Interactions between populations of rhizobium, methanotrophs and archaea in two different lowland tropical forest soil communities

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Bacteria in the genus Rhizobium, methanogenic bacteria and Archaea are important in the terrestrial carbon (C) and nitrogen (N) cycle dynamics and the sequestration of C and N into the soil biomass. A better understanding of the functions of these microbial groups could provide some clarity on the impact of different land development practices and a changing climate on soil ecosystems. The community structure of these three groups of soil microbes was compared between a secondary forest and a forest dominated by the leguminous tree Pentaclethra macroloba within a Costa Rican rainforest. The secondary forest soils had a greater total microbial biomass and efficiency of C utilization, greater relative abundance of methanotrophs and Archaea 16s rDNA, and greater overall microbial diversity, whereas the relative abundance of Rhizobium was greater in the Pentaclethra macroloba-dominant forest soil. The data suggest that rhizobia, methanotrophs and Archaea are involved in a complex interplay that affects the C and N cycle dynamics. © International Society for Tropical Ecology.

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Tropical Ecology

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