Mangrove peat and algae leachates elicit rapid and contrasting molecular and microbial responses in coastal waters Academic Article uri icon


  • AbstractAs sea level rises, previously sequestered blue carbon can be exported offshore as particulate or dissolved organic matter where it may be re-mineralized or sequestered. The priming effect, or interactive effects of organic matter turnover with a mixed substrate, is well described in soils, but still debated in aquatic systems. Priming may contribute to enhanced blue carbon re-mineralization in coastal environments. Here we examined mangrove-derived dissolved organic matter turnover in a lab incubation, with leachates from mangrove peat, 13C-labeled algae, and peat+algae (primed). Particulate and dissolved organic matter were assessed; microbial metatranscriptomes were evaluated; and dissolved organic matter was characterized with high resolution mass spectrometry. Stable isotopes indicated rapid allocation of algal-derived dissolved organic matter into particulate organic matter. The algal treatment had the greatest increase in carbon dioxide, but primed and peat treatments had the greatest loss of dissolved organic carbon, greater RNA concentrations, and similar changes in total carbon dioxide. Thissuggests that, while total carbon dioxide did not increase under priming conditions, the addition of a peat substrate may promote microbial biomass production relative to carbon dioxide production. This work highlights that more targeted studies investigating the specific mechanisms of priming are necessary to address the molecular and microbial transformations associated with priming in aquatic systems.

published proceedings


altmetric score

  • 0.25

author list (cited authors)

  • Morrison, E. S., Liu, Y., Rivas-Ubach, A., Amaral, J., Shields, M., Osborne, T. Z., ... Bianchi, T. S.

citation count

  • 1

publication date

  • 2023