Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/soil-2021-88
https://doi.org/10.5194/soil-2021-88

  01 Sep 2021

01 Sep 2021

Review status: this preprint is currently under review for the journal SOIL.

The response of desert biocrust bacterial communities to hydration-desiccation cycles

Capucine Baubin, Noya Ran, Hagar Siebner, and Osnat Gillor Capucine Baubin et al.
  • Zuckerberg Institute for Water Research, Blaustein Institutes for Desert Research, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Midreshet Ben-Gurion, Israel

Abstract. Rain events in arid environments are highly unpredictable, interspersing extended periods of drought. Therefore, tracking changes in desert soil bacterial communities during hydration-desiccation cycles in the field, was seldom attempted. Here, we assessed rain-mediated dynamics of active community in the Negev Desert biological soil crust (biocrust), and evaluated the changes in bacterial composition, potential function, photosynthetic activity, and extracellular polysaccharide (EPS) production. We predicted that increased biocrust moisture would resuscitate the phototrophs, while desiccation would inhibit their activity. Our results show that hydration increased chlorophyll content, resuscitated the biocrust Cyanobacteria, enhanced EPS production, and induced potential phototrophic functions. However, decrease in the soil water content did not immediately decrease the phototrophs activity, though chlorophyll levels decreased. Moreover, while the Cyanobacteria relative abundance significantly increased, Actinobacteria, the former dominant taxa, significantly decreased in abundance. We propose that, following a rain event, the response of the active bacterial community lagged the soil moisture content due to the production of EPS which delayed the desiccation of the biocrust community.

Capucine Baubin et al.

Status: open (until 15 Dec 2021)

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • RC1: 'Comment on soil-2021-88', Anonymous Referee #1, 18 Oct 2021 reply

Capucine Baubin et al.

Capucine Baubin et al.

Viewed

Total article views: 222 (including HTML, PDF, and XML)
HTML PDF XML Total BibTeX EndNote
168 45 9 222 2 2
  • HTML: 168
  • PDF: 45
  • XML: 9
  • Total: 222
  • BibTeX: 2
  • EndNote: 2
Views and downloads (calculated since 01 Sep 2021)
Cumulative views and downloads (calculated since 01 Sep 2021)

Viewed (geographical distribution)

Total article views: 212 (including HTML, PDF, and XML) Thereof 212 with geography defined and 0 with unknown origin.
Country # Views %
  • 1
1
 
 
 
 
Latest update: 27 Nov 2021
Download
Short summary
In this manuscript, we describe changes in desert biocrust bacterial community during drought, rainfall, and dehydration in the Negev Desert. We followed the active bacterial community composition and their potential activity and showed that rainfall changes the bacterial community, triggers photosynthesis in soil phototrophs, and induces the production of extracellular polymeric substances that retain water during dehydration allowing bacterial cells to persist during the dehydration stage.