Almahasheer, Hanan; Serrano, Oscar; Duarte, Carlos M.; Arias-Ortiz, Ariane; Masque, Pere; Irigoien, Xabier(Scientific Reports, Springer Nature, 2017-08-29)[Article]
Mangroves forests of Avicennia marina occupy about 135 km2 in the Red Sea and represent one of the most important vegetated communities in this otherwise arid and oligotrophic region. We assessed the soil organic carbon (C-org) stocks, soil accretion rates (SAR; mm y(-1)) and soil C-org sequestration rates (g C-org m(-2) yr(-1)) in 10 mangrove sites within four locations along the Saudi coast of the Central Red Sea. Soil C-org density and stock in Red Sea mangroves were among the lowest reported globally, with an average of 4 +/- 0.3 mg Corg cm(-3) and 43 +/- 5 Mg C-org ha(-1) (in 1 m-thick soils), respectively. Sequestration rates of C-org, estimated at 3 +/- 1 and 15 +/- 1 g C-org m(-2) yr(-1) for the long (millennia) and short (last century) temporal scales, respectively, were also relatively low compared to mangrove habitats from more humid bioregions. In contrast, the accretion rates of Central Red Sea mangroves soils were within the range reported for global mangrove forests. The relatively low C-org sink capacity of Red Sea mangroves could be due to the extreme environmental conditions such as low rainfall, nutrient limitation and high temperature, reducing the growth rates of the mangroves and increasing soil respiration rates.
The semi-enclosed nature of the Red Sea (20.2°N-38.5°N) makes it a natural laboratory to study the influence of environmental gradients on microbial communities. This study investigates the composition and structure of microbial prokaryotes and eukaryotes using molecular methods, targeting ribosomal RNA genes across different regions and seasons. The interaction between spatial and temporal scales results in different scenarios of turbulence and nutrient conditions allowing for testing of ecological theory that categorizes the response of the plankton community to these variations. The prokaryotic reads are mainly comprised of Cyanobacteria and Proteobacteria (Alpha and Gamma), with eukaryotic reads dominated by Dinophyceae and Syndiniophyceae. Periodic increases in the proportion of Mamiellophyceae and Bacillariophyceae reads were associated with alterations in the physical oceanography leading to nutrient increases either through the influx of Gulf of Aden Intermediate Water (south in the fall) or through water column mixing processes (north in the spring). We observed that in general dissimilarity amongst microbial communities increased when nutrient concentrations were higher, whereas richness (observed OTUs) was higher in scenarios of higher turbulence. Maximum abundance models showed the differential responses of dominant taxa to temperature giving an indication how taxa will respond as waters become warmer and more oligotrophic.
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