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Methane-derived carbon flows through methane-oxidizing bacteria to higher trophic levels in aquatic systems

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Deines,  Peter
Department Ecophysiology, Max Planck Institute for Limnology, Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Biology, Max Planck Society;

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Eller,  Gundula
Department Ecophysiology, Max Planck Institute for Limnology, Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Biology, Max Planck Society;

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Citation

Deines, P., Bodelier, P. L. E., & Eller, G. (2007). Methane-derived carbon flows through methane-oxidizing bacteria to higher trophic levels in aquatic systems. Environmental Microbiology, 9(5), 1126-1134. doi:10.1111/j.1462-2920.2006.01235.x.


Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-000F-D7B6-E
Abstract
Recent investigations have shown that biogenic methane can be a carbon source for macro invertebrates in freshwater food webs. Stable carbon isotopic signatures, used to infer an organism's food source, indicated that methane can play a major role in the nutrition of chironomid larvae. However, the pathway of methane-derived carbon into invertebrate biomass is still not confirmed. It has been proposed that chironomid larvae ingest methane-oxidizing bacteria (MOB), but this has not been experimentally demonstrated to date. Using C-13-labelled methane we could show for the first time that chironomid larvae assimilate methane-derived carbon through MOB. Chironomid larval biomass was significantly C-13-enriched after dwelling for 10 days in lake sediment enriched with labelled methane. Moreover, phospholipid fatty acids diagnostic for MOB were detected in larval tissue and were significantly C-13-enriched, which encompasses the C-13-Uptake predicted for a methane-based nutrition. Additionally, chironomid larvae fed on sediment and water-column derived MOB biomass.