial communities. Our research is geared toward understanding what ecosystems drivers are responsible for this high diversity. To asses the effect of rock fabric and mineralogy, we carried out a comparative geomicrobiology study within Carlsbad Cavern, New Mexico, USA. Samples were collected from two different geologic locations within the cave: WF1 in the Massive Member of the Capitan Formation and sF88 in the calcareous siltstones of the Yates Formation. We examined the organic content at each location using liquid chromatography mass spectroscopy and analyzed microbial community structure using molecular phylogenetic analyses. In order to assess whether microbial activity was leading to changes in the bedrock at each location, the samples were also examined by petrology, X-ray diffraction (XRD) and scanning electron microscopy with energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (SEM-EDX). Our results suggest that on the chemically complex Yates Formation (sF88), the microbial community was significantly more diverse than on the limestone surfaces of the Capitan (WF1), despite a higher total number of cells on the latter. Further, the broader diversity of bacterial species at sF88
reflected a larger range of potential metabolic capabilities, presumably due to opportunities to use ions within the rock as nutrients and for chemolithotrophic energy production. The use of these ions at sF88 is supported by the formation of a corrosion residue, presumably through microbial scavenging activities. Our results suggest that rock fabric and mineralogy may be an important driver of ecosystem function and should be carefully reviewed when carrying out microbial community analysis in cave environments.


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