Microbially-driven sulfur cycling microbial communities in different mangrove sediments.
Microbially-driven sulfur cycling is a vital biogeochemical process in the sulfur-rich mangrove ecosystem. It is critical to evaluate the potential impact of sulfur transformation in mangrove ecosystems. To reveal the diversity, composition, and structure of sulfur-oxidizing bacteria (SOB) and sulfate-reducing bacteria (SRB) and underlying mechanisms, we analyzed the physicochemical properties and sediment microbial communities from an introduced mangrove species (Sonneratia apetala), a native mangrove species (Kandelia obovata) and the mudflat in Hanjiang River Estuary in Guangdong (23.27°N, 116.52°E), China. The results indicated that SOB was dominated by autotrophic Thiohalophilus and chemoautotrophy Chromatium in S. apetala and K. obovata, respectively, while Desulfatibacillum was the dominant genus of SRB in K. obovata sediments. Also, the redundancy analysis indicated that temperature, redox potential (ORP), and SO42- were the significant factors influencing the sulfur cycling microbial communities with elemental sulfur (ES) as the key factor driver for SOB and total carbon (TC) for SRB in mangrove sediments. Additionally, the morphological transformation of ES, acid volatile sulfide (AVS) and SO42- explained the variation of sulfur cycling microbial communities under sulfur-rich conditions, and we found mangrove species-specific dominant Thiohalobacter, Chromatium and Desulfatibacillum, which could well use ES and SO42-, thus promoting the sulfur cycling in mangrove sediments. Meanwhile, the change of nutrient substances (TN, TC) explained why SOB were more susceptible to environmental changes than SRB. Sulfate reducing bacteria produces sulfide in anoxic sediments at depth that then migrate upward, toward fewer reducing conditions, where it's oxidized by sulfur oxidizing bacteria. This study indicates the high ability of SOB and SRB in ES, SO42-,S2- and S2- generation and transformation in sulfur-rich mangrove ecosystems, and provides novel insights into sulfur cycling in other wetland ecosystems from a microbial perspective.