Programs and projects
Program 3060

Present and past role of chemoautotrophy in marine sediments
Program coordinator(s): Dr. ir. H. T. S. Boschker
Theme(s): 1 , 2
Funding date: 21 June 2010

This study addresses the role of bacteria in marine sedimentary processes. Bacteria that use chemical energy to bind carbon dioxide are called chemoautotrophic. Relatively little research has been done into this process in coastal sediments. However, there are indications that the process may be much more important than previously assumed. Chemoautotrophy is mainly driven by reoxidation of sulfides and ammonium, which formed during anoxic decomposition of organic material. The present study will address the spatial distribution of reoxidation processes in sediments. This can shed light on the effects of burrows made by organisms as hotspots of reoxidation processes and chemoautotrophy. We will also measure chemoautotrophy rates and identify the micro-organisms involved. The study will greatly increase our knowledge of chemoautotrophy and its role in the carbon cycle in coastal sediments, both in the present and in the geological past.

This program contains the following projects:
3061: Reoxidation and chemoautotrophy in coastal sediment ecosystems:
3062: Tracing chemoautotrophic microbes in present and past sedimentary environments

Y.A.. Lipsewers N.J. Bale E.C. Hopmans S. Schouten J.S. Sinninghe Damsté L. Villanueva (2014). Seasonality and depth distribution of the abundance and activity of ammonia oxidizing microorganisms in marine coastal sediments (North Sea). Frontiers in microbiology5 (471): 1-12.
Darwin Center authors: Hopmans E. C., Lipsewers A., Schouten S., Sinninghe Damsté J. S., Villanueva L.

de Kluijver, A., Schoon, P.L., Downing, J.A., Schouten, S., Middelburg, J.J. (2014). Stable carbon isotope biogeochemistry of lakes along a trophic gradient. Biogeosciences11: 6265-6276.
Darwin Center authors: de Kluijver A., Middelburg J.J., Schoon P. L., Schouten S.